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Thread: what happened here?

  1. #1
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    Default what happened here?

    this text is from the troopers website. i'm not quite sure how this happened. maybe somebody can explain better.



    Text:Synopsis: On August 11, 2006 at 13:55 hours Soldotna AST dispatch
    received a report from the US Coast Guard
    of an overturned 18 foot skiff near Pogibahi Point. Investigation
    determined Michael J. Speece, age 54 of WA,
    Charles L. Speece, age 29 of Wa, and Gene E. Speece, age 74 of WA were
    anchored off of Point Pogibahi when the
    tide turned. The tide was a high exchange and pulled the anchor line
    tight. The back of the skiff pulled under the
    water and the skiff overturned. The USCG responded with a helicopter
    and a rescue swimmer

  2. #2
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    Default wrong end

    Are you thinking what I am? Did these guys tie the anchor to the stern? I hope they made it OK. j

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Not enough rode

    The rode length was too short and they anchored at the stern. The anchor must have caught in the bottom and as the tide came in (up) the stern was pulled under.

    Anchoring on the ocean where there are major tidal changes is a learning process. Not enough rode, too much rode, not enough chain, too close to shore, to far from shore, prevailing winds ...........

    TOOOOOOO many people come into Valdez with every craft under the sun expecting it to be an ocean going craft capable of handling Alaskan conditions with little knowledge of what those conditions may be or entail.

  4. #4
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    Default why

    would they anchor from the stern? i suppose even anchoring from the bow with short rode would be a major problem.

  5. #5
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Question Knife?

    Surely someone on the skiff had a knife. I think when I saw the freeboard getting dangerously low and I couldn't get the anchor up I would have no problem whacking the anchor line to break free! This is one reason that I always have my fixed blade knife hanging around my neck while on the boat......for quick access!
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  6. #6
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default

    About 10 years ago a woman named Bradney (Barbara I think) was drowned off Deep Creek in a similar "stern anchor" incident. She was fishing with family in a cuddy cabin type boat. The water got rough and they decided to go in. The anchor was stuck and the boat driver decided to tie off to the stern clete to better use the boats power to pull it free. The driver went down-sea and when the line went taught, the stern dropped and a big wave came over the transom and swamped the boat which capsized almost immediately. She was trapped in the cabin.

    Moral of the story...Never, ever, ever tie the anchor to the stern in water that moves.

    I, for one am glad the 3 men were rescued

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Another possibility

    If they anchored from the bow and the rode was too short, and the current really strong, the boat could have fishtailed badly enough that the stern submerged at either the port or starboard side. I got into a situation once with my jet boat where we lost power in the Susitna River and had two choices; get swept into some really dangerous sweepers and logs on the curve or toss the anchor over until we could fire the motor back up. We opted for the anchor, intending to simply slow our drift on the silty bottom. It hung up on a deadfall and fishtailed the boat a couple of times before we got the motor back up and got out of there. It was a close call, but the fishtailing nearly capsized us. The boat came to the outside of a swing, then tilted radically before swinging the other way. It would be easy to see how the stern could submerge in the right (or I guess wrong) conditions.

    That's one possibility anyway.

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  8. #8
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    Default takes about 2 seconds

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud
    Surely someone on the skiff had a knife. I think when I saw the freeboard getting dangerously low and I couldn't get the anchor up I would have no problem whacking the anchor line to break free! This is one reason that I always have my fixed blade knife hanging around my neck while on the boat......for quick access!

    Even with a knife, this only takes about 2 seconds to submerge the boat and flip it. There wouldn't be time. I tied an anchor to the stern of an inflatable once before I learned what a 7 knot tide was, and to this day I am glad I was in an inflatable, it scared the S#$*@ out of me to say the least. Another possibility is the anchor rode cought the outboard on the tide turn and caused the boat to "stern" anchor, it would be over before you knew what happened.

    Chris

  9. #9
    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Default

    I have heard of the outdrive catching the rope at slack tide then holding the stern into the current when it turns.

