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UTB 41332 Cape Disappointment disaster in 1976
Last Post 20 Feb 2014 10:13 AM by Deep blue water. 35 Replies.
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dcencakUser is Offline
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dcencak

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21 Nov 2007 01:39 AM
    Does anyone have any info on the disaster of 1976 where three coasties lost their life when UTB 41332 capsized while on a training mission for the National Motor Lifeboat School?  I was stationed at the NMBLS in 1985, ran across pictures of the boat when it was found, raised and brought back to station some three years after the disaster.  I was told by BMI Brad Steigletter (spelling?) that the boat was totally reconditioned, give new hull numbers and reassigned to an unknown location.  It should be relatively easy to locate as the Coast Guard should have public records about the total # of UTB's built starting with 41300.  I'd imagine they assigned a new hull number that is "inconsistent" with those boats which were first built...therefore the actual last boat would be something like 41450, then surprizingly a hull # of 41451 shows up.  Make sense?
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    27 Mar 2008 03:57 PM
    I was stationed at Cape Disapointment during the time period when the 41332 went down.  I also know that the 41332, after it was raised and renumberd was sent to, and has been serving at USCG STATION KAUAI, IN Hawaii. 

    The 32 was on a Night-time navigational patrol for the MLB School, leaving Baker Bay and heading upriver to Astoria.  It was hit from behind by a Rogue Wave estimated at approx 20 feet that came across the bar on the oregon Side and caught them on the Aft starbord side of the boat.  The Coxswain onboard had time to pick up the radio and call out "Cape 32" and then we at the station heard nothing else.  We could not establish contact with the boat, (which is not unherad of in the area) so no alarm was sounded.  The 32 rolled over immediately and washed away 2 members of the 10 man crew while the water surge pushed the remaining 8 down into the forward cabin.  Then the boat slowly began to drift with the ebb tide out of the river and onto the bar.  One of the 2 washed away, was found near Gray's Harbor after a couple of weeks.  The Other, an MK from Cape D, was able to swim back to the overturned boat.  He began banging on the hull, and those inside heard this and began to plan a way out.  Keep in mind, you are in total darkness, in 40 degree water, and you have to swim out of an overturned boat, which is backward and upside down.  They began to come out one by one. Hyphthermia has a way of lulling you into thinking you will be alright as you slowly go to sleep.  I don't know if that is what happened to 2 of the 8 inside the boat, but I am sure it is a safe bet.  They decided to stay behind.  6 swam out of the lower cabin, across the upper cabin, out the door, and then up to the surface and onto the overturned boat.    

    I was told a A US fisheries agent had been trying to arrange a night time flyover of the area with Air Station Astoria, which had been postponed several times.  The Air Station finally decided to take him up, and they were on their way toward Grays Harbor, crossing the bar, when the fisheries agent said what is that, pointing down at the flares that the survivors were using.  This brought the attention of the pilot to the situation, and he lowered the helo, and began to drop a basket to the surviors. 

    The Pilot, at the same time called Cape D.  In working at Cape D for 2 years, I never saw such instant activity.  Nearly everyone, not on the watch or duty was racing for the Boathouse, and almost the entire compliment of boats was underway within 5 minutes.

    7 survivors were rescued by the helo and then the helo had to leave the overtunded boat to return with the survirors.  By the time the Boats got onsite on the bar, a search grid had to be run.  Boats from Grays Harbor station headed south and,  from Tillamook headed north to help in the search.  A C130 from Air Station San Francisco, came up to help in the search with a "Carolina Moon", (A searchlite, capable of lighting one acre of ocean.  It took several hours to find the 32, and at this time, it was nearly ready to go under.  A diver was stopped form entering the boat, because of the dangeer of the boat sinking with him inside.   After a while the 32 finally went down.

    This is by no means an Absolutly accurate account of the night of the 32, it is my best recollection of the event, from having been stationed there at the time.  And a complition of the stories I heard at the time from both the survivors, and other members of the Cape D Crew.
    kricketUser is Offline
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    kricket

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    06 Apr 2008 08:08 PM
    Thats an amazing story! Thanks for sharing...WOW!


    Proud Coastie Mom and Chief's Wife!

    Proud Coastie Mom and Chief's Wife!
    YarboroughUser is Offline
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    Yarborough

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    08 Apr 2008 02:50 PM
    Gave me them Coast Guard chill bumps reading the account of that story!


    Teresa, Proud Mom of BM Brett Butler
    Station Wachapreague, Virginia

    Teresa, Proud Mom of BM Brett Butler
    Station Wachapreague, Virginia
    HBBlue803User is Offline
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    HBBlue803

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    13 Apr 2008 04:28 PM
    Holy cows, I can't help but fear for my dad and for my Coastie Hubby. My dad was in the CG as a Quarter Master (back then) and has been a sailor all of his years. On his own personal boat, several times him and his vessel have almost gone down into the great depths of the ocean but some one up above must have been watching over him.

    My greatest fear is loosing my husband to the ocean and the weather. It isn't the drug runners or migrants because they are trained for that, as they are trained to handle the disastrous weather and the bearing seas but they are so small in the huge waves!

    That story was an amazing recollection. You don't hear too many "war" stories any more.

    Thank you for sharing that with us.


    His Betty Blue-

    Proud Sweetheart of Fs3 Diou
    USCGC Spencer
    WMEC 905
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    HBBlue803

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    13 Apr 2008 04:31 PM
    Would you mind if I copied your story and put it on another web site? I have a huge Coast Guard group on another site and would love to share it.

    Please?


    His Betty Blue-

    Proud Sweetheart of Fs3 Diou
    USCGC Spencer
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    SaloUser is Offline
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    Salo

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    12 Nov 2010 12:48 AM
    I was a student on the 41332 when it capsized.  The account above is almost perfectly accurate.  I'll never forget the three men that didn't make it back.  My eyes still leak when I talk about that night.  It happened on Nov. 15th 1977, not 1976.
    chuklesUser is Offline
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    chukles

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    12 Nov 2010 05:56 AM
    A great website for stories is

    http://www.jacksjoint.com/

    A large selection of first hand accounts of CG life.
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Coastie, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    SaloUser is Offline
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    Salo

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    12 Nov 2010 10:21 AM
    Thanks,  I appreciate the information.

    Steve
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    12 Nov 2010 02:12 PM
    I was stationed at Grays Harbor 1979-1980. After the Navy raised 41332 and recoverred the bodies, the families of Morris and Erickson requested permission to scatter their ashes at sea using station boats. The permission was granted and on the appointed day the two families arrived escorted by a chaplain. They embarked on MLB Invinsible (52') and the remaining station boats escorted 4 - 44's and 4 - 41's if I remember correctly. Once we cleared the breakwall around the CG moorings and entered Grays Harbor, Invisible took the point and the remaining boats fell into a v formation with blue lights flashing. We crossed the bar in formation and remained in formation until we were either 3 or 12 miles off (can't remember that detail). When we arrived at the proper distance offshore, Invinsible positioned herself in the center and the other boats made a circle around her with the coxswains keeping their bows pointed toward Invisible. The chaplain said the last rites and then each family in turn scattered their loved one's ashes. Finally, a floral wreath was cast onto the surface.

    Not many of us involved knew either of these Coasties personally. It had been almost three years since the accident and what with normal rotations... We all took it very personally, however, these were our own. We saw to it that they crossed the bar for the final voyage in dignity and honor.

    Thirty some years later, I still tear up every Memorial Day and Veterans Day when I meditate on the sacrifices these young men made for their country. They are the heroes I remember.

    Gerald
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    Old Guard2

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    12 Nov 2010 02:17 PM
    Gerald,

    I wasn't even there, didn't know anything about this story until it just recently popped back up on the forum... Your account made me tear up, too! Thank you for taking such good care of our Coasties and getting them home to the sea.

    If you have any other sea stories, happy or sad, please post away. It's always good to read about our Coasties, even the sad stories to know they were treated with diginity. God speed.

    Macie
    USCGC Midgett
    mmorrisUser is Offline
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    mmorris

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    02 Jan 2011 09:11 PM
    I am Gregory Morris' niece and I am looking for any information about my uncle Greg before he died. My mother was his sister and she has limited memory of Greg's life before he died. I have been tracking information for years always stopping with dead ends. My father was a BM Chief and retired in the Coast Guard and its very important I know anything anybody can remember. Thank you, all of you for sharing. Sincerely Mary Morris
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    02 Jan 2011 09:14 PM
    Thank you for sharing this, I am Gregs niece and didn't know anything about his story as its too hard for my family to share and relive. I have been on my own trying to piece together pieces of his life. Does any one remember if he had any children?
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    03 Jan 2011 08:17 AM
    Gerald,
     I represented the Morris family that day.(was married to his sister).my first notification was made by Chief Hicks
    from Cape D the day after the sinking of UTB41332.at that time i was the XPO of Bodega Bay MLB station.It was
    very stressful on the family over the next few years.The Crew from MLB station Grays Harbor were very professional the day we took BM3/c Greg Morris ashes to sea.It was comforting to be surrounded by Shipmates
    as i commited his ashes off the stern of the MLB Invinsible. Thank you. Dan Peckham,BMC ret.
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    09 Aug 2011 01:56 AM
    yes he does my name is justin lindholm i have been trying to find family from his side of the family  i will like to talk to you if i may mary morris
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    10 Jan 2012 01:05 AM
    Justin,
    Sorry its taken so long for me to check this account, I would like to talk.

    Thank you!
    Mary
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    yelsmekjay@live.com

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    19 May 2012 09:27 AM
    I just ran across the site and joined. My name is Jay Kemsley and I was the coxswain driving the boat. It's almost 35 years and I remember it like yesterday. I'll try to tell the story as accurately as possible if people are interested. I lose a piece of my heart every time I think of it or tell the story but I know the only way to keep their memory alive is to let people know what happened.BM3 JUSTIN "JAY" KEMSLEY.
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    19 May 2012 04:52 PM
    Welcome aboard BM3... anything you want to share, we will listen. If it is painful, as I imagine it would be, you don't have to. But anything else you want to talk about or share with these young ladies & men about the CG feel free to jump right in.
    USCGC Midgett
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    yelsmekjay@live.com

