Accession Number : ADA017636

Title :   Foundering of the Motor Vessel COMET Off Point Judith, Rhode Island on 19 May 1973 with Loss of Life.

Descriptive Note : Marine casualty rept.


Report Date : 05 AUG 1975

Pagination or Media Count : 31

Abstract : The Coast Guard, on its last inspection of the COMET, May 19, 1971, found numerous deficiencies in the hull of the boat. On June 14, 1972, a new owner took possession of the COMET without being aware of the extent of its deficiencies, and began to operate it without restoring it to a seaworthy condition. On May 19, 1973, the COMET sank off Point Judith, Rhode Island, with a fishing party of 25 and a crew of two aboard. Most of the persons were able to don life preservers before abandoning the COMET and entering the 48F. waters. No 'MAYDAY' was transmitted over the radio, but by chance encounter, the sailing sloop DECIBEL sighted and rescued survivors 4.5 hours after the sinking. Only 11 of the 27 persons on board were saved. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking was major, undetected flooding due to the ingress of water through the deteriorated hull planking. The lengthy exposure to cold water, due to the inability to summon an earlier rescue, resulted in a large loss of life.

Descriptors :   *Boats, *Accidents, *Safety, Ship hulls, Defects(Materials), Recreation, Flooding, Immersion, Hypothermia, Life rafts, Distress signals, Exposure(Physiology), Drowning

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Marine Engineering
      Safety Engineering

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE