Archives for the 'Boating Disasters' Category

Real Pirates at Field Museum


The Real Pirates are in your government; taxing, borrowing and spending too much.

Field Museum has some pirates, too.

Through October 25, 2009.

15 April 2009 | Adventure, Boat Shows, Boating Disasters, Chicago, History | No Comments

Local Sailor on American Ship Attacked by Pirates

Suburban man on American ship attacked by pirates
Pirates attack American ship
Batavia sailor e-mails mom in Wheaton: We’re OK,w-new-york-pirate-attack-041509.article

Batavia Man on Ship Attacked by Somali Pirates
Local sailor: We practiced evading pirates
“We are under attack by pirates, we are being hit by rockets. Also bullets”

“I’m not a pirate, I’m the saviour of the sea”
Who are the pirate bands menacing commercial and tourist shipping off Somalia? Our writer meets one of the leaders

15 April 2009 | Adventure, Boating Disasters, International, Law, Politics and Government, Safety | No Comments

Pirates Attack on Lake Michigan: Grand Haven, Beaver Island, Manitous Threatened by Marauders Causes Excitement

Pirates on Lake Michigan -

Pirates on Lake Michigan have attacked boats and towns during the 1800’s, wreaking havoc and mayhem in their search for booty in regions such as Beaver Island, the Manitous and Grand Haven.

Pirates on Lake Michigan - newspaper article -

WBBM Newsradio 780 reports:

CHICAGO (WBBM) – While the world watches the Somali pirate drama, there’s a story to be told of pirates right here on Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan was home to a few pirates from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The headline: Wholesale robbery by pirates on Lake Michigan. The date: October 10, 1855, in the New York Times.

The Times reported on people in the area around Saugutuck, Michigan, “thrown into the most intense excitement by the operations of a gang of marauders, who are reported to be Mormons from Beaver Island.”

But it wasn’t other ships that were attacked, it was land-based stores.

Half a century later – and almost 101 years ago – “Roaring” Dan Seavey took control of a Great Lakes cargo ship and sailed it to Chicago.

He reportedly got control of the 40-foot schooner Nellie Johnson in Grand Haven, Michigan, by out-drinking its captain and crew – then stealing it.

The Sun-Times reports that Seavey “found no fortune in his pirating: He was unable to sell the load of cedar posts in Chicago and was captured back near his home in Frankfort, Michigan.”

10 April 2009 | Adventure, Boating Disasters, Great Lakes, History, Lake Michigan, Law, Politics and Government, Safety | 1 Comment

Video: J/30 Bonzai Dragon Destroyed

J/30 Bonzai Dragon destroyed and crushed to pieces in this video:

This J/30 was too big for “Will It Blend?”.

Bonzai Dragon, J/30
Sail Number 41838.
Hull Number 346.

10 April 2009 | Boating Disasters, Video | No Comments

Youngest Briton to scale Everest killed – Was named “Adventurer of the Year” for global journey using only skis, sleds, sails and bicycles

Mount Everest -

Updated – More from National Geographic:
article 1
article 2

CNN reports:

Rob Gauntlett, the youngest Briton to summit Mount Everest, died in a climbing accident along with another mountaineer in the French Alps, the British Foreign Office confirmed Sunday. Both were 21.

he bodies of Gauntlett and James Atkinson were found Saturday in the Mont Blanc area. Weather conditions were reported to have been clear and cold in Chamonix at the time.

Gauntlett scaled Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, in 2006 just days after his 19th birthday, along with 19-year-old James Hooper, his Web site says. He shattered the previous British record set by Bear Grylls at the age of 23.

Last month, National Geographic Adventure magazine declared Gauntlett and Hooper “adventurers of the year” for their 26,000-mile journey from one of Earth’s magnetic poles to the other using only skis, sleds, sails and bicycles.

Gauntlett said on his Web site that completing the journey was his proudest moment.

“We had spent three months on a 60-foot yacht sailing across the world’s most brutal ocean. A year before I had done virtually no proper sailing, so to be thrown in at the very deep end was a little scary at times,” he admitted.


13 January 2009 | Adventure, Boating Disasters, History, International, Survival, Weather | No Comments

Diaries of swashbuckling hero who rescued Robinson Crusoe unearthed

Daily Telegraph reports:

A 300-year-old journal of a British explorer who saved the real-life Robinson Crusoe and defeated pirates of the Caribbean has been discovered.


6 January 2009 | Boating Disasters, Exploration, History, International, Survival | No Comments

Madoff Investor Suicide Was A Sailor

Bloomberg reports:

After years as a money manager, Thierry’s passion remained sailing, Bertrand said. From the age of six, the Paris-born Thierry was most at home on a boat, engaging in regattas and aspiring to become a naval officer.


