Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#261368 - 01/03/08 05:36 PM Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas
Marty Offline
GALVESTON — Three people who had planned to deliver 10,000 pounds of coffee from Belize to Texas on an eco-friendly sailboat were rescued Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard after they were struck by 25-foot seas 200 miles offshore.

PICTURES AT
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/261374

Joe and Terry Butcher, owners of El Lago Coffee Co., along with Joe’s brother, Douglas Butcher, planned to ship the coffee via their sailboat, Red Cloud, from San Pedro on Amgergris Cay in Belize to Galveston Bay. Joe Butcher told The Daily News in early December that the high price of gas would soon create a demand that products be shipped in an environmentally friendly way.

The Butchers could not be reached for comment.

The trio hit trouble late Tuesday morning when the Gulf of Mexico waves swelled to 25 feet and the winds kicked up to 30 to 35 knots, said Mario Romero, Coast Guard public affairs officer. Their engine had died earlier, leaving them at the mercy of seas, said Jim Perkins, a ham radio operator who communicated with the Butchers as their 42-foot sailboat tossed, turned and filled with water just 200 miles from home.

“They were that close to home when everything went wrong,” he said.

Perkins called the Coast Guard about 11:45 a.m. reporting the boat was in danger, according to Coast Guard reports.

The guard dispatched a boat, a helicopter and a jet to rescue the Butchers and their dog. They arrived about 3 p.m., hoisted the people and dog from the boat, refueled on an oil rig, waited for almost half an hour until the wind died and then returned to Ellington Field where a family friend was waiting to take them home, Coast Guard reports state.

The boat was in decent condition when the trio was rescued, Romero said. Joe Butcher hired a salvage company to retrieve the boat offshore, Romero said.

“There’s an emergency-position-indicating radio beacon that’s broadcasting the exact location of where they left the boat,” he said.

The Butchers bought Red Cloud, a home-built boat, from an owner in Sabine, according to earlier newspaper reports. They have had coastwise experience in the boat, including a couple of Harvest Moon Regattas.

It’s not clear how much coffee was on board, and what, if anything, was lost at sea. The trio had reportedly delivered 500 pounds of school supplies and a dozen musical instruments to needy children of Amgergris Cay.

-----------------------------------------------

Coast Guard rescues 3 people, dog from sailboat

By RUTH RENDON
Jan. 2, 2008, 12:18PM

The owner of a sailboat rescued by the Coast Guard on New Year's Day is hoping to salvage the vessel and its cargo.

Joe Butcher along with his wife, Terry, and brother, Doug, were returning to El Lago on their 42-foot sailboat, Red Cloud, with a load of 10,000 pounds of coffee when they were met by angry seas and fierce winds.

This morning, Joe Butcher, 45, was in discussions with Coast Guard officials about getting his boat from 200 miles off shore.

The Butchers and their Schiepperke dog, Skipper, were rescued Tuesday by a Coast Guard helicopter when their boat started taking on water.

The helicopter crew rushed 200 miles over the Gulf of Mexico to the vessel after receiving a report at about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday that the Butcher's sailboat was taking on water.

Battling 25-foot seas and 30- to 35-knot winds, the Coast Guard hoisted the Butchers and Skipper aboard the helicopter.

Terry Butcher, 50, suffered a minor leg injury.

As the rescue helicopter made its nearly 3-hour trip to the distressed sailboat, a Coast Guard Falcon jet crew traveled to the scene to monitor the vessel before the rescue.

Because of the distance involved, the helicopter crew had to land on an oil rig to refuel during the return to shore. Heavy winds kept the group on the rig for nearly a half hour.

The helicopter crew brought the Butchers and their dog to Ellington Field in Houston, where a family friend was waiting to bring them home.

The Butchers were returning to their home in El Lago on a maiden trip from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye in Belize with a load of 10,000 pounds of coffee to sell through their El Lago Coffee Co.

=================================
Storm brewed trouble for trio
Texans have 5 tons of coffee afloat in the Gulf

By RUTH RENDON
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

Sailboat crew rescued Somewhere out in the Gulf of Mexico, 200 miles off Galveston, the 42-foot sailboat Red Cloud is drifting unmanned with 10,000 pounds of vacuum-packed coffee on board.

Owner Joe Butcher, his brother, wife and dog were plucked out of storm-tossed seas New Year's Day by a Coast Guard helicopter, but Butcher's ready to go back for his boat and the coffee the crew was importing from Belize.

"I gotta go get my boat," a tired Joe Butcher, 47, said from his El Lago home Wednesday afternoon.

The Texas-size coffee run began in early December and started to go sour when they were forced to divert into Mexican waters to avoid Tropical Storm Olga by midmonth. Things got even worse when a cold front sent waves streaming over the boat and exhausted crew Monday evening. There was nothing to do but call the Coast Guard for rescue.

Even with the harrowing New Year's Day rescue experience, the Butchers did not make a resolution to not sail again.

The Butchers' maiden voyage with their Schipperke dog, aptly named Skipper, in tow was expected to take 2 1/2 weeks but didn't.

Butcher had described his new venture as "the dawn of the new age of eco-sailing."

The Butchers sailed to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, in Belize where they loaded 10,000 pounds of the roasted blend before returning home. Their plan is to sell the coffee through their El Lago Coffee Co.


Winds unexpectedly strong
About 11 p.m. Monday, waves started rocking the Butchers' boat, which by this point had lost the auto pilot capabilities. Joe, 45, and Doug Butcher, 47, of Tennessee, took turns at the helm. The two were still sore and bruised from the ordeal on Wednesday.

The crew knew the waters would be somewhat rough but manageable because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions that morning had winds up to 40 knots. The winds ended up swirling at 60 knots, which was too much for the Red Cloud even with a storm anchor thrown overboard.

"We could not get a hold of the Coast Guard so we called Jim Perkins (a friend) and he called the Coast Guard," Joe Butcher said.

The Coast Guard was notified before noon and the helicopter arrived at the Butchers' boat about 3 p.m.

The Butcher brothers wanted to stay on board, but the Coast Guard would not allow it. All or none.

"We had to get in an inflatable rescue boat because the Coast Guard was afraid the boat's mast would swing around and hit the helicopter," Joe Butcher said.

To make matters worse, Terry Butcher, 50, had a minor leg injury, does not swim and was terrified of getting into the Gulf waters even with a life jacket.

With the waves crashing all about, the Coast Guard crew sent down a rescue basket and hoisted the Butchers and Skipper.

Skipper, a furry, roly-poly dog, was a real trouper, never barking and taking it all in stride, Joe Butcher said.

"I managed to get our passports, the video camera and seven packages of coffee," Terry Butcher said.

The coffee on the boat, she said, is vacuum packed in one-pound bags and bundled in double trash bags.

The location of the Butchers' boat and the high winds forced the Coast Guard helicopter to land on an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. oil platform to refuel.

The winds kept the Butchers and the Coast Guard rescue personnel on the oil rig until the winds died down.

"I can't say enough good things about the Coast Guard and Anadarko," Terry Butcher said. The group, she said, was treated to dry clothes, a warm shower and food.

Even Skipper was treated at the chef's galley, she said.


Boat being tracked
The Butchers said they plan to get a little bit of rest and are waiting for the Gulf waters to settle down. At that point, they plan to set out on a friend's boat to tow Red Cloud and its coffee cargo to El Lago.

The Red Cloud, which served as Joe and Terry Butcher's home for 13 years before it was gutted and turned into a "cargo" vessel, is being monitored by a Coast Guard tracking device, which should help in locating it.

The boat was taking on water when the Butchers abandoned ship, but a generator was left on with hopes that the boat's pumps would keep some of the water out.

Joe and Terry Butcher are experienced on the open water, having worked on crew boats for years, delivering workers and supplies to oil rigs.

When asked, Mario Romero, a Coast Guard spokesman, said he did not know the cost for rescuing the Butchers:

"We do not charge anyone for a rescue. They were in trouble and we went out there."

Chronicle reporter Richard Stewart contributed to this story.

ruth.rendon@chron.com





Top
#261383 - 01/03/08 07:21 PM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: Marty]
pedro2
We tend to take the emergency services for granted, both the Coast Guard and Reaper's Fire Service amongst others. These guys seriously risk their own lives to help us - let's see a vote of thanks!

Top
#261386 - 01/03/08 07:26 PM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: ]
SP Daily Offline
Belize Coast Guard too!

Top
#261449 - 01/04/08 01:29 AM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: SP Daily]
pedro2
Yes, in all countries. Sometime last year a coastguard officer died on a rescue off England, and not long several fireman there died when a burning building collapsed onto them. And in England they earn a pittance.

Top
#261662 - 01/05/08 12:11 AM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: ]
Marty Offline
http://sanpedrosun.net/08-012.html

Paul Claus, Owner and Roast Master at Caye Coffee, proudly announced to the community that through their association with The El Lago Coffee Company, Caye Coffee was going international. The El Lago Coffee Company sought donations of school supplies of pencils and paper, spiral notebooks, computer equipment, new and used musical instruments or anything else that could help the school children of San Pedro and the generous people of Texas came through. Joe and Terry Butcher, owners of El Lago, brought the school supplies to San Pedro on the South sail and returned home with “Caye Coffee” on the North Sail, 10,000 pounds to be exact. “That works for everyone!” commented Claus in his December 18th press release.
However, Red Cloud was not very fortunate on its way back as Joe, along with his wife, Terry, and brother, Doug, were returning to El Lago on their 42-foot sailboat, Red Cloud, with a load of 10,000 pounds of coffee when they were met by angry seas and fierce winds. Joe, 45, was in discussions with Coast Guard officials about getting his boat from 200 miles off shore.

The Butchers and their Schiepperke dog, Skipper, were rescued on Tuesday, January 1st, by a Coast Guard helicopter when their boat started taking on water. The helicopter crew rushed 200 miles over the Gulf of Mexico to the vessel after receiving a report at about 11:45 a.m. that the Butcher’s sailboat was taking on water. Battling 25-foot seas and 30- to 35-knot winds, the Coast Guard hoisted the Butchers and Skipper aboard the helicopter.

Terry Butcher, 50, suffered a minor leg injury. As the rescue helicopter made its nearly three-hour trip to the distressed sailboat, a Coast Guard Falcon jet crew traveled to the scene to monitor the vessel before the rescue. Because of the distance involved, the helicopter crew had to land on an oil rig to refuel during the return to shore. Heavy winds kept the group on the rig for nearly a half hour.

The helicopter crew brought the Butchers and their dog to Ellington Field in Houston, where a family friend was waiting to bring them home.




Top
#261770 - 01/06/08 05:05 AM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Storm brewed trouble for trio

Somewhere out in the Gulf of Mexico, 200 miles off Galveston, the 42-foot
sailboat Red Cloud is drifting unmanned with 10,000 pounds of vacuum-packed
coffee on board.
Owner Joe Butcher, his brother, wife and dog were plucked out of
storm-tossed seas New Year's Day by a Coast Guard helicopter, but Butcher's
ready to go back for his boat and the coffee the crew was importing from
Belize.

"I gotta go get my boat," a tired Joe Butcher, 47, said from his El Lago
home Wednesday afternoon.

The Texas-size coffee run began in early December and started to go sour
when they were forced to divert into Mexican waters to avoid Tropical Storm
Olga by midmonth. Things got even worse when a cold front sent waves
streaming over the boat and exhausted crew Monday evening. There was
nothing to do but call the Coast Guard for rescue.

Even with the harrowing New Year's Day rescue experience, the Butchers did
not make a resolution to not sail again.

The Butchers' maiden voyage with their Schipperke dog, aptly named Skipper,
in tow was expected to take 2 1/2 weeks but didn't.

Butcher had described his new venture as "the dawn of the new age of
eco-sailing."

The Butchers sailed to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, in Belize where they
loaded 10,000 pounds of the roasted blend before returning home. Their plan
is to sell the coffee through their El Lago Coffee Co.

Winds unexpectedly strong

About 11 p.m. Monday, waves started rocking the Butchers' boat, which by
this point had lost the auto pilot capabilities. Joe, 45, and Doug Butcher,
47, of Tennessee, took turns at the helm. The two were still sore and
bruised from the ordeal on Wednesday.

The crew knew the waters would be somewhat rough but manageable because the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions that morning
had winds up to 40 knots. The winds ended up swirling at 60 knots, which
was too much for the Red Cloud even with a storm anchor thrown overboard.

"We could not get a hold of the Coast Guard so we called Jim Perkins (a
friend) and he called the Coast Guard," Joe Butcher said.

The Coast Guard was notified before noon and the helicopter arrived at the
Butchers' boat about 3 p.m.

The Butcher brothers wanted to stay on board, but the Coast Guard would not
allow it. All or none.<> "We had to get in an inflatable rescue boat
because the Coast Guard was afraid the boat's mast would swing around and
hit the helicopter," Joe Butcher said.

To make matters worse, Terry Butcher, 50, had a minor leg injury, does not
swim and was terrified of getting into the Gulf waters even with a life
jacket.
With the waves crashing all about, the Coast Guard crew sent down a rescue
basket and hoisted the Butchers and Skipper.

Skipper, a furry, roly-poly dog, was a real trouper, never barking and
taking it all in stride, Joe Butcher said.

"I managed to get our passports, the video camera and seven packages of
coffee," Terry Butcher said.

The coffee on the boat, she said, is vacuum packed in one-pound bags and
bundled in double trash bags.

The location of the Butchers' boat and the high winds forced the Coast
Guard helicopter to land on an Anadarko Petroleum Corp. oil platform to
refuel.

The winds kept the Butchers and the Coast Guard rescue personnel on the oil
rig until the winds died down.

"I can't say enough good things about the Coast Guard and Anadarko," Terry
Butcher said. The group, she said, was treated to dry clothes, a warm
shower and food.

Even Skipper was treated at the chef's galley, she said.

Boat being tracked

The Butchers said they plan to get a little bit of rest and are waiting for
the Gulf waters to settle down. At that point, they plan to set out on a
friend's boat to tow Red Cloud and its coffee cargo to El Lago.

The Red Cloud, which served as Joe and Terry Butcher's home for 13 years
before it was gutted and turned into a "cargo" vessel, is being monitored
by a Coast Guard tracking device, which should help in locating it.

The boat was taking on water when the Butchers abandoned ship, but a
generator was left on with hopes that the boat's pumps would keep some of
the water out.
Joe and Terry Butcher are experienced on the open water, having worked on
crew boats for years, delivering workers and supplies to oil rigs.

When asked, Mario Romero, a Coast Guard spokesman, said he did not know the
cost for rescuing the Butchers:

"We do not charge anyone for a rescue. They were in trouble and we went out
there."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5422694.html

Top
#262235 - 01/09/08 04:55 AM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: ]
lauratex Offline
Has anyone heard if they were able to retrieve the boat yet, last I heard were planning on heading back out to sea to tow it in ?

Top
#262685 - 01/12/08 10:14 AM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: lauratex]
Marty Offline
Eco-friendly coffee boat believed sunk

By Rhiannon Meyers
The Daily News
Published January 12, 2008

GALVESTON — Somewhere in the murky bottom of the Gulf of Mexico lies nearly 4,000 pounds of coffee that Joe and Terry Butcher had spent the past two years saving to buy.

After Joe, Terry and Doug Butcher were rescued from their sinking sailboat Red Cloud on New Year’s Day, they vowed to return to salvage the boat and the coffee onboard so they could sell it for a profit. But, last week, they tracked the boat’s beacon hundreds of miles offshore and found nothing but open water. They assume the Red Cloud has sunk, Terry Butcher said.

“Our life savings and investment was in the boat,” she said. “It was our home and business.”

Joe and Terry Butcher, owners of El Lago Coffee Co., along with Joe’s brother, Douglas Butcher, had planned to ship the coffee from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in Belize to Galveston Bay to promote eco-friendly coffee trading.

The trio hit trouble New Year’s Day when waves swelled to 25 feet and the winds kicked up to 30 to 35 knots, said Petty Officer Mario Romero of the U.S. Coast Guard. Their engine had died earlier, and the 42-foot boat tossed, turned and filled with water.

“It was unbelievable,” Terry Butcher said. “It was like it wasn’t happening, but it was.”

The Coast Guard rescued them three hours after they called for help and delivered them to Ellington Field.

“When we called for help, that was it — that was our last straw,” Terry Butcher said. “That was all we could do. There was no way we were going to make it another night on the boat.”

The boat, built nearly 40 years ago and refurbished for the trip, was not insured, Terry Butcher said. The Butchers lost the almost 4,000 pounds of coffee they had planned to sell at $20 a pound — which would total about $80,000.

They salvaged only 8 pounds of coffee, the boat’s papers and a camera.

Terry Butcher said the three gave the Coast Guard one pound of coffee as a thank-you gift. They plan to sell the remaining 7 pounds of coffee on eBay.

Terry Butcher said although they’re still shaken up by the ordeal and disappointed about losing the boat, they have not given up on their dream to ship coffee in an eco-friendly manner.

“Joe’s already looking at boats,” she said.

Top
#262820 - 01/13/08 09:10 PM Re: Coffee traders, dog rescued from 25-foot seas [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Hope for coffee sailboat RedCloud abandoned

By John Ira Petty
Correspondent

Published January 13, 2008
RedCloud is gone.

All indications are that the 42-foot steel sailboat and its cargo of about 4,000 pounds of Central American coffee sank in the Gulf of Mexico about 240 miles south of Galveston.

Owner Joe Butcher, 45, said the search last week aboard a 52-foot trawler turned up the still transmitting Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. But there was no other indication in the area that RedCloud had ever existed.

“We found the EPIRB. We search for 12 hours in the area. There was no flotsam, no coffee, no RedCloud, no nothing,” Butcher said last week after his return from the search.

RedCloud, based in El Lago, had been home to him and his wife Terry for more than a decade. They recently had converted the interior to carry cargo.

They had hoped the boat would be the beginning on an environmentally friendly business importing coffee to the United States. RedCloud was bringing its first cargo home from Belize when the Butchers and Joe’s brother, Doug Butcher, 47, lost their engine and then encountered heavy weather in the Gulf.

The pilot house structure of the well-kept, red-hulled boat was threatened by what Butcher estimated were 25-foot waves. The steering quadrant broke and punched a hole in the boat’s hull.

Eventually they activated the EPIRB. They were lifted from the boat by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter the afternoon of New Year’s Day about 200 miles south of Galveston.

Although the boat was taking on water, Butcher said the generator had been left running to power the bilge pump he had hoped would keep her afloat.

All three RedCloud crewmembers left Galveston Bay early Jan. 5 aboard the trawler, Challenger II. It is owned by Butcher’s friend Bruce Lewis, who also was aboard.

EPIRB signals put it perhaps 60 to 70 miles south of where RedCloud had been abandoned. The EPIRB indicated a much faster drift the first day, Butcher said. It slowed considerably after that, possibly indicating when RedCloud went down.

In charting positions of fixes from the EPIRB, “you could definitely see a deceleration and a change in course,” Butcher said. “The first day it did 40, and then it slowed to two to 10 miles a day.”

The EPIRB was still transmitting when Terry Butcher sighted it last Sunday from Challenger II. It was left in RedCloud’s cockpit, and apparently floated free when the double-ended cutter-rigged ketch sank.

The Coast Guard had continued to track the EPIRB. A ham radio operator in contact with the Coast Guard had given Challenger II updated EPIRB position that took them to the floating beacon.

“I still don’t have proof that the boat’s down, but I’m convinced that she is,” Butcher said.

The night of New Year’s Eve was, in retrospect, a fitting farewell. “The night before, when we had 35-knot winds and 15-foot seas, was the best watch I’ve ever had at sea,” Butcher said. “The shooting stars, the satellites, the phosphorus and everything else … it was beyond anything you could imagine.”

So what now?

“We don’t have a home right now, he said, but we’ll get through it.” They’re living temporarily in the tight headquarters of their El Lago Coffee Co., yards from where RedCloud was tied up.

RedCloud was not insured. Butcher said he might try to raise money from commercial sources to get another boat and build the business he and his wife had just started.

John Ira Petty, a sailing instructor and licensed captain, is the sailing columnist for The Daily News.

Top

Links
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker
Chronicles

PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

Blogs
San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
Tacogirl
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
December
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
2 registered (buktoff, 1 invisible), 36 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,676 Registered Members
44 Forums
64,064 Topics
462,323 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 07:16 PM




AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.