Soundings Online - Survival, with a twist

Published online: Sep 23, 2010 News Chris Landry - Soundings Online
Viewed 703 time(s)
 

It was one heck of a summer for 46-year-old Kristy Lugert.

The Alameda, Calif., resident bought a 32-foot sailing catamaran (her first large boat), which flipped in 15-foot seas on its delivery voyage. When they thought they were going to die, Lugert and her boyfriend declared themselves married. A week after a Coast Guard helicopter plucked them from the overturned cat in a rescue basket, they were legally married but divorced a short time later. Her saga came to an end when she helped her brother tow the boat home after he salvaged it.

"Wow, it's been so crazy," says Lugert, who bought the 1999 PDQ 32 with her father, Jerry Lugert, in mid-June in Sidney, British Columbia. "There's been so much drama from the very beginning."

It all began when Lugert, who has primarily sailed catamarans in the Gulf of Mexico, fired the delivery captain and sailed the boat - along with her boyfriend, Steve McCarthy, 42, and Greg McCuen, 40 - on the last leg of the passage, from Crescent City, Calif., around Cape Mendocino to Alameda.

The boat capsized July 3 about 20 miles off Fort Bragg, Calif., in heavy seas and 45-knot winds. The crew had been sailing for about 24 hours before the incident. "We got hit by a rogue wave, and it was a lot steeper and a lot deeper than anything else we had been dealing with," Lugert says. "It hit on the port side ... and the boat went up on its side and turtled immediately."

All three sailors - along with Lugert's border collie, Jakey - were in the cockpit when the cat went over. McCarthy was at the helm. "The wave hit us like a train, basically T-boning us," he says. "The wind came underneath the boat and finished the role."

McCarthy, Lugert, McCuen and the dog were trapped under the boat in the space created by the cockpit. McCarthy activated the EPIRB - a GPS-enabled model rented from BoatU.S. - and McCuen, the strongest swimmer, swam to the surface with the beacon, where he tied it to one of the 9.9-hp Yamaha outboards. All three were wearing life jackets, but Lugert and McCarthy had to remove theirs so they could swim beneath the boat and out of the cockpit. McCuen was able to keep his PFD on. Lugert swam out after McCuen, and then McCarthy followed.

Read more at
http://www.soundingsonline.com/news/dispatches/592-sept-23-2010/265962-summer-of-their-discontent

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 25, 2015

Restored To Her Glory

If you’re interested in restoration stories, you don’t want to miss this one—which involves a little history lesson to boot.
March 19, 2015

Why You Should Keep Your Smoke Alarms Up To Date

If you want to hear a good argument for keeping your smoke alarms up to date onboard, check out this man’s story according to Cambridge News.
March 11, 2015

Unmanned Houseboat Drifts 165 Miles

You’ve heard of runaway dogs, but have you ever heard of a runaway houseboat?
March 04, 2015

Lake Norris Update: Twin Cove Marina Is Seeing Great Progress

In an admiral show of resilience and dedication, the heavy winter damage at Twin Cove Marina, Carryville, Tenn., is already being tackled by cleanup crews.
February 24, 2015

Norris Lake Boats Suffer Severe Winter Damage

We have sad news—several boats and docks collapsed under the fury of a winter storm in the Norris Lake, Campbell County, Tenn., area this Saturday.
February 18, 2015

Houseboating Opportunities In India

The Times of India brings word that the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is investigating the possibilities of promoting houseboating in Kochi,a major port city...
Follow us on Facebook!   Follow us on Instagram!   Follow us on Pinterest!   Follow us on YouTube!