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Old 11-08-2010, 14:58   #1
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Locating Sunken Boat

Wondering if anyone has any wisdom to share on locating a scuttled boat. I've been investigating the fate of the trimaran "Drum," a 25' Brown Searunner that went missing in May/June of 1976. I strongly suspect the boat was used for drug running along the inside passage of Vancouver BC then intentionally sunk.

Any advice or reference is appreciated.

Thanks and fair winds.
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Old 11-08-2010, 15:04   #2
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Thank Nick Nolte for blazin' the trail!
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Old 11-08-2010, 15:20   #3
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Copius research, then side-scan sonar?

If it was built of plywood, I wouldn't expect to find much.
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Old 11-08-2010, 15:30   #4
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Just curious......Doubting the druggies left suit cases of money aboard and any drugs would be long contaminated...whats the interest?...she has been sunk far to long for any salvage attempt.

You could invest 10's of thousands trying to locate her.....Just asking..

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Old 11-08-2010, 15:33   #5
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Except as a historical commentary, the value is long gone The cost of finding her is prohibitive, if indeed she was sunk instead of being renamed with identifying bits removed. Take a pin, stick it in a map of the inside passage at random, that's the best you are going to get in finding her unless a long, very long shot brings you a reply from someone who actually was complicit in the whole deal.

P.
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Old 11-08-2010, 15:54   #6
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Agreed, Fishwife. Based on a few sitings I do have a list of probable locales. But it would still be like searching for less than a needle in a haystack.

Stillraining:the interest is not in redeeming any value of the boat but in gathering information around the likely murder of two missing persons.
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Old 11-08-2010, 16:47   #7
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Originally Posted by subdude View Post
Wondering if anyone has any wisdom to share on locating a scuttled boat. I've been investigating the fate of the trimaran "Drum," a 25' Brown Searunner that went missing in May/June of 1976. I strongly suspect the boat was used for drug running along the inside passage of Vancouver BC then intentionally sunk.

Any advice or reference is appreciated.

Thanks and fair winds.
Just done a Google on the inside passage........

My gut feeling is that even if she was steel that would be unlikely to find her - but plywood after 35 years of being sunk? then would have long since ceased to be a boat. might have been the odd panel washed up now and again over the years but doubtful that even recognisable as bits of boat rather than just a general debris panel of 8x4 (or less) plywood.

Leaving aside talking to those who may have been involved / those around folks back in the 70's then if looking for a boat based longshot I would try and work out her route - and particulerly where she is likely to have stopped. I dunno much (errr..... anything ) about the 70's boat scene in that part of Canada but my suspicion is that a Trimaran back then would have not been common.

When I first read about Tris back in the 70's as a kid they screamed out to me about being modern and the future - and I never even saw a real one until many years later But stuck in my mind ever since, with a slight and so far unfulfilled hankering

As a longshot might have been someone (a kid?) who remembered the boat. a very longshot is that the kid had a camera...........or simply remembered something about the crew?

As I said, a longshot

But if we are talking family, then maybe they just decided to sail off into the wide blue yonder? (the sea gives you ideas ) maybe they found somewhere peaceful to see out their days? whether they arrived there or not.
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Old 11-08-2010, 17:57   #8
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What kind of drugs were they supposed to be carrying? You sure aren't going to get rich with the quantity of pot you can carry in a 25' Searunner.
Not at 1970s prices anyway.
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Old 11-08-2010, 18:17   #9
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There was a growing flow of heroin during this time from SE Asia landing all along the Pacific west coast. Several small yachts were hi-jacked in order to ferry contraband to remote drop-off sites inland. BC, and much more so in the mid seventies, has many such spots.

The boat was in fact plywood/fiberglass and I agree it probably has disintegrated if underwater. However, wooden craft sunken earlier have been discovered in the area.

The owners of the boat were well committed to returning and had several reasons to do so.

Anyway, thanks for your responses. Everything helps in forming an hypothesis.
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Old 11-08-2010, 18:21   #10
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If anyone wants to hire me to dive around there and scour the bottom of the ocean let me know. Reasonable rates.
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Old 11-08-2010, 18:28   #11
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You may want to see what if anything is available in satellite imagery of the area for that time frame.

Particularly DOD high res.

If you have some general areas of interest, you should include that with the reason being your desire in solving the couples disappearance in your request.
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Old 11-08-2010, 19:48   #12
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I have used sidescan sonar for finding a number of things from my research vessel. The problem is the cost to rent one plus there must be someone on board who is experienced at using the software, the hardware and interpreting the images. Its not really a camera like image that you see. You see direct reflections and a lot of shadows from the objects. I have seen things smaller than boats.

Directly below the instrument and out a few degrees you see nothing. But out a ways, depending on your depth and the instruments frequency and power, you do see submerged objects.

This is typical...


I was working up in the San Joaquin Delta and talked to some guys in another research boat who had been contracted by the Corps of Engineers to find sunken boats and cars that had been driven off the levee roads. They found plenty of cars and boats alright. The images had amazing detail. It was from a very high frequency 600KHz unit. Many of the cars found were related to insurance fraud. The owners committing the fraud had never imagined their cars would be found by rolling them off the road and into the water. Once they found a Mercedes worth over $100,000.
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Old 11-08-2010, 20:02   #13
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... The boat was in fact plywood/fiberglass and I agree it probably has disintegrated if underwater. However, wooden craft sunken earlier have been discovered in the area.
The owners of the boat ...
Solid wood survives much better than laminates.

Would you be willing to share the owners' names, and hailing port?
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Old 11-08-2010, 20:18   #14
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So David M...please explain your posted examples...I must fail the test I don't see anything but what looks like scratched metal.?...or is that a close up of the left quarter panel of a 100,00 Mercedes..
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Old 11-08-2010, 22:34   #15
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A plywood tri in settled water would not disappear. The plywood would get eaten by the little things floating around in the water but the FRP covering would remain. Without any loads on this thin FRP, it would probably retain it's shape and appearance like a ghost ship.

Too bad about the people that were aboard the boat. A number of boats were sunk and/or the crews killed when they blundered upon drug traffickers in the early days of the drug boom. Most were in the Carribean but that doesn't mean it couldn't have have happened anywhere there was trafficking.

Not wishing to rain on a theory, there is also the possibility that the boat turned turtle and the crew either drowned or died of hypothermia. Having sailed in those days, there just wasn't the communications capabilities that we have today. If you got in trouble, even close to shore, you were on your own unless you were fortunate to have an HF radio and the luck and time to get a Mayday message off and received. Even though a plywood tri theoretically wouldn't sink, it could be battered into small pieces if driven onto a hostile shore or sink eventually as the wood became water logged/eaten.
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