Hall of Famer Randy Smyth rescued
Published on March 4th, 2018
(March 4, 2018) – Randy Smyth, one of North America’s top multihull sailors and a member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, was rescued by the Coast Guard last night when his 20-foot trimaran capsized during the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, a 300 nm Florida race from Tampa Bay to Key Largo.
At 9 p.m., Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a personal locator beacon activation connected to annual race for kayaks, canoes and small boats.
The Coast Guard’s St. Petersburg station verified the owner of the beacon was Smyth, 63, of Fort Walton Beach, and contacted him via VHF-FM marine band radio. Smyth stated his sailboat had capsized 12 miles south of Sanibel Island and was in need of emergency assistance.
A 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boat crew from the Coast Guard’s Fort Myers Beach station was launched and rescued Smyth. There were no reported injuries.
“Locator beacons like a PLB or EPIRB can give us an extremely accurate position when used during an emergency,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Ameigh, officer of the day at Station Fort Myers Beach. “Mr. Smyth was well prepared with a PLB, and the rest of his safety equipment was readily available.”
Smyth is one of nine Americans to have both been on a winning America’s Cup crew (1988) and win an Olympic medal in sailing (1988, 1992).
He also consulted on two Hollywood films and sailed different catamarans for Kevin Costner in “Water World”, and Pierce Brosnan in “The Thomas Crown Affair”. In 2010, Smyth was a commentator on the America’s Cup for ESPN, and in 2016 covered the Rio Olympic Games for NBC.
The Everglades Challenge, which started March 3, is an unsupported, expedition style adventure race with check points and a time limit of eight days or less.