DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Today marks six years since the Dauphin Island Regatta disaster. On April 25th, 2015 strong storms moved through Mobile Bay, killing six people among dozens who were still on the water during the race. It’s considered the worst maritime incident ever in Alabama waters.
Two years ago the Coast Guard released a report detailing what went wrong. In addition to the loss of life, eight boats were destroyed and 40 people had to be rescued in the water. The report cited the weather, a general over-confidence of participants, and a lack of safety gear on some vessels as factors that directly contributed to the disaster.
The report recommended all race participants wear life jackets, all skippers have easy access to VHF radios for any important updates in real-time and require all boats submit an updated crew list at least a half-hour before the race starts.