A&M Launches Investigation Into Sunken Race Boat

It’s been a week and a half since a Texas A&M racing sailboat sank in the Gulf of Mexico, stranding five crew men and killing one. Investigators know the keel of the Cynthia Woods broke off. What they don’t know is why.
Bill Stamps tells us more.

Texas A&M announced it is doing its own investigation separate from the Coast Guard into the sinking of the Cynthia Woods. What they’ve found so far isn’t good. A&M Deputy Chancellor and lead investigator Jay Kimbrough says the vessel ran aground on more than one occasion in recent years. He’s also found old photos that show repairs were made to the keel. The same keel that broke off, causing the sailboat to capsize.

The University is spending more than twenty-thousand dollars a day searching for the missing part.

“That’s an important piece of evidence. It needs to be analyzed to determine if it had any structural weakness, if there were some repairs that might have caused damage in the past, or wasn’t performed correctly. So its an important piece of evidence to conclude the investigation.”

Kimbrough says they received an anonymous call saying the boat wasn’t maintained properly over the years. He and the University are determined to get some answers.

“The fact that someone lost their life in service to the state of Texas and gave his life to save the lives of these other young people that he was with. That creates and incredible obligation for us. We want to honor him and honor his family. It’s an emotional time for everybody, but it also gives us the energy to get this done and get it done right.”

Bill Stamps, KUHF, Houston public radio.