Boat hits rock, sinks, sailor airlifted, boat recovered, damage shown

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UPDATE: At around 10:30 Thursday morning a marine construction barge using a hull sling raised the  vessel off the bottom of the Sound outside Bass River.
Boat vs. Rock?

The apparent cause of the sinking Wednesday evening of The Raven, a Bertram 31 out of Bass River, was a collision with a rock or the sea bottom off West Dennis beach. There is a cluster of underwater rocks marked with a buoy just to the northwest of the rock pile about half way between the beach and the rock pile. Other rocks are scattered throughout the area. The tide was low at the time of the mishap. The impact tore off the starboard rudder and damaged both props. Left inset above shows the starboard side with the rudder post sheared off at the hull line and the shaft strut dislodged, opening up a hole in the hull. Photo inset on right shows the badly damaged left prop.

The operator of the Bertram 31, plucked from Nantucket Sound Wednesday night, was fortunate that a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod was on a night training flight when his boat began to sink. The helicopter arrived on scene 19 minutes after the first call and found the vessel listing to starboard with the deck flooded up to the pilothouse door. The Coast Guard initially communicated with the skipper on channel 16 but communication was soon lost. Judging that the vessel was sinking, the pilot sent the rescue swimmer into the water. Following the swimmer’s instructions, the mariner entered the water and was hoisted to safety. Examined by the corpsman on board and found to be in good condition, the mariner was ferried to the West Dennis beach parking lot where he was met by the Dennis harbormaster.

Man airlifted from sinking boat
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- A man was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter before his 31 foot cabin cruiser sank near the entrance to the Bass River around 8:30 PM Wednesday.

The boat was between the beach and the "rock pile," just beyond the buoys that demarcate the swimming area.

The man was not injured but the boat could not be saved. Its expected to be towed or raised later today. The cause of the sinking was not immediately known.
Photos by Kevin Morley.

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