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Old 06-22-2016, 09:12 AM   #1
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Boaters Missing off Englewood Florida

DEVELOPING – The Coast Guard was combing the waters off Florida's Gulf Coast early Wednesday in a desperate search for a missing sailboat carrying a father and his three teenage children who were "attempting to survive" in rough seas, and who had not been heard from since Sunday.
The U.S. Coast Guard launched a HC-130 Hercules airplane from Clearwater, and several other vessels from Stations Cortez and Fort Myers, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson told the News-Press. The Maritime Emergency Response Team had also been activated.
The family, which the Coast Guard said lived on the 29-foot boat, was last heard from Sunday when the father called his his brother. They were being buffeted by six-foot waves off the shore of Englewood and were "attempting to survive," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
A concerned relative called the Coast Guard on Tuesday.
Englewood is north of Fort Myers in southwest Florida
The man, his sons, ages 13 and 15, and his 17-year-old daughter left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday, the Coast Guard said. The quartet was heading for Fort Myers to have repairs done on the sailboat.
The boat reportedly had no name and no radio, according to CBS.
Mariners with any information were asked to contact the Coast Guard’s St. Petersburg sector at 727-824-7506.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Boaters Missing off Englewood Florida

This is sad stuff. There's no real reason to even be a mile offshore on that run from Sarasota to Ft. Myers, so not sure how someone gets in such trouble that they couldn't turn to land, beach it, swim ashore if swamped, etc. This isn't exactly the Bering Sea, but of course all water demands respect. Hoping this turns out well...


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Old 06-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #3
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Usually more to the story as 6 foot waves are hardly survival size....maybe uncomfortable...unless the boat was awful...

4 people living aboard a 29 foot sailboat? Teenage and up? Now that's a survival situation for most....probably much more to the story.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
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Usually more to the story as 6 foot waves are hardly survival size....maybe uncomfortable...unless the boat was awful...

4 people living aboard a 29 foot sailboat? Teenage and up? Now that's a survival situation for most....probably much more to the story.
That's what I was thinking...and no radio even?
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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At a news conference Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard said it had located a debris field 33 miles off the coast of Sanibel Island. The family reportedly had seven life jackets on board, and six were found among the debris. Also found were a tarp, four water bottles tied together, a propane tank and a basketball. The sailboat was believed to be towing two kayaks, the Coast Guard said.
The search continues.

Not good...
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:43 PM   #6
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sure hope they find them alive.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:46 PM   #7
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sure hope they find them alive.

Me too...
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:57 PM   #8
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Man that's sad. 😢

I'm not the most responsible guy in the world, but if I was taking my kids offshore I think I would have a few basic safety items on board and a working radio.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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I wonder why not take the ICW during bad weather? Got to be more to this story.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:37 PM   #10
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This in all likelihood was not a pretty picture before they headed out. No radio but he had a cell phone.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:55 PM   #11
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The weather buoy off Venice FL shows 10-20 knots with a couple brief gusts to 25 kts from Sunday until now.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:10 PM   #12
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Usually more to the story as 6 foot waves are hardly survival size....maybe uncomfortable...unless the boat was awful...

4 people living aboard a 29 foot sailboat? Teenage and up? Now that's a survival situation for most....probably much more to the story.
Definitely more to the story. Amazing with sailboats considered the most ocean worthy that they're regularly the ones in trouble. Not because of the boat, but because their owners take chances and don't have basic equipment.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:14 PM   #13
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This in all likelihood was not a pretty picture before they headed out. No radio but he had a cell phone.
Agreed. Again, we don't have the full information. However, in general if you have a guy living on board a 29ft sailboat with three teenage kids that first causes me to question his judgement. It is one thing to not follow the mainstream but my guess is that he doesn't have a lot of sailing experience as well. No name and no VHF? It all sounds very sketchy. I hope they survive.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:23 PM   #14
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Frequently a sailboat orphan is purchased very inexpensively by non-sailors as a retreat for the homeless or a place to drop out of society with little cost involved. Frequently they have no clue what it takes to actually travel by sailboat. I have seen them come through here looking for free dockage, free showers, no charts and free water with sails made from blue tarps. Many times it is a family unit. I am a former sailor so please, don't you responsible sailors or former ones climb my case on this. Most of us have willingly worked to achieve. Nonetheless, I hope they are okay and perhaps luck will overcome lack of skill and poor planning.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:48 PM   #15
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At a news conference Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard said it had located a debris field 33 miles off the coast of Sanibel Island. The family reportedly had seven life jackets on board, and six were found among the debris. Also found were a tarp, four water bottles tied together, a propane tank and a basketball. The sailboat was believed to be towing two kayaks, the Coast Guard said.
The search continues.

