Cynthia Woods' Keel Discovered at Sea

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

A key piece of evidence that may have led to the sinking of an Aggie sailboat has been found.

Just after noon, investigators located the vessel's keel, which could hold more clues into why the boat capsized.

A&M officials said the chances of finding the keel were slim, but that it was their mission and they would not be deterred.

Thursday afternoon, just two days in to their mission, investigators found one of the biggest clues they've been looking for: the keel to the Cynthia Woods.

It was just last week that the boat was pulled from the water and some of the boats contents were retrieved.

Two crucial items were missing however, the boat's log book, and its keel. However, today one of the most crucial pieces to the puzzle was found in about 113 feet of water, just 32 miles off Freeport in the Gulf of Mexico.

The new found evidence could provide the answers investigators are hoping for.

"It's absolutely great news that we now have all the physical resources that would really tell us what happened, and why it happened," Texas A&M System Deputy Chancellor and General Counsel Jay Kimbrough said.

The recovery team first discovered what they thought was the keel Wednesday night, and Thursday using some underwater acoustic equipment were able to confirm their find.

"Without finding the keel we would have never known, and we would never be able to analyze the keel in relation to the rest of the vessels," Kimbrough said. "So certainly the investigation could have been completed, but this is the missing piece."

However, before the recovery team and the Coast Guard pull it from the waters they say they plan to videotape the keel on the sea floor. Currently the keel is sitting in about four feet of mud.

It could be several more days until its recovered.

Safety Officer Roger Stone was killed after the boat's keel came off and the vessel capsized June 6th.

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