The Accident Story

Clark June 3rd, 2008

The legal battles are over and the Library of Congress has finally reverted the publication rights to the author, me. For the first time on the web you can read the Condesa container ship accident story by clicking here.

If you’ve already read it in the magazine this version is pretty much the same.

Looking back at over two years since the accident and one year since the story was published, I’m still an idiot. How in the hell did I get run over by an 800-foot container ship? You’d think something that big would be easy to avoid.

I mentioned before that AIS (Automatic Identification System) could be the answer and could have prevented this disaster. AIS is the answer, and in the last year these units have come down in price and are starting to be standard equipment on cruising yachts. I’m sure that in another year or two they’ll be as common as radar. I’m not going to run out and buy one today because I’m planning on staying put for a while, but I will certainly have one aboard the next time I do any serious cruising.

AIS is getting a lot of talk these days. In the May issue of SAIL, Steve Dashew penned an article on the subject, in which he mentions me in the first line. (I’m famous! I’m famous! I’m the poster boy of marine accidents, even two years after the fact!) Ben Ellison has something new to say about AIS almost every month, either in print or on

So if you haven’t already read it, enjoy the accident story. If you happen to be on a boat, wait until you’re on land before reading. This is the story that cruisers tell their children to scare them into staying awake on watch.

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