A light in the distance
What was supposed to be another enjoyable sailing trip from Moorehead City, North Carolina to Bermuda quickly turned into a nightmare for Roger Brake. Just over 12 hours into the journey, 110 miles offshore, his well-maintained 46' Cross Trimaran, Orion, started taking on water and capsized. If it wasn't for his amazing determination and a VIKING Life-Saving Equipment USCG Coastal Liferaft, he wouldn't be alive today.
Brake, an experienced and avid sailor, started his voyage mid-morning in early June. With a strong wind, he was making great time. At 11pm, he inspected the bilges, set the autopilot, checked his location and went below to take a catnap. Within half an hour Orion started slamming hard into the waves, Brake felt the trickle of water. He hurried topside to find the port ama underwater and unable to tack.
“I could see the boat was going down. The seas were rough with 10’-12’ waves and 22-25 mph winds. It was only a matter of time before she went under,” said Brake.
Quickly to act, he secured the painter line and deployed the 4-person Viking raft he borrowed from USA Services, Norfolk, VA. In the dark moonless night, he pulled the painter line to deploy the raft, but was unable to see or hear the raft inflate over the roar of the merciless waves. He issued several mayday calls without response. Well prepared, he grabbed his well equipped abandon ship bag and manual EPIRB. Roger attempted to release his inflatable lashed forward. “I was up to my neck in water trying to get the Achilles free, only to discover it was deflated,” Orion rolled over, entering the water facing violent seas, Brake lost his bag and EPIRB.
Barely able to stay afloat, he saw the light in the distance. “I figured I had to swim toward it or die,” explained Brake. “I was half way there when I realized it was the life raft! I thought, ‘I’m saved!’” Exhausted, he climbed into the raft and spent the night bailing , throwing up seawater and shivering.
After spending two days in the raft a Coast Guard C-130J spotted him. The Coast Guard was alerted by a passing cruise ship on its way to Bermuda of Brakes overturned vessel. He was treated for mild hypothermia and dehydration. “I’m just so happy to be alive” said Brake. “Viking makes quality life rafts.”
VIKING recently provided a 4-person offshore RescYou liferaft to Mr. Brake.
“After watching my boat capsize and being saved by a VIKING liferaft, I won’t go out fishing or sailing unless there’s a VIKING onboard”
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment, 1400 NW 159th Street, #101, Miami FL, 33169 305 614 5800,
Fax 305 614 5810 . E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . www.viking-life.com