Sailboat capsizes during sudden storm on Sodus Bay

There were reports of rain, possible scattered storms, but overall, it seemed to be just another August day on Sodus Bay. Some parts of Wayne County got a sudden, short burst of rain, others very little. It was a different story in the northern parts, in the Sodus Point area.

On Monday (8/6), just before 3 p.m., families were on the beach, boats dotted the water, sure there were few clouds, but nothing to be alarmed about.

As if out of nowhere it hit. “It felt like a micro-burst hit,” said one Sodus Point land resident. Heavy winds and rain followed by choppy waves caught many boaters off guard.

Patrick and Carol Cane were in their small sail boat on Sodus Bay. By then, Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association Racing Coach, Alec Bertelli, saw the fast storm approaching and got the kids off the water. Out of the corner of his eye he saw what he thought was a capsized boat well over a 100 yards out on the Bay, west of Newark Island.

With his boat still in the water Alec and fellow life guard/student, 16 year-old Daniel Burger, jumped into action. They spotted the couple in the water, without life jackets, battling the waves, attempting to right their sail boat.

As the motor boat arrived, the weather took a huge turn, the sail boat fought being up-righted and began to drift. “It was just like a complete micro-burst. It was really bad,” recalled Alec. He called for assistance from the Coast guard and Wayne County Sheriff’s Boat Patrol.

Carol Cane drifted away from the boat and Dan took off his life jacket and threw it in her direction. Unfortunately the wind gusts had other plans for the life preserver. Not knowing how good a swimmer Carol was, he immediately jumped in to help. A pontoon boat arrived at the scene and Carol was brought aboard. Pumping out the sail boat in the conditions failed. The mast had snapped and any immediate thoughts of attempting to save the sail boat in the conditions were abandoned. Patrick struggled, but was brought onboard Alec’s craft and all made it to shore safely.

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