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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 08-30-2008
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Cat flips, kid drowns

A three-year-old was DOA when a children's sailing class in Connecticut experienced a capsize in a catamaran.

3-Year-Old Dies In Boating Accident -- Courant.com
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Old 08-30-2008
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I had heard about this incident by word of mouth from someone else local.
Why would you entrust your 3 year old to go sailing on a Hobie cat with an instructor even if they were wearing life jackets? If they were my kids I would take them out 1 at a time on a more stable boat if they even had to experience sailing at the tender young age of 3.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and it is also very sad.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
I had heard about this incident by word of mouth from someone else local.
Why would you entrust your 3 year old to go sailing on a Hobie cat with an instructor even if they were wearing life jackets? If they were my kids I would take them out 1 at a time on a more stable boat if they even had to experience sailing at the tender young age of 3.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and it is also very sad.
Well, I don't know the particulars so I won't comment. I DID however take my daughter out in my LASER when she was 14 months old. MOM was about as nervous as you can imagine, esp. b/c she wasn't a water person.
Thats said, she was strapped in, the wind was probably only about 9-10 knots and very little wave action. We also stayed close to shore and were only out for maybe 10 min. Oh, and I was a VERY experienced sailor.



I had a blast, she sorta liked it. Daughter loved sailing up until about 4 years ago; teenager years set in, and she started getting seasick. Oh, and MOM decided she wasn't happy and never did like the boat stuff so went off looking for (and found) a BRAND NEW LIFE.



Sorry to hear about this. I'm sure those parents will second guess themselves forever. But as Caleb said, I wouldn't let ANYONE else take them out.
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Old 08-31-2008
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I love sailing, bought our first boat when our middle daughter was 6 weeks old, took her son (my grandson) out for his first when he was 6 weeks old, and think that saiing is a wonderful sport for youngsters. But I would not take multiple small children with one adult on a Hobie Cat. Hobies can and do capsize, even sailed well. (Been there; done that). This situtation involved three small children and one instructor (barely adult) in a capsize prone boat. That seems to me and proved to be an unnecessarily risky situation.
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Old 09-01-2008
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beach cats are notoriously unstable and can be very dangerous, since once capsized it is easy to be trapped beneath the sails or the tramps... and an infant or toddler wouldn't have the strength or ability to get out from underneath. A few years back a young girl, nine or thereabouts, died on a beach cat at one of the Sunsail bases for much the same reasons...

Criminally stupid to take a three-year-old out on a hobie IMHO.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Gee I don't see anything wrong with taking a kid sailing when he's under 4 yrs of age. Maybe after, take the kid polar bear hunting, or better yet how about dodge car, put the kid in the middle of the x-press way and see if he can miss the cars.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't remember much before the age of 5 yrs. old. I am just glad that my father was so dumb that he waited until I was about 10 yrs old before teaching me how to handle a sail boat.
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From the accounts I've read there were two 3 year olds and a six year old with the 18 year old instructor on a small Hobie Catamaran. The sailing school's safety practices are now under review, as well they probably should be. Given that Hobies can and will capsize(and in this case DID), I would question the wisdom of taking out kids of that age with or without vests.

Can one adult right a small cat?....Terrible story.
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Old 09-01-2008
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My sincere condolences to the family..
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Agreed with the condolences to the family. Whether you can right the boat or not is one issue; to me the most important thing is there be at least one competent adult per child. The accounts I read suggested the kids were wearing PFDs, but one instructor can't rescue three kids simultaneously.
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