LYME — The sinking of a sailing yacht in ice-locked Hamburg Cove has raised questions as to why a craft of that size was left to winter in the water.

Visitors to yachting and other online forums to have speculated as to why the 52-foot boat — captured on dramatic drone footage on the eweather Facebook page, which went viral late last month — was allowed to sink.

But the Lyme harbormaster said it’s more common than one might think.

L. Thomas Reynolds knows the owner of the Ted Hood Little Harbor boat, dubbed Mazu, which is registered in Newport, R.I., but declined to give a name to guard the individual’s privacy.

“It’s quite common. Boats sink every day across the nation. It’s a little uncommon because we’ve got ice to deal with,” Reynolds said. With the area’s boating community being relatively small, he’s not surprised the incident has received so much attention.

Although he’s not sure of the exact cause, Reynolds believes the ship’s bilge pump could have failed. “The fire department tried [on the 26th] to save it. The owner was involved, trying to figure out where the leak was from,” he said, but it got too late in the day to continue work.

“It’s probably the result of extreme changes in temperature. One thing we do know is the hull did not get crushed from the ice,” Reynolds said.

The protected anchorage of Hamburg Cove, about 7 miles up from the mouth of the Connecticut River, on the eastern shore, is a well-known sailing destination. In the summer, the fjord-like lagoon is dotted with beautiful sailing craft.

East Haddam amateur photographer Frank DiNardi, who is employed by Novak Brothers Landscaping, was alerted to the mysterious boat moored in the cove on Jan. 16. He never leaves home without his camera and drone because a lot of his jobs take him to the scenic and historic area.

His drone video, posted on Facebook and, to date, garnering nearly 142,000 views and more than 1,600 shares, shows images from all sides of the vessel , alone, amid deep blue water, surrounded by a field of ice. It also shows the vessel’s teak deck with polished mahogany trim and shiny footings.

The eerie scene, set to music, was also captured from above, creating an otherworldly feel. Halfway through, while the ship is still afloat, the viewer hears the sound of wind, which sounds more like a deep exhale of breath .

The second half of the film shows the yacht about 10 feet below water, listing to port , its form barely discernible in the dark water.

Reynolds said the vessel will be recovered as soon as it’s safe to do so. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard will monitor the situation, he said.

DiNardi received a Instagram message Jan. 27 from a friend while he was in Vermont, alerting him the vessel had sunk. He has become a sleuth of sorts on the circumstances surrounding the sinking.

The fire department was on scene the day before, along with the owner, Reynolds said. Crews pumped the water out, “got it to a safe level, but (nonetheless) it started to sink,” he said.

“My first thought was sitting here I couldn’t believe how strange it looked, but how beautiful it was, too,” DiNardi said Monday. He has also filmed the Mazu in summer out on the water, as part of his photo taking year round.

“I’m the type of person who comments back on every comment I get, but I literally could not keep up with it this time. It was overwhelming,” Dinardo said in a subsequent video he posted Jan. 30 hoping to answer some questions.

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The photographer is constantly on the lookout for something interesting to photograph for his next project, such as wildlife and other natural scenery.

“I was pretty much in shock — everyone was just shocked to see the boat. I was definitely saddened,” said DiNardi, who has also spent quite a few weekends with a friend who has 40-foot sailboat, visiting Montauk, Sag Harbor and other locales.

As of last week, the owner and U.S. Coast Guard were working on a plan to raise the boat, according to Chris Collibee, director of communications for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The agency estimates there is between 80 and 100 gallons of diesel fuel on board, but nothing was released into the water. “From an [Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police] perspective, it’s not an issue. It’s not an abandoned boat or a boat accident per se,” he said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that DiNardi does not own Novak Brothers Landscaping. He works for the company.

Connecticut Media Group