Bermuda catamaran rescue

May/June 2007

Two yachtsmen were rescued and one perished after their 39-foot catamaran, Haley, capsized in heavy seas 200 miles east of Bermuda.

The accident occurred on Feb. 19, 2007, while the three men, captain Steve Hobley of Devon, U.K., and crewmen Olof Templeman, of the Isle of Wight, and Kevin Klinges of Ketchum, Idaho, were delivering the boat from La Sable, France, via Madeira to a customer in Annapolis, Md. Despite being rerouted because of weather they encountered 65-mph winds and seas of more than 45 feet.

The vessel capsized at about 1700. Hobley died of hypothermia not long after the capsize. His body was lost at sea despite efforts by his crewmates to hang on to him in the frigid, wave-tossed sea.

Klinges and Templeman remained with the capsized vessel and activated an EPIRB after being in the water for roughly an hour. The U.S. Coast Guard received their signal. The first aircraft on the scene was a Coast Guard C-130 piloted by Lt. Peter Evonuk. Not long after that a Coast Guard helicopter arrived and deployed a swimmer. With the help of the swimmer Templeman and Klinges were hoisted to safety and flown to King Edward VII Hospital in Bermuda for treatment. Both men were treated for hypothermia, recovered and have been released. The vessel sank and the body of Steve Hobley was never recovered.

In an interview with the Royal Gazette in Bermuda, C-130 pilot Evonuk said, “Those EPIRBS saved their lives. The searching is the hard part of our job. If we know where you are we will find you. We flew right to these guys because of their EPIRBS. If you are a sailor, have an EPIRB.”  

By Ocean Navigator