At least two people are dead after the violent thunderstorm in Mobile Bay on Saturday
At least two people are dead and four are missing two days after a violent thunderstorm created chaos during a sailboat race this Saturday in Mobile Bay, Alabama.
The Dauphin Island Regatta had attracted more than 100 sailboats to the area, three of which were capsized or incapacitated by the 10-foot waves and 70 mph gusts of wind, according to AL.com.
“It was just unbelievable how high the waves were,” Rhonda Gilreath, a participant from Rome, Georgia told the website. “They were just bashing you from every side.”
After their 23 ft. boat capsized, Gilreath and husband Randy Rutledge were stranded in the water awaiting rescue for two hours. “We knew we were totally lost at sea,” she said.
“There wasn’t a clear number how many people were in the water or missing,” said Carlos Vega, a Coast Guard spokesperson. The Coast Guard reports that more than 40 people were pulled from the bay by rescuers and “good Samaritans.”
Captain Duke Walker told USA Today that determining who was missing was difficult, with 119 boats registered and no crew lists. One sailor initially presumed missing was later found safe at home.
Rescue efforts including boats, planes and helicopters have searched more than 3,000 square miles as tumultuous weather conditions continue. 20 relatives of the missing have gathered to await news.
“This very difficult, very difficult for all of them,” Michael Brown of the American Red Cross told The Boston Herald. “There is still hope. The Coast Guard has told them they are doing an active search and rescue.”