Austrailian's Rescued Off of Cape Cod in Snowstorm
Monday, February 16th 2015
So over the weekend a father and son team competing for the 2015 Darwin Award were rescued 140 miles off of the coast of Nantucket by a USCG Jayhawk Helicopter rescue team based out of Cape Cod. Luckily no one on the 43 foot sailboat was hurt, thought they were admitted to the hospital to be evaluated for hypothermia. Thankfully, the entire crew of the USCG team returned to base unscathed.
USCG Petty Officer LaNola Stone said the sailors had called for help around 5am on when their sailboat, that they bought on ebay, lost power. The USCG team reached the sailors four hours later and found the disabled yacht adrift in 25-foot seas. "Given the severity of this storm, this rescue was a major effort and we are all relieved it ended as it did," said Lt. J.G. Tyler Dewechter, a Coast Guard spokesman. "We are glad we were prepared for this storm and could render aid."
Stone said the men left Rhode Island on Friday, headed for Australia, which begs the questions; WTF? Really? This storm had been forecast for days prior, if anytime of the year requires one to be cognizant of an opportune weather windows for ocean passages in the northeast, it's February. These two sailors forced the actions of USCG rescue teams with wind conditions meeting gale and touching storm thresholds as gusts were recorded from nearby weather buoys at 55 kts. Luckily the crew of the Jayhawk were not pushed beyond their abilities and skills they developed through their years of training.
According to gCaptain Reg and Jason McGlashan paid $10,000 USD for the 43 foot sailboat in January with the intention of sailing her to Australia less than two months later. “We’ve never done anything like this. Dad’s not even a sailor, but he’s a quick study,” said Jason McGlashan in an interview with the Newport Daily News in early February. “We’ve got plenty of food, plenty of booze, good sails and all the safety gear you could ever need, so we’re going to be OK.”
A gCaptain source who had worked on the Sedona over the past month had directly warned the McGlashans against the trip. The source is quoted as saying: “You know how when you go back into the steering quadrant of a boat and it’s really dark? It was bright as day back there,” He was referring to the thickness of the fiberglass in the hull. “I wouldn’t sail that boat from Newport to Jamestown,” he notes. The previous owner of the boat was allegedly facing significant hull delamination issues which prompted him to list it on for sale on eBay.
The gCaptain source further notes that the father and son pair had planned to sail their boat around the southern tip of Africa and through the Southern Ocean, instead of the much easier route through the Panama Canal and the along the Pacific trade winds.
The U.S. Coast Guard was informed prior to their departure of their foolish plans and subsequently gave them a final warning that departing for the open ocean from Newport on Friday with a blizzard forecasted was a very dangerous plan.
150 miles later, with their sails in tatters and hypothermia setting in, they called it quits and requested rescue from those who had advised them against going in the first place.
Being Australian, perhaps their seasonal bearings were switched from our traditional northern hemisphere settings to their native southern hemisphere settings. However, in all seriousness, there is no explanation for their wreck less behavior.