When boating doesn’t love back

Published on December 4th, 2019

While the crew of Charlotte Kirby, Nathaniel Davis, and Wilfredo Lombardo have fallen short of qualifying for a Darwin Award, their boating habits have twice recently tested the US Coast Guard.

Their story began when they set off on a 40-foot Beneteau sailboat called Dove from Down East, Maine and for three days were believed to be in distress and missing, prompting an extensive Coast Guard air-and-sea search of the New England coast.

The search began after an emergency dispatcher on the mainland received a garbled 911 call from Kirby’s cellphone about 3 a.m. on November 16. The person calling said they were on a boat, and then the line cut out.

The dispatcher could not reach the caller again and called the Coast Guard, triggering a wide-ranging, multiday search with boats and aircraft that was finally called off on November 18 when one of the crew made cellphone contact with family.

When Scuttlebutt provided that update, this trio were fine and off the coast of Long Island, New York, but now we learn the Coast Guard was called again to orchestrate their rescue on November 19 near Norfolk, Virginia.

At the request of the Coast Guard, the 750-foot cargo ship Jaguar Max had diverted course toward the sailboat and subsequently made visual contact with the boaters. But it had to hold off on picking them up until the next day because of high winds and seas.

The ship’s crew reported that the Dove had lost its mast and its occupants were donning lifejackets. The sailboat was abandoned after the trio was rescued, with the cargo ship dropping off the boaters on November 22 in Newport News, Virginia.

Davis, who said he made the trip “for the love of sailing,” might want to consider how boating isn’t loving him back.

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