Curious Double Fatality at Sea

Vieux Port

le Port

Yacht docked in Dartmouth after German owners die in sailing accident​

Karl and Annemarie Frank were sailing bloggers who lived on their yacht​

Courtesey of CNC News

Victoria Welland · CBC News · Posted: Jul 06, 2022 12:07 PM AT |


The couple's sailing yacht, Escape, docked in Dartmouth Cove. The U.S. Coast Guard spray-painted USCG on the yacht before leaving it adrift to alert other vessels that passengers had already been rescued. (Mark Crosby/ CBC)

A sailing yacht has been towed to Dartmouth Cove in Nova Scotia after its German owners were killed last month in an accident at sea.

Karl and Annemarie Frank lived on their CNB 66 yacht, Escape, and blogged about their sailing experiences.

Last month, the couple picked up two American passengers somewhere in the Caribbean. Around June 9, they left Bermuda and headed for Nova Scotia.

On the morning of June 12, they ran into a bad storm off the coast of Massachusetts, said Lt.-Cmdr. Mason Wilcox of the U.S. Coast Guard.

"There was some sort of rigging failure that had caused an injury to the lady on board, and when the gentleman went by to go help her, he sustained injuries as well," said Wilcox.


Annemarie and Karl Frank posted this photo of themselves on their Instagram page. (Instagram)

"Because of those injuries, the two passengers … hit the emergency beacon on board to say, 'We need help.'"

The coast guard answered the call, and the German couple were taken to Massachusetts where they were pronounced dead.

The coast guard returned later that day to rescue the two American passengers who remained on board Escape, which was left adrift.


GPS tracking from the Franks' blog shows the approximate path of their yacht. (CBC News)

"We did not tow the sailboat back because we wanted to get them back to shore as quickly as possible. And unfortunately, towing a sailboat that far could probably cause more damage if we went fast," said Wilcox.

Philip Wash, an experienced sailor from Halifax, was hired by Leeway Marine in Dartmouth to retrieve the yacht.

He and a crew left from Pubnico a couple of weeks ago on a lobster fishing vessel. They spent days searching the Atlantic Ocean for Escape and finally found it in the middle of the night.

"We put all kinds of lights on it, and there it was, just sitting there, flopping back and forth," Wash said.


Philip Wash from Halifax was hired to retrieve the couple's yacht from the Atlantic Ocean. (Mark Crosby/ CBC)

Before disturbing anything on board, Wash and his crew took pictures of the scene for the German insurance company and investigators.

It's unclear how long the yacht will remain at Dartmouth Cove.

The German investigation into the accident, with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, is ongoing.

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New member
What kind of rigging failure, and how did it result in two deaths? Unimportant details, but still…


Super Anarchist
New Orleans
That portion of mast that we see, stays, furled double-jibs, looks like all is intact. Boom, llooks intact, who knows, but no obvious topping lift. Injured how, then? Jibe? Topping lift parted? Carbon monoxide from somewhere?

Don't mind me, ages ago I was a Coast Guard investigating officer, it ruins you for life, you have to try to figure it out....


Super Anarchist
New Orleans
From the vague description:

"There was some sort of rigging failure that had caused an injury to the lady on board, and when the gentleman went by to go help her, he sustained injuries as well," said Wilcox.

What then, boom swinging freely in a seaway hit her head, he rushes in to get her, gets bonked also??


Yeah, my first thought was rigging mishap.

Modern 66ft rig is dealing with some scary forces.

My initial thought specifically was some malfunction with an electric winch or similar. Could be anything of course.

Note photo of boat docked is after a pro skipper sailed her back.

Sad way to go, RIP.


Better picture of the boat pre recovery.. Looks like a few tears just below the head.

Furling system gone wrong? Looks like the hydro for the vang failed at the least.. Boom on the dodger in first shot.

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 8.32.16 PM.png

Bloody creepy rolling up on this thing in the middle of the night

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Super Duper Anarchist
quivira regnum
oops.. I read that as respect for the dead. indeed. rip. but agree, some info for the as living seems important.
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Super Anarchist
New Orleans
Well Scuttlebutt has a more specific description than we had otherwise. Something in mainsheet attachments or blocks, or possibly the mainsheet itself parted? Or a traveller tore out or failed, Looks like a solid vang, so the boom is going to swing wildly in high seas if no effective sheet anymore, and nothing else aft of the shrouds to stop it.

Easy to be a smart guy at a desk ("When there's a casualty at sea, there are many wise men on shore") ...

I'd like to see what the Coast Guard rescue crew saw about the rig, since they spray-painted the topsides for I.D.,they likely boarded.

Sorry about the whole thing, hope the two survivors aren't blaming themselves if it couldn't have been helped.


Super Anarchist
Fryslan boppe!
Wasn't there an incident a couple of years ago where a large sailing yacht lost its mainsheet and the boom ended up killing two crew before they managed to get it under control?

Seeing the boom resting on the dodger might indicate something similar here....

Lots of people are now sailing around on big boats with electric and/or hydraulic winches etc., making them easy to handle short handed. But people tend to overlook that when the technology fails, these large rigs carry considerable, even lethal forces that are not easily dealt with with a small crew.

Rain Man

Super Anarchist
Wet coast.
Seems odd that it wouldn't be possible to get the boom under control by bearing off to a broad reach. Accidental gybe followed by a second one?