This comment from a sailor of 55 years reflects her research
as to the type of sailing yacht Celadon was,and reflects USCG documentation
online site that her hull
number was BEY JA 192L 192 - she was a 1991 Beneteau
First series 456, 45.5 ft length,13.9 ft beam, 18 gross tons. So which Benetaeu is she? She is believed to be the model described online at sailingmagazine.com/feb 2003, and this article has many comments, as does the website Sailnet. However, no one of these problems has been pinpointed to have occurred on the Celadon which appears to have flooded, drifted and sunk (no search'n rescue /salvage).Older yachts are often under-insured, and the comment as to salvage
claim objectives are totally without foundation! (The yacht had been documented only 3 weeks ago,as shown online USCG)
for these waters from the Eastern Seaboard to Bermuda
for the post Thanksgiving period were not under gale/storm warning. Squalls do occur, and the Gulf Stream
can be rough. But on this day the wind
direction did not appear to be in the NE through NW quadrants of greater danger
in crossing the Gulf Stream
In this timely evacuation of crew to safety
(and the crew's safety
comes FIRST), the yacht's location in well traveled waters was an enabling factor - in contrast to the 55 days at sea and same day rescue (Nov 26 2010) of 3 teenage boys in a 12 ft aluminum
skiff which drifted 800 miles
in the South Pacific
in isolated waters. ( online at kentucky.com).
In the instant case of the Celadon, the owner had a life raft aboard,an EPIRB
, VHF radio
. The MAYDAY was heard by a passing super tanker the Atlantic Leo registered in Hong Kong
which stood by, while the USCG responded to a VHF
MAYDAY message sent approximately 40 minutes after the flooding of the yacht began. The timeline reveals another 45 minutes (of bailing) til the helicopter arrived.So the crew bailed for 90 minutes trying to save Celadon.
This was no panic and jump ship. The yacht was flooding and was not recovered or recoverable.
So let us praise the USCG for their superb team rescue, with no injuries; the captain
of the Atlantic Leo for stopping & standing by, and the crew for making a timely decision to call for help at a time when they could still jump into the water & swim to the helicopter's lowered basket - a further delay could have required USCG swimmers in the water too. Lastly, our condolences to the yacht's owners for their loss and what must be their relief that no one was drowned or injured.