Here a nice story about a steel boat:
A big, bad, breaking wave caught us sideways and rolled the boat through 360 degrees. The hatches collapsed; the heater chimney was ripped clean off; the mast snapped at deck level and water poured in everywhere. Our inflatable dinghy was torn in half. Paul was reading in his forward bunk when we were struck … He came looking for me. I was upside down, unconscious and under a metre of water, in the shower room. My scalp was split open and there was a lot of blood. … He hauled me to my feet and I came to quickly but had very little understanding of events. I kept asking Paul, ‘What ocean are we in?’ …[According to Paul, the boat was upside down for several minutes.]
We had trouble activating our emergency beacon. … I was deathly cold, sitting in the cockpit. My clothes were soaked and I shivered uncontrollably. It was getting dark and I knew I would not make it through the night. The boat was taking on water [probably through the sink outlet and the loo, although Pete didn’t realise it at the time], the batteries were flooded and no pumps were working. We were sinking. After two hours there was no sign of rescue, nor had we any idea whether or not our signal was received by anyone. Paul found a 2-way radio and I transmitted our mayday message. No answer.
We sat in the slowly filling cockpit, sipping on a bottle of fine whisky and staring off into the wild waves and night. Boozing was the worst thing a couple of hypothermic boys can do, but there is the matter of style. I was resigned to the inevitable …
The boat was awash now and I told Paul to get ready. Two more waves and she went down. We stepped up into the ocean with no sign of a helicopter in sight but I held the strobe light beacon in one hand and tried to keep my head clear of the breaking waves. I drank a lot of sea water. Then, a lovely sight. Searchlights on the water from the low-flying helicopter coming towards us.
The pilots hovered clear of the huge waves and dropped one swimmer on a cable and then another. These brave boys hauled us to safety.
Everything was at the limit. The helicopter’s range, our ability to stay afloat, our strength, our hopes. They did it and we survived.