As you may have already heard, on Monday the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the death of two sailors competing in the Chicago-Mackinac Race. A late night storm had hit the racing fleet with winds in excess of 50 knots, and the boat WingNuts capsized. By all accounts, the crew handled the boat properly and made full use of their safety equipment, but the storm simply overwhelmed their 35-foot craft. Six sailors were rescued by a nearby boat, Sociable, but two were lost, one of whom was the skipper.
ASA sends our condolences to the families and friends of those who passed away, and we wish them the best in this difficult period. At the same time, we applaud the heroic efforts by the crew of Sociable to save the other six sailors in ferocious weather conditions.
Those of us in the United States woke this morning to hear about a massive and devastating tsunami in Japan, the result of a powerful 8.9 earthquake off of the country’s northeast coast. At ASA our prayers are with the families of those who have been killed and hoping for the continued safety of the survivors.
Damage has also been reported in Hawaii and the West Coast of the US; mostly boats and docks hit by the surge. Boats that moved out to sea were unharmed. Beaches and piers are closed due to strong undertow and currents.
Here are some key places to get information about what’s going on:
I’ll be updating our Facebook and Twitter pages as there are new developments.
Youtube is compiling eyewitness footage that you can find here, and this video will give you an idea of the magnitude: