The 60ft racing trimaran Earth Voyager, thrice winner of line honours and elapsed time record holder in the Chicago-Mackinac race, has been destroyed by a runaway train carrying flammable chemicals
The 60ft racing trimaran Earth Voyager, thrice winner of line honours and elapsed time record holder in the Chicago-Mackinac race, has been destroyed by a runaway train carrying flammable chemicals.
According to a report in the American Times Herald newspaper, the CSX train derailed on a bend after its brakes failed on 23 December 2001 in Rochester NY. “Unfortunately,” said Rochester Police Sergeant Carlos Garcia, “the point of impact was a house and several warehouses where boats were stored.” Earth Voyager, built and owned by 59-year-old Ray Howe, was one of several boats severely damaged.
Many of the train’s trucks were loaded with coal but there were also three trucks carrying thousands of gallons of acetone and methylene chloride – both highly flammable – destined for the Eastman Kodak plant four miles from the crash site.
Howe himself was en route to Florida when the accident occured but his twin brother Bob said “It’s pretty gruesome. It looks like it got sideswiped, like a car. The back end was torn right off.” Rochester Police Captain Dan McBride confirmed that the crash destroyed the boat’s 90ft mast – worth an estimated $200,000 – and one of the hulls. The other two hulls were damaged but not destroyed.
CSX are taking full responsibility for the accident and Bob Howe is hopeful that his brother will receive compensation. “It looks like they’ll be able to work something out. He’s underinsured for the boat, but who would’ve thought he’d get hit by a train?”