HI. This is a collection of the e-mails I received and sent regarding the wreck of the TLC and Bob Medd, a good friend and fellow cruiser in Mexico.
For photos of the TLC see ‘My Photo Album’, then ‘Mex10-summer’ then ‘The Wreck of the TLC’.
Hi Larry and Trinda,
We are at home for a month to visit family and friends and get our boat insurance organized. We received the following email from TLC Bob's cousin today. Is there any way you two could help out.
Let us know asap via this email address.
Thanks, Your buddies, Bob and Lesley
Hi Folks, I wonder if I can ask your help. Tuesday
night I got a call from
Bob's ex-wife. Seems Bob was attacked by pirates on Sunday and is now
hospitalised in Santa Rosalita. It seems that he was adrift and the boat
was grounded. I talked to the hospital Tue night and Bob is in stable
condition and out of danger. He has puncture and cut wounds to the neck.
He will be operated on today (Wed) to clean and patch up the wounds. I will
keep you informed on his progress.
In the meantime, I don't know where the TLC is or how badly she is damaged.
I was wondering if there is a way that you can get the various sail-nets to
pass the word onto Viva Bob, and have him go to Santa Rosalita to help Bob
out. He seems to be the closest to Bob as I think the two of them were
sailing together. My only way of contacting him is via email (which I will
I will be calling the hospital this morning and I will keep you up-to-date
on Bob's condition and situation.
I thank you very much for any assistance you can provide on this.
Talk to ya later.
On the net this morning, this is the story about Bob:
He left Santa Rosalia Sunday afternoon. About dusk, a ponga with two guys came alongside while he was under way. They ask for water. When he went below for it, one jumped him from behind. During the struggle, the Mexican got Bob's bread knife and stabbed him multiple times about the head and neck. They robbed him and left him for dead.
Sometime before Monday afternoon, he drifted ashore at about 28N 128.45W and managed to get off a flair. Another ponga found him unconscious and alerted the Mexican Navy. We was taken back to Santa Rosalia to the hospital. His condition was stabilized. He was due for surgery yesterday, and they are planning to air-lift him to San Diego for 'reconstructive surgery' today or tomorrow.
TLC lost her keel on the rocks and it looks as though she is already being stripped. It is reported as a total loss. TLC is uninsured. The Canadian Consolute is funding the air-lift and medical expenses.
We expect to arrive in Santa Rosalia about midnight tonight, so I don't know if we will get to see Bob or not.
Larry, Trinda and Muffy
Here is an article from NBC's web site. Let me know if you want the 14kb
Sailor attacked by modern-day pirates
NBC 7/39 News Staff
SAN CLEMENTE, August 19 A man's dream of sailing around the world turned
into a nightmare after bandits raided his boat, slashed his throat, and
left him for dead.
Bob Medd was just one year into a planned ten-year journey around the
world. It was his life-long dream. He launched from his home in Victoria,
British Columbia, last October.
But the dream trip was cut short when he was attacked off Baja California.
His boat drifted for days before crashing into rocks off Santa Rosalia.
He's recovering at a hospital in San Clemente. Scared, bruised, and
sun-burned, Bob Medd feels lucky to be alive.
"I knew then I wasn't going to make it so I said my piece with God," Medd
said from his hospital room.
Bandits boarded his boat in the Sea of Cortez. They asked for water but
took much more.
"I turned around and all the sudden he's beside me with a knife and my
wallet demanding more dinero. I said, 'No! Get off my boat!' He slashed at
me. I put my arm up and he slashed me," said Medd.
The bandits also slashed Medd's throat from ear to ear and knocked him
"When I woke up there was a mass of blood every where," he said.
The story grows worse. Medd's boat crashed onto a rocky island leaving him
stranded until he was rescued days later by fishermen. Shock therapy was
used to revive him.
He spent days in a Mexican hospital until his son-in-law picked him up and
drove him as far as San Clemente.
