CLEVELAND – The Wayward Wind was pulled way off course. The 30-foot sailboat and three on board were in Lake Erie Saturday when around noon the boat’s engines malfunctioned and shut down.
“They had mechanical malfunctions so he threw his anchor out. The anchor didn’t catch the bottom and with the sea state and the winds coming out of the north it actually pushed him on the rocks,” explained Petty Officer Chris DiGiovanni with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The boat rammed repeatedly into the breakwall near Edgewater Park. Its wooden sides were cracking and breaking. The boat owner called for help and within five minutes the Coast Guard arrived on scene. A woman on board had jumped from the boat into the water and was wearing a life jacket.
Petty Officer DiGiovanni was the one driving the rescue boat and had to convince the owner to jump.
“We directed them to safely actually had to abandon ship, jump off their boat and then we were able to pull them onboard ours. Unfortunately we had to leave their vessel on the rocks but for us, our primary goal is to save a life,” DiGiovanni said.
The force of the waves ripped a hole in the side of the boat and it began to take on water. Within 30 seconds the boat sunk.
“I’m glad they got off safely I’m sorry to see it go down I didn’t think I’d see it go down,” said Laurie, who also owns a sailboat and was watching from shore. “Sure enough she just sunk like a rock and it makes you sick, sick to your stomach,” she continued.
The three people on board were treated for minor injuries.
All that’s left of the boat is the mast sticking up out of the water.
“The owner had the boat for about three weeks, so I agree that he didn’t want to leave his boat. But at the same time we had to reassure him that his life was in danger and we’re there to save a life. So knowing that that vessel sunk it’s very good that we got them off that,” DiGiovanni said.