  10. #10
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    Default

    My guess would be the anchor line wrapped on the outboard. This same thing almost happened to an old boss of mine out of Deep Creek. Her husband was quick enough with a knife once they realized what was happening and except for losing a brand new anchor and line, they were okay. Not a bad idea to tilt that motor up.

  11. #11

    Default boat

    Was out there at that time. What I could here on the radio, there was no survivors...

  12. #12

    Default apperently the 2 nyounger men made it, the 74 year old

    did not.
    Not wearing PFDs. I wince when I see folks not wearing them in small boats: bad things happen too fast...

    http://www.homertribune.com/article.php?bid=9000

  13. #13
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default The old man...

    ...was caught under the skiff. He was alive, but unconcious when they got to him. He died on the way to the hospital. That place has some swift currents. It's noted as dangerous on the charts. If nothing more, these types of incidents serve to remind us that it isn't wise to take boating on the big salt for granted.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I agree, it isn't wise to take any boating in Alaska for granted; not much excuse for not wearing a lifejacket these days, especially with all the newer jackets available. Combined with a lack of knowledge, poor decision-making processes and sometimes just plain bad luck and it's not difficult to see why Alaska has about 4-5 times the national fatality rate in recreational boating fatalities. Add the cold water and you just don't last very long when you get dunked, unless someone is close enough to help you or you can self-rescue. Anybody out there actually ever tried to get back in your boat or help someone else in? It's alot tougher than it looks!

  15. #15

    Default I was there

    the only news release that was close was the homer news. We were pulling anchor, but it must have been stuck. When I hit the end of my anchor line I was whipped around hard and broke my bow line. Would have escaped injury at that, except... I had tailed the anchore line off on a cleat mid ship, for ez retrieval. When that line came tight we were upside down in about 3 seconds... long before any of us knew what had happened.

    Mike Speece

  16. #16
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    Default thanks mike

    for filling us in. i'm sure it was a scary time out there.

  17. #17
    Member plankton's Avatar
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    Default What about the possibility of

    Not enough scope and a raising tide. I know I've found out the hard way when being tied up to a ladder on a dock and left my skiff for a couple hours on a raising tide...yep you guess it...bottoms up. Well I heard of bigger boats not having enough scope out on thier anchor line on a flat calm night and the tide changes and thier anchor was hooked up to a rock that wouldn't let go. In this case the cathead snapped in half which cut thier line and sent them sailing free. Hard way to wake up though.

  18. #18

    Default

    Mike Speece you have my sincere condolences. Thansk for clarifying things for us.
    Rob Leahy

  19. #19

    Default details

    Mike - First of all, I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that. It must have been very rough.

    Could you elaborate some on how you had your line tied? Not sure how the setup was. I only ask so that I don't repeat the situation.

  20. #20

    Default how not to tie off...

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver
    Mike - First of all, I'm sorry to hear you had to go through that. It must have been very rough.

    Could you elaborate some on how you had your line tied? Not sure how the setup was. I only ask so that I don't repeat the situation.
    Thanks Sky, first off, the boat is an early model fiberform tri-hull, with no fore deck, so pulling and stowing the anchor/line thru the center windshield is not a good option... therefore, I tried to devise a better plan for retrieval.

    My bow line was about 20 feet long, 3/8 inch rope with a 4 foot long eye spliced at the end. What I had done was tie off my half inch anchor line to that eye with a bowline knot, but I left about 20 feet of tail beyond that and tied that off to a side cleat aft of my cabin. The plan was to get the anchor up, then idle back to it and someone would pull in the line, anchor, chain and bouy, with the painter still attached and we would travel to a new spot.

    Now here is the fatal flaw in my design... If ever you tail off to anything other than the bow cleat or bow eye, use a very light line that will break easily if the bow line should break. That line was for hand over hand retrieval of the line once the anchor was floating.

    I never dreamed the bow line would part and that I would be anchored sideways against the tide. As it was, the six inch galvanized dock cleat I was tailed off to broke and allowed the figure 8 cleat hitch to slip off or the boat would have remained below the surface until the tide changed again. None of us would have survived if that had happened.

    If I ever decide to anchor this boat again, I will use some flimsy chord that is rated at 100 pounds or less for my retrieval line.

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