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    23 May 2012 05:01 PM
    I HAD TO BUILD UP THE NERVE TO RE LIVE IT AGAIN.THE EMOTIONS, MEMORIES AND GUILT FOR SURVIVING ARE WITH ME ALWAYS AND USUALLY THE START OF NOVEMBER I HAVE A HARD TIME UNTIL AFTER THE 15TH. I WAS A GUNG HO E3 STATIONED AT SIUSLAW RIVER IN FLORENCE, OREGON.I ABSOLUTLY HOUNDED ANYONE AT THE STATION TO LET ME DRIVE THE 44'S WHENEVER I COULD. WE HAD THE 44394 AND 44401. FINALLY CHIEF GALE RAPP LET ME GO TO MOTOR LIFEBOAT / COXSWAIN SCHOOL. MY GOOD FRIEND BM3 ANDREW DAILEYAND I GOT PICKED FROM OUR STATION TO GO. BMC HICKS, BMC TOM PETRIN AND BM1 ALBREICHT WERE RUNNING THE SCHOOL. THE FIRST EXERCISE WAS THEY SUITED US UP IN THE SURF SUITS AND RAN US TO THE INSIDE OF THE NORTH JETTY NEAR SOME BEACH I CAN'T REMEMBER THE NAME AND TOLD US TO SWIM TO SHORE. IF YOU CAN'T SWIM YOU CAN'T DRIVE A BOAT.WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BALL UP AND COME IN WITH THE WAVE AN WHEN YOU WANTED THE WAVE TO RELEASE YOU YOU SPREAD EAGLE.THERE WERE SEVERAL SO CAL BOYS AND OTHERS WHO BODY SURFED SO THE 8-10 SURF DIDN'T TAKE US LONG TO SURF IN.WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO BODY SURF IN BUT THERE WASN'T MUCH YOU COULD DO.SOME OF THE GUYS GOT TUMBLED AROUND PRETTY GOOD BUT WE ALL KEPT AN EYE ON EACH OTHER AND MADE IT IN OK. IT WAS A THREE WEEK SCHOOL AND WE WERE TAUGHT BASICS IF WE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW THEM. WE RE RIGHTED BOATS, DID SURF DRILLS, TOWING DRILLS MAN OVERBOARD DRILLS, HELO DRILLS. I CAN STILL REMEMBER CHIEF HICKS SAY THE OLD GREENBACK WAVES WERE THE ONE THAT WOULD GET YOU.WHEN YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THEM YOU WERE OK.WE LEARNED ABOUT CHIEF PETRINS BROTHER THAT WAS IN THE CG HAD DIED ON CLATSOP SPIT DURING A RESCUE . IT WAS ON THE INSIDE OF THE RIVER ON THE SOUTH SIDE. EVERY TIME THE CHIEF WOULD ASK WHO WANTS TO DRIVE I WAS THE FIRST TO VOLUNTEER SO EVERYONE LEARNED REAL QUICK TO SPEAK UP.I REMEMBER ONE DAY WALKING DOWN TO THE BOATS AND THERE WAS SNOW ALL OVER THE DOCKS.THE LAST DAY BEFORE WE GRADUATED WE WERE GOING TO GO ON A NIGHT NAVIGATION EXERCISE UP RIVER. THE PLAN WAS TO GO FROM BOUY TO BOUT RUNNING A COURSE TO EACH ONE. I VOLUNTEERED TO DRIVE A 44 WITH A NAVIGATOR WHO TOLD ME WHAT COURSE TO TAKE FROM BOUY TO BOUY. BM1 ALBREIGHT WAS MY INSTRUCTOR AND CHIEF PETRIN WAS THE OTHER BOATS INSTRUCTOR ALONG WITH MY BUDDY BM3 ANDREW DAILEY.THERE WERE 10 GUYS ON MY BOAT AND PROBABLY THAT MANY ON THE OTHER 44. IT WAS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON WHEN WE HEADED DOWN TO THE BOATS. WE HAD TO WALK FROM THE STATION DOWN TO THE BOATS AND I REMEMBER WALKING ALONG SIDE BM RAY ERBB AND TALKING ABOUT DUCK HUNTING. WE SAW SOME DUCKS IN THE WATER AND HE WAS COMMENTING HOW MUCH HE ENJOYED DUCK HUNTING.HE HAD DARK HAIR AND I THINK BLACK GLASSES. A VERY QUIET NICE GUY.WHEN WE GOT TO THE BOAT AND WAS CHECKING EVERYTHING OUT, THE BINNACLE LIGHT WAS OUT ON THE 44 WE WERE TAKING. A NEW 41 WAS RIGHT NEXT TO THE 44 SO WE ALL BEGGED TO TAKE IT . IT WAS FASTER AND NEW AND COOL.THE ONLY PROBLEM WAS OUR ENGINEER WASN'T QUALIFIED ON THE 41 SO WE WAITED FOR AN ENGINEER FROM THE STATION. MK3 DUNCAN CAME WALKING UP TO THE 41332 WITH HIS TOOL BOX AND WE WERE PREPARING TO GET UNDERWAY. THE OTHER BOAT DECIDED TO LEAVE AND WE WERE SO FAST WE WOULD CATCH UP TO THEM SHORTLY. IT'S AMAZING HOW A LITTLE TWIST OF FATE CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.THE BINNACLE LIGHT BEING OUT,IF WE HAD TAKEN THE 44 WE WOULDN'T HAVE ROLLED,DUNCAN BEING NICE FNOUGH TO BE OUR ENGINEER THE OTHER BOAT LEAVING EARLIER.WE GOT UNDERWAY AND HEADED OUT THROUGH THE MARINA.IT WAS NOW DARK AND WE HEADED UP THE COLUMBIA RIVER.I REMEMBER HEARING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DIED EVERY YEAR ON THAT RIVER. BM RAY ERBB SAID HE WOULD TAKE THE STARBOARD WATCH AND I THINK GREG MORRIS TOOK THE PORT SIDE WATCH.IT WAS DARK BY NOW AND MY NAVIGATOR WAS TELLING ME WHAT COURSE TO STEER AND WE WERE WORKING UP RIVER. WHEN WE CROSSED OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER WAS WHEN THINGS WENT WRONG.I COULD SEE THE BOUY WE WERE HEADING FOR BUT THE COURSE GIVEN WAS NOT HEADING ME THERE.WHAT WAS HAPPENING WAS THE RIVER WAS EBBING OUT AT SEVEN KNOTS AND CRABBING SIDEWAYS DOWN RIVER.I COULD SEE THE BOUY OFF TO MY PORT AND WE WERE DISCUSSING WHAT WAS HAPPENING WHEN GREG MORRIS SAID WE HAD BREAKERS ASTERN.I REMEMBER LOOKING UP AND BACK AT THE WAVES.WE HAD CROSSED THE CHANNEL AND WAS HEADING INTO CLATSOP SPIT. BM1 ALBRIGHT REACHED IN AND HIT THE THROTTLES AND TURNED TO PORT.I HIT THE RADIO BUT DON'T KNOW IF I GOT ANYTHING OUT.THATS WHEN EVERYTHING WENT TO SLOW MOTION. THE BOAT ROLLED UP ON THE STARBOARD SIDE AND HUNG THERE.WITH A 44 THE WAVE WOULD LET GO AND WE WOULD COME BACK.WITH THE 41 WE HUNG THERE FOR AN ETERNITY WHICH WAS ABOUT A FEW SECONDS WE WERE UPSIDE DOWN.MK3 DUNCAN ENDED UP OUT SIDE BY HIMSELF.I REMEMBER HIM SAYING HOW ALONE HE FELT AT THAT TIME AFTERWARDS. BM3 MIKE ? I'M SORRY AND I WERE IN THE COXSWAIN FLAT. HOLY SHIT WE SAID WITH OUT HEADS BUMPING THE DECK. THEN THE NEXT WAVE CAME AND WE PUT OUR MOUTHS TO THE DECK FOR THE LAST BREATH OF AIR. MIKE WENT OUT THE BACK WINDOW THAT WAS BLOWN OUT AND CAME UP NEAR MK3 DUNCAN.WE WERE IN BIG WAVES BY THEN I DON'T KNOW HOW THEY HUNG ON, YET I DO. FOR SOME REASON I SAW A LIGHT AND SWAM FOR IT. I CAME UP AT THE REST OF THE CREWS FEET IN THE FORWARD COMPARTMENT. THE WAVE FLUSHED THEM ALL INTO THE FORWARD COMPARTMENT.WHEN I CAME UP ALL I HEARD WAS WHERE THE HELL DID YOU COME FROM.WE WERE EXCITED BUT NOT PANICED. THERE WERE SEVEN OF US IN THERE.BM1 ALBREICT, GREG MORRIS, AL ERICSON,CURT MAUCK I THINK ME AND I APOLOGIZE BUT THE OTHER TWO HAVE FADED IN 34 YEARS.I KNEW US ALL AT ONE TIME. THE WAVES WERE COMING UP AND DOWN FROM OUR WAIST TO OUR CHEST AND IT WAS UN CERTAIN WITH EACH WAVE IF IT WOULD BE THE LAST. ONE OF THE GUYS GRABBED A SURVIVAL SUIT AND SAID SOMEONE SHOULD PUT IT ON. NO TAKERS.WE