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Jay Lloyd’s Getaway: Mind The Weather Alerts

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(The flight deck of a US Coast Guard PBM aircraft during the 1955 search for Ward Wheelock's missing sailboat.  Credit: Jay Lloyd)

(The flight deck of a US Coast Guard PBM aircraft during the 1955 search for Ward Wheelock’s missing sailboat. Credit: Jay Lloyd)

Jay Lloyd Jay Lloyd
Jay Lloyd — a voice long familiar to Newsradio listeners — provides...
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By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The recent controversy over storm warning forecast models could leave travelers a bit confused (see related story).

But there have been cases where ignoring them proved deadly.

One was in January of 1955.  Ward Wheelock, a Philadelphia advertising executive with a sleek yacht, ignored the US Coast Guard weather warnings and took the boat to sea from Bermuda.

(The yacht of Philadelphia advertising executive Ward Wheelock, a few days before it was lost in a storm off Bermuda.  Credit: Jay Lloyd)

(The yacht of Philadelphia advertising executive Ward Wheelock, a few days before it was lost in a storm off Bermuda. Credit: Jay Lloyd)

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Wheelock, five others, and the boat were never seen again.

I was on a flight crew (top photo) that searched for a month for that boat.  Nothing.

You may not believe the forecasts.  You may not like them, but any number of recent books suggest that travelers, sailors, flyers, and drivers better heed them.

The most popular tale is that of the Andrea Gail, a swordfish boat out of Gloucester, Mass.  The book is The Perfect Storm – a great read for an ocean cruise.

Then there is The Ship and the Storm, by Jim Carrier, a riveting yarn about the Windjammer cruise ship Fantome.   The skipper put his passengers ashore in Belize and then tried to outrun Hurricane Mitch in 1998.  The ship and crew were lost.

And the deadliest account of ignoring a storm warning is Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm.  Between 6,000 and 10,000 died when Galveston, Texas was pulverized in 1900.

So, take storm warnings seriously. A lost getaway is preferable to a lost life.

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