44 footer in knockdown

One yachtsman died and two were injured when the 44 foot yacht they were sailing was capsized in a knockdown 100 miles south-east of Atlantic City, New Jersey in the US.

The skipper Phil Rubright, 65, from Detroit, drowned after a failed rescue attempt that also injured a Coast Guard swimmer. Crew Tracy Garvie and Kevin Hogan since were taking Rubright’s new boat, the Freefall, from Rhode Island to South Carolina.

After the capsize the three sailors had to bail water from the sinking vessel for 12 hours before they were rescued.

The large wave hit the boat as the three sailors had just gone below because of worsening weather conditions.

After the boat righted it was discovered that the force of the wave had damaged the bilge pump and filled her with about six feet of water.

The Coast Guard was alerted to the incident after the vessel’s emergency radio beacon went off. Rescue crews arrived at the sinking yacht, but were unable to hoist the three crew aboard because of the 40-mph winds and 50-foot seas.

The Coast Guard lowered a rescue swimmer and basket into the water and advised Rubright to swim over to him. However the basket and hoist cable were damaged by the large waves.

An emergency life raft was dropped from the Coast Guard helicopter and Rubright was placed inside it. However, a large wave knocked him out of the raft and injured the Coast Guard rescue swimmer, who was not able save Rubright.

The helicopter crew recovered its rescue swimmer and took him for treatment while members called for more help.A Coast Guard crew later rescued Garvie and Hogan while another crew located Rubright’s body.