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Old 03-10-2013, 22:51   #1
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Cat sinks off Texas

Please forgive if this has been discussed, I DID search w/o any luck.

Coast Guard and life jackets save 12 after sailboat sinks | abc13.com

It's close to home and I havn't heard any local talk. Anyone know details? What kind of cat? Seems strange it was GONE in 30 minutes. Thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2013, 23:53   #2
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Don't know a 60 foot cat or a guy named Reef Man..hmm glad they are ok, sounds like it sank fast. Could this be a charter?
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Old 03-10-2013, 23:59   #3
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Ahh boat name Reefman, here is some rescue footage
Coast Guard rescues 12 from sunken ship near Freeport | KXAN.com
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Old 04-10-2013, 00:14   #4
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

More googling has found this:

Reef-Man Artificial Reefs

Their vessel IS a catamaran...but not a sailing one. I'm guessing that's who it was but it's just a guess. The picture under "Our Vessel" looks like Freeport.

This would explain the fast sinking too.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:14   #5
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElGatoGordo View Post
More googling has found this:

Reef-Man Artificial Reefs

Their vessel IS a catamaran...but not a sailing one. I'm guessing that's who it was but it's just a guess. The picture under "Our Vessel" looks like Freeport.

This would explain the fast sinking too.
Too bad, it's a sturdy looking little vessel: Reef-Man Artificial Reefs

One of the listed principals is Tom Hilton, he's noted for originating some nice navigation, bathysphere, and weather applications for offshore mariners, geared to the sport fishing bunch.

I'm going to check 2coolfishing.com, they will have the scoop (Hilton is prominent there, I've been there for years too).

OK, complete news on the sinking, from the inside ("Fishing boat sank today (reef man) pics"): Fishing boat sank today (reef man) pics - 2CoolFishing.
Actual on scene pictures taken by those who were there as it happens!
WOW,
you don't see stuff like this very often.Haven't read the whole thread but I'm sure it will cover all the details.
There may be lessons to learn here for all.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:25   #6
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Thanks for that TX J. I read the whole thread. For those that might not look...PLEASE do look over there just for the pictures on page 1. The pic of the boat actually going down, taken by a guy IN THE WATER...priceless! But the later pic of the activities IN the water made me proud to be a TEXAN!

The captain posted at the end that the port hull took on water for unknown reasons. It apears he did everything right and noone was hurt. Horay for a good outcome.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:49   #7
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Good thing there was no loss of life, 12 souls safe; I can assure y'all a lot of nice electronic goodies went to the bottom.

The US Coast Guard did a fine job of responding (I'll check with my Coastie kids from the next Sector down if they have any scuttlebutt).
Here is the USCG News Release about this incident: Coast Guard, life jackets save 12 after sailboat sinks off Texas coast
The Third Class PR writer got some facts wrong, it wasn't a 60' sailboat that sank. It looks to be about a 30-35' power cat/workboat to me from the pictures I linked elsewhere here.

The captain (Tom Hilton, 50 ton Master, out of League City/Freeport, TX) is very well respected, he posted a few comments on those threads. He had checked the bilges at about 10 miles outbound and things were OK. By 15 miles out the port hull was down, control was sluggish, and a look below confirmed it was bad.
Hilton immediately set course back to shore, radioed the CG for assistance, and prepared guests for the abandon ship.
Those pictures are something you rarely see (unless Mr. Starzinger posts up an interesting accident report or something ). There are another thread or two on 2cool.com on this (one poster has video, but don't know if it is up Boat sunk - 2CoolFishing ).

I'm sure Tom Hilton will originate one of his own soon on 2cool.com, unless there are legalities involved.
Caution: y'all gentle CF'ers may need to steel yourselves from some of the yahoos over there, not overly Bristol or PC; and typical powerboater approaches to the water (yeah, I have one too, an offshore center console stinkboat).

(speculation)- It may have been a collision with debris in the water, a through hull let go, or who knows what. The weather could have contributed, there wasn't anything radical WXwise, but a front had gone through.
No idea how it was equipped for bilge pumps or other mitigation, it sounds like it went down in 20 minutes or less from first notice of a problem.
Plan is to salvage the boat, it's in relatively shallow water (I'll guess <100'). It had just been put up for sale, and the insurance company will want a look I'm sure.

Just good that no one was hurt, and there are always some lessons to be learned in any case (their certainty that rescue was guaranteed, for one, with a casual attitude- beer while adrift?).

The sea is completely indifferent to those who sail it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:29   #8
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Some pics com the 2cool site, hope this is ok to post.

Sunk 26 miles off shore
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:30   #9
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

More, save the beer
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:32   #10
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Coast Guard showed up in 55-60 minutes, I bet this was a beautiful sight
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20   #11
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Another shot, this is from CG helicopter, it is amazing how well 12 people with red life jackets on, coolers, debris and big red fenders blend into the seascape
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:33   #12
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Thank God they are ok, sinking is literally a sinking feeling.



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Old 10-10-2013, 19:52   #13
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

Copied from captain's account of sinking
Quote:
From 2coolfishing:

I have been very busy trying to get my phone, email, etc., back up while handling all of the related issues of the boat's sinking.

First, I would like to say thanks to the Lord for looking out for my friends' safety and that everyone made it back unscathed and alive. We can replace the material things in our lives, but we cannot replace a human life. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Secondly, I would like to thank the US Coast Guard for not leaving their posts even though the federal government had shut down that day. I wasn't sure I was going to get a response from my Mayday call, but no only did they respond, they did so in an extremely expeditious and professional manner. They are the real deal.

And third, I would like to thank all of you who have shown such an outpouring of support in this - Wow. My wife certainly has a renewed appreciation for me, lol.

The vessel had a hull breach that occurred somewhere between 10-15 miles offshore that was detected after I noticed sluggish response from the steering - we are still unsure what caused this breach. There was no water in the hulls at 10 miles out, as I happened to close the bilge hatches inside the cabin about that time, and everything was normal. When I detected the sluggishness, I pulled back the throttles and inspected the port bilge - it was about 70% full of seawater!

I immediately notified the coast guard that we were taking on water, had everyone put their life jackets on, and turned the boat back towards port, relaying our position and condition periodically.

She eventually lost power and sank after making about 2 miles - we were in the water about 30-45 minutes before the Coast Guard helicopter and vessel arrived on the scene. I had a rope that encircled everyone so that we floated as one unit - it's when people start swimming off on their own when you lose people.

After finishing up the required paperwork at the USCG station in Freeport, the captain of the USCG vessel came up to me and shook my hand, saying that I had done everything textbook perfect, and sure made their job easier and probably saved lives. That made me feel a lot better when I heard him say that.

The captain is well respected and hopefully will be back on the water soon.
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Old 10-10-2013, 22:10   #14
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Re: Cat sinks off Texas

We had a boat sink in the Evander Cup Race in Tampa Bay a couple of years ago. Winds were up to 40 - 45 mph at times. One boat doused their asymmetrical (if I remember this right) as they rounded a mark and tried to put up the jib, but it filled with water and ... oops ... no one had closed the forward hatch they had used to pass the sail up. However it happened, a sail full of water pulled it down, and the open hatch really cooked their goose.

The captain went into the water with a long rope and tied all six - seven people together. Tampa Bay is shallow and can get really rough, and they needed to stay together. I think a good long piece of line should be in my ditch bag.
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Old 14-10-2013, 12:17   #15
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The captain went into the water with a long rope and tied all six - seven people together. Tampa Bay is shallow and can get really rough, and they needed to stay together. I think a good long piece of line should be in my ditch bag.
+1

Or on your wrist.
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