I have to assume you have read The Daily Pilots reports regarding the sinking of the yacht AEGEAN.
I first noticed the boat and crew on April 26th the night of the send off party at BCYC. I had volunteered as a gangway attendant that allowed boat owners and crews access to their boats while keeping the general public off the docks.
The crew of the AEGEAN was easily spotted with their blue shirts that read “I am on a boat” and their blue hats. The crew walked past me many times throughout the night and showed no signs of over serving themselves. Because the boat was slipped next to the gangway I was able to watch the crew step on and off their vessel many times throughout the night. With 25 years of being a yacht broker I can tell from just watching people approach a boat and how they board them if they are very experienced or not.
My observations of this crew, this was not their first rodeo, they where having fun as a team and staying under control. In fact I recall they all had returned to their boat by 9:30 PM the night of the send off party.
I am not sure what happened to this crew but if I was to guess; they had their dinner at 8:00 Pm and where just west of the boarder. The wind had died down to under 5 knots at about 11:00 and the crew of the AEGEAN probably started their engine and reduced the watch to one person while the engine and autopilot did their work.
What happened next we will never know, but if I was to continue with my conclusion the one crew member left on deck grabbed his blanket and placed his back to the forward bulkhead of the cockpit and was facing aft. He then would fall asleep, wake up take a look around and then fall asleep again. I know from experience if you allow yourself to fall into that routine you will fall into a deeper sleep each time. When I catch myself doing this, on the delivery trip home the other day, I stand up and turn on my Ipod on.
For what’s its worth, that’s what I think what happened. The crew member on watch fell asleep at the wheel and the boat ran into the North Coronado island.
Tragic yes but this happens in cars every year. Nothing can be said to the family’s for their loses other than, “from my family to yours we wish you the best and am sorry for your loss.