This may be one of the tougher calls to make, but considering that the captain left his friends a message saying he had an emergency on board, and the Coast Guard deemed the vessel unseaworthy, we’re going to side with the USCG on this one. They had to take into consideration the fact that if they let him continue on, there’s a good chance they would be called out for rescue again, potentially risking the lives of their own. Read on and let us know what you think in the comments.
Dennis Howard, an experienced sailor who is legally blind, sailed out of San Diego on Nov. 1 after many months of preparation for what was supposed to be a life-affirming, around-the-world solo voyage, lasting two years.
Four days later, about 60 miles off the coast of the Baja peninsula, the U.S. Coast Guard ended Howard’s journey by removing him from his boat after a storm broke his boom and left him with only his foresail.
The Coast Guard’s version of the story is that it was dispatched on a rescue mission by Howard’s friends, who received an emergency message from the sailor during the storm.
Howard’s version is that the Coast Guard forced him off his boat, a 20-foot Pacific Seacraft Flicka called Avalo, without properly inspecting it for seaworthiness. They left the uninsured vessel there, along with most of his worldly possessions.
Now he wants the federal government to compensate him for the $150,000 loss, and the Coast Guard called out for overreaching. He has filed a claim, the first step toward a lawsuit.
For the complete story, go to www.sail-world.com.