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Survivor of San Francisco Yachting Tragedy Speaks Out

29th April 2012
Survivor of San Francisco Yachting Tragedy Speaks Out

#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, 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
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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