Really sorry for the family and to hear about this. But to possibly learn more about how to prevent this....

- Did we ever discover what brand auto inflater he had on? I've recently bought one and we normally don't use them where I sail. Mostly just dinghy vest.
- Do we know if he was conscious when he went over?
- If so, I wonder why he did not manually inflate. Maybe he did but the water is so cold there? What is the water temp?

Sorry if it was mentioned, I did try to read most of this.
I believe no reader or writer on this forum would like nothing more than recollection of real time observations, myself included. However all witnesses have been silent for reasons of their own. We should all respect their wishes.



Great Lakes
Maybe he did but the water is so cold there? What is the water temp?
Water temps that time of year in L. Michigan are typically low to mid 60s. I have no data for that day but some digging in the NOAA website would turn it up. It has been high 60s to low 70s the last week or so - warmer than seasonal averages.

Checking the buoys #45007 S. Lake Michigan, #45774 Wilmette and # 45170 Michigan City for that afternoon shows water temps ranging from 71 degrees to 72.5 degrees.

Today the water temp at #45007 is 76.3 degrees



Lake temps were pretty mild that week for Lake Michigan.  The firehose was running most of the day onboard and the water temp was a bit warmer than air temp during the day, July 21.

Details will slowly emerge after all involved have time to process and give Jon and his family the respect that is due.   As I continue to look back on the day, the details, and the dire weather we were thrown into I keep telling myself that accidents good people.  Does not make the impact of the tragedy less sharp but is a keen warning to those that venture out on the lake, to have your safety gear in place, updated, and your eyes and ears open so you can do as much possible for your crew if they are in an emergency situation.   I will be checking and rearming my PFD prior to the Verve Cup and hopefully most will do the same.  

Lastly, we were talking after the race.  Discussing sail plan and setup.  We race in a 1 design fleet so comparing and debriefing is a great tool.  I was surprised to know how many other boats, 2 that I know of to date, that were suspect on how to reef.  There are many procedures that help manage on such days and it should all be discussed and worked out prior to any racing.  Please know where you stow safety gear,...and know how to use it.  The comment about not knowing if we can reef from another surprised me beyond scared.   Do this procedure as well as put up storm sails and such.  I hope no one in our community needs to use these, but knowing you can get it done when trouble hits will help ease some of the fear.