40' x 20' x 3.5 Tons
12-Ft. Dia. Parachute
Force 7 Conditions
File S/C-4, obtained from Sackville J. Currie, Blaney, Ireland - Vessel name and design unspecified, hailing port Tokyo, catamaran, LOA 40' x Beam 27' x Draft 6' x 3.5 Tons - Sea anchor: 12-ft. Diameter Para-Tech on 60' x 1/2" nylon braid with 1/2" galvanized swivel - Emergency deployment when the windward ama broke off in shallow water (100 fathoms) five miles off Cape Nojima, Japan, with winds of 30 knots and confused seas of 12-15 ft. - Occupants were taken off by a Japanese Coast Guard helicopter.
File S/C-4 illustrates the value of a sea anchor in one of many likely damage control situations. En route to Sendai this 40-ft. catamaran sailed out of Tokyo Bay and, rounding Cape Nojima to head north, ran into 30-knot winds blowing contrary to a local current.
After considerable heavy labor against 12-15' steep, confused and choppy seas the windward pontoon suddenly broke off, leaving the catamaran lame and disabled seven miles offshore, now rapidly drifting out into the open sea.
The owner's main concern was that the boat might tack and, with the one ama broken off, capsize. He immediately deployed a 12-ft. diameter Para-Tech sea anchor off the bow of the remaining hull. The sea anchor held the lame boat more or less head-to-sea, preventing capsize and at the same time keeping the crippled vessel from drifting out of the shipping lanes and into the great Pacific. With the situation temporarily stabilized and the motion of the yacht eased, distress flares were then launched which were spotted by a passing freighter. The captain of the freighter radioed the Japanese Coast Guard, which sent a helicopter to the scene and plucked the survivors off the multihull. The boat was then abandoned to the raging seas, still tethered to its 12-ft. diameter, orange-colored parachute sea anchor.