Three of the survivors were interviewed this morning on the Today show. It was not enlightening as to cause, but there were a few points I gathered:
- they only had about 30 seconds warning from the time the safety officer saw water below and shouted "Water, Water" until the time the boat sank
- the safety officer, who is the one fatality who did not get out of the boat, physically pushed some of the crew out the companionway from below and saved their lives
- they did not remember hearing any impact at all
- they could not get out with their PFDs because the boat had turned and the PFD had inflated in the cabin; therefore they had fewer PFDs than survivors and shared
- they felt that tying themselves together helped enormously in the survival and rescue
- the Coast Guard somehow spotted a faint flashlight from a chopper and did a terrific rescue
Few lessons yet, they seem to have done most things right. I do always keep a lot of flotation up in the cockpit in the form of cushions, horseshoe,etc., primarily for an MOB situation. If one ever got into a sudden sinking at night with folks struggling to get out from below, it might be another use for the floating stuff.
It is clear that the safety officer bravely put the others' lives ahead of his own and made the ultimate sacrifice -- "greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends."