We report on the sad loss of a classic boat, admired and well-known by generations of boaters and anglers, the 1961 Rybovich Hull #49, Miss Budweiser, owned by the Busch family. Following is an email from Pat Rybovich, in which is shared another email, from Michael Rybovich, that reports on the tragedy.
The loss of one of our finest
Hi, unfortunately I have sad Rybovich news to share. Yesterday my cousin Michael Rybovich sent me this message.
We lost Miss Budweiser this morning down in the Keys. She was on her way back from the Hemingway tournament in Cuba. So far the report is that an engine room fire took her very quickly. She burned to the waterline and is now with the boys upstairs. We are broken-hearted and at half-mast.*
The video was taken by a friend of mine, Ed Merrel who saw a boat in flames, not knowing that it was Miss Budweiser. In the Rybovich book Ed tells the story of how back in the 1950s Cuba he and his dad fell in love with Rybovich boats that fished the early Hemingway Tournaments. It is ironic that Miss Budweiser was just returning from the recent Hemingway Tournament in Cuba when Ed saw and filmed the tragic sight of Miss Budweiser as she burst into flames.
Miss Budweiser (1961 Rybovich Hull #49) was an extraordinary boat with a rich pedigree. The Busch family told stories of the many celebrities, like Frank Sinatra, being entertained on the Miss Bud. She was truly Rybovich royalty.
Thank God no one was hurt in the devastating fire. Our heart and prayers go out to the Busch family.