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Coast Guard reconstructs mystery sinking

Analysis points to a capsize caused by instability, but families of the two victims suspect a collision

A sense of mystery surrounds the Jan. 3, 2009, sinking of the Gloucester, Mass., dragger Patriot. The 13-year-old vessel was built as a shrimper, without plans or blueprints, and later was modified to work as a dragger.Taking a cue from the high-tech sleuths on television's "CSI," the Coast Guard has used underwater audio recordings from 19 acoustic whale-tracking buoys to help reconstruct the sinking of the fishing vessel Patriot, a 62-foot dragger that went down off Gloucester, Mass., with its two crewmembers in 100 feet of water in January 2009.



Lives turned upside down by capsize

When a catamaran overturns in heavy seas, it sets off a chain of events for the three-person crew

Lugert's dog, Jakey, was lost in the capsize, and she dedicated the trip to retrieve the boat to him.It was one heck of a summer for Kristy Lugert. A few weeks after the Alameda, Calif., resident bought a 32-foot sailing catamaran (her first large boat), she and her boyfriend found themselves battling 15-foot seas off Northern California. A wave flipped the cat, and when Lugert and her boyfriend thought they were going to die, they declared themselves married.



'Miracle' rescue buoyed by hope and faith

A lucky string of events and quick thinking saves seven family members who floated for 20 hours off Charleston, S.C.

Wearing PFDs and staying together near the boat helped save the anglers. Shown here are (from left) Tyler Willimon, Jody Gouge and his son Xander.A family fishing trip became a test of faith and survival as seven anglers - ages 5 to 60 - floated off Charleston,  S.C., for 20 hours after their 38-foot powerboat sank. They were rescued when a sharp-eyed Coast Guard helicopter crewman spotted them under a sliver of moon.



Knowing when to doubt what you see

n_16a_indepthOverreliance on electronics without other references is among the lessons from a maxi-yacht grounding

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Occasional errors can render GPS temporarily unreliable

n_18_indepthGPS accuracy - its ability to fix a position - occasionally degrades for short periods in a limited number of locations, so it's not a good idea to depend on a GPS/chart plotter alone for navigating, says Bob Markle, president of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services. The commission is an organization of government, commercial and educational entities that helps develop policies and standards for navigation and communications systems.



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