Case closed

On June 6, 2008, the Cynthia Woods, a Cape Fear 38 owned by Texas A&M University-Galveston, was racing to Veracruz, Mexico, when her keel fell off and she capsized. Tragically, Roger Stone, the team’s safety officer, drowned after helping two students to safety.In late December, the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit (MSU) in Galveston, Texas, with guidance from the U.S. Coast
Author:
Updated:
Original:

On June 6, 2008, the Cynthia Woods, a Cape Fear 38 owned by Texas A&M University-Galveston, was racing to Veracruz, Mexico, when her keel fell off and she capsized. Tragically, Roger Stone, the team’s safety officer, drowned after helping two students to safety.

In late December, the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Unit (MSU) in Galveston, Texas, with guidance from the U.S. Coast Guard, released a detailed investigative report that included extensive interviews, hull-core samples, examination of the keel and keel bolts, and more than 1,150 photographs.

The report concluded that damage from previous groundings—and not manufacturer fault—led to the tragedy. According to the report, Cynthia Woods had not been properly inspected or surveyed following several previous groundings, and no major repair work had been done after these incidents.

The report also noted that the boat’s EPIRB and life raft were improperly stored. “The Coast Guard hopes that this investigation reminds institutions and individuals of the importance of properly maintaining their vessels and the proper placement of survival equipment,” said Commander Jim Elliott, commanding officer of MSU Galveston.

Related

02-'17-Trans-Atlantic_Downwind-Schralpin

At The Helm: Man Overboard!

Imagine this simple scenario: the boat’s powered up, sailing close-hauled in a building breeze under full sail. I come on deck as the skipper during the watch change to make sure the new crew is comfortable and the boat is properly set up for both the current conditions and ...read more

Promo-01-LEAD-MGR00321

Contrasting X-Yachts & Moody Cruisers

One of the most fascinating things about sailboats is the different ways that sailors, naval architects and builders will approach a single design problem. The result has been a bewildering array of rigs and hull forms over the years, and in the case of the two boats we’ll be ...read more

04-Yacht-anchored-in-front-of-one-of-Lastovo's-gunboat-tunnels-(3)

Cruising Charter to Croatia

As is the case with so much of the Mediterranean, to sail in Croatia is to take a journey through time. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greeks traded amphoras of oil, wine and grain across these waters. During the first millennium, the Romans built lavish palaces and ...read more

m123728_13_01_171012_PMA_02901_9999

Alicante Announced as an Ocean Race Europe Stop

The Ocean Race Europe, a new event in offshore sailing, will include Alicante as one of four stopover cities. This European offshoot of the former Volvo Ocean Race will include the biggest change to the racing rules under the new title—fully crewed IMOCA 60s will join the ...read more

01-LEAD-doublehanded2

Preparing for a Doublehanded Race

A few months ago we took a look at the development and attraction of doublehanded racing (Two to Tango, June/July 2020). Hopefully, that served to whet your appetite. If so, the question becomes: “How do I get started? The good news, as we explained in Part 1, is that if you are ...read more

01-LEAD-Day-three---dolphins.-300-dpi

A Key Approach to Passagemaking

How you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. In addition, some of the most valuable, even crucial attitudes and skills may not be either learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and ...read more

OceanVoyagesInstitute-2048

Point of SAIL: Mary Crowley of the Ocean Voyages Institute

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of the Ocean Voyages Institute, a not-for-profit based in California that has been both educating sailors and working to preserve the health of the world’s ocean ...read more

01-Ocean-Voyages-Institute_PHOTO-READY_1_pg

Tracking and Catching Plastic Waste

Plastic waste—in the form of everything from plastic soda bottles to abandoned fishing nets—constitutes a major threat to the health of the world’s oceans. Giving the immense size of an ocean, though, actually finding all the plastic floating around out there in a time-efficient ...read more