Sunday, October 24, 2010

Columbia River Death

I returned home to see the news about a man's body had been discovered near Cathlamet, on the Columbia River. Apparently the skipper had fallen overboard when his seat had broken loose from the cockpit. His body was found several days later. The news clip showed his helms seat  and I recognized the vessel. I had seen the vessel recently on some of my trips. It was a very large (60 ft) racing sloop, which had a jet ski on the reverse transom. You can see the large helm chair, sitting high above the stanchions, which when broke, literally threw the skipper overboard.

The last time I saw it was at its berth in Westport Slough, Oregon. It can become disastrous when the skipper goes overboard. This is why I continue to talk to wives on my journeys, as the majority of them do not know how to handle the boat and would be incapable of retrieving their husbands/partners in such a situation. And most men do not wear life jackets. Always news of this sort is a reminder that safety is paramount and crew need to know how to retrieve a man overboard.