Nathan Carman made big time news today after he was picked-up by a tanker ship 100 nm south of the vineyard last Sunday. I just watched his one on one interview with ABC news an hour ago and this guy definitely has to be investigated.
As I suspected and wrote about prior to him being found, the boat sank rapidly from "flooding". He stated he never knew anything was wrong until the engine started making funny "noises" and when he lifted the hatch the bilge was chock full of water. The noises Nathan heard were real, doesn't take much water to seize a diesel engine and short out the entire electrical system...and if the battery(s) were located in the bilge like most boats they went under and shorted out killing his whole DC power grid...which means no radio, no way to get off a distress signal. The key to Nathans story will come down to how the boat sank. Most boats with a full bilge go down by the stern first and in most situations (not every) its a process that takes at least a few minutes and usually if you cannot get off a signal, you can at least "step-up" (the ONLY scenario where you depart from the vessel) and jump in the raft. But first he would have had to remove it from the pilot house roof, tie off the painter line to the rail and throw it over the side to blast it out of that cradle. That takes time and its not easy to do without a little help...those rafts are heavy and with a small boat like that pitching and rolling in the open sea its no easy task. If this was how this vessel went down she should have made it into the raft with Nathan...if this turns out to be his story, he more than likely killed her. This is the first of three scenarios I happen to think may have happened.....
The second scenario involves rolling over....something that happens frequently in a situation like this, especially with a boat that is top heavy above the waterline...and that pilot house - although made from aluminum - was not light. I saw it up close and it needed hydraulic pistons to move it up on hinges to allow for engine access, not "light" by any means. If the boat rolled, the canister would have hit the water and discharged the raft per its design, held in place to the boat via the painter line. At this point, it would have been an ugly situation and struggle to get into that raft. If that boat rolled with her in the pilot house its over...no getting out of that, especially since it only had one access door on the starboard side. If the boat rolled with her on deck that is also another deadly situation...just one piece of clothing snagged on something and over you go with the boat. Rolling is a rapid process and it usually takes all hands down to the bottom unless they get off prior to the event. If this is Nathans story it might be half believable...but he is still negligent for being that far offshore with a boat he was unfamiliar with and no doubt needed attention. I saw this boat in the "penalty box" (I do not want to name the repair facility) back in August getting looked at for several problems including a faulty bilge....almost sank from - flooding - at the dock from what I was told by my sources....
The third scenario goes back to a traditional sinking situation with just a few minutes to jump in the raft. If Nathan did everything right (which I doubt just by hearing him speak on the news tonight, something definitely wrong with this guy...says he wants to mourn "naturally" for his mom...ummm who in Gods green earth would make a statement like that unless your short a few cards in the deck?) and had the raft ready to go and the boat sunk out from underneath him, forcing him into the raft, its possible that his mom went into the drink and didn't have the strength to swim to the raft. Don't forget, its not like swimming in your backyard pool...there are wicked currents out there and depending on the tidal state at the moment the vessel went down...she could have been swept away very quickly. With no oars or propulsion all Nathan could have done at that point is watch. He said he called out for her, whistled, etc., and had no response.
The Bottom line...the kid is no doubt a troubled young man. Nathan was a suspect in the murder of his grandfather (worth millions) and now his mother...money is a strong motive for murder...how many "Datelines" find that their was an insurance policy worth big $$, then someone suddenly dies or goes missing? The USCG spent big money looking for this young man and his mother...they will get to the truth one way or another, its a certainty. Before rushing to judgement, I am going to watch this play out and see where it goes. Even if they cannot charge Nathan with murder based on "zero" evidence (no boat, no gear, nothing but his story), if he did do it, there will be an open tab that will be payed in full - trust me. God has a great sense of humor and you may fool everyone else, but not the big man. If this is the situation, that boat will be found and the truth will come out. Maybe not right away...but it will happen in time. My hope is this is not the case...and perhaps she is still out there clinging onto something...a cooler, life float...something, anything. Still going to keep praying for Nathans mom while I watch the pieces of this very sad puzzle come together. More to come...standby
PS...no trips this weekend, lousy NE wind means rough seas and lots of dogfish...no thanks.