Racing Sailboat Recovered in Gulf of Mexico

Salvage experts have recovered a racing sailboat that sank in the Gulf of Mexico last week, killing one crew member and leaving five survivors adrift at sea for 26 hours.

The Cynthia Woods was towed back to shore Wednesday and will be inspected as investigators try to determine what caused it to capsize. Officials believe the keel of the vessel ripped off shortly after the Regata de Amigos race began Friday, filling the boat with water.

They had hoped the sailboat's log book could give answers about maintenance and repairs on the 38-foot vessel, but the book was not found.

Development tycoon George Mitchell donated the Cynthia Woods and an identical boat to Texas A&M University in 2006, the Galveston County Daily News and Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

The university has taken the other boat, the George Phydias, out of commission until officials can determine whether a design defect caused the keel failure.

The company that built the boats, North Carolina-based Cape Fear Yacht Works, said in a statement Wednesday it stands by its products. The company is owned by George Mitchell's son, Keith.

"We believe in the design, construction and safety of our vessels," the company said.

It also said it was not responsible for maintenance or repair work after the vessel left the factory.