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Old 08-07-2013, 15:04   #1
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Boat Abandoned en route to Bermuda Washes up on M.V.

Here's an interesting story. We often speculate about what happens to abandoned boats and where they might wash up. Here's one abandoned May 12 en route to Bermuda that washed two months later up on Martha's Vineyard.

Abandoned Sailboat Washes Ashore at Norton Point | The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News

"Salvage plans are under way for an abandoned 36-and-a-half-foot sailboat that washed up at Norton Point beach on Friday night.
No one was aboard the Running Free, which was abandoned in the Bermuda Triangle on Mother’s Day.
An earlier report by the Gazette that the sailboat had been the subject of a Coast Guard rescue near Charleston, S.C. was inaccurate.


Sailboat was abandoned in Bermuda Triangle in May. — Mark Lovewell



The sailboat’s owner, Bill Heldenbrand of St. Joseph, Mo., told the Gazette Monday he was sailing alone from Green Cove Springs, Fla. in early May with the ultimate goal of crossing the Atlantic Ocean. His trip didn’t go as planned. Instead, after seven days at sea, the novice sailor encountered high winds and huge seas three-quarters of the way to Bermuda.
Mr. Heldenbrand was rescued by a passing oil tanker and forced to abandon the sailboat. The tanker took him to Quebec City. The Running Free drifted to places unknown — until Friday, when Mr. Heldenbrand received a phone call from Nancy and Bruce Hulme, who spotted the sailboat coming ashore.
“We were sitting on the beach when it approached the shore and we contacted the Coast Guard when it was clear no one was aboard,” Mr. and Mrs. Hulme said in an email to the Gazette. The couple looked up the owner of the boat online and reached out to him via Facebook.
Mr. Heldenbrand said that he is driving from Georgia to Cape Cod to retrieve the sailboat, which he has arranged to have towed to Falmouth.
That move may be completed as early as Monday evening, he said, though a previous attempt on Sunday to free the sailboat from its sandy berth proved unsuccessful.
“It was a surprise that it beached itself on Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Heldenbrand said. “I am hoping to get it off the beach and get some repairs.”
A previous version of this story mistakenly identified the sailboat as one that was abandoned near South Carolina last month.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:34   #2
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

This isn't the first time a person has left a perfectly good vessel.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:54   #3
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

As My old daddy aways said,"most all boats are tougher then those that sail em" This proves that again!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:54   #4
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

Hey, he's my neighbor from Green Cove Springs, FL.
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Old 08-07-2013, 22:59   #5
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

It does seem to be becoming a habit. What happened to the tradition of scuttling a boat when you abandon it? Hazard to navigation rules? Protocol for abandoning ship?

My friend cried like a baby when he scuttled his boat, but he was concerned his sinking vessel would cause harm if it did not fully sink. His boat struck something in the Gulf of Mexico.

I can't imagine scuttling Rain Dog, so I guess there is a "walk a mile in my shoes" kinda thing...
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:03   #6
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

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It does seem to be becoming a habit. What happened to the tradition of scuttling a boat when you abandon it? Hazard to navigation rules? Protocol for abandoning ship?
People get scared and (somewhat rightly so) put their own safety ahead of everything else.

As someone else mentioned in the zenamaran thread, "Not everyone who goes to sea becomes a sailor."
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:08   #7
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

If his insurance company paid him for the loss of the boat, he should hope they don't get wind of the recovery. Legally, the boat belongs to them and, if he wants to keep it, he will have to buy it back from them.
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Old 08-07-2013, 23:47   #8
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

Hey well theres one way for me to get a sailboat....lol.
Anyways, if the boat was abandoned at sea isn't there maritime laws allowing someone to claim the boat at sea for salvage? Just curious.
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Old 09-07-2013, 00:53   #9
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

Since the invention of cellphones and the notion of calling 911 for help... most people, Americans especially have become sissies. Back in the olden days (pre 1980's) you knew you were on your own, and needed to be prepared... no calling 911 and expecting others to come get you out of the mess you created.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:00   #10
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

Ok some might call him weak but I'd tell him to buy a lottery ticket !
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:09   #11
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

Why would you abandon a perfectly serviceable boat?

Well apart from the obvious one of critical damage to he boat, or critical injury to the crew, There have been cases where some of the crew are no longer able to cope with the conditions, and under those circumstances, the boat has to be abandoned as the life savers say they will not come out to the same boat again.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:19   #12
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

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Why would you abandon a perfectly serviceable boat?

Well apart from the obvious one of critical damage to he boat, or critical injury to the crew, There have been cases where some of the crew are no longer able to cope with the conditions, and under those circumstances, the boat has to be abandoned as the life savers say they will not come out to the same boat again.
Yep talbot, that is what happened to my friend, he fell down the companionway while trying to fix a leak coming from behind a tank, he was injured with new crew aboard, no way he could of dove over the side to do the repairs. I was his shoulder to cry on for a couple weeks, a lot of shame and self criticizing when you loose your boat. But I think he did everything right, including scuttling the vessel.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:57   #13
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Re: Boat abandoned en route to Bermuda washes up on M.V.

I think fair enough for jumping ship, Skippers call not always easy and it's whatever seems right / prudent at the time - of course slightly embarrassing that she reached shore later!, but better than the Skipper being slightly dead.

MT - no finders keepers (legally), boat always owned by someone. You get salvage in cash and not boat (although that may be the deal agreed later), how much depends on the risk and effort taken (i.e. mid ocean to shore would be bigger than drifting 10 yards away from the dock - otherwise we would all be untying superyachts!).........I have of course simplified several hundred years of Maritime law!
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:54   #14
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Re: Boat Abandoned en route to Bermuda Washes up on M.V.

that boat is pretty good at navigation, seamanship and collision avoidance
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:59   #15
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Re: Boat Abandoned en route to Bermuda Washes up on M.V.

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that boat is pretty good at navigation, seamanship and collision avoidance
That's only because the human factor was removed from the equation.... Now it'll probably sink on its way to the guest dock or boat yard.
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