WERE ALL LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND KNEW NO ONE WAS GOING TO PUT IT ON. THEN THE FLARE KIT WAS FOUND BY ONE OF THE MEN AND OPENED.I GRABBED TWO PARACHUTE FLARES AND PUT THEM IN MY BELT. I HAD RECENTLY POPPED ABOUT TEN OF THESE ON A NIGHT CROSSING AT OUR RIVER ENTRANCE AND SEEMED TO MORE FAMILIAR WITH THEM.WE DECIDED WE HAD TO SWIM OUT ONE AT A TIME.I WAS GIVEN A ROPE AND TRIED TO SWIM OUT BUT THE REAR DOOR WAS SHUT. THIS IS FIFTY DEGREE WATER AND WE ARE GETTING PELTED BY WAVES ON THE OUTSIDE AND ARE GETTING BOUNCED AROUND PRETTY HARD INSIDE I THINK BM3 SALO TRIED AND FOUND THE DOOR SHUT ALSO.I STILL REMEMBER HOW COLD THE WATER WAS WHEN YOU PUT YOUR FACE INTO IT.THE SECOND TIME I TRIED I OPENED THE DOOR WIDE AND SWAM OUT. I WENT TO THE LEFT ACROSS THE UPSIDE DOWN DECK AND UP ALONG A STANCHON. WHEN I CAME UP A FEELING OF GUILT AND LONLINESS AND ABONDONMENT CAME ACROSS ME.THEN I HEARD MIKE AND DUNCAN CALLING ME. WITH THE INCOMING TIDE AND THE EBB CURRENT WE WERE IN 20 FOOT SWELLS AND OCCASIONAL BREAKERS. WE CAPSIZED A MILE IN THE RIVER AND WERE PICKED UP OVER SEVEN MILES OUT SIDE THE BAR.WE CAME OUT ONE AT A TIME EXCEPT FOR AL ERICSON AND GREG MORRIS. THE LAST I SAW OF THEM WAS THEY WERE SITTING UP IN THE BILGE WITH THEIR FEET HANGING DOWN INTO THE FORWARD COMPARTMENT TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE WATER. THEY WERE GOOD BUDDIES AND GREG DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE AL. AL WANTED TO WAIT INSIDE FOR US TO BE PICKED UP AND TOWED BACK TO PORT.WE WERE ALL HYPOTHERMIC BY NOW.I REMEMBER THEM BOTH BEING VERY NICE QUIET GUYS.WHEN WE GOT OUTSIDE THERE WERE SEVEN OF US HANGING ON AN OVERTURNED BOAT GOING UP AND DOWN IN 20' SEAS I CAN'T REMEMBER IF WE POPPED OFF 2 OR 3 ICARUS FLARES.I REMEMBER BM1 ALBRECT FIRED ONE OFF JUST AS A WAVE HIT US AND IT WENT ACROSS THE WAVES.I FIRED ONE OFF AND IT WENT STRAIGHT UP. WE SAW A HELO AT THE AIR STATION . FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND IT WAS ON FISHERIES PATROL AND STARTING TO LAND WHEN THEY SAW A FLARE. THEY CALLED THE STATION TO SEE IF ANYTHING WAS UP AND NO ONE COULD GET A RESPONSE FROM US.THE HELO CAME OVER AND FOUND US BECAUSE WE HAD SOME HAND HELD FLARES WE IGNITED.WE KEPT POUNDING ON THE HULL TO GET AL AND GREG TO COME OUT BUT TO NO AVAIL.THE HELO PICKED US UP WITH NO TIME TO SPARE. HYPOTHERMIA WAS MAKING US SHAKE UNCONTROLABLY BY NOW.I REMEMBER THE HELO PILOT LTCMDR MARTIN LOOKING AT ME AND TELLING ME TO PUT ON HIS BROWN LEATHER FLIGHT COAT.MEANWHILE BMC PETRIN AND BM3 ANDREW DAILEY WERE IN THE OTHER BOAT HEADING OUT TO US.CHIEF PETRIN HE AND ANDREW WERE THE ONLY TWO ON DECK PLAYING VICTORY AT SEA CRASHING TOWARDS US. CHIEF SAID ANDREW WAS YELLING COURSE, WAVES ANYTHING TO HELP.YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT A GOOD FRIEND IS TO BE SO UNSELFESH TO RISK THERE LIVES FOR YOU.THE THING IS I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME.WE GOT TO THE AIRSTATION AND WERE TREATED AND WARMED