Missing Sailor Found Off BARNEGAT Inlet - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 10-09-2008
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While it is sad anytime someone dies and our thoughts and prayers to out to his family, we might want to wait for the autopsy to talk about whether it was a preventable tragedy or not. For all we know, he had a heart attack.
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"To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
- Oliver Wendel Holmes
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Old 10-09-2008
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autopsy - drowning

The autopsy results below indicate drowning - seems he went overboard while furling his sails prior to entering the inlet after sailing down from Sandy Hook. And, yeah, we all want to go doing something that we love - it's still enough to make us take stock of our sailing practices as well as our mortality. We often get in trouble in our own back yards cause we're relaxed - says me, who went aground off the Statue of Liberty one fine sunny day while I was below making lunch and a friend was diligently "keeping the Statue to starboard" as we headed south down NY Harbor (well, the statue's on an island...)

— An autopsy performed on the Massachusetts man whose body was found off the coast of Long Beach Island Tuesday indicates the sailor drowned.The postmortem examination, performed at Community Medical Center in Toms River, revealed 64-year-old Clint Vanorsdell had a broken rib suffered in a bicycle crash last week, but was otherwise unaffected by any noticeable trauma, said Sgt. Mike Shupin, commander of the State Marine Police's Point Pleasant Station.

An investigation into how and why Vanorsdell ended up in the water is continuing.

So far, authorities know that Vanorsdell's 40-foot Second Wind was one of three vessels that set out southbound from Sandy Hook Monday morning and that the trio of boats planned to anchor inside Barnegat Inlet overnight before sailing to Cape May in the morning.

As they approached the inlet, two of the boats made a right turn and entered; the Second Wind did not, Shupin said.

One of the boats, a 35-footer named Gandolf, headed back out of the inlet to chase Vanorsdell down after its captain, Glen Myette, who lived on the same street as Vanorsdell in Massachusetts, failed to make contact either via radio or cell phone.

Myette then made a distress call to the Coast Guard, who arrived at the inlet from their station in Barnegat Light within minutes. When officers reached the Second Wind, there was no one aboard.

Myette told investigators he had observed Vanorsdell lowering his sails as the group reached the inlet, but the boat never made entry.

Shupin served as the state police's incident commander during a 17-hour search for Vanorsdell after he was reported missing by a fellow boater at about 6 p.m. on Monday. During the search, which included a state police helicopter and as Coast Guard rescue boats, authorities combed the water as far out as three miles from Ship Bottom to Long Branch, but found nothing.

About three and a half hours after the search was called off, Vanorsdell's body was found about a mile out to sea by John and Debbie McLaughlin of Florham Park, who had set out on their 27-foot boat earlier in the afternoon.

"I was pretty freaked out, I just said, "Oh my God,'' said John McLaughlin, 47.

The couple had been out fishing off the coast of Long Beach Island on Tuesday when initial reports of Vanorsdell's disappearance began to filter across his radio.

"We were out all day, fishing north of the mouth of (Barnegat) Inlet and on the way in I heard about (Vanorsdell),'' he said. "I was going to turn around and join the search, but it was getting dark and we didn't want to get stuck out there.''

On Wednesday, they decided to fish in a different direction, this time heading about five miles south of the inlet where they caught a striper two weeks ago.

"I had even said, "I hope I don't find this guy,'' he said. "But something made me go out again and I turned around and he was right there off the front of the boat.'

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Old 10-09-2008
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Thanks for the update, may he rest in peace.
S/V Scheherazade
I had a dream, I was sailing, I was happy, I was even smiling. Then I looked down and saw that I was on a multi-hull and woke up suddenly in a cold sweat.
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Old 10-09-2008
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My condolences to the family.

I wear my PFD ALL THE TIME now... Do you?


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Old 10-09-2008
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Here's the personal story of the sailor in question from one of our local papers;

Hanover man’s sail around the world ends in tragedy - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger
Certified...in several regards...
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