That's a shame. Do you know what occurred Sal? The story, as most news story's seems to be, is lacking. Did they lose their mast or nail a rock? Spontaneously just "broke apart" doesn't quite tell the tale.
"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A crew member was killed when a 30-foot (9-metre) sailboat broke apart in rough seas during a race near San Clemente Island in California, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Saturday.
The crew of the boat, the Uncontrollable Urge, issued a mayday call around 9:26 p.m. on Friday night, after the sailboat's rudder failed during the so-called Islands Race.
Officials said the boat drifted into the rocky shore of San Clemente Island off the Southern California coast and broke apart. Five survivors were rescued by a San Diego-based Coast Guard aircrew and transported to a nearby hospital.
Craig Thomas Williams, 36, of San Diego was found unresponsive in the water and later pronounced dead, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said the man died when the vessel broke up.
Initially, the crew attempted to anchor the boat, but the anchor "would not catch" and the boat "entered the surf line and was broken apart by the waves, forcing the crew to abandon the vessel," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
"The crew initially stated they were not in need of assistance and declined assistance from both the Coast Guard and other boaters involved in the race," the Coast Guard statement said.
"The sailors requested assistance from a commercial salvage company, however they were unable to launch due to weather conditions," the statement said.
The Islands Race covers a 139-mile (224-km) course rounding the Catalina and San Clemente islands, and is run by the Newport Harbor and San Diego yacht clubs.
A statement from organizers said Uncontrollable Urge's crew tried at one point to launch a life raft, before abandoning the vessel to swim to shore.
The fatal wreck was at least the third in the past year involving California sailboats.
Last April, four crewmen in a race from Southern California to Mexico died after their yacht ran aground. Two weeks earlier, five sailors died in racing accident near the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco.
The Farallon incident prompted the Coast Guard to temporarily suspend racing in the Pacific Ocean off northern California.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Edith Honan in New York; Editing by Tom Brown, Peter Cooney and David Brunnstrom)"
It's a bit early for anyone to talk about it. The sailing community is pretty good about getting the story out, even though we don't have an Accidents in N.A. Mountaineering type of publication. There will undoubtedly be some kind of investigation, probably not solely due to the loss of UU, but because there were other boats that either needed assistance (MHK), or had on board drama due to the conditions.
One of the things we worry about in offshore sailing is government intervention. Last year, the USCG put us on hiatus for 30 days after our accident at the Farallones. Imagine the U.S. Park Service banning all climbing on El Cap for 30 days pending an accident investigation due to the rescue of an ill prepared rappeler. The Islands Race was held in pretty snotty conditions. In addition to the boat that was lost, there were additional vessels, crewed by very good/professional sailors that needed assistance.
So, some of us that manage our local ocean races are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Historically (literally, a hundred years or so), the responsibility to race has fallen upon the individual skipper. Today, we fear that decision may be taken away from us by the USCG, by virtue of them refusing our race permits...which voids the liability insurance of the organizing authority. IOW, if it's blowing outside the gate, they could flinch and cancel our race. Imagine if the park service had that authority on our climbs.
So we're hurting over the loss of a friend. And we're also very sensitive to get the facts RIGHT. the boat did lose her rudder and she did end up aground on San Clemente Island. Everything else that happened, including the loss of our friend, subsequent to the rudder loss is mere conjecture. Once everyone gets their wits gathered and settled, they'll describe what happened. Anything that is published between now and then is just a wild assed guess.