3 January 2009 | Boating Disasters, International | No Comments


Illinois Earthquake - April 18, 2008

This rare early-morning post is brought to you courtesy of the 5.2 magnitude earthquake which woke us up today at 4:37 AM in Chicago.

Here is the live map update of the USGS intensity report, based on questionnaire responses:

Illinois Earthquake - April 18, 2008

The earthquake from a sailing perspective-

Boats already in the harbor should be safe – no tsunami has been reported. Boats on land stored in shock-proof cradles should also be OK.

North Sails Weather Forecast

Interestingly, the North Sails Event Weather Service listserver sent an empty email out to recipients within a few minutes after the earthquake. Note the tell-tale signature 1970 timestamp, an artifact which indicates the host computer time had reset or otherwise been lost, such as waking up from a power outage or other unplanned restart, very likely a direct result of today’s earthquake.

UPDATE 10:19 AM – Aftershock!

Aftershock tremors rumbled buildings again here in Chicago around 10:16 AM. Loose objects mysteriously rattled eerily for a few moments, as if haunted by ghostly poltergeists, and settled down with no evidence or damage remaining. Still, the aftershock also measured a considerable 4.6 magnitude.

18 April 2008 | Boating Disasters, Safety, Weather | No Comments

Breaking News:
SECOND Boatyard Fire at Skipper Bud’s,
Less Than One Month Since $12M Fire

Click on the video above to play Feb 15, 2008 newscast

CBS reports, as of Mar 13, 2008 12:48 US/Central:

North Suburban Marina Catches Fire For Second Time
Skipper Buds In Winthrop Harbor Sustained $12 Million Damage Last Month; Caught Fire Again Thursday

WINTHROP HARBOR, Ill. A fire broke out Thursday at a boat marina in the far north suburbs that sustained about $12 million in damages in another fire just last month.

The fire swept through Skipper Buds boat sales warehouse, at 215 Nortpointe Dr. in Winthrop Harbor just off Sheridan Road, near the Wisconsin border.

Skipper Buds bills itself as “the largest marine dealer in the Midwest.”

The marina also caught fire on Feb. 15, striking one of several large steel-clad buildings where boats are stored for winter on trailers.

The 4-11 alarm fire took six hours to extinguish. Twenty different fire departments were sent to the scene.

According to Scott DeSoto, commodore of the club, only four boats suffered severe damage in the Feb. 15 fire. “By 9:00 AM Saturday, many Skipper Buds customers had already received personal phone calls and emails from Dennis Ellerbrock and or Skipper Buds staff,” he wrote on the club’s web site.

But damage was estimated at $12 million.

Officials said that fire appeared to be accidental. Further information about the latest fire on Thursday was not immediately available.

The Lake County News-Sun’s Frank Aberholden contributed to this report.

Source: CBS 2 Chicago

13 March 2008 | Boating Disasters | No Comments

Report: Skipper Bud’s Fire Appears Accidental

Skipper Bud’s Marina fire

In this picture by Thomas Delany, a backhoe rips the metal walls from building 215 at Skipper Buds on North Point Drive in Winthrop Harbor to expose the fire in the building which housed 100 boats for winter storage. Source: News-Sun

A fire that caused approximately $12 million in damages in a boat storage facility at Skipper Buds Marina looks to be accidental.

The 4-11 alarm fire that brought firefighters from 20 different departments Friday started in the back of the large building that was packed with boats. Deputy Chief Ron Levin said that an employee was apparently working on a boat, left, and when he returned there was too much smoke to go back into the building.

Because of the weather and the way the fire was situated in the back of the building, Fire Chief Neal Wollert called for extra manpower and for departments that had foam units that are often used around airports and types of chemical fires. He also made a special request for ladder trucks.

The warehouse had a sprinkler system that authorities noted slowed the progress of the fire considerably. Several boats were damaged and all have smoke damage and others closer to the fire may have some heat damage.

The State Fire Marshall’s office was called in to help investigate the blaze and on Monday inspectors were checking the building to see if it was structurally sound and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was on hand to check for leaking chemicals and supervise some of the clean-up.

The Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club praised Skipper Buds for reaching out and contacting customers who had boats stored at the facility, which is located just west of North Point Marina.

According to Scott DeSoto, commodore of the club, only four boats suffered severe damage. “By 9:00 AM Saturday, many Skipper Buds customers had already received personal phone calls and emails from Dennis Ellerbrock and or Skipper Buds staff,” he wrote on the club’s web site.

“Credit for quick response needs to be given to Winthrop Harbor, State of Illinois personal, Skipper Buds and ALL the surrounding municipalities,” he said.

The fire was struck after 6 hours.

Source: Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun

18 February 2008 | Boating Disasters | No Comments

Leukemia Cup Regatta -












 ...a cool website for everyone who wants to sail fast...