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Old 02-08-2011, 14:47   #1
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Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

S/V Triumph Lost In Atlantic!!

I can't get through to them, but they WERE rescued. I am a NEWBIE and my friends are the reason I've been on this forum and others for a while, asking newbie questions and looking at boats to live aboard.

Anyway, my friends left last month for Europe out of Boston, and they ran into a storm, after they had engine trouble. Well, they had to be rescued and Doug fell into the water during it, and floated for THREE HOURS. Whew...

Well, I know they are friends, but they are both Coast Guard licensed captains. Doug has lived aboard for 20+ years and is an expert. As the story reported, it was their preparation that helped them live through it.

I cannot get in touch as their cellphones were lost at sea, but I'm hoping they check their emails. I will post the story here (with the actual distress call and conversation with the Boston Coast Guard and the rescue vessel). I'm sure others know them - Doug and Evelyn Sabbag. When I get in touch, I'll post more information.

Amver, Saving Lives at Sea Since 1958: Amver ship saves two sailors in dramatic Atlantic rescue
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Old 02-08-2011, 18:48   #2
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

glad they are okay.
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:02   #3
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

A harrowing experience in particular for the fellow who fell in. The rescueing ship has recieved 13 AMVER awards for their rescue efforts over the years. That's quite something. I'm pleased your friends are well and hope they'll post the details for us. You know how we do love a good disaster story when it has a happy ending
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:03   #4
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

here is the site Triumph Charters -- Sail with Us!
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Old 02-08-2011, 19:08   #5
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

Kapena - forgot about their site - thanks. They are great people!
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:28   #6
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

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Glad they are ok. What boat is that? Gulfstar 50?
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:21   #7
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Re: Friends Boat Sinks 800 Miles off Cape Cod

Yes Erik - Gulfstar 50. Spoke with them the other night and they are in good spirits - already looking for another boat to live on. Great people!
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Old 13-11-2011, 13:10   #8
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

What is this, the fourth, rescue in the atlantic in the past week? Maybe more! I'm not at all criticising but it seems they/most were a loss due to motors OOC and/or taking on water.

So it seems, how important it is to have a good running motor/fuel system and water pumps aboard! As well as rescue and safety equipment.
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Old 13-11-2011, 13:59   #9
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

People may be taking the advice of ''don't wait, just go now" too literely...
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Old 13-11-2011, 15:14   #10
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

There is a long discussion (over 100 pages) on Sailnet about this with the skipper of the S/V Triumph showing less than acceptable grace (including enticing posters to see him and his fists) by the actions of the Kim Jacob which saved him and his wife.

His perspective and the eventual perspective of an actual crew member who took part in the rescue certainly are divergent, including the color of the lifeboats which were on the Kim Jacob (photos of the ship back up the crew member).

He seems to discount the fact that the master of the Kim Jacob even had himself lowered to the raging waves in an attempt to reach him as he was struggling, but currents, waves and the storm prevented the master in making any progress.

Hopefully over time the skipper of S/V Triumph can become more gracious and show thanks to a truly harrowing experience for all involved.

Who knows how these types of traumatic experiences things affect ones mental outlook? I'm glad I have not gone through something like that.
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Old 13-11-2011, 17:25   #11
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

The following is the text of the first post in the sailnet thread by the captain of the S/V Triumph...................


Well, as the insurance check is "in the mail" I think I can let everyone know what happened, in greater detail, without concern for possible complications.

We left Boston on July 15th, and about a week out, the oil cooler malfunctioned allowing ocean water to mix with the engine oil. I changed the oil to remove as much of the water as possible, and did shut the thru hull for the ocean water to the engine.

The plan at that point was to continue to sail to our intended first target of the Azores, and attempt to replace the cooler there.

On July 26th, 2 Main (ketch rigged Gulfstar 50), starboard stays broke at the chainplate connections, just under the deck, then pulled through the deck leaving some holes on the deck.

