CHARLESTON, S.C. - Once again, maybe for the eighth time this year, someone has tried to take a short cut into Charleston by trying to sail across the Jetties at the entrance to Charleston Harbor.
1984 Cheoy Lee Motorsailer Ryota Sister Ship
USCG Sector Charleston is reporting that two people are safe after their 63-foot Cheoy Lee sailboat, Ryota, sank near the jetties in Charleston Harbor around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
Dewayne Wesley and Lynne Wesley of Jacksonville, Fla., were aboard their 63 foot 1984 Cheoy Lee Sailboat valued at nearly $600,000.00, when they mistakenly cut across the Charleston Harbor Jetties.
After striking the jetties, the vessel quickly started taking on water. Shortly after regaining control of the vessel they discovered the vessel was flooding. Unable to stop the flow of water into the boat they radioed for help.
A good Samaritan vessel, Pay Dirt was departing Charleston and promptly responded and safely removed the couple and their dog in good condition.
Within 30 minutes the vessel was at the bottom of Charleston Harbor.
A Coast Guard 41-foot rescue boat crew picked up the passengers from Pay Dirt and transferred them to Coast Guard Station Charleston.
Charleston Marine Services is in charge of the salvage and removal of the vessel. There are no reports of any pollution.
The entrance to Charleston Harbor remains open, and there has been no impact to vessel traffic in the area at this time.
The salvage company put a strobe light on the mast to alert other vessels. The sail boat remains submerged with about 15 feet of mast visible above the water.
Sector Charleston is investigating the mishap. Investigators said it's possible that the captain misjudged a turn during high tide.