Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1 Dead, 4 Missing in Farallon Islands Boat Race Accident

At least one person was killed while four others are still missing following a boat race mishap along Farallon Island.

According to the Coast Guard, the 38-foot sailing vessel known as Low Speed Chase was one of the participants in the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race that started at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco last Saturday afternoon. The Coast Guard further said that the 8 people on board the boat were all experienced sailors.

A spokesperson from the Coast Guard said that a huge wave hit the boat, which caused four people to be thrown into the water. The boat captain, James Bradford, then turned the boat around to fetch them out of the water. That’s when another wave subsequently hit the boat, which led it to crash into the rocks of the Fallon Island. Due to its collision with the rocks, the boat’s captain apparently lost entire control of the boat.

A helicopter from Air Station San Francisco, an 87-foot cutter, a 47-foot boat from Golden Gate, and two Blackhawk helicopters from the 129th Air National Guard Unit at Moffett Field immediately responded to the accident scene.

At least three people were able to get into the rocks while one was pronounced dead and four people were still missing. It was not yet confirmed whether the captain was among the missing. Based on the list of race participants, the crews were described as young people.

The Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay, through its official website, said more than five boats registered for the annual yacht race and all boats returned safely except for the Low Speed Chase.

The annual sailboat race around the Farallon Islands has been a tradition in San Francisco since the early 1900s. The association is offering its thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the missing crews, having a wishful thinking that the four missing crews would return home safely.

Nowadays, many people don’t realize the dangers present in boats as compared to other types of land vehicles. People usually believe that dangers are much minimal, and serious personal injuries are far possible in boats. Definitely, such accident can prove people’s underestimations were wrong, since boat accidents have been reported to occur in US on such large ratio. Even a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles can prove such.