Sunday, April 11, 2010

The recovery of s/v Little Fawn

On our way into Agua Verde, we passed a sailboat that had been swept onto the beach a few days ago. Initial rescue efforts pulled the sampson post out of the foredeck, broke the mast, and dragged the boat onto some rocks. By the time we saw poor Little Fawn up close, she had a massive hole in her portside, along with several smaller rips and gouges. Jim, the singlehander skipper, was camped on the beach. A number of skilled rescuers were on the scene, assisted by members of the nearby Hidden Port Yacht Club. The boat had been turned from her port side to her starboard side, leaving the damaged area mostly above water.

Although we didn't have any significant skills or tools to contribute to the rescue, we soon made ourselves useful. Vicki gave skipper Jim a shoulder massage and along with Janet and Fran, helped organize his piles of stuff on the beach. I helped pass radio communications and ferry tools back and forth between the beach and The Cat's Meow, which was to be the tow vessel.

Meanwhile, a group led by Terry from Manta, and including Bill and Les from Optical Illusion and Jean-Guy from Gosling, got to work on patching the hole in the hull. They attached thin strips of plywood to the hull, with wood screws and Splash Zone (underwater epoxy).

We decided there wasn't much more that we could help with, so we loaded up some of Jim's tools to carry to Puerto Escondido, and sailed off to find an anchorage for the night (more on that in our next post).

The next day, we were delighted to see Little Fawn being towed by Martin and Robin on The Cat's Meow. By the time we arrived at Puerto Escondido, Little Fawn had been lifted onto the hard. The rescue had ended successfully, but Jim's work is just beginning!

It was really nice to see how the cruising community pulls together to help someone in need. We were glad to play a small role in the efforts, and hope that we are never on the receiving end!


Doug said...

Great story and photos. I have a CC Carib 35 Ketch like Little Fawn and was happy to see that the boat was safely retrieved. I assume that it was an anchor line failure or something similar that put her aground?
Doug Smith
S/V Tai Ping
Newport, RI

Mark said...

Doug - sorry to say, but it was "operator error" that put her on the hard. A tired singlehander getting too close to shore during the nighttime.