The Charlotte B

There has been some discussion on this site of the Charlotte B, a Nordhavn 62 that went aground at Magdalena Bay in Mexico. Following is a posting by Mike Maurice which gives the most information I’ve ever seen about the incident. Whether or not any of it is accurate I have no idea.

“…Keep this in mind. What follows is second hand, but may not be even third hand, so I consider it to be relatively accurate. That said, it is very likely that some details are not correct, that they may not accurately reflect what happened that night.

The grounding occurred around April of 2006, about 1 1/2 years ago, at night in a NW blow of about 35 knots. The boat was the Charlotte B. There were 5 persons on board. Brian Saunders, Mark and Suzie Saunders(no relation to Brian), Jim ??, and a second gal (name unknown).

Brian and Jim were US licensed masters. Mark may or may not have been licensed. The boat was northbound, had passed Punta Tosca, Mark was at the helm and passed the helm to Jim and Mark went to bed. About 1 hour later the boat ran aground.

At some point in the hand over to Jim or but sometime before the grounding(this is not clear), Mark mentioned that he thought they were too close to the coast. This information was either ignored or misunderstood, the character of this misunderstanding is unclear and may be mis-characterized.

This next is very unclear, but the boat may have hit some outlying rocks north of the present resting site. Damaged and out of control it drifted back to where it is resting. Mark took a line, against orders and went overboard in an attempt to take a line ashore. This effort failed, he tried to re-board the boat near the stern, was knocked unconscious and died before he could be hoisted aboard. The hoisting aboard took nearly an hour in the rough conditions.

Brian was taken into custody by the Mexicans and jailed for some period of time(perhaps a few days). Whether anyone else was jailed I have no info. Mark’s widow was left with a situation where all their mutual assets were impounded. It is rumored that she has filed a lawsuit against Brian, it is hard to be sure that this is accurate. But, the boat was a US flag vessel, and all persons aboard were US citizens, which would allow suits in US courts even if the accident occurred in Mexico. What is not in dispute is that the boat went aground and one could draw reasonable inference that the boat was in fact too close to the coast. The charts for the area are marginal at best along the entire Mexican coast inside of 60 or so of water. …”

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