Boat named WingNuts pounded hard leaving ejected seamen dead

Posted on 01 August 2011

Seamen had readied themselves for tumultuous conditions, knew it was coming.

CHICAGO — Tragedy struck a 10-metre sailboat competing in the annual race from Chicago to Mackinac.

A 110 km/h gust blew WingNuts so hard the seamen were knocked over and under.

The brewing storm was so strong and powerful it produced gyrations caused by 2-metre high waves, with the boat heaving up and down resulting in a violent thrusting that eventually ejected the seamen.

“They knew it was coming,” said Chip Cummings, father of one of the survivors, ” but it just sort of caught the boat the wrong way.”

Six of the eight seamen managed to cut or unclip the safety line attached to the vessel and avoided being dragged under the capsized boat.

Two others were not so fortunate.

The accident occurred near North Fox Island, off the northwest Michigan coast.

Ten other boats dropped out of the race to aid in rescue efforts, with one particularly helpful boat called Sociable scooping the surviving seamen out of their predicament.

WingNuts was one of more than 300 vessels that took part in the race.

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