Not good...

Just heard the Coast Guard found two Kayaks no people yet. Send more prayers.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:12 PM   #16
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Wow this is sad, add my prayers for this family and SAR teams. The whole story may never be known...

I get exactly what you're saying bilge53. Head over to cruiserforum if you want to read people encouraging folks like this to "head out now" because "you're more than ready to go". Heck sometimes I think we are a bit cavalier here about telling folks to self deliver boats they just purchased.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:22 PM   #17
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Frequently a sailboat orphan is purchased very inexpensively by non-sailors as a retreat for the homeless or a place to drop out of society with little cost involved. Frequently they have no clue what it takes to actually travel by sailboat. I have seen them come through here looking for free dockage, free showers, no charts and free water with sails made from blue tarps.
I agree completely. I don't necessarily agree with Craig's interpretation of the general attitude on cruisers forum however.

Last year we towed a guy in a sailboat in the mid 30 foot range. He had purchased the boat in AK for next to nothing. Somehow, he made it down the inside passage into Puget Sound. His idea was to live on board while going to college. We found him after the USCG issued a Pan Pan for a boat drifting South in the Narrows. He had no effective sales, no engine that was running, and he had drug his anchor around Pt Defiance and the strong current took him around the Point headed South. He said that he needed a new alternator and that a buddy was going to bring him a rebuilt and meet him at Owens Beach.

I towed him North and he asked to be dropped off in front of Owens beach. He then tossed his anchor over the side and hoped it would hold. I got out of there fast after letting the USCG know his location.

Unfortunately, I think there are way too many folks, ignorant of sailing, that think a cheap old sailboat is a bargain.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:36 PM   #18
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Wow this is sad, add my prayers for this family and SAR teams. The whole story may never be known...

I get exactly what you're saying bilge53. Head over to cruiserforum if you want to read people encouraging folks like this to "head out now" because "you're more than ready to go". Heck sometimes I think we are a bit cavalier here about telling folks to self deliver boats they just purchased.
I've seen the same on Cruiser's Forum which is why I seldom even look there. There are always some encouraging responsibility but others saying to ignore those. Dhays questions it as the "general reaction" but you haven't indicated that, as you've not said how many people. The ones you're commenting on are very loud and persistent, even if they may be in a minority. It's just like the sailors vs. powerboaters there. I was shocked when we did a survey at the large percentage of powerboaters because the sailboat owners are just more active, more "vocal."
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:41 PM   #19
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Frequently a sailboat orphan is purchased very inexpensively by non-sailors as a retreat for the homeless or a place to drop out of society with little cost involved. Frequently they have no clue what it takes to actually travel by sailboat. I have seen them come through here looking for free dockage, free showers, no charts and free water with sails made from blue tarps. Many times it is a family unit. I am a former sailor so please, don't you responsible sailors or former ones climb my case on this. Most of us have willingly worked to achieve. Nonetheless, I hope they are okay and perhaps luck will overcome lack of skill and poor planning.
The cheapest way to get a boat is a sailboat. Many get into one just as you described. They think it would be nice to live on a boat. There are threads on the cruiser's forum about living on extremely low amounts. This all works for some, but unfortunately many are getting into something they know nothing about and it leads to problems.

Now, we don't know what happened in this situation. What we do know is there was a man and three kids and they haven't been found.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:59 PM   #20
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All one has to do is look at all the semi-abandoned or near derelict sailboats along the Atlantic ICW and see the people rowing dinghies to and fro, barely afloat to know there is a segment of boating that is destined to failure, early death, etc...etc...


Whether the issue is lack of money, health care, experience, etc..... it is rather obvious and widespread....not necessarily huge numbers.


Sometimes the "free spirits" homestead and get tossed, sometimes not. Their existence is an issue because often popular anchorages become unavailable, townspeople dislike their appearance, occasionally laws are broken (certainly the sanitation laws in many cases)....


Sooooo....like many homeless, these "near" homeless need help on many levels. When they try and relocate...I can certainly see them taking huge risks and their lives in their hands.


Now, that all is gross generalizations from my experience cruising the East Coast and being in some of the Law Enforcement issues surrounding them...BUT may no way reflect one single truth about the missing family.
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