In the October 17th edition of the Detroit Regatta Review, the newsletter pointed to a rare piece of video footage showing an incident from August, 1958. Bill Muncey was driving the Miss Thriftway in the Gold Cup, then in Seattle. He lost a rudder and ran into a Coast Guard Cutter, which sunk.
The video of the accident was posted on youtube.com, shot off a TV screen with some of the play-by-play of the event and its aftermath. While the actual collision is mostly obscured by trees, you can see the aftermath including the actual sinking of the Coast Guard boat, which happened remarkably fast.
HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE TEXT OF THE 1958 ASSOCIATED PRESS STORY THAT ANNOUNCED THE ACCIDENT:
"The ninety-mile Gold Cup race was contested in three thirty-mile heats on colorful Lake Washington. It was in the second beat that Miss Thriftway, driven by Bill Muncey, came to grief. Miss Thriftway, rudderless and helpless, tore into a forty-foot Coast Guard picket boat like a torpedo and both sank. Muncey and five Coast Guard crewmen, were injured.
Muncey was plucked from the water by a Coast Guard helicopter two minutes after the accident and was lifted to shore. He was found to have only cuts and bruises when examined at a hospital. None of the Coast Guardsmen was injured seriously.
The spectacular accident was witnessed by an estimated 500,000 persons.
Muncey's brush with death was his second in less than a year. He narrowly escaped when the original Miss Thriftway cracked up on the Ohio River at Madison, Ind., in a regatta last fall.
The six boats in the heat had got off to a tightly-bunched start and were in a jam at the first turn of the course when Miss Thriftway crashed the patrol boat. Muncey was thrown into the water. Flares fired from the official barge and by officials on the south turn stopped the race at that pnint and sent the remaining five boats back to the pits."