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Old 02-12-2010, 15:36   #16
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US skipper tells of losing best friend on voyage to Bermuda

" ... Captain Dennis White, 64, was sailing his 41ft ketch Emma Goldman with close friend William Thorn, 62, and Mr Thorn's daughter Amanda, 25, when tragedy struck. According to Capt White the boat, which had set sail from Martha's Vineyard, was going "too fast" when it approached a 25 to 30 ft wave and rolled 360 degrees.
"Suddenly it went from chaos, noise, splashing and everything to complete silence," he said.
The boat was submerged underwater for a few moments — and then turned upright, damaging the vessel's mast — at which point his first thought went to Mr Thorn. "When the boat came back I was very concerned about my comrade in the cockpit. He was my best friend and I couldn't see how he would survive rolling over outside so I ran out to the hatch. I got out there to where he was and his daughter was with him.
"She was holding on to him. He was in the water, his face was maybe six inches out of the water [and] all of his body was underwater. He had his hand on the rail and was trying to help her pull him up as she was not strong enough.

"I grabbed on, we both pulled. We couldn't get him free of the wires in the rigging that were left from the mast and he was pinned by the wires.
"I believe the mast either hit him or damaged him in some way [because] he was almost moaning and begging us to please help him."
He said he and Ms Thorn "tried and tried" to free her father — the need became more urgent once they learnt Mr Thorn couldn't breathe properly.
Capt White said Ms Thorn told him to get a knife from the kitchen to cut the safety line. Their hope was that her father could climb out of the ropes.
"I thought about it for a while. I thought if I cut this line I am going to lose him, but his face was [underwater] and the sea was washing over him. I said 'I am going to cut him loose because he is suffering too much. I have to let him have his peace'.
"I cut it and it was a terrible thing I had to do. [Ms Thorn] kept shouting 'Daddy, daddy don't leave me' — and it was too much you know."..."

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Gord May
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Old 02-12-2010, 15:53   #17
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I wish them strength and courage to cope with their loss.

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Old 02-12-2010, 15:56   #18
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Originally Posted by Ti' Punch View Post
Missed that Skipmac, thanks for pointing it out. I wonder if the attachment point ripped out or the harness gave way or what.
If you read "Fastnet Force 10" That very thing happened but I don't if the conditions compare.
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Old 02-12-2010, 16:13   #19
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During that same period, a 31ft gaff cutter, sistership to Vito Dumas' circumnavigator, beat for 11 days from Friendship, Maine to get here to Bermuda.
Captain has done the trip a number of times, and said it was the worst he has ever seen.
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 02-12-2010, 18:29   #20
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Truly tragic. Tough, tough situation for all involved.
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Old 02-12-2010, 19:41   #21
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Nasty conditions. I'm not armchair admiral'ing this one. 40' swells? F that.

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