Unfortunately, although this sounds like a freak accident, it is not altogether uncommon. There have been several similar incidents on Chesapeake Bay during the past decade. And that tally does not include the uncounted near misses.
We alone have had several instances where large powerboats on plane have passed close to us, requiring us to alter course, with no indication that their crew had observed us. As a safety precaution, we monitor any such boats in our vicinity and assume that a potential collision course could develop. Shouldn't be that way, but unfortunately there are a lot of bozos out there with more money than brains.
One of our own sailnet members, Bubb2, and his family sustained serious injuries in a similar incident. Search the archives for a detailed description.
And I'm very sorry that we've lost another good sailor.
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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62
NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT