“That’s the radio call we heard at 2 p.m. on the afternoon of July 12 while 17 miles southwest from Todos Santos,” reports Geo Uhrich, the Canadian owner of the Catana 431 catamaran Our Shangri-La.” The sinking boat was Emilio Castañeda’s Huntington Beach-based Hatteras 85, which had spent much of the winter at Marina de La Paz, Mexico.
“We told the Alexis people not to worry because we were only six miles away and were headed to their position as quickly as possible,” remembers Uhrich. “They thanked us and said there were six people aboard, including three children, and that the safety of the children was their primary concern. We told them that we estimated we could be there in less than an hour, but that we should stay in radio contact.”
Joaquin Moya, the captain of Alexis, had explained that the boat’s problem was that “one of the shaft seals had exploded and water was gushing in as though from a fire hose.”
A half-hour after the original contact, Joaquin reported that he, the three children, Clark (the cook) and Chris (a crewmember) were getting into the 40-hp powered RIB.
“About that time we heard a response, in Spanish, from the freighter Tula,” says Uhrich. “They said they were also on their way to the scene. Two of our crew are of Mexican heritage, so I had them ask Tula if they could contact the Mexican Navy. They said they would.
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Photo Credit: Emilio Castañeda’s Hatteras 85 Alexis sank when her shaft seals blew. Photo Courtesy Our Shangri-La © 2013 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC