Memorial flotilla honors sailors lost at sea

April 22, 2012 4:01:38 PM PDT
Dozens of boats paid tribute Saturday night to the five crew members who were lost at sea. Organizers choreographed nearly 100 boats that came to Belvedere Cove from around the Bay.

For those who knew the crew of the Low Speed Chase, the memorial flotilla was a fitting tribute.

"I think it's really amazing. I like how many people turned out," said Emma Schatz.

Schatz watched from the shore along with dozens of others. She knew Alexis Busch, one of the five who were lost at sea when a wave washed her and three of her fellow crew members off the deck of the Low Speed Chase.

It was a week ago this weekend that a large wave washed four crew members of the Low Speed Chase overboard during a race around the Farallon Islands. And then a second wave washed the boat onto the rocks out on the Farallon Islands.

As part of the ceremony on the water, Nick Voss -- one of the survivors of the accident and the boyfriend of Busch -- tossed a wreath in the water, along with others.

On shore, a few people also brought flowers. Some were friends and some only knew the crew from around town.

As the ceremony wound to a close, an arc of water shot into the air from the Tiburon Fire Department rescue boat. Another cascade came from the San Francisco Fire Department boat, and finally, the horns sounded.

Each vessel signaled and then slowly made it back to port, with only a boat towing a dinghy filled with wreaths and a flame staying in the water through sunset.

This week a salvage crew will attempt to recover the wreckage of the yacht from the Farallon Islands.


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