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  #41  
Old 05-28-2008
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Chuck,

Sorry for your loss. I met Ralph a few years ago while racing in Annapolis on a Wednesday night, He was a good man He will be missed but aklways rememebered,

Dave
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“Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.”- Dennis Conner
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  #42  
Old 05-28-2008
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Tonight on the Magothy there was a ceremony honoring Mr. Reitan just prior to the usual Wednesday night races. I was very sorry I couldn't attend. I thought about him today at the usual start time...
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  #43  
Old 05-29-2008
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I had wondered if you were out there Craig.
More than 70 sailboats were, all paying respects.
Perhaps my Admiral will post a picture or two
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  #44  
Old 05-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
More news trickles in.

He was on the windward leg of the course in 30 knts apparent (or more) when Wabbit was knocked down by a gust and apparently began taking on water through a open companion way. His crew (from what I hear) was unable to recover the boat and offer assistance.
Other boats lost rigs and were knocked down by the same squall.
Ralph managed to get to a life ring thrown to him by another boat, but apparently was unable to hold on to it and slipped under, then floated face down for a few minutes before that boat (C&C 39, Beagle) was able to recover him aboard.
By that time he had no pulse, was in cardiac arrest and was cyanosed. A MD was the skipper of the recovering boat, so he could not have been in better hands. CPR was provided for 30 minutes while getting him to the nearest dock where EMT's took over.
He was originally listed as in critical condition, then slipped away during the night.
Having sailed with him on Wednesday's as crew I can assure you he was experienced and safety minded as a skipper. It is unsure if the COD was drowning or cardiac arrest. Ralph was contemplating retiring to Florida this fall.

I appreciate the condolences and ask all of you to consider wearing PFD's when conditions are less than perfect. Mary (MMR) and I have already purchased and equipped our boat with auto inflatables just last month to encourage us to wear them more often. Man overboard drills are a necessary part of spring commissioning, but bear in mind the boat you fall from may not be able to affect a quick recovery - ask your self how long you can tread water when it's 50 degrees and choppy as stink out.

In my celebration of his life and passion for sailing there will be caution and reflection on possible lessons learned. I will no longer boast that my boat is safe and secure enough that I have no need for PFD's.
Chuck- I hadn't seen this thread until now. I would like to extend my condolences. I can't think of a better way to honor the memory of your friend.
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  #45  
Old 05-29-2008
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An Honorary Start and Finish in Memory and Appreciation of Ralph Reitan.

Magothy River Sailing Association conducted an on-the-water ceremony, honoring our friend and competitor Ralph Reitan, prior to last night’s Wed night race, May 28th. The crew of ‘WABBIT’ brought her out to serve as committee boat.

At 5:54:30, an American Flag was raised to full mast, a long horn was sounded.
At 5:55pm, the American Flag was lowered to half-mast and a gun sounded. The flag remained at half-mast until the race was concluded.
At 5:56pm, a long horn was sounded and the prep-flag was raised.
At 5:59pm, a long horn sounded and the prep-flag was lowered
At 6:00pm a "starting" gun was sounded.

Sailing death close to home-dsc01203-2-.jpg

The entire fleet formed a starboard-tack parade and crossed the starting line in succession, under full sail. Crews stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the starboard lifelines ... hats in hands.

Crews were asked to wear either solid white or solid navy blue shirts representing the hull-colors of 'WABBIT', Ralph’s boat.

'BEAGLE' was first to cross, leading the parade in recognition to her skipper and crew for their valiant efforts last Wednesday night.

Sailing death close to home-dsc01216-2-.jpg

The crew of ‘WABBIT’

Sailing death close to home-dsc01219-2-.jpg

After the last boat crosses, an additional 1 min of silence was observed with a concluding "finish" gun with no-one crossing, symbolizing our missing friend and competitor.

Sailing death close to home-dsc01220-2-.jpg

Last edited by MMR; 05-29-2008 at 09:58 AM. Reason: attachments
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  #46  
Old 05-29-2008
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Thank you Mary. Appreciate it.
We had nine people aboard including the YCCSC Commodore (myself) the Vice Commodore, Secretary, and a former Rear Commodore.
It was a wonderful rememberance of a well known and well respected local sailor.
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  #47  
Old 05-29-2008
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My dad spent 16 months as a complete invalid before he passed away. His mind was very sharp but he was paralyzed from the chest down. We had many quality of life discussions during that time. I learned many things during those discussion but the most important was...
"Better to pass on while doing what we love than to wait for our passing while wishing we could still enjoy our passions"
A celebration is in order when God grants us a last sail when it is our time to join him....
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  #48  
Old 05-29-2008
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chuck... my condolences as well. i followed this story as best i could from the hospital. i didn't know him or the boat but my racing friends at least knew the boat. always shocking to hear about a death on the chesapeake much less the magothy.
mitch
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  #49  
Old 05-29-2008
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I was very sad to hear this ..
Best wishes to his family and friends!
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  #50  
Old 05-29-2008
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Beautiful tribute to obviously a well liked man..

Sorry to hear about his death.
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