Abandoned yacht involved in ocean tragedy is recovered

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  • <B>Recovered:</B> The yacht <I>Triple Stars</I>, in Ely&#8217;s Harbour.

    Recovered: The yacht Triple Stars, in Ely’s Harbour.
    (( Photo by Glenn Tucker ))

  • Rob and Jan Anderson. Jan Anderson is presumed dead after a wave hit their yacht, Triple Stars, as it was sailing towards Bermuda last November. The abandoned yacht was found drifting 25 miles from Bermuda and has been towed to the Island.

    Rob and Jan Anderson. Jan Anderson is presumed dead after a wave hit their yacht, Triple Stars, as it was sailing towards Bermuda last November. The abandoned yacht was found drifting 25 miles from Bermuda and has been towed to the Island.

  • <B> Lost at sea:</B> A passing cruise ship spotted <I>Triple Stars</I> 230 miles off Bermuda in March.<B><I></B></I>

    Lost at sea: A passing cruise ship spotted Triple Stars 230 miles off Bermuda in March.
    (Photo sent by Jen Brett.)

  • <B> Lost at sea:</B> A passing cruise ship spotted <I>Triple Stars</I> 230 miles off Bermuda in March.

    Lost at sea: A passing cruise ship spotted Triple Stars 230 miles off Bermuda in March.
    (Photo sent by Jen Brett.)

  • (Photo sent by Jen Brett. Lost at sea: View)

Race sloop also recovered

The discovery in local waters of a sailboat lost since last year has coincided with the recovery of another vessel, abandoned on its way home from Bermuda.
The 41ft sloop Avenir, which left the Island in June following the Newport to Bermuda race, fell victim to Tropical Storm Debbie, and spent 13 days adrift.
She was towed into harbour at Bristol, Rhode Island on Monday, according to the news site EastBayRI.com.
Just one day out of Bermuda, the storm broke the boat’s rudder, and its crew of six had to be rescued by the cruise vessel Norwegian Star.
However, a transponder put aboard for the race allowed owners Joe and Linda Murray to track the Avenir, which drifted to 370 miles southeast of Newport.
She got close enough for a salvage vessel to tow her back into port.
According to the online site, the last meal cooked on board remained intact on the stove — a pot of jambalaya.
Useful website: www.eastbayri.com.

An abandoned sailboat, left adrift eight months after a crew member was lost at sea, has finally been brought ashore by two West End fishermen.

Piloted by husband and wife sailors Rob and Jan Anderson, Triple Stars fell victim to heavy seas during the 2011 North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC) race. Mrs Anderson, 59, was lost after being swept overboard by a wave.

The drifting vessel, originally based out of Sausalito, California, was spotted on Wednesday by charter boat captain Peter Rans, and towed to shore by commercial fisherman Andrew Card.

“I’ve spent a lot of time offshore and seen a lot of junk and debris floating, but this is the first significant find,” said Mr Card, whose boat, Reel Action, brought the sailboat into Ely’s Harbour. “It doesn’t happen very often.”

The 38ft sailboat was spotted around the Argus Bank, some 26 miles southwest of the Island, around midday, and took hours to manoeuvre to port.

Although he did not go aboard, Mr Card said the boat appeared in reasonable condition.

“The mast and the rigging and everything looked fine. It was a bit untidy due to being out there for so many months. I put a chain over the bow to tow it.”

He added: “It was a long tow, about five hours to get it home. There was no way to lock the steering so it was difficult with the little bit of swell out there.”

The veteran angler, who has been sailing for more than 40 years, said he has spotted lost jet skis and a drifting punt in the past.

He said the boat, which was last spotted by a cruise ship in March some 230 miles from Bermuda, could have presented a danger to other craft.

“I do a lot of my running in the dark, and I stay on the bridge the whole time,” he said. “It could cause catastrophic damage if you hit it the wrong way.”

Mr Rans, who was fishing and unavailable for comment, encountered Triple Stars while out on his charter vessel Overproof.

Said Mr Card: “I heard the conversation on the radio, asking if anybody could tow it in. It took me 45 minutes to get to him. But it wasn’t till close to 6pm that I got in. I had to go really slow through the channel.”

Bermuda Maritime Operations reported that the ill-fated sailboat was struck by a 30ft wave on November 11, 2011, when it was 235 miles northwest of Bermuda.

The US Coast Guard search for Mrs Anderson was called off after 24 hours, and Mr Anderson was rescued by a freighter.

Their boat, which the couple had sailed since 2007, had been on its way to Bermuda from Newport, Rhode Island in the 12th annual NARC race. Its final destination was the Caribbean island St Maarten.

On a sailing blog, the Andersons had reported “high seas, stormy conditions” from a stalled low pressure system.

Saying they hoped to reach Bermuda five days later, the blog on Sunday, November 6 added: “Not to worry you all, but two boats from the NARC fleet, who some of you might have been tracking with the Spot tracker, neither of which are really close to our location, had to call the coast guard. That is exactly why we are NOT travelling any further south towards Bermuda and are glad we went a more northerly route.”

In an account to Cruising World magazine associate editor Jen Brett, Mr Anderson described the moment disaster struck.

“I was down below doing some work that morning. I came up around 1 o’clock, and Jan was at the helm. All of a sudden, she says, ‘Look out!’ Next thing you know, we’re knocked down by a rogue wave. It happened that fast. I was thrown into the bimini framing and took that out, and she was taken overboard.”

Four months after it had to be abandoned, the sailboat was spotted by the ship Seabourne Sojourn.

An Island Packet 380, Triple Stars is now in the hands of Bermuda Customs. According to Mr Card: “The insurance company will deal with it, and the owner may want it back.”

Mr Anderson has been informed of the vessel’s recovery. Customs officers were appraising the boat yesterday, and unavailable for comment.

* For more on this tragic story go here: http://www.cruisingworld.com/news/hard-lessons-learned-in-the-north-atlantic

Useful websites: www.wavetrain.net, www.sailblogs.com.

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Published Jul 13, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 13, 2012 at 8:41 am)

Abandoned yacht involved in ocean tragedy is recovered

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