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Old 30-05-2019, 17:34   #1
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Posts: 52
A will to survive…

Forgetting about Time zones for the moment… One year ago right now was the beginning of my families fight to stay alive...

I could not be more proud of my wife and now six-year-old daughter! 12 to 16 foot waves in 20 to 25 kn of wind bashed us on and off our turned over sinking boat hull. We were separated for sometime but somehow managed to all find each other in the wind and waves and darkness. The cargo ship spent the entire night finding a needle in the haystack on their radar and managed to somehow in steet between us and the weather and eventually right up next to us so that we could climb the 40 foot rope ladder up to the deck of their 650 foot orange juice hauling freighter.

I could not be more thankful to the captain and crew of the Jacamar Arrow ...The cargo ship that came to our aid and is ultimately the only reason Addalyn Jessica and myself are still alive. No bones about that! We also cannot thank the US Coast Guard more for the assistance and hospitality and professionalism they showed us in helping transit us during the whole ordeal. The amount of help that the Puerto Rican board of tourism gave us once we arrived in San Juan was above and beyond! The assistance that JetBlue provided us and getting us back stateside was extraordinary!

we still hope to someday get a chance to cruise the seas but for now the adventure continues on land with amazing support from family and friends!

Thank you to all!

Words cannot describe the way I’m feeling at the moment…

I love you Jess and Addi Berry������⛵️

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Old 31-05-2019, 08:33   #2
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Re: A will to survive…


To all of you, congratulations for getting through it and condolences for the ordeal.

Let us know if you get the story told in media
so I make sure my family doesn't see it 8-)

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Old 31-05-2019, 09:06   #3
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Re: A will to survive…

What a harrowing experience. I’m so happy to know you had the support and assistance that allowed you and your family to survive. I’m sure the trauma you went through didn’t just end with your rescue. Are you and your family getting help now to deal with that? Peace and recovery to you all.
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Old 31-05-2019, 13:28   #4
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Re: A will to survive…

Life is good! We were living on the boat so we lost almost everything we had but we are just simply grateful to be alive… Nothing else matters! I believe it’s made us better people. Not many 52-year-old fathers get to live with their wife and six-year-old daughter in bunkbeds in mother in law’s spare townhome bedroom! Seeking adventure… Give that a try!

Many people have it far worse than us! From the moment all three of us arrived on deck of the cargo ship at 4:30 in the morning after nine hours of fighting for our lives we had everyth8ng we needed...each other.

We’ve had a very soft cushion to land on. Absolutely no regrets. I certainly have looked back and analyzed things we did do and things we didn’t do but I’m not about trying to change the past. You certainly can learn from it though. My daughter says if we do it again she suggest getting a cargo ship instead of an old catamaran.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:37   #5
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Location: Ellicottville, NY
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 44 CC Cutter
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Re: A will to survive…

Happy anniversary! We were knocked down by a water spout at 2:30am September 2016 in these same waters. My wife had just called below to get me up on deck. She said the wind was picking up and wanted to reef down the sails even more. Before I could reach the companionway stairs the water spout was over us. There was a huge shuddering earthquake like sensation and tremendously loud boom from the sails being taken from port and filling on starboard in an instant. After going horizontal the boat righted itself as the twister moved off. As I scrambled to get all the stuff from the port side of the boat off me and get up the stairs I could only think that the mast had been lost. When the spreader lights were turned on we were both surprised to see the rigging intact. Fortunately the damage was minimal. My wife sustained a shoulder injury (she was tethered in the cockpit) and the boat lost a few spreader arm rivets. Latter that morning, in the light of day, we saw the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Heriberto Hernandez but by then we had assessed the damage and were sailing on to Florida.
"Only a fool would say that." Steely Dan
s/v Mahayana
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:12   #6
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Re: A will to survive…

How crazy that it was the same Coast Guard Cutter! The members on that cutter were amazing! They gave us one of their own cabins to pass out in once we transferred from the cargo ship to the Cutter at about one in the morning via the same 40 foot rope ladder and a 450 hp 24 foot “dinghy” They gave us one of their own cabins to pass out in once we boarded at about one in the morning in the Mona passage. We spent the entire next day hanging out with everyone in the dining room/ Galley/ community area. They kept cartoons on the 70 inch curved LCD TV for my daughter to watch the entire day. Due to another emergency call to get drug runners out of the water off the north coast of Puerto Rico we spent the entire day at three knots doing a grid pattern while they did the search.… Only found one. We then arrived in San Juan late in the evening and they put us up in the barracks for a night until the Puerto Rican board of tourism could arrange for us to be given a hotel room at the Wave in San Juan for five nights and then contacted JetBlue for us to get free flights back to Florida. We were given a prepaid cell phone and a small pre-paid credit card and one of the officers gave us a ride around to get basic necessities. We were given a prepaid cell phone and a small prepaid credit card and one of the officers gave us a ride around to get basic necessities. Unbelievable after everything that Puerto Rico had lost from the hurricanes, they were handing us such an amazing amount of help. Some of the people helping us had just gotten plumbing/electricity back to days before. Some were still waiting and didn’t have common every day services we all take for granted.

I’m sorry to hear about the injuries.

I cannot believe we escaped with nothing more than my daughter having a few little scrapes from hanging onto the propeller and propeller shaft for quite some time. They really were next to nothing though.
Ultimately other than the rescue the only thing that ended up saving my daughter was the fact that her lifevest had a little loop On the back of the neck that I was able to use two fingers to hold onto her with and believe me those fingers were grasped tightly. She was thrown around like a ragdoll in the 12 to 16 foot waves and many times got ripped away but luckily was able to scramble to get a hold of her again.

Because it all went down over a period of eight or nine hours, we were a little bit like a frog and a frying pan… We waited a little too long to do a couple things like deploying the Dinghy and having it ready if needed. It was only 30 seconds before we were to able to jump off our boat and grab the lifelines from the cargo ship that our boat capsized and all hell broke loose. Shortly after that my wife Drifted away and the last thing I’d heard her say was “I’m getting so tired”. In that situation you just write off everything that you are out of control on and had to assume that she was lost/dead and now it was time just simply to try to save my daughter.

At times it can be very difficult to I understand/believe everything that happened…
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Old 01-06-2019, 17:21   #7
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Location: Stuart FL
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Re: A will to survive…

Can you tell us more about your boat, why it took on water, and if it stayed afloat until the CG arrived?

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