Sailor dies in collision with bulk carrier on Long Island Sound

One crewmember died and two were rescued after their 92-foot sailboat collided on Sept. 20 with a 600-foot bulk carrier in Long Island Sound, five miles north of Roanoke Point Shoals and about 12 miles south of New Haven, Conn. The accident occurred at about 0400 in clear weather with good visibility, 2- to 3-foot seas and a 10-knot breeze.

Essence, a charter sailing vessel with a professional crew of three and no passengers aboard was en route from Newport, R.I., to Greenwich, Conn. Essence collided with the ship, Barkald, which was bound from Bridgeport, Conn., to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Coast Guard received a call from Barkald at 0404 reporting the collision. The response included a 25-foot Coast Guard boat, followed by a 41-foot utility boat from Station New Haven. The first vessel was on the scene at 0429. A lifeboat launched by the crew of Barkald picked up the captain of Essence, while the 25-footer picked up the mate and the yacht’s chef. The chef was unconscious when she was taken out of the water and CPR was administered. She was later pronounced dead at Yale New Haven Hospital. The captain and mate were also taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for examination. The captain was found to be in good physical condition, and the mate was treated for mild hypothermia and released. Essence sank following the collision.

Chief civilian investigator Dawn Kallen, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, said the bulk carrier Barkald and the sailing vessel Essence had been in radio contact prior to the collision, but the Coast Guard would provide no other details of the nature or extent of the contact because the accident was still under investigation.

Both vessels were equipped with radar but only Barkald was equipped with AIS. The Coast Guard would not comment on whether either vessel had made radar contact.

By Ocean Navigator