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I was finishing a Water Tribe race off the coast of Cedar Island in North Carolina. I had heavy winds of about 25 mph. My rudder line that lowered my rudder had snapped. Eventually the excess line got tangled in the rudder so that the cables weren't able to control the rudder well. I got sideways with a wave and was out of my boat. I tried to self rescue but it became apparent that I wouldn't be able to get back in my boat and it was completely swamped due to heavy seas.
I set off the PLB and it successfully sent a signal to the USCG. Unfortunately, at this point, I made a major mistake. I decided that since I would probably have to wait a while for someone to come, I might as well keep trying to get back in my boat if only for the sake of practice. While doing this, I broke my PLB. The housing came apart and water got into the device. I could see and smell smoke. SeaT ow came to my original location but by then I had blown downwind about a mile. They could not see me. I eventually blew to shore whereupon Sea Tow promptly found me and insisted on "rescuing" me. I had spent about 3 hours in the water. I was very fortunate that the water was not cold and the sharks weren't biting. I also had a marine radio but really did not know how to use it. If I had, I would have easily been able to communicate with Sea Tow who was actively searching for me.
Thank you ACR!
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