November 8, 2014 Rescue, Sailing, York River

Sailing to Safety


Paul and Pauline LaRoche of Mays Landing, New Jersey, enjoyed a brisk afternoon sailing the York River off the USCG Training Center Yorktown. Marine safety was the topic of the day. Her grandfather ran pilot ships on the Great Lakes and is still active in retirement at age 94. Paul flew helicopters for the Army, including mine-sweeping in Operation Desert Storm. Later he flew rescue helicopters for the Coast Guard on the West Coast. He explained that rescuers can’t very well rapel down to a sailboat in a storm because the bobbing mast acts as a metronome that can knock the helicopter out. “That’s why you have to jump in the water for us to pick you up.” We got to talking about movies, and Paul was the only one who liked “All Is Lost,” starring Robert Redford. “He’s such a good actor, and it showed the difficulty of trying to save the stranded boat.” Pauline preferred “Wind,” the classic sailing movie that depicts the competition of the America’s Cup. The scenes were from the actual race — when it was a classical race. “I can’t believe they’re now putting airfoils on conventional boats to replicated the new America’s Cup,” Paul added.


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