sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Textbook sailing errors, but rescued by a passing windsurfer
Textbook sailing errors, but rescued by a passing windsurfer

'Chris Johnson, hero of the rescue'    .

It had all the elements of classic potentially fatal errors while sailing. Solo sailing, he was tethered but not wearing a life jacket, then removed his tether to complete a task and was then knocked off his boat by the boom. The surface water was 59 degrees, down to 39 below. He was half a mile from shore and it was around 6.00pm.

It occurred on Lake Michigan in the USA, but what saved 73-year-old David Carlson's life was the alertness and commonsense of a passing windsurfer.

Chris Johnson, 53-year-old master windsurfing instructor with 35 years' teaching experience, was sailing shortly before 6 p.m. June 8 when he saw the empty sailboat drift past.

Rescue officials are crediting Johnson with saving Carlson's life. Johnson helped Carlson onto his board and kept him there until a Muskegon County Sheriff's Office Dive Team rescue boat arrived, possibly a half hour to an hour later.

Shortly before, Johnson had twice sailed past the 23-foot MacGregor sailboat's bow and waved to the older man who was sailing it, making sure the man was OK, Johnson told Mlive in a telephone interview the day after. The boat appeared to be having some difficulties in the gusty winds, Johnson said, with the sails down on the deck and the craft having a difficult time moving upwind.

A few minutes after that, 'the boat sailed past me, nobody on board,' Johnson said. 'I knew he had gone overboard.

'I sailed past where I'd last seen him. He was in the water. I asked if he had a life jacket on. He said no. That's definitely a huge problem.'

Rather than go out to the unmanned sailboat and bring it back, which Johnson judged would take too much time, he went straight to the stranded man. They were possibly a half-mile out from shore, a rescue official later estimated.

'He was probably in the water about five or six minutes before I was able to pull right up to him and get him on the board,' Johnson said. 'I had sailed past him and had to turn around to get back to him. He told me he was in distress. I had to sail right to him and drop my rig so he could get on board. And we waited it out.

The two sat on the 8-foot-8-inch-long board – which barely has enough flotation for two people, Johnson said – and conversed calmly until rescue came, talking to each other about their families and about sailing.

Johnson was wearing his usual wetsuit, which offers protection against cold water, but he said the soaked sailor was wearing shorts, a shirt and jacket. Carlson also had a harness around him with a carabine hook attached, to hook himself to his boat, but he had detached it because he was trying to control the boat in heavy seas, Johnson said.

An onlooker on shore, alarmed when the empty sailboat drifted ashore some time later, called 911. The sheriff's dive team, U.S. Coast Guard Station Muskegon and the Muskegon Fire Department responded, with the sheriff's boat reaching the pair first.

Johnson said he would have ditched his rig and pushed the board to shore if he'd had to, a maneuver called 'self rescue.' But the approach of rescue craft made that unnecessary.

According to sheriff's Sgt. Todd Dunham, the sailboat's boom had knocked Carlson into the water.

Dunham said the surface water temperature was 59 degrees when the sheriff's boat reached the two. Johnson said the water below the surface was much colder, as low as 39 degrees near the north and south buoys.

Dunham said Carlson was suffering from hypothermia when taken aboard, with his core body temperature approximately 80 degrees. After the boat brought him in to the Coast Guard station, a Pro-Med Professional Med Team ambulance brought him to Mercy Health Partners' Mercy Campus, where he was treated and released.

'I am convinced if it wasn't for Chris, David wouldn't have made it,' Dunham said. Dunham said he will put in Johnson's name for a life-saving award from the sheriff's office.

'I'm just grateful everything turned out in a positive way and everyone's safe and healthy,' Johnson said


by John S Hausman, Mlive/Sail-World


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123117

12:05 AM Tue 10 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World









The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI


















Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,


























Kempe thrilled to invite himself to Gold Cup party
2014 420 World Championships - Singapore wins Day 2 race
Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals
Etchells Invitational Cup - Girls on top in Cowes
National Sailing Hall of Fame reveals inductees
J/111 North American Championship - Wind Czar victorious
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4   
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014   
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston   
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet   
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Polishing the silverware   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT