by Des Ryan
Just another incident? The worst of all nightmares for a solo sailor is being in the water and watching the yacht sail away. The skipper of a sailing boat in the Gulf of Mexico near Houston, Texas, has just had that experience when he dived overboard to free a fouled rudder.
The worst of all nightmares
Luckily he was not sailing solo, but could not catch his boat, and his crew member called the Coast Guard, who rescued him successfully.
The Coast Guard assisted a disabled sailing vessel with two crew aboard near Bolivar Peninsula Thursday.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report from the captain of the sailing vessel Under Siege at approximately 9 a.m., stating that the rudder of his sailing vessel had become fouled, and the sail boat was adrift. He then stated he was going to enter the water to assess the condition of the rudder.
While the captain was in the water, the sailing vessel drifted away. The remaining crew contacted the Coast Guard and stated that the captain had been in the water for approximately 20 minutes and needed assistance.
Station Galveston launched a 25-foot Response Boat-Small(RBS) and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium rescue crew and Air Station Houston diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crew from a routine patrol.
The helicopter crew located the captain in the water and directed the RBS crew to his location.
The RBS crew located, recovered and transported the captain back to the sailing vessel and contacted a tow boat to assist.
The RBS crew stayed with the sailing vessel until the tow boat was able to assist them.
So what is the moral of the story?
Make sure the line which attaches you to your sailing boat is super secure if you have to go overboard for any reason. Possibly also attach a second safety line.