UP. MY BODY TEMP WAS 89 AND THERE WERE LOWER ONES THAN THAT. THAT WAS AFTER BEING OUT OF THE WATER FOR 20 MINUTES.WE GOT BACK TO THE STATION AND I WAS PLEADING FOR CHIEF HICKS TO LET ME GET MY SCUBA GEAR I HAD IN THE TRUNK OF MY CAR AND TAKE ME OUT THERE. A NAVY SEAL TEAM OR GROUP OF DIVERS WOULDN'T GO IN BECAUSE IT WAS SO ROUGH. THE CHIEF SAID NO AND SAVED MY LIFE. I WAS I NO CONDITION TO GO. WE STOOD ON THE FRONT PORCH OF THE STATION WITH TEARS STREAMING DOWN OUR FACES. AL ANG GREG HAD ALREADY SUCCUMED TO THE COLD. RAY WAS LOST WHEN THE BOAT ROLLED.THERE IS MORE BUT I TOLD MOST OF IT. I HOPE IT IS HELPFUL TO SOMEONE.A COXSWAIN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LIVES UNDER HIM.THIS A RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHT HEARTEDLY.IT BEEN ALMOST 35 YEARS AND I JUST RELIVED IT LIKE IT WAS HAPPENING.I WONT SLEEP FOR A FEW DAYS BUT ITS A SMALL PRICE TO PAY.SOMEDAY WHEN I'M COMMITTED TO THE SEA I HOPE TO MEET THEM AND SAY HOW SORRY I AM.
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    23 May 2012 07:47 PM
    You don't know me and I doubt we will ever meet... I am so sorry you went through that. I want to say something but I don't have the words... Except thank you. Thank you for your service, thank you for sharing your story. I sincerely hope you will not lose sleep and know your shipmates understand you did all that you could... you and the other members of that crew. God Bless You and thank you.
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    26 May 2012 09:40 AM
    SALO. HEY MAN. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER ME BUT I WAS THE BIG REDHEAD DRIVING THAT NIGHT. I THINK WE WERE THR LAST TWO OFF THE BOAT AND YOU TOLD ME TO GO UP WHILE YOU WERE STILL POUNDING ON THE HULL TRYING TO GET AL AND GREG TO COME OUT.IT GOOD TO KNOW SOMEONE ELSE IS OUT THERE THAT KNOWS WHAT MY FEELINGS ARE. SEMPER PARATUS I'M PROUD TO HAVE SERVRD WITH YOU. JAY KEMSLEY.
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    04 Jun 2012 04:17 PM
    thank you Jay, so much for sharing your event. As a member of Cape D from '85-'88, the lessons you all learned that nite clearly taught the rest of us Coasties a much more valuable lesson in safety and being better seamen. The events of the 332 and the old Triumph clearly had a major affect on me while I served my time at Cape D. For what it's worth, I hope that you understand fully just because you were the man at the helm, you had absolutely nothing to do with the responsibility of this night. The instructor-coxswain shouldered that responsibly, as well as the training program itself within the NMLBS at the time. You simply were a cog in the wheel of an event that was set in motion by a serious of events of happenstance. Thank you soo much again, and I hope that you are at peace.
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    13 Jul 2012 01:42 PM
    Gentlemen - My first posting, and likely one of the toughest things I've ever had to post anywhere.

