Ramprasad – The End Of A Legend

Older readers of followhtheboat will know that Jamie’s sailing adventures started aboard s/y Ramprasad, skippered by owner Sam Coles. We are sad to report that Ramprasad ran aground and eventually sank off the coast of Madagascar this week.

Sam Coles was a consummate sailor. Trained as an RYA instructor Sam has sailed more miles than anyone else I have met (he’s done the Atlantic at least seven times). He built his ferro-cement Hartley Golden Cowrie designed boat in his back garden on the south coast of the UK before launching way back before I was knee-high to a grass-hopper.

His recent Facebook status update tells the story:

On Sun 27th Sept Ramprasad grounded on a reef 20 miles from Nosy Mitzio in Madagascar and was badly holed and wrecked. Sam and Dao abandoned when the deck was awash and reached Nosy Vory 1.3M away in the dinghy with o/b where fishermen helped us. They took us back up the coast to Baie Ambarata from where we travelled y’day to Diego Suarez (Antsiranana). Navigators please beware the reef in posn 12deg38.1S 48deg49.5E wrongly shown on Navionics charts as an island. Banc Ampamonty is a reef and very hard to see in the strong winds which we often get here. Sam and Dao are alive and uninjured!

A relief to know that Sam and his partner are well but so sad to see Ramprasad taken by the seas she so enjoyed sailing. I’ve dug up some old blog posts on Ramprasad and noted my observations upon meeting Sam for the first time:

A qualified Royal Yachting Association (RYA) offshore yachtmaster, Sam has already crossed the Atlantic a number of times. His piece-de-resistance, however, must have been sailing the original Ramprasad (a traditional open Indian fishing boat made from teak) from India to Australia single handed. Check an Atlas to put into context just how mad this bloke is.

Sam can speak about 27 different languages and is a member of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. We’re in good hands.

Shortly before departing the UK aboard Ramprasad

Dad chats to Sam down below Ramprasad

Ramprasad was not the original Ramprasad. Way back in 1980 (when I was ten) Sam was discovering India, where he met and fell in love with the original Ramprasad:

Ramprasad after being hauled out in the village of Chapora in Goa - March 1980

Ramprasad after being hauled out in the village of Chapora in Goa – March 1980

December 1980 - the refit is progressing well - in the right of the picture is one of the wooden trawlers built there and covered with coconut thatch - skilled shipwrights were easy to find there

December 1980 – the refit is progressing well – in the right of the picture is one of the wooden trawlers built there and covered with coconut thatch – skilled shipwrights were easy to find there

You can read more about Sam’s story in Goa here.

See here for more Ramprasad tales from followtheboat.





One Comment on “Ramprasad – The End Of A Legend”

  1. Alex

    OK now that was a cool story! Sad to hear about Ramprasad II but I loved the history and hearing Sam’s story. 27 languages Sam?!?!

    I speak English and BS… that’s about it :p

    Respect!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *