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Capsized cat salvaged

Jun 28, 2017
The catamaran Leopard at anchor.

The catamaran Leopard at anchor.

Courtesy Aquidneck Custom Composites

An Atlantic 57 catamaran named Leopard that capsized approximately 400 nm north of the Dominican Republic in November 2016 was recently found 25 miles off Morehead City, N.C. The multihull was salvaged by Sea Tow Crystal Coast on Thursday, May 4.

Leopard was designed by Chris White Designs of South Dartmouth, Mass., and built by Aquidneck Custom Composites in Bristol, R.I., in 2008. The vessel was en route from the Chesapeake to St. Maarten with a delivery crew when it suddenly capsized in 23- to 28-knot winds. Captain Charles Nethersole and two crew were unhurt in the capsizing and were able to retrieve the life raft and exit the vessel. They powered up Leopard’s EPIRB and within hours a Coast Guard C-130 was on the scene. The Coast Guard directed a nearby ship, M/V Aloe, to pick up the three sailors.

The capsized vessel was recovered by a Sea Tow operator in North Carolina.

Sea Tow Crystal Coast recovered the cat, which was found still floating inverted, and brought it into Morehead City. In November, designer Chris White posted on his website about the accident and quoted Leopard’s owner who prophetically lauded the Atlantic 57 design: “I continue to have great confidence in the design. There is nothing wrong with the boat. All of us who go to sea have to be aware that there is always some risk, however well prepared we are and however careful. There is always a situation bigger than any boat. I’m afraid this was it.”

You could say that by showing up six months later still afloat the boat survived the capsizing quite well and has lived up the owner’s confidence.

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