Coast Guard Rescue Auke Bay
I will try to relate a story without being judgemental.
I had gone down to Auke Bay Harbor to work on the boat a few hours ago. There was a CG 25 footer tied up next to a skiff, rolling in his tow line in a downpour. With it raining so hard I was standing under cover for a while and started talking to a guy doing the same. I asked what was going on and he said that he and a friend were just rescued and towed in. Seems they had left for somewhere on Admiralty Island three days prior and on the first day out, the motor stopped with them miles out in the middle of nowhere adrift. We have been having some very hard rains and pretty cool temps. These guys had no gear other than what they had on which was rain gear over a wool shirt for one guy and rain gear and a sweatshirt for the other. He said they were soaked to the bone the entire time and still were. No food, no flares, no radio. He said that despite the huge spring tides, they didn't appear to drift at all. At some point they were able to "paddle" to an island and had some lighters with which they started a fire. It was a little sketchy as both of these guys were still pretty hypothermic and having trouble talking. It seems they spent at least two full nights at sea in horrible rain. Luckily the seas were pretty calm. I gave them a ride to where they could get warm and get some grub. I listened in while the coasties went over the event report with them. At one point, on the first night, one guy was able to call his mother in California and ask her to call the CG. At another point they encountered an individual who owned a cabin near where they ended up on a second beach on Admiralty Island somewhere who asked them if they needed help which they initially declined. Later he contacted them again and he was able to have the CG arrive in about an hour. I asked them what the coasties said when they got there and they said how ****ed lucky they were. I saw the skiff, all twelve feet, filling with water at the dock, engine cover askew, not much in it but a tangle of lines, a five gallon gas tank, a down-rigger and lots of water. That's the best I can remember the story. Hopefully no glaring inacuracies. Thank God these guys made it back.
They musta missed the "Be Prepared" part of growing up. I am glad they survived.
I know there are a bunch of folks that do that sort of thing and get away with it. And a few that don't...
I will be judgemental
I will be judgemental.
These guys were very lucky indeed. Did they even have life jackets??? No radio!!!
I used to run around in a 13' Smokercraft with a single 15 HP motor. I ALWAYS had my norwegian two-stroke as a back up - a PAIR of oars.
Dumb asses at Cruise West!!! 3 boat they grounded in the past year. USCG still investigating the cause??? ***??? Dipstick of a captain. You got a tide book, charts, GPS and a depthsounder. NO EXCUSES MAN. Yank his license post haste.
2 choppers from Sitka and 2 boats from Juneau sent to the scene. SEND THEM BILL DANG IT.
There was a little incident down near Taku Harbor on the 4th. USCG got a mayday call. They were on the horn trying to get more info. Had a Helo cruise right over the roof top of the cabin combing the shoreline. Probably some kid making a prank call as I never heard any more from this little incident. Anybody know what this one was about?
Every season, we add to our library of boating mishaps....some are lucky, like the guys Steve talked to and some aren't, like the two guys they found in Cook Inlet. Incidentally, we've lost nine people so far this year in recreational boating accidents.
The trick seems to be in preventing the situation from happening in the first place; recognizing when things are (or can) go bad and taking the proper steps to avoid the mishap in the first place. Luckily, a majority of boaters effectively do exactly that; they have the minimum required equipment plus extra safety gear including a means of communication, anchor/line, alternate propulsion and food & water.
Every accident I review, there's always a point at which the progression of events can be stopped. When an accident happens, more often than not, the boater never recognized/assessed the risk and didn't "break the chain" of events that inevitably lead to the accident.
Am I saying that I believe every accident is preventable? Yes, I am. Unfortunately, only hindsight is 20/20. What I'd really like to see is an improvement in foresight; we all know or have met boaters who could be considered "legally blind" when it comes to accident prevention. I wish them all the luck in the world; they need it! Boat Safe! Mike
I think its a bit much to say every accident is preventable. You can do all the right things, and if its your time, its your time. Rogue waves, other boaters, unmarked hazards.... There are things that will kill you, even if you do everything you should have done right.
However, I think most accidents are preventable, but alot of people fail to use even common sense. How many times have we seen people take boats out with no life jackets. Or take out boats, that are obviously underpowered, or overloaded? How many times have we seen people leaving port, on days with weather they have no buisness running in forcasted, or arriving?
The biggest part of safe boating, is the same as safe flying, YOU.
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