Retired Boston surgeon drowns while sailing

Posted Sept. 03, 2012, at 9:30 p.m.

STEPHENVILLE, Newfoundland — Canadian police said Monday that recovered the body of a retired surgeon from Boston who drowned off western Newfoundland.

Dr. Ned Cabot, 69, was swept from his 15-yard (14-meter) sailing yacht Cielita in rough seas Saturday in an area about nine miles (16 kilometers) off Stephenville.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Cabot’s body was recovered Sunday by a helicopter.

A statement released by his family said Cabot, the father of four, practiced as a surgeon in the Boston area for many years and also taught at Harvard Medical School. Following his retirement, the avid sailor spent much of his time exploring the waters of the North Atlantic.

His family says Cabot was returning from Iceland via Greenland and the Newfoundland and Labrador coast when a rogue wave struck. Peter B. Ellis, a friend of Cabot’s for 40 years told The Boston Globe that the wave knocked the boat on its side, dumping Cabot and the helmsman into the water.

The helmsman was swept back on deck when the boat righted, but Cabot remained in the sea. His friends tried unsuccessfully to get him a rope, and couldn’t navigate the yacht to him because the wave had disabled the boat’s steering, Ellis said.

Cabot’s wife, Betsy Washburn Cabot, said her husband had a passion for adventure that he loved to share with others.

“He was good at everything he did, and a great teacher,” she said in the statement. “You couldn’t get out of an invitation by claiming you didn’t know how to do it, because he would teach you how.”

Cabot was the grandson of Godfrey Lowell Cabot, who in 1882 founded the Cabot Corp., a Boston-based company that manufactures industrial materials, the Globe reported. Cabot’s father, Thomas Dudley Cabot, was director of the State Department’s Office of International Security Affairs under President Harry S. Truman.

 

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