Midwest Puddle Pirate
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Gardner, KS
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Sinking of the Trashman
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but my search came up empty.
I saw a show on cable about the sad story of the sinking of the yacht Trashman. If you get a chance to catch it, it's worth watching as a "what not to do" primer.
I didn't get to see the beginning of the show, so I missed the setup. I did see the boat get thrashed by a storm, lose it's sails, lose it's engine, lose electrical power, free fall off the crest of a breaking 30 foot wave, stove in a hatch and sink.
What I also saw was a crew out on the open sea who didn't keep on top of the weather. They also left the sails up too long and had them torn away by the storm. They overworked the engine until it cooked. Had inadequate battery power to be able to contact help once the engine died. Had no life raft, and ended up adrift in a zodiac RIB. No ditch kit. No food, no water. No epirb. No medical supplies. No handheld radio. They got off the boat with the dinghy and the clothes on their backs.
2 of the 5 crew survived after 6 days in the RIB, and only because they were spotted by a russian freighter after drifting 160 miles further out to sea.
I know that in emergency situations, things go wrong. You can't plan for everything and what you do plan will go wrong. I don't think this crew had a plan that went beyond "if the boat sinks, someone will save us".
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John USYacht 27 "Cora Lee"