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artb 08-31-2004 05:20 AM

Another Needless Death
The reports in the Providence Journal and the local TV reports about a CT 14 foot boat turning over in the rip on Sugar Reef with the loss of one life. How many times have I stated that Sugar Reef has some of the best fishing in the area, but it is a very dangerous place for small boats? The waves break over the reef, and are no match for small boats very easy to take a wave over the stern , or take one broadside in a turn. My heart goes out to the family of the man that lost his life needlessly. When fishing the reefs between Watch Hill and Fishers Island be extremely careful it is no place to get lax. A day's outing can spoil ones life easily.

Penguin 08-31-2004 07:53 AM

Rogue snooze you looze...
WHAT ART SAID!! :tsk_tsk:
When I kept my boat at Richie Wilson's place up past the sub base on the Thames, Sugar Reef was my favourite spot...
A beautiful and sinister siren that bore constant watching and undivided attention!
When ever there was a BIG storm out at sea to generate BIG swells, the seemingly calm reef would hatch rollers out'a nowhere...
Badabing Badaboom...
If you let yourself slide into the kill zone, you could/would be toast and never know what hit you other than a whoop ass case of complacency and inattention...

BigDave 08-31-2004 08:41 AM

Not wise to be out there in a 14ft. I have been out there in
a 20 ft and had to hold on to avoid going over. Particularly
encouraging when there is overhead surf breaking down
at the end of the reef.

Sad story.

SageBoy 08-31-2004 10:18 AM

Just took a look at the article. Those guys were in a 20ft boat. Even with that size you still need to have eyes in the back of your head when boating in that area. I was out there on Friday and had seen guys that could have been in a 10ft boat and was wondering if I would ever hear about them on the news. Probably not the same guys but to the point of others you really need to be on your game when boating in that area regardless of the size.

artb 08-31-2004 01:15 PM

boat size?
I have heard so many different stories about it, size of boat from 14 foot to 20 foot, now back to 16 foot. Three different sets of people trying for the rescue. It sure was too bad. I have got to get downstairs, tough with a broken leg, and find a couple of pictures. I have an excellent video taken from my son's 27 footer going right by the mast at about 20 knots. A lobsterman friend said that the mast will probably fall off this winter, then there will be a problem as it won't be very far below the surface. It doesn't really matter the size of the boat, it is an area for extreme caution. I am just trying to point out that it is an area to aware of the sea. You might ask GregD about the area. I think he had an experince there. Just trying to make guys aware of the dangers.

Nick 08-31-2004 02:38 PM

nasty zone for sure! I've got some pics somewhere of whitewater coming over the reef during some large swells we had last summer. Simply breathtaking...and unreal!

GregD 08-31-2004 04:31 PM

Waves + reefs = Danger
Yea I too have found the Sugar reef area quite dangerous. Although my troubles were with rocks that became uncovered at low tide, I know the waves are also a concern on certain days. I think many fisherman fail to relize that much of the waves energy as it comes accross the water is under the surface. When a powerful wave encounters a reef most of the energy comes up over the reef hatching a much larger wave than what was visable the moment before it encountered the reef wall. I think all of us know that the waves are made even steeper to almost wall type conditions due to the influence of the current. The outgoing currents as opposed to incoming can make the worst conditions over a reef from what I have read on the subject.

The Merrimac river current plus the waves coming in can make the mouth of the river impassable at times tossing big boats around like rag dolls. The biggest examples of these condition current induced waves I have seen were actually out west at Neah Bay or in Alaska with 25 foot tides influencing the surf in a big way. The conditions were so treacherous that waiting till slack tides seemed like the only way to pass safely in all but the biggest boats. Something to keep in mind around reefs and river mouths.

Tight lines,

flydoc 08-31-2004 05:43 PM

I remember watching a show about the mouth of the Columbia River, which they called the "Boat Graveyard of the Northwest" for similar reasons...
Doc Shep

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