Local News

Crew member ID’d in fatal sailboat accident

SAN DIEGO — A sailboat racing toward San Diego drifted into the waves at an offshore island and broke apart, leaving a San Diego man dead, authorities said Saturday.

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 10.05.35 AM

Craig Thomas Williams, 36, and his family.

Craig Thomas Williams, 36, was among the crew on the 32-foot sailboat “Uncontrollable Urge” that radioed in a mayday from San Clemente Island shortly before 9:30 p.m. Friday.

“The vessel lost steering during a sailboat race around the island, 60 miles west of San Diego,” according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Gawrelli.

Uncontrollable Urge was one of about 40 racing boats racing 150 miles from Los Angeles to San Diego Bay via the west sides of Catalina and San Clemente Islands, according to the race’s website.

“The crew declined immediate help from the Coast Guard or other boaters in the race. The Uncontrollable Urge’s crew instead asked for assistance from a commercial salvage company, but the salvage vessel was unable to launch due to weather conditions– 8- foot swells and 12 mile per hour winds with a small craft advisory,” Gawrelli said.

The sailors tried to anchor the vessel shortly after 11 p.m., but the anchor would not catch and the sailboat drifted closer to San Clemente Island, Gawrelli said.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and the Coast Guard Cutter Edisto were deployed to the area, Gawrelli said.

The boat washed into the surf and waves broke it apart, which forced the crew to abandon the sailboat. The boat wrecked about 60 miles west of San Diego, at an island occupied only by a small U.S. Navy base.

The boat’s six sailors were hoisted from the water and taken to the Coast Guard station in San Diego, Gawrelli said. Williams was dead on arrival in San Diego, and Medical Examiner’s Office personnel were called in.

Williams’ death was confirmed without medical intervention about 1:15 a.m., officials with the Medical Examiner’s Office said. An autopsy has yet to be scheduled.

The other five sailors were hospitalized in undisclosed conditions, according to the Coast Guard.

The Uncontrollable Urge was a Columbia Carbon 32 that was entered in the race by James Gilmore of the Silver Gate Yacht Club on San Diego’s Shelter Island, according to the race’s website. The race was sponsored by the Newport Harbor and San Diego yacht clubs.

The Newport Harbor Yacht Club release the following statement on their Facebook page.

“As you may be aware, a tragedy has occurred during the Islands Race. The members of NHYC would like to express their sympathy to the friends and family of the boat, Uncontrollable Urge.”

The Uproarius crew and Silver Gate Yacht Club has started a memorial fund to support the family. To donate find out more details here.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

15 Comments to “Crew member ID’d in fatal sailboat accident”

    guest said:
    March 9, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    What, AGAIN?? another sail race, another abandoned boat, left to wreck and pollute the seas?
    The crew of Uncontrollable Urge…Six sailors were hoisted from the water and taken to the Coast Guard station in San Diego..didnt they KNOW what they're getting into??

    now one of them is dead?? heart attack from all the excitement?? call me Uncle Fester, i cant but laugh.

      John said:
      March 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Sad occurrence. Even sadder is that statement above..

      guest said:
      March 10, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Hey – Uncle Fester…..The guy who died in this accident leaves behind a pregnant wife and young daughter. More for you to laugh about? GET OFF THE INTERNET and DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR LIFE! loser.

        guest said:
        March 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        who cares..
        'The crew declined immediate help from the Coast Guard or other boaters in the race.'

        got what they asked for

      Eddie said:
      March 11, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      A tragedy occurs and you classify it as polluting the seas, yet you do not see where a mind set such as yours is not polluting the world. Amazing.

    John said:
    March 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Small point. The winds were 25 to 30 knots.

    JSULLY said:
    March 9, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/Hono

    Condolences to the family. Click above for a link to the memorial fund for the victim's family.

    Anthony said:
    March 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    The owner/skipper appears possibly negligent. As the captain you must ensure that everybody return safely. The skipper appears to lack the foresight and judgement to call himself a captain.

      guest said:
      March 11, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      exactly my point…unc fester

    Guest said:
    March 11, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    and jusst what was the cause of death?
    drowning? heart attack? blunt force trauma? we'd like to know.

    Blibo said:
    March 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    now mommy and his two children will have to find a new daddy…

    rhino said:
    March 12, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    was asfixiation from improper use of life jacket which led to drowning.

    Guest said:
    March 16, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    What are you doing on this earth blibo get back in your cage

    Lucio said:
    April 22, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    Right here is the perfect web site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been written about for a long time. Great stuff, just wonderful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisement

Advertisement