Fishing Boat Survivor Credits Determination for Survival

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Fri, 08 Jul 2011 16:19:58 -0800

NOVATO (KRON)—Gary Hanson can’t help but compare the fishing boat he was on to the sinking Titanic when he recalls the moment the boat began to capsize off the California coast on July 3rd.

Hanson, a Novato native, was one of several dozen people onboard the “Erik” when it overturned in choppy waters just after 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Hanson recalls the limited visibility he had and his inability to see what was happening with his friends on board.

“I can see a bunch of people running around on the back of the boat. I guess they were trying to release gear. I was too far away to make sure and it was too dark,” Hanson tells KRON 4’s Jackie Sissel.

Hanson was among several who jumped off board and began swimming away from the sinking vessel. He said that it took very little time for the boat start sinking once it overturned.

“I saw all the guys running around on the boat, get off the boat. Then I saw the boat stand up on end and then about 15—less than that, maybe five seconds, it just stood there all by itself with the bow out, and then it just slipped under the water, just like the Titanic. Just went straight down,” he said.

Once in the water, Hanson said he expected to be out there for about two hours until the Coast Guard arrived, but it turned out to be much longer than that. He credits several factors for getting him through the amount of time he spent at sea,

“Fortunately for us, the water was warm. And you just start thinking of family and friends and all that stuff and you just get determined that isn’t going to do you in. You’re going to make this.”

Hanson also acknowledged his friend Russell Bautista who is still missing. Bautista always insisted on bringing life vests on fishing trips, Hanson said. This trip was no exception.

“What saved me?” Hanson asks. “The determination that I wasn’t going to let this get me, and my vest of course, helped save my life. That’s the best money I ever spent.”
blog comments powered by Disqus