Friday, November 28, 2008

Sailboat Ryota Hits Charleston Jetties and Sinks

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.

Sailboat Ryota

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.


  1. Stupid is as Stupid does, what a moron. Cedar is right read the flipping charts. Most these people are lucky. Morning Dew hit the jetties and it cost 3 people thier lives a few years ago.

    WAKE UP!

  2. Morning Dew is a pretty sad tale. December 29, 1997 the 34 sailboat struck the north jetties all aboard died.

    So why with all the people who hit the jetties why don't we just make the jetties higher and put lights on them?

  3. Dumbass morons should have drowned! Would have if it had been during rough weather. I;m amazed at how quickly having a little money will get you killed.

  4. Why would supposedly experienced sailors risk their beautiful vessel by being too cocky to look at a chart???

    I've been out there many times at high tide when the rocks are darn near covered and, if you don't know any better, you'd think you can cut across to the next marker. There is a similar situation on the ICW just a bit south of here where if you don't look at the chart, you'll end up on a sandbar.

    CHARTS are REQUIRED! Study them! USE them! They aren't just for decorating the cabin, ya know!

    Working in the marine industry for years, and having lived aboard a sailboat for four of them, I've just about seen it all and, sadly, I'm still able to be surprised.

    The stories I could tell ... the 34' Hunter sailboat, just launched after an extensive refit, had idiot owners who tried to anchor in surf with no scope, and was pounded to pieces ... the OTHER idiots who bought a brand-new sailboat in Maryland and thought they could motor to Miami in a weekend (didn't make THAT deadline), never put up a sail and then called towing services to sell them fuel they didn't need only to get directions and then argued with one of them that the landmark right in front of them wasn't on their "map" (yes, "MAP"), then motored into Port Canaveral (which is patrolled by Navy Security) at NIGHT with NO LIGHTS because someone accidentally hit the main switch on the panel and they thought all the electronics were dead without thinking to check the panel, and after being boarded by Navy Security (who immediately looked at the panel and turned on the main switch - and all the lights) and assisted to a marina, still panicked that their electronics were bad because they tried to turn off the engine using the KEY (not the kill switch).

    ... sigh ... the stories I could tell!

  5. Those jetties need to be lighted. It is possible for a chart to be unreadable or blown overboard, for a boat to be in the area unexpectedly due to conditions, and for a mate to be incapacitated. Eight incidences in a year speaks for itself. How many near misses go unreported?? The jetties are a hazard to nav even if they are on the charts.LIGHT THEM.