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In re Red Rock Ventures

March 31, 2010

IN RE RED ROCK VENTURES, LLC AND KEVIN HOGAN AS OWNERS AND/OR OWNERS PRO HAC VICE OF S/V FREE FALL, A 2002 44-FOOT NAUTOR SWAN SAILING VESSEL, FOR EXONERATION FROM OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

Presently before the Court in this admiralty action is petitioners' motion to bar all claims and exonerate them from liability, which is unopposed; and Petitioners are the owners of S/V FREE FALL, a 2002 44-foot Nautor Swan sailing vessel; and

On October 22, 2008, the vessel's owner, Kevin Hogan, along with two experienced off-shore sailors, Philip Rubright and Tracie Garvie, departed from Jamestown, Rhode Island enroute to Charleston, South Carolina; and

At that time, the weather conditions appeared to be favorable for their entire journey; but

On October 28, 2008, with no warning, the wind shifted and the weather worsened dramatically, with wave heights increasing to over 40 feet, and the wind speed approaching 60 knots; and

The crew decided to ride out the storm in the cabin below; but At some point during the day, the vessel's bow violently lifted, it capsized, lay upside down for several minutes, until she righted herself, dismasted; and

It appears that the vessel was the victim of a "rogue wave"; and

Mr. Rubright was severely injured during the capsize and dismasting; and

Following the capsize and dismasting, the vessel activated the emergency position-indicating radio beacon, which resulted in a United States Coast Guard rescue helicopter arriving on the scene several hours later; and

A USCG rescue swimmer dropped into the sea and made preparations to hoist Mr. Rubright aboard the helicopter; but

Mr. Rubright was unable to be successfully positioned into the rescue basket or life raft, and he perished during the rescue attempt; and

On April 28, 2009, petitioners filed a Complaint for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability pursuant to 46 U.S.C. § 30501, et seq. and Rule F of the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime claims of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and

On April 30, 2009, this Court ordered the Clerk of the Court to issue a Notice to all persons asserting claims or suits with respect to the subject of petitioners' complaint, and file their claims with the Clerk and serve a copy on petitioners' attorneys on or before June 30, 2009, or be defaulted; and

The Court further ordering petitioners to publish notice in the Press of Atlantic City newspaper once a week for four weeks before June 30, 2009 and mail the notice to every person known to ...


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