• Nathan and Linda Carman on one of their fishing trips. (Courtesy of The Law Offices of Hubert J. Santos)
    Nathan and Linda Carman on one of their fishing trips. (Courtesy of The Law Offices of Hubert J. Santos)
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Hartford Courant

At the start of a federal trial in U.S. District Court about the sinking of Nathan Carman’s boat, a lawyer for one of his insurance companies said it was “perfectly predictable” that the boat sank after changes made by Carman.

“He left Point Judith with holes in his boat and 12 hours later it sank,” David Farrell, a lawyer for the Boat Owners Association of the United States, told the court. Farrell said Carman used an epoxy to fill holes he made in the boat, despite directions that said “do not use to fill holes.” When you add up all of the ill-advised changes Carman made to the boat, Farrell said it was predictable “that it sank the next day.”

Carman, whose insurance companies are refusing to pay an $85,000 claim for his boat, has said he was adrift for seven days after his boat sank while fishing for tuna, with his mother aboard. His mother, Linda Carman, has never been found after the sinking on Sept. 16, 2016 in an area off of Long Island known as “Block Canyon.”

Farrell said in his opening statement that a hypothermia expert will testify there is little chance Carman was drifting in a life raft for a week before his rescue. He said a physician from Massachusetts General Hospital will testify based on photos taken of Carman after he was rescued at sea that he “must have been in the life raft significantly shorter than the seven days” that he claims.

Farrell also said that an oceanographic expert from the Woods Hole Institute will testify that an analysis of tides in September of 2016 “doesn’t support a Block Canyon sinking that day.” He said there is an 80-mile difference where Carman was found and where the expert estimates his raft should have floated.

U.S. District Court Judge John McConnell is restricting the trial to issues surrounding the insurance claim for the boat and not larger questions about the disappearance of Carman’s mother or the murder of his grandfather John Chakalos in 2013, where police say Carman remains a person of interest.

Read the full story at the Hartford Courant.

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