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Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 08-17-2005, 09:12 AM
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Wake up call...

For those of you who may not have seen it please take a moment and pop over to Reel-Time to read Mark Cahill's "Sinking and Survival" thread. The short story is that he took water over the stern this past weekend and within 5 seconds needed to abandon ship. Needless to say the 5 second interval really struck me and has me rethinking all of the safety precautions I take on my boat. With all the SBFT fever going around it is easy to forget how wrong things can go in a hurry out there.

Be safe.

Sean
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:48 AM
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Definitely 'required reading' for those running boats out there.

I ran a boat for years in the Straits of Juan DeFuca, the inlet between the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island. I can share some close call / stories as well but none that forced decisions in 5 seconds!

You can never be too prepared, and it only takes one incident to potentially change your life and the life of your dear ones.
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Definitely 'required reading' for those running boats out there.
And for those riding on boats. One thing I will change is the time I spend with passengers making sure they know exactly where everything is and how to use it.

Sean
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:51 AM
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In the heated pursuit of great fishing, it's easy to lose perspective of what's important. Safety has always come first for me, and stories such as Mark's are sobering reminders to us to remain vigilant.

I'm very glad that he and his partner are okay.
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Last edited by Dble Haul; 08-17-2005 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:25 AM
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It`s these these Bluefin that are luring boaters into dangerous situations. The passion to chase them has people throwing caution to the wind. Sundays forcast of treacherous seas and large swells was virtualy ignored by fishermen in a frenzy to get in the game. After a month of chaseing them it`s amazing the things you see out there. Next someone will be heading to the Mud Hole in a kayak! I`ve been just as guilty, after spending a couple of hours navigating by compass in a pea soup fog and rough water on Sat. I decided that prudence is the better part of caution and relagated myself to sleep in Sun.
What did interest me was the lack of a float plan, I`ve never thought about one. For years I allways said that no one would