The Rescue of 402

Discussions on the characteristics of the EC12. Yes, it handles different than most R/C Sailboats

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The Rescue of 402

Postby bogordoug » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:28 pm

On Tuesday January 1, 2008, 4 intreped folks from the Triangle Model Yacht club set out for a nice afternoon sail to celebrate the new year. The winds were up, maybe at the edge between an A rig and a B rig.

John Amaroso a new owner of and EC-12 -- A Carr Hull -- #402 with a bang-bang winch set sail. About 40 feet out it was hit by a heavy gust and laid flat. We waited for it to come up...and waited....and waited. The combination of the water stiction with the sails, and his inability to let the sails out, and the wind kept the boat on its side. We could see the rudder responding to the radio control. The stricken boat drifted for a while while we searched in vain for rescue items. Paddle boats were readily at hand but locked and no park folks available.

Then she sank. She began going down in the stern and our last sight of 402 was that of the bow slipping under. We commiserated with John. Talked about getting a Kayak and going out. But a combination of water temperature, winds, and air temperature precluded an immediate rescue operation. But we had triangulated the location of the sinking.

Fast forward to Sunday January 6. Members of the DownUnder scuba club volunteered to help in a salvage operation. I was not there but it is reported they spent several hours in very murkey water looking for "402", but to no avail. We were not thinking good thoughts. Maybe the current in the lake shifted her as she sunk.....

Fast forward to Saturday January 12. The largest turnout of the Triangle Model Yacht Club (11 skippers) gathered at Lake Johnson at 10AM. We rounded up three paddleboats (not recommended for anyone over 5 ft tall) and set sail with grappling hooks and line between them to drag the bottom of the lake. After several minutes an object was located. Meanwhile, another member had hooked up his portable fishfinder to the bottom of a paddleboat and worked his way out to the site. Low and behold an fully rigged EC-12 appeared on the screen of the fishfinder (the sails do a good job of reflecting). Another sailor (Charles Hall) build a "rake" out of plastic tubing. This rake had a handle 16 ft long and tynes 2 feet long. It was used to snag the boat hull and lift gently.

Someone (I think Bob S) reached down, and grabbed the top of the mast and lifted straight up. Up she came, hatch still on, and ready to sail away (with the exception of a hull full of water, soggy receiver, and servos). The sails were not damaged, and she was fully rigged (good knots).

Time elasped between the beginning of the salvage operation on 1/12/2008 and recovery 22 minutes.

Now the dryout begins.

Doug Hale
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Postby armbrusterco » Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:59 pm

Congratulations on the rescue. Quick work on the water, too!

If the Triangle Model Yacht Club's salvage crew would like to travel, there are a few model yachts on the bottom of our sailing pond in Chicago. No EC12s that I know of, but a marblehead, IOM, and others that our local divers could not find in the deep water.


Bob Armbruster
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Postby Rick West » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:53 pm

It is a great story and Bob Szczepanski sent me his version. Uncle Frank wanted to put it EC12Net but we thought it too long. This a good place for it.

I was impressed with the club deligence following the lack of such by a professional group. We are just hobbyists and sail models. What do we know?

Salute to the Triangle group!

...94 [8D]
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Rick West
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Postby tallastro » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:29 pm

I just want to clear up any misperceptions. The divers were very professional and diligent during their search. In all likelyhood, the boat simply drifted outside of the search area that I directed them to. The visibility was described as looking through light coffee, about 8 inches max. I was very impressed that total strangers would volunteer to spend 2.5 hours and dive in 47 degree water to try finding someone's toy boat.

Thank you to all that helped recover the Eversunk (#402). It was a grand adventure.

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