Deadly thunderstorm in Western L.I. Sound - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Destinations > US Northeast > Long Island
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  #1  
Old 07-25-2010
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Deadly thunderstorm in Western L.I. Sound

As of 9:30 pm, police search boats and a Coast Guard helicopter were still combing the waters off Larchmont, Westchester County, N.Y.

2 missing from boats caught in squall on Long Island Sound | LoHud.com | The Journal News
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Old 07-26-2010
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Very sad,condolances.marc
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Old 07-26-2010
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I learned to sail on that exact same boat - 23 foot Sonar #12 in the fleet - out of a sailing school in that area. It is a solid boat and the instructors are all very good.

But they had 60 mph winds in a short period of time. It took down trees in the area. A total disaster and very sad outcome that could have been avoided.

Problem is that these boats do not have VHF radios of any kind. So no ability to get weather updates or called in by the school or Coast Guard warning.

I sail in same area on my boat and always keep radio on listening for updates.

Was actually thinking of sailing yesterday afternoon but looked at the doppler radar and saw the forecasts and opted out. You could see the squall line coming across the tri-state area and it was intense.
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Old 07-26-2010
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No life jacket

Associated Press - July 26, 2010 9:25 AM ET

LARCHMONT, N.Y. (AP) - A boat and helicopter search is continuting for a man who fell off his sailboat in the Long Island Sound during a sudden squall.

The 30-year-old man was training on a 23-foot-long sailboat near Larchmont when the squall hit at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Coast Guard petty officer Seth Johnson said Monday there were four people on board. Two men fell over; one was able to get back on.

The Coast Guard is being assisted in its search Monday by Westchester County police.

An instructor saw the man fall into the water and threw a flotation device to him, but he disappeared. He was not wearing a life jacket.

The man's name was not immediately released.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Old 07-26-2010
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This is very sad.
Is this be preventable? It only take 30 sec to put on a life vest. Why the instructor failed to order everyone put on a life vest. I hope that are more details to come so we all of us can learn from this tragedy.

Thoughts and prayers to the family.
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Old 07-26-2010
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I didn't see where in the article it said they were on a Sonar. One article said it was a 24' boat and another a 23'. The sailing school at City Island uses 21' Bennies. The reporters are certainly not sailors and the facts are a bit sketchy but it certainly was a nasty front that blew through here yesterday.
Sadly, a life jacket may have been enough to avert this tragedy. A VHF radio on board and somebody watching the radar on shore would have helped too.
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Old 07-26-2010
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The NYSS only teaches on Sonar. It was first day of school too. Tragic.

LARCHMONT — Police said Monday that the missing sailing student who went overboard when a squall hit his boat Sunday afternoon was a 30-year-old Irish national from outside Westchester County.
The search continued this morning for the man, whose name has not been released.
The man was on a 23-foot sailboat with two other students and his instructor when the wind from the storm blew the boat steeply to one side, sending the student and instructor into the water, said Sgt. Rudy Rodriguez of the New Rochelle police department's Marine Unit.
The instructor made it back to the boat and threw a square flotation device to the victim, but the winds separated the man from the device and his fellow boaters lost sight of him in the poor visibility of the storm, which hit about 3:30 p.m.
The mission to find the man is no longer considered a rescue, Rodriguez said.
The man was not wearing a life jacket at the time he disappeared, authorities said. The law required that the boat carry life jackets for every passenger on board, but not that the passengers wear them.
Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Charles Rowe said searchers with small boats scoured the area all night, and a helicopter has been brought up from Atlantic City today to assist in the search. The New Rochelle Marine Unit is also continuing the search.
Last night, the search extended up to Rye, Rodriguez said. Today searchers are going east from the New Rochelle municipal marina.
The boat was not damaged and no one else was injured. The boat was towed to shore and a New Rochelle police department vessel brought the two remaining students to shore. All the students had just met at the school that morning for a lesson and did not previously know one another, Rodriguez said.
Police confirmed the instructor and students were from the New York Sailing School in New Rochelle. A call to the school went unanswered on Monday morning.
The school, based out of Pelham Road in New Rochelle, has been running sailing classes and renting sailboats since 1968. It advertises that it has been using its 23-foot Sonar sailboats since 1981 because of their "comfort, speed, safety, maneuverability and performance."
Police are not releasing the identity of the missing man pending notification of his family in Ireland. Rodriguez said the man is believed to have lived in New York City.
Stay tuned to Lohud.com for updates on this story throughout the day.
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Old 07-26-2010
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I was on my mooring in Manhasset Bay for this storm and heard the first call to the coast guard about this event. Very sad.

I've been at sea in a gale with waves pushing 25 feet (in a 41 foot boat), and I've been caught out in a T-storm in a small dinghy in winds that were recorded at 50 knots. This was, without any doubt, the most vicious storm I have ever witnessed and a whole order of magnitude more severe. The fetch from my mooring in this direction is all of a half a mile. From a dead calm we had 3 to 4 foot waves in about a minute. The rain (which at times was falling up) was so heavy I could not see the boat moored behind me (about 75 feet away). The winds were so strong and swirling that boats (mine included) were at times heeled over approximately 45 degrees. I don't mean just being knocked over and coming back up -- I watched a Sabre 37 heeled over at that angle and held there for at least 10 seconds at a time (and this happened numerous times). Local recording showed 62.5 knots. It would not surprise me if it was higher.

Last edited by Plumbean; 07-26-2010 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 07-26-2010
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"but it certainly was a nasty front that blew through"
And predicted very much in advance, complete with tornado warnings all up and down the east coast. This was a major weather system and shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone--either using the radio, or their own eyes.

"during a sudden squall." I wonder if the AP is outsourcing their articles to South Asia, since "sudden squall" is a total redundancy.
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Old 07-26-2010
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HS,
Quite true. I was watching the radar on NOAA from 12 noon onwards and decided to bag racing my Tartan 27' up at Nyack. I would not have wanted to be on a Sonar on LI Sound either.
My boat partner did go out and race (which was cancelled mid-race) and got caught in some weather but was able to safely motor back to our mooring in our much heavier boat thanks to our ancient Atomic 4. I think the weather on the Sound was a bit worse then what happened near the Tappan Zee.

hix,
Thanks for the clarification on the boat being a Sonar. I have been on a friends Sonar and it is a great boat for 'normal' winds.
It is still a tragedy.
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