With a badly infected neck wound, Medd was simply too sick to go any farther.
Local boat captains say tales like Medd's are not uncommon given the amount
of remote coastline.
"Fisherman say there are some inherent risks in traveling Mexico's waters.
Risks they take precautions against," said one.
"We always have someone awake and on watch even when we're anchored or on
the drift or whatever."
Medd says he's learned some valuable lessons and now he's just looking
toward the future.
"I have no idea what I'm going to do now," he said. "I have my life twice
Medd is expected to leave the hospital on Monday. The chief surgeon at San
Clemente Hospital says Medd should make a full recovery.
Through his tragic journey, Medd is not bitter.
He says the kindness of complete strangers outweighs the hurt the bandits
Strangers like the mayor of Santa Rosalia who paid for Medd's hospital
expenses in Mexico.
There's been no word if there will be any investigation into the attack
from the Mexican government.
Thanks for the emails on Bob. We are in Vancouver at the moment, and the story was all over the news on Aug 17, last Friday. They had film footage of an interview with Bob at the hospital in San Clemente, Ca on Saturday. He is looking pretty good and his spirits seem to be holding up, although he was still obviously very shook up.
We contacted his daughter Carrie in Calgary. They had booked a flight for him to return to Canada last Friday evening, but the hospital wouldn't release him as his condition was still listed as critical. He is now scheduled to fly to Calgary tonight (Monday
Aug 20) and will be heading to the Foothills Hospital for some final reconstructive surgery. We will be home in Calgary on Wednesday and hope to see him then, so we will be able to send you a more detailed update on his condition.
Take care and be careful!!!
Bob & Heather
A trust fund has been set up for Bob through the Coast Savings Banks in B.C. so friends can help him out as he lost ecerything when TLC went down. The account number is 34-212-175
Sherry said she didn't get the news on our friend, Bob. Here is a posting to a sailing magazine website, followed by another friends input from Calgary, Canada. I just assumed yall had seen his interviews on TV. It seemed that it was nationwide in the US and Canada, but NOT Mexico apparently (or Chicago).
The latest news from down here is that Mexico put out a press release that two guys were in custody in regards to the incident, but the local police in Santa Rosalia said the opposite, two days later! Three boats went back down to the crash site looking for personal items to send to Bob and salvage anything that might be saleable for his trust fund. The boat is still on the rocks. The port side is completely rubbed away on the rocks. They managed to get a few winches, ropes, chain etc. but not many dollars worth. The local Mexicans had taken every thing that wasn't bolted on. There were a few photographs and some clothing still there, too. I have a copy of a CD with a movie and still photos of the boat, both before and afterward. I will try to send it to Eldon soon to be posted on my site. I'll let you know when.
We just got a recipe for triggerfish sausage. It is supposed to make them taste like Italian sausage. We'll see. There are lots of big ones here at Salsipuedes Island in the upper Sea. Maybe I can spear one this afternoon.
From Latitude 38's web site:
Assault Victim Bob Medd Flies to Calgary
August 21 - Calgary, Canada
Bob Medd, who barely survived a murder attempt while sailing in the Sea of
Cortez aboard his Aloha 34 The Learning Curve, flew to Calgary, Canada,
yesterday, to be with his family and undergo reconstructive surgery. This
according to Bob Willmann of the Islander 34 Viva, who buddyboated with
Medd most of last winter and who started Medd's fateful cruise in company
with him. The good news is that "Bob is doing extremeley well and is
expected to make a full recovery." He will live with his daughters when he
gets out of the hospital. Having lost everything, Medd's future is
uncertain, but he would like to get another boat and continue cruising.
