Pinterest Investor Loses Luxury Catamaran Off North Carolina Coast, Five Rescued

A screenshot of U.S. Coast Guard video showing the rescue of five people Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, from a sailboat after the sailboat's mast broke approximately 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
A screenshot of U.S. Coast Guard video showing the rescue of five people Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, from a sailboat approximately 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people Friday from a luxury sailboat belonging to prominent Pinterest investor Brian Cohen after the sailboat’s carbon fiber mast broke off approximately 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

The USCG says it was notified at approximately 1:50 p.m. Friday that the 55-foot catamaran RAINMAKER, homeported in Manhattan, New York, suffered a broken mast in 40-mph winds and 13-foot seas roughly 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

According to reports, Cohen was onboard with his son and three professional crew when it was dismasted about 36 hours into a passage from North Carolina to St. Martin after being hit by a “full whiteout squall” with winds up to 70 knots.

A Coast Guard aircrew arrived on scene at approximately 5 p.m. and hoisted all five people. The boaters were then transported to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, North Carolina in good condition. A 350-foot cargo ship, the MV Ocean Crescent, was also diverted to the scene but was unable to assist due to the severe conditions.

Because of the conditions, the RAINMAKER had to be abandoned.

The Rainmaker was the first vessel of the GUNBOAT 55 series, a state-of-the-art luxury catamaran designed as an “ultimate performance cat for those planning to circumnavigate as owner-operators,” according to Gunboat, a leading producer of high-performance world cruising catamarans. The GUNBOAT 55 series was just recently named Cruising World’s 2015 “Domestic Boat of the Year” and “Best Multihull Cruiser” and the Rainmaker itself was only recently delivered in November 2014.

“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case. “The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”

Below is a video from Forbes profiling Brian Cohen and the RAINMAKER:

RAINMAKER Delivery:

USCG Rescue Video: