Shipwrecked, Beached and Barefoot

Several years ago, Ken and I were touched by the movie, Pay It Forward in which a young boy sought to change the world by encouraging friends to give to someone in need with no expectation of receiving anything in return.  The only requirement of the recipient was to “pay it forward.”  

 Since then, we have become close friends with Steve and Gretchen (Knehr) Bozarth as new arrivals to the historic community of Aiken, SC in 2014.  Last fall, we met their son Brian Hathaway (son of Gretchen Knehr, nephew of Kevin and George Knehr of Medfield, MASS) on his boat in Marina Del Rey, CA.  Brian, a film editor, devised a creative lifestyle to overcome prohibitively high Southern California housing costs while pursuing his sailing passion by purchasing, living aboard and working full-time on a sailboat in the Marina. 

 When we heard of Brian’s recent accident resulting in the loss of his home, clothes, and all possessions including all equipment used to generate his livelihood, we felt it was an ideal time to “pay it forward” and offer other friends the same opportunity.  Below is Brian’s story written by his parents:

 On Wednesday, January 29th, our son Brian lost everything—his house, his office and all of his personal possessions—when his live-aboard sail boat sunk.  While out on an evening cruise up to the Santa Monica pier and back to Marina del Rey, a routine outing, Brian’s boat ran aground.  Somehow, the autopilot disengaged and it didn’t trigger the audible warning sound alerting him that the boat was no longer under control.  When he realized what had happened, he jumped for the radio to send out a distress call and tried repeatedly to back the boat out of danger.  Next, he ensured his passenger was fitted with a life vest as they were forced to abandon the boat with water pouring into the salon from a gaping hole.  For the next several hours, Brian watched helplessly as the surf battered his boat filling it with water.

 This boat was Brian’s life, his passion, his reason to exist, his home and his office.  People who know Brian have never seen him smile as much as when he sails.  He began sailing two years ago on a smaller boat and began crewing for races in and around Marina del Rey.   Last March, he purchased his boat, a 2006 Hunter Deck Salon.  With his own vessel, he found a freedom and serenity that he had never enjoyed.   He loved sailing with friends and impressed everyone with his discipline and professionalism as he maneuvered the boat. 

 On the 29th, he lost everything.  He lost all of his personal possessions, his clothes and all of his professional gear for filming and editing. Yes, the boat was insured.  Unfortunately, due to the boat’s length and the size of the hole in the hull, it couldn’t be towed.  Therefore, the State of California mandated that the boat be demolished at his expense which will consume a significant portion of the insurance settlement.  His uninsured loss is estimated to be over $100,000. 

Please note that Brian's dad Steve is listed as the beneficiary of this account.  To save time and additional workload for Brian, Steve set up this account with Wells Fargo here in Aiken.  The account is titled 'Brian's Account' and all the funds from your donation(s) will be withdrawn and sent to Brian.  These funds are for his exclusive use to help offset the loss of his boat and personal possessions.  


  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Connie McCorkle
Aiken, SC
Steve Bozarth

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