BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A southern Indiana couple who were rescued at sea this week because their damaged new sailboat was taking on water returned home to find that while gone, a bedroom and bathroom had gotten a soaking as well.
Gunther and Doris Rodatz, of Bloomington, and two crewmen were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter Tuesday about 300 miles off the Virginia coast, The Herald-Times reported. The couple and two professional sailors were sailing their recently purchased 42-foot-long catamaran sailboat from New York to the Virgin Islands when they encountered nearly 70 mph winds and 20-foot waves.
Gunther Rodatz said they felt "pretty safe" until a wave washed over the boat in the night.
"It was a monster wave, and the whole boat was under water basically," he said. "But it's well built, and did not capsize."
Christened the "Be Good Too," the Rodatzes' sailboat was first tossed Saturday by a pair of giant waves that damaged the rudder and caused the boat to take on water. After on-board repairs failed, the group decided Monday to call for help and abandon the craft in the Atlantic Ocean.
A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the four to safety on Tuesday, and the Navy diverted a guided missile destroyer to provide a refueling stop for the helicopter as it traveled to and from the disabled boat, officials said.
The Rodatzes arrived back in Bloomington on Thursday, only to find a broken water pipe had flooded a bedroom and bathroom at their home.
Rodatz, who owns a wood veneer business in Mooresville, said his insurance company was expected to send a plane to find the sailboat, then decide whether it can be salvaged and returned to port.
If the boat ends up sinking, Rodatz said he and his wife will invest in another one.
"My wife and I are committed, and we will be sailing again. I am almost retired, and it is time now to play," he said. "We are ready to get back to sailing. But not in those conditions."