Excerpt from http://www.48north.com/feb2000/merlin1.htm
Well worth the time to read.
Boats don't just suddenly sink in a space of two or three hours. What could it be? Maybe a seacock failed. Usually he closes the seacocks when leaving the boat, but he didn't bother this time , we were only going to be gone a couple of hours. Maybe I didn't close the valve on the propane tank for the stove, another standard safety precaution. But we would have heard an explosion, and there would be debris. No, it must have been a through-hull fitting....
We are 35 miles south of our hometown of Sitka, Alaska, with a long stretch of open ocean between. There is not a boat in sight, although we do know there is one lone fishing boat at the head of the bay. Ward calls the Coast Guard on his handheld VHF to report the sinking. The fishing boat helps relay the call and invites us aboard. There will be a fish packer coming through in a few hours, he says, who will probably be able to carry us back to Sitka.