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Old 06-11-2008
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Cape Fear 38 -- Lost Keel Fatality Investigation

This thread is posted in response to the incident of June 7 2008, in which the Cynthia Woods, a two-year old Cape Fear 38, lost its keel while competing in the 700 mile off-shore race from Galveston Texas to Veracruz, Mexico.

The boat was crewed by a team from Texas A&M University. Five of the six members of the crew were recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard after spending more than 24 hours in the water. A sixth member, safety officer Roger Stone, assisted other members in escaping the overturned hull but was himself trapped below and drowned.

The salvage and recovery of the Cynthia Woods is underway. The Coast Guard plans an informal inquirey, and Texas A&M appears to be contemplating their own separate expert investigation. The linked article immediately below provides some additional details:

The Galveston County Daily News

The purpose of this thread is not to parse the actions of the crew or to memorialize the fallen. Nor is it to discuss proper PFD use, safety protocols, etc. Other Sailnet threads exist for this purpose (see e.g., Texas A&M Sailing Team Missing, and Life Vests )

The purpose of this thread is to discuss structural or other aspects of the boat's design that may have led to the loss of the keel. Primarily, this thread should be used to post and discuss factual data as it becomes available, such as information about the boat design, as well as information disclosed by the various investigations.

It could be weeks or months before definitive information is available from the investigations, but if we stay tuned there may be valuable lessons. If there is someone knowledgeable about the design, or simply tech savvy, who'd like to post the Cape Fear 38 boat specs/schematics/drawings, etc, that might be a good way to get this thread started.
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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 06-11-2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Typos
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