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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