If you did a google search for more info on this tragedy, like me, you probably came up short. I did find a letter to the editor of Latitude 38 (2nd letter from bottom of this LINK
), pertaining to a reference that would provide more insight :
WHAT WERE YOU IMPLYING?
The March Sightings article titled Winter Waves Claim Another Boat - And Life, contained several errors that made me guess that the issue had gone to press before your editor could correct the story.
Just after the accident Randy Reid, the owner of the boat and the father of 23-year-old Erik Reid, who died in the tragedy, responded to an outsider who joined the Sailnet Newport email list to inquire about the accident. Reid gave his account of what happened. Latitude's editor also responded and exchanged emails through the list with Randy. I thought this was gracious of Randy to respond so soon after the tragic loss of his son, and I feel bad that his firsthand corrections of your story didn't make it to print.
What I don't understand is the melodramatic shot at the end of your article. The last paragraph quoted Randy's email posting on the Newport30.org site, where he wanted information on marinas in the Bay Area. You wrote, "There were no responses to this post." You want us to feel sad, right? What a shame nobody responded?
The truth is that the Newport 30 Association is an active racing organization, and their Web site postings are not as frequented as others. But Randy, who also posted his question on the Sailnet Newport email list, received responses - including mine, where I mentioned I tried to find a Latitude survey on area marinas - that did list area marinas.
What were you implying with that paragraph and last sentence? How was that an important issue? More importantly, after editorializing about knowing the area, you skipped over the important issue about whether to clip on or not, and having a quick release on your tether. That was the probable cause of death. It's pretty sad journalism.
Dacha, Newport 30
Bruce - Perhaps the last paragraph wasn't the clearest that's ever been written in Latitude, but we have absolutely no idea what you mean by calling the last sentence a "melodramatic shot." After all, it wasn't a shot at anyone, and it hardly fulfills any definition of melodramatic.
Writing about the pros and cons of being clipped on in such conditions is certainly worthwhile. But as we were already past deadline, and it wasn't yet factually clear as to who was and wasn't clipped on, and with or without what, it hardly seemed like the proper time for such a discussion.
Writing about such sailing tragedies is often more difficult than it seems on the surface. Managing Editor John Riise explains in this month's Sightings.
It's interesting that according to this letter, Randy Reid, Eric Reid's father, provided a clear description of the incident on SailNet's Newport email list. Unfortunately, the archived posts don't seem to go back that far - ending at 12/2004.