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Displaying items by tag: Elmer Morrissey

#FARALLONS TRAGEDY - A survivor of the tragedy described as San Francisco's worst ever sailing accident has written about his experiences, as the San Francisco Examiner reports.

Bryan Chong was one of three crewmembers, along with Nic Voss and skipper James Bradford, who were rescued from the rocks by the US Coast Guard after their 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase ran aground at the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in northern California.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Alan Cahill and Elmer Morrissey were among five declared dead after a marathon 30-hour search operation proved fruitless. The body of Marc Kasanin was the only lost sailor recovered.

In a full account to sailing website Latitude 38, Chong described seeing "the biggest swell" breaking over the boat as they rounded the islands during the traditional Full Crew Farallones Race, in which they were competing with 40 other yachts.

When the vessel resurfaced, the mast was snapped and only Chong and Voss were left on board. As they tried to help fellow crewmembers out of the water, a second wave hit that grounded the yacht on the rocks and threw Chong overboard.

“I couldn’t tell if I was in the water for a minute or an hour, but according to Nick it was about 15 minutes,” wrote Chong. “Those 15 minutes in the water were the absolute scariest in my life.”

He also hoped the tragedy would help improve on-deck safety, as the crew of the Low Speed Chase had not been using the boat's teathers at the time of the incident.

The San Francisco Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MISSING SAILORS - The remnants of the yacht lost in San Francisco's worst ever sailing accident, which claimed the lives of two Irish sailors, have been salvaged from the Pacific Ocean.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Alan Cahill and Elmer Morrissey were among five declared dead after the 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase ran aground at the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in northern California.

The body of Marc Kasanin was recovered hours after the incident, but the remains of Cahill and Morrissey, and their crewmates Jordan Fromm and Alexis Busch, were never found.

The search for the missing yacht crew members ended on Sunday 15 April after a marathon 30-hour operation.

Three other crewmembers, including the boat's owner and skipper James Bradford, were rescued from the rocks shortly after the incident.

The boat had been competing in the Full Crew Farallones Race with 40 other yachts between San Francisco and the islands when the tragedy occurred.

A 'sky crane' helicopter equipped to lift marine salvage was employed to haul in the wreckage of the boat to shore, according to Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch.

The operation was completed just ahead of the nesting season on the islands, which host the largest seabird nesting colony south of Alaska.

"If we didn't do it within the next several days, we would have had to wait until probably October," said US Fish and Wildlife spokesman Doug Cordell.

Larkspur-Corte Madera Patch has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MISSING SAILORS - The US Coast Guard last night suspended its search for four yacht crew members - including two Irish sailors - who went missing after what's being described as San Francisco's worst ever sailing accident, Fox News reports.

Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield told the Associated Press: "There's a window of survivability and we searched well beyond that window."

Boats and aircraft had combed over 5,000 square miles of ocean in a marathon 30-hour operation before the search was halted at sunset last night. It is not expected to resume.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the missing include Irish yachtsmen Alan Cahill, originally from Blarney in Co Cork, and his friend Elmer Morrissey, who had moved to the US for work only last year, according to friends and colleagues on Facebook.

The two men, along with fellow crew Jordan Fromm, Alexis Busch and Marc Kasanin, were thrown into the frigid water after their 38-foot yacht Low Speed Chase ran aground at the Farallon Islands, some 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco in northern California.

Three other crewmembers, including the boat's owner and skipper James Bradford, were rescued from the rocks shortly after the incident. The body of Kasanin, 45, was recovered from the water hours later.

The boat had been competing in the Full Crew Farallones Race with 40 other yachts between San Francisco and the islands when the tragedy occurred.

Known for its rough conditions with 14-foot swells and winds of up to 20 knots, the near-century old tradition has "never been for the faint of heart".

Published in News Update

Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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