Family and friends are setting up a trust fund, and we'll let everyone know
the details as soon as they are available. Friends can email Medd at
Willmann says Bob wants to stress that everyone he met during the whole
ordeal - with the exception of his two attackers, of course - was extremely
kind, helpful, and professional. These include the four Mexican fishermen
who found him and sacrificed a day's income, the police, the mayor, the
immigration officers, the doctors and nurses in Santa Rosalia - all went
above and beyond to help him. An elderly patient in the Mexican hospital
even gave Bob his shirt for the ride north. He notes that all of the
Mexican citizens he's met have expressed sorrow and shame that this thing
happened in their country. All of them are confident the men will be found
There have been a number of relatively minor conflicts in the reports about
what happened to Medd. Here are the accurate details, according to Willmann:
Bob Medd, a 52-year-old singlehander from Calgary, departed Santa Rosalia
aboard his Aloha 34 TLC on Sunday, August 12, with the intended destination
of Bahia San Francisquito, about 20 hours farther north in the Sea of
Cortez. Shortly after 9PM that evening, two men in a panga came alongside
asking for water. Bob went below to get some from the refrigerator. When he
turned around, he found that the men had boarded TLC, and that one of the
men was holding his wallet and a bread knife that had been on the counter.
He attacked Bob, slashing him on the wrist. While they fought, the other
started hitting Bob in the head and face with some object, presumably a
rock. Bob was knocked unconscious.
Sometime during the night, Bob regained consciousness and found himself
lying in a pool of blood in the salon. He also became aware that TLC was on
the rocks, with the motor still running and the mainsail raised. He made it
into the cockpit but passed out again. When he next awoke, the boat was
listing heavily and breaking up on the rocks. He knew he was in big
trouble. He grabbed a blanket, some water, a flare gun and a flashlight,
and attempted to swim/crawl to the beach. He reached the rocks and once
again passed out. He was awakened by pain when the rising salt water
reached his neck. That was the first time he knew that his throat had been
slit from ear to ear. All day Monday he passed in and out of consciousness,
without ever seeing another boat. His wounds were getting very infected and
he had lost a lot of blood.
Tuesday afternoon around 3PM, four fishermen spotted his boat on the rocks
and came over to investigate. They discovered Bob on the beach and
immediately saw that he was in dire need of medical attention. They managed
to get him into their panga and used five of his flares to attract a
Mexican naval vessel that then transported him back to Santa Rosalia. An
ambulance was waiting when they arrived and Bob was taken to the local
hospital. The Mexican doctors did everything they could, and were
responsible for saving his life.
On Thursday he was taken by car to a hospital in Southern California. The
drive took over 12 hours. The California doctors were told they had an
emergency patient who had been attacked by pirates and had his throat slit.
They didn't believe the story until they actually saw Bob. When they saw
him, they were amazed he'd managed to stay alive for so long. They operated
on him during the early hours Friday morning, and were able to stabilize him.
Just wanted to bring you up to date on Bob's progress. As you are probably
aware, he has become a major news item up here. The media has made quite a
major case out of this whole affair, so needless to say, getting through to
him is difficult. He is staying with his cousin Bill in Calgary. Bill sailed
with Bob to California. His daughter Carrie also lives here in Calgary.
We spoke to Bob yesterday (Wed Aug 22). He is feeling pretty good and his
spirits are high. He is talking of continuing his "Adventure" in the furure,
so the incident hasn't soured him totally. Physically, he still has a few
bridges to cross. He is going into the Foothills Hospital on Friday for
reconstructive surgery to reattach the tendons that were severed and to
close the actual wound itself, which has been kept open until now to allow
the excessive infection to drain.
As for the info you requested:
The trust fund for Bob is being handled by;
Coast Capital Savings in Victoria: Account No: 34212175
or contact the family associate who is handling the trust:
Cheryl Brown (250) 474-7625
2819 Lakeshore Pl
Victoria, B.C., V9B 5T5
Anyone wishing to send things to Bob, should send them c/o his daughter:
3344 36th Ave. S.W.
Calgary, Ab, T3E 1C1
Take care and sail safe,
Love to All
Bob & Heather