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post #119 of Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Sailboat perishes off Hatteras, USCG rescues crew

Ahhh, mystery solved... it involves The Bermuda Triangle, naturally...

Hmmm, wonder how many other sailboats have been abandoned offshore by "novice sailors" recently, that we never heard about? Yup, "the facts & statistics" clearly indicate this sort of thing is on the decline, alright... (grin, bigtime)

Seriously, however, one really has to wonder whether anyone is really keeping track of all these abandoned vessels? Presumably, when that Carnival cruise ship encountered RUNNING FREE at sea a couple of weeks ago and stopped to investigate, they would have contacted the USCG, don't you think? And, that maybe, just maybe, the CG might have informed them she had been abandoned weeks before, and that there would have been nobody aboard, and hence no need to stop and deploy a boarding party?


Abandoned Sailboat Washes Ashore at Norton Point

Mark Alan Lovewell
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 4:22pm

Salvage plans are under way for an abandoned 36-and-a-half-foot sailboat that washed up at Norton Point beach on Friday night.

No one was aboard the Running Free, which was abandoned in the Bermuda Triangle on Mother’s Day.

An earlier report by the Gazette that the sailboat had been the subject of a Coast Guard rescue near Charleston, S.C. was inaccurate.

The sailboat’s owner, Bill Heldenbrand of St. Joseph, Mo., told the Gazette Monday he was sailing alone from Green Cove Springs, Fla. in early May with the ultimate goal of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. His trip didn’t go as planned. Instead, after seven days at sea, the novice sailor encountered high winds and huge seas three-quarters of the way to Bermuda.

Mr. Heldenbrand was rescued by a passing oil tanker and forced to abandon the sailboat. The tanker took him to Quebec City. The Running Free drifted to places unknown — until Friday, when Mr. Heldenbrand received a phone call from Nancy and Bruce Hulme, who spotted the sailboat coming ashore.

“We were sitting on the beach when it approached the shore and we contacted the Coast Guard when it was clear no one was aboard,” Mr. and Mrs. Hulme said in an email to the Gazette. The couple looked up the owner of the boat online and reached out to him via Facebook.

Mr. Heldenbrand said that he is driving from Georgia to Cape Cod to retrieve the sailboat, which he has arranged to have towed to Falmouth.

That move may be completed as early as Monday evening, he said, though a previous attempt on Sunday to free the sailboat from its sandy berth proved unsuccessful.

“It was a surprise that it beached itself on Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Heldenbrand said. “I am hoping to get it off the beach and get some repairs.”

A previous version of this story mistakenly identified the sailboat as one that was abandoned near South Carolina last month. -

See more at: Abandoned Sailboat Washes Ashore at Norton Point | The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News

Last edited by JonEisberg; 07-09-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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