    I was the on duty ET at Group Astoria when this happened. My first duty day after arrival - I get a call from Cape D that the radar on one of the 44 footers about to go out is broken, that the antenna is shorted out. (Mr. Kemsley, it wasn't just the light, it was the radar as well).

    I showed up with the extra radar gear and we swapped the antenna - which didn't fix it. There was a lot of back and forth about what the problem really was. The crew waiting on us to fix it got tired of waiting and took the 41 footer. You all know the rest.

    The worst part was - the radar wasn't broken. A couple of cables were mis-connected; when we found that and put them where they belonged, it worked fine. But far, far too late.

    Sorry just doesn't even start to cover this.

    Paul Sherman
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    13 Jul 2012 08:54 PM
    Almost 40 years later and to hear the emotion in your posts... God bless you gentlemen and I hope you are well. Mr. Sherman, feel free to post more, anywhere here at our little forum home. All Coasties always welcome and always have something to share. Thank you for the sharing of your part of this story.
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    15 Jan 2013 05:19 PM
    Hey Jay- I don't know if you remember or not, but I was one of the three from Siuslaw River, MK 2 John Cunningham. I was with you at Cape D. I was on the 44ft and I believe we were the first to find the 41, and the bow was sticking out of the water past the bar. We attached a line from the bow of the 41 to the 44 and I can't remember the buoy tender that showed up with the Navy dive team, that was told it was too rough to dive. So, we eventually had to cut the line and watch the 41 go down. We stayed out there until daylight, then returned to the unit. I was shipped from Florence two weeks after the accident to WPB 82351. Just curious, were you the one that drove the Corvair? I head that Chief Hicks committed suicide, and also I'm shocked that they put that boat back into commission.
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    15 Jan 2013 06:20 PM
    I don't know how I havn't seen this. God Bless you guys seriously.
    You can only make yourself look bad.
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    16 Jan 2013 12:17 PM
    MK2 Welcome aboard. Thank you for your service. Feel free to join in any of the conversations on this forum. We welcome any and all that have an attachment to the CG. When I read this thread, it still causes me to tear up. What an experience that must have been for all involved. Thank you for sharing the story and the memories. They can't be easy to talk about it. We all appreciate your sharing.
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    24 Jan 2013 01:39 PM
    Just found this link about the 41332.  I was a MK1 instructor with the MOTORLIFEBOAT SCHOOL at the time of the accident.  I was supposed to be the engineer on the boat that night but I took the night off and an engineer from the station took the boat for me.  Just before the crew left I gave my float coat to BM1 Albrect as he hadn't been issued one yet.  By the time I retuned to the base the rescue was pretty well underway.  What a tradgety.  I was under orders to go to the CGC Morgenthau right after that.  I had a real problem with getting back to boats.  The next time I rode a 41 was in 1990.  I couldn't get myself to ride below deck.  I am glad to hear the story of what happened.  I don't know if I knew the whole story or have it blocked out.  Thanks for the info.

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    24 Jan 2013 08:22 PM
    Thanks for sharing, I am really sorry that this happened to all of you guys and in general.
    You can only make yourself look bad.
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    12 Jun 2013 02:33 AM
    · One correction Larry Hicks did not commit suicide in any traditional since of the word. He did suffer the rest of his life from self blame and, I was told by many of our mutual friends that he carried that pain with him everyday. Even after he retired and worked running boats in Florida he always talked about how guilty he felt about that night. One fact seems to get left out of the story is that Larry was not on base that night and was not the duty OD. What Larry really died from was Alcohol. Anyone who knew Larry, knows he was always a hard drinker. I met him in 68 at Cape D when the school was just starting. Larry was not assigned to the school and was just another 44 driver. And he was wild and loved to party. I remember he got a ticket one night for driving his Firebird too fast uphill coming out of Illwaco the cop said he never saw sparks from the bottom of a car going up hill. I knew him in Tillamook Oregon before he got orders to Viet Nam and Larry celebrated by getting drunk and shooting the main power line down with his new 308 rifle and blacking out the entire town of Garibaldi, Oregon. But when he was on duty he was good, one of the best. My friend BM Gary Hudson said he was one of the best drivers ever. I was with Larry when we took a little 23ft Bartender into big surf off the mouth of the Nehalem Bay bar in Oregon to rescue 4 people that had capsized and we got all of them, split the bottom out of the Little Bartender and stood her on her tail and she was sinking as I pulled her into the dock. Four people saved with the smallest boat the Coast ever tried out as a Surf Boat. We destroyed the bartender but it was a good trade. He got the Coast Guard Gold Medal and I got the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for Meritorious service. Later when I was at COTP in Seattle I heard he had made chief and was back at Cape D as an instructor. I remember thinking they could not have picked a better man for the job. After the 32 accident I followed some of the reports and it was a awful night for everyone. And because I knew Larry I know he was hurting, because when it came to the work, he was as professional as it got. Many of the old timers were hard drinkers and some of them never could let that go. Even after Larry retired I understand he just could not control his use of Alcohol. When he died he was back in his hometown of Westport, Washington. His service was well attended and he made his last trip into the Pacific. So BMC Larry Hicks never committed suicide he was afflicted with an awful condition of Alcoholism. Did that night of the sinking contribute to his early death? I think it did, but to say he committed suicide would dishonor the memory of someone I served with, who taught countless Surfmen how to save lives and shared his skills with people who went on to save other lives.
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