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Note on Sinking of Bertram 630 "Absolutely"

January 2, 2010

by Staff


We are aware of another problem of Bertram 63, this time sinking on November 6, 2009 off South Carolina coast, which has been widely discussed on the Internet forums.  Very few facts on the circumstances of the sinking are known to us, including detailed account by the crew onboard.  This case is currently in court. (See No. 5 below.)

If you are interested in the incident, here's summary with some links.


A Bertram 630 "Absolutely" sunk in the morning on November 6, 2009 20 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Calorina near "Bill Perry Jr. buoy". The captain and his mate onboard the vessel were rescued safely.

Coast Guard responds to sinking fishing vessel


"Absolutely" is a never titled Bertram 630:
Year built December 2005, model year 2006 (HIN: BERZ5020D506)


The vessel is currently rested at near the location where the crew were rescued, near the "Bill Perry Jr. buoy".


Underwater still photos of the vessel showing catastrophic hull failure ( torn and caved in foredeck, torn upper hull side around bow, wide delamination and missing hull skin along forward to mid upper starboard hull side and missing transom among others) were posted on by its administrator on December 17, 2009.

YachtForums Exclusive: Underwater Pictures of Sunk Bertram 630 - YachtForums.Com

The vessel was located on November 24, 2009 and under water video was taken next day on November 25, 2009, with surveyor attendance, according to postings on forums by local salvage company personnel.

January 18, 2010:

Underwater video footage from which the above still photos were made was posted at, with a note from forum administrator: "The video is only viewable to registered YF members.  You must be logged-in to see it..."

Forum thread on the underwater video:


On November 14, 2009, the owner(s) of "Absolutely" filed complaint to U.S. District of Court, District of South Carolina (Charleston).

Owen et al v. Bertram Yacht Inc et al

Case #: 2:09-cv-02979
Plaintiff: Stephen Owen (Terminated 12/23/2009)
Plaintiff: Dhevatara Beach Seychelles Ltd
Defendant: Bertram Yacht Inc
Defendant: Marine Max Inc

Last amendment was filed on December 23, 2009, which includes complaint of refusal of replacement vessel. (Doc. No. 6)

As of this posting, there are 5 documents on this case. To read them, you will need to register to  Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PAGER) and $0.08 per page will be charged.

- Answer to Amended Complaint was filed on February 03, 2010 by Bertram Yacht (Doc. No. 8)


Apparently President of Bertram Yacht had been updating information on this incident to "Bertram Dealers, Employees, and Friends", which were in turn posted by receivers on several forums.  Last one seems sent on December 17, 2009 (The same day when underwater photos were posted on the forum.). These updates discuss possibility of collision with something, including hitting the buoy.  We are not aware of further updates as of this post.

Latest Update - Posted on January 12, 2010


Public Statement by the owner was posted by administrator.

January 14, 2009

If you like to follow local activities, There is a thread on local forum :

Is this somebody from on here.......

Some of local salvage, towing company people were posting on activities, weather and wave condition, etc. surrounding the incident since the morning of November 6, 2009; the day of sinking.

If you Google on the vessel, you will come up with numerous forum threads, discussing or rather speculating the cause of sinking, most suspect structural failure and not some sort of collision, especially after the underwater photos were posted.

As the case is in court, we doubt any additional information by directly involved party become public anytime soon.

At this time David Pascoe has no plan to write on this vessel.  This note was posted with his permission as we are aware more than a few readers visit his article on another Bertram 63, seeking information on the sinking of Bertram 630.

Back to "Bad News for Bertram"

Posted January 02, 2010


Added link to "Update" from President of Bertram Yacht, posted on

Added links to Underwater video and Public statement by the owner.

Added note on filing "Answer to Amended Complaint" by Bertram Yacht.


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Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)
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David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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