North Bend, Ore. (KVAL/CNN) — Marc Winn says he’s lucky to be alive. Winn was sailing from Washington to California with two other crew members and their dog. On Monday morning, their boat lost steering, just as the wind picked up, and a storm hit.
Winn says the storm knocked out their power, tattered their sails, and snapped their boom completely in half. The crew was helpless. Winn says all they could do was wait and try not to lose hope as their boat drifted farther and farther away from shore.
Winn said, “We loved each other. Read a little bit, what we could, but you just can’t focus on reading.”
On the third day, now 60 miles off shore, a ray of hope; Winn says the clouds parted, hitting the boat’s solar panels, giving them just enough power to call for help.
Todd Holt, who was aboard the “Rogues Scholarship”, said, “I blasted off a signal and nothing came back. I waited another hour and blasted off another one and the coast guard came back and we were pretty stoked.”
Rescue swimmer Bradley Pigage from Sector North Bend was lowered into the water to let them know that help was on its way. “They were pretty happy to see the Coast Guard. It was pretty extraordinary to have all the assets on scene. We had 2 helicopters launched, a C27 from Sacramento, small boat stationed and the cutter that was out there,” said Pigage.
The crew finally made back on dry land Wednesday night.