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A Sailor's Place

Newsletter Issue No. 4, March, 2013


A Customer's Harrowing Real-Life Tale


A Sailor's Place/

Worldwide Inflatables

3108 SE Monroe St.

Stuart, FL 34997









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Customer's 38' Vessel Sinks in the Bahamas

The 38' Vessel "Lucky Star" going down with the Revere Elite Offshore life raft that kept the crew safe in the foreground


    We at A Sailor's Place have many years of experience selling and inspecting life rafts.  It is not often, however, that our customers have to deploy a life raft in an emergency situation.  Following is an account of just such a situation by our customer, Frank Giesler;

On January 11th 2013 I was the captain of a 38 foot vessel  named Lucky Star and was retuning from the Atlantic Ocean after a day of offshore fishing. It is normal procedure to review the safety procedures aboard Lucky Star before leaving the dock such as the location of the life jackets, EPIRB, ditch bag, VHF radio, life raft and who was to be responsible for each.  I plotted a course to return through the south Loggerhead Channel (the same way I have done a dozen times) where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Sea of Abaco in the Bahamas. The course I chose was the recommended course according to my Garmin chart plotter.  There were four adults and the family dog on board.  We were traveling approximately 24 knots when suddenly a loud noise came from the rear of the boat and we came to a sudden stop. The engines had stalled and we could hear water coming in the boat from where we heard the loud noise. My son hurried down from the tower and we opened the inspection hatch to the engine room and discovered water rapidly entering the boat.


It was obvious at this point everyone needed to abandon ship and fulfill their individual duties. I was responsible for calling out a May DAY on the radio until I made contact with someone and relayed our location and that we had hit something and we were taking on water and the boat was sinking fast. Once I made contact with someone and they knew our location I helped the crew launch the life raft and put on our life jackets. We pulled the line that was attached to the raft until it completely inflated and was ready for use.  The two women aboard and the family dog stepped into the raft from the sinking vessel and immediately removed the handheld VHF radio from the ditch bag and continued our distress call.  We were in communication at that time with BASRA(Bahamian Air-Sea Rescue Association) and a nearby boat.  The two men then left the sinking vessel and swam to the nearby life raft and joined the rest of the crew.


Skipper of the Lucky Star Frank Giesler with A Sailor's Place owner Mark Haskell

The nearby vessel came to our aide and shortly after we were joined by BASRA. A BASRA scuba diver dove down 55 feet to the sunken vessel to recover passports and to assess the reasoning for the sinking of the vessel. It was determined a 4 inch diameter 100 foot long abandoned poly anchor line secured to a very large ship anchor wrapped around the props and pulled the struts out causing a 30 inch diameter hole. The crew was off the boat within three minutes and the boat sunk within 5 minutes in approximated 55 feet of water.  

We are all very grateful for the time and effort of being cautious and having the necessary safety equipment.


Frank came into our shop recently after the incident and told us how he was amazed at how quickly his boat went down.  He also told us how  thankful he was that he had a life raft and had practiced it's operation with his family.  In Frank's words "I don't think I could look my family in the eyes if I hadn't had the life raft and they were forced to swim."


For more information on Revere or Swtlik life rafts or to schedule an appointment to have your life raft inspected by one of our qualified technicians call 772-283-9990 or e-mail us at .  You can also visit our website at www.asailorsplace.com









About Our Company…

A Sailor's Place was established in 1980 and is one of the largest inflatable boat and life raft dealers in the United States.  Family owned and operated, we're located in Stuart, Florida - the hub of Florida's boating and sailing activities.  We specialize in sales and service of name brand products from Capelli, Revere, Zodiac, Achilles, Switlik,  AB, ACR, and more!