Sad end to a sad tale of a sad ship ill-prepared for sea

Video of the rescue at sea of the Raw Faith

The flag still flies on the mast of Raw Faith.UPDATE:  The 88-foot sailing vessel Raw Faith sank Wednesday in about 6,000 feet of water on Wednesday. The three-masted sailing vessel is not considered a hazard to navigationdue to water depth, and there is no plan for salvage. The Coast Guard rescued the two men from the vessel at 2:20 p.m., Tuesday afternoon. The men entered the water in survival suits passed to them by Coast Guard crews and were then hoisted on board an MH-60 helicopter which transported the men to Air Station Cape Cod.

Two aboard the Raw Faith sent out distress signal Monday

Today was Raw Faith's second rescue. Six years ago on Thanksgiving Day in 2004, the Coast Guard towed the home-built three-masted sailing vessel to Rockland after it became disabled about 80 miles northeast of Portland. The ship, a replica of a 16th century English race-built galleon, had been bound for Atlantic City, N.J.  After the ship's return to Rockland, the Coast Guard ordered the Raw Faith to remain in Rockland until repairs to the ship's navigation lights, rudder and mast were completed. See the original story here.

The Coast Guard is on scene with a disabled sailing vessel with two people on board about 100 miles southeast of Nantucket, Tuesday, December 7, 2010.

U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Randall Rice escorts rescued mariners from a rescue helicopter at Air Station Cape Cod. Petty Officer 3rd Class Luke Clayton photo.

The Raw Faith is an 88-foot sailing vessel that departed Salem, MA, en route Bermuda.

The First Coast Guard District Command Center received notification December 6, 2010 via an emergency position-locating beacon signal from the Raw Faith.  The Coast Guard launched multiple aircraft from Cape Cod and Elizabeth City, NC, to establish communications with the vessel to determine the situation on board.  The crew of the vessel stated they had two life rafts, one survival suit and a hand-held radio on board.  A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Cape Cod attempted to deliver additional safety gear to the crew of the Raw Faith, but weather conditions did not permit.  Currently weather on scene is 25-30 knot winds with seas running 10-15 feet.

According the the Raw Faith website, the vessel left Salem Saturday morning, December 4, 2010. The site has a "Where is Raw Faith" tracking page here.

At this time the Coast Guard cutters Tybee and Reliance are on scene with the Raw Faith.  The crew of the Reliance will assess the situation on board the Raw Faith and determine if it is safe to tow the vessel to port.

The Coast Guard's primary concern is the safety of the two people on board the Raw Faith.  With water temperatures in the low 50s F, and the lack of safety equipment on board during a winter transit to Bermuda, the crew is dangerously exposed if anything were to happen to the vessel.

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