Before I devised my own plan for dealing with this, I contacted both our insurance company and the coast guard to find out what our options might be, for towing, or assistance. I quickly learned it would cost $250K to be towed home.

So, I realized I could temporarily attach the stays using some line and make a connection from the end of the stays to the starboard jib sheet travelors; not deploy the main sail, and shorten the jib by furling it somewhat. If I turned back to Boston, with such greatly reduced sails, the SW wind would only stress the port stays, and we could slowly sail home.

The next morning, July 27th, we discovered a lot of water in the bilge.

Well, my First Mate / Mrs. Sabbag, basically threw in the towel at that development. And I couldn't (though I should have in retrospect) overcome her insistence on abandoning the vessel.

Considering what happened next, I really should NOT have CALLED THE COAST GUARD for assistance.

Per the mutual assistance program AMVER, a 900 foot oil tanker arrived, in only a few hours(!) and as I was afraid of, the **** really hit the fan.

You do not bring a 50 foot sailboat alongside a 900 foot oil tanker in 10 to 15 foot seas, unless you do not care about what will happen.

The tanker, (after trying to grab our deployed sea anchor with a grappling hook, but missed it because they were too far forward of the 500 foot line), decided ON THEIR OWN to intersect the sea anchor rode / line, which brought the Triumph alongside the starboard side of the tanker and the sea anchor alongside their port side. With the tanker still underway, the sea anchor was moving aft thereby pulling the Triumph forward.

Well, what happened next was unbelievable. The Triumph was pulled into their anchor / anchor housing, which effectively crushed the Triumph, smashing her from the bow toward the stern, as the 10 - 15 foot waves smashed us up into the metal. We had been standing on deck, and had to run to the stern to avoid the falling main mast, and all the flying debris and the smashing anchor! It was a scene from a horror movie.

From there it only got worse.

I wrapped a line from the tanker around my wife and pushed her overboard. They pulled her up to their deck in fairly short order.

But, when I (erroneously) went over board with one of the lines in my hands, it ended up requiring over 3 hours for me to get on deck.

I learned to vomit underwater in order to get rid of the water I was takin into my stomach, in order to regain bouyancy, and I "went down" numerous times only to (I learned later), amaze the tanker crew by coming back up.

By the time I barely managed to make it to a life bouy, I was losing strength from hypothermia, the repeated sinking / vomiting, and all the screaming I had been doing.

It is quite a sick feeling to be almost 1000 miles out to sea and realize nobody is going to jump in to get you / there is no helicopter with a basket and a USCG trained savior, and the only vessel around is as frightening up close as she could run me over like any piece of flotsam.

I was quite sure I was dead, but amazingly I am not.

If you are ever in a pickle, FIX IT YOURSELF, DO NOT ASK FOR ASSISTANCE, and tell your "crew" to suck it up.

ONLY, when you are in your life pod, after your boat has sunk, should you call for assistance unless you are prepared for what happens when a 50 footer meets a 900 footer.

Now, we are shopping for a newer boat, and have our sights on an AMEL.
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Old 13-11-2011, 17:30   #12
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

Quote:
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The following is the text of the first post in the sailnet thread by the captain of the S/V Triumph...................
Cheers for posting that - had no idea of the story.
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Old 13-11-2011, 17:54   #13
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

The sea is a harsh mistress and doesn't know if you have CG credentials or not I guess! Too bad they lost their boat.
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Old 15-11-2011, 10:51   #14
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

If he had planned on "abandoning the vessel", then I don't understand his stated concerns that: 1. They arrived so quickly; and 2. that they caused further damage to the vessel in the successful rescue attempt? He was rescued, he has his insurance check and, from what I can see, is looking to upgrade his boat.

Brad
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Old 15-11-2011, 11:04   #15
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Re: Friend's Boat Sinks 800 Miles Off Cape Cod

what, you NEED uscg credentials to sail a boat in the sea?? uh oh.....
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