You’re looking at the keel from Cynthia Woods, recovered this weekend from the sea floor where the Cape Fear 38 flipped near Galveston, Texas, killing Roger Stone, who was trapped inside the turtled boat after staying back to shove the rest of the student crew to safety. Since the incident, a lot of news and speculation have popped up in our forums, and some of it is incredibly unsettling.
According to a report attributed to one of the divers who recovered the keel, “The bolts with backing plates, washers and nuts were all still intact. The only damage on the fin itself is from when we were getting it back on board our vessel in side sees and it struck our a-frame. the bolts if I have to guess are 1"-1 1/4" in diameter and there were approximately 10. They would not let us take pics and all of our video footage from the dives was confiscated by the salvage company that contracted us. The key to the problem is that instead of having one large backing plate to distribute the load, there are three extremely small plates that do not even equal the area of the mounting surface of the keel itself. The 5,000 lb. keel bolted to a surface area of 3-4 ft x 4-6 in… Considering that there is only approximately 5/8" thickness on the fiberglass with no reinforcement, that is not much surface area…The area beneath the backing plates contained the fiberglass hull material but no more of the hull was ripped out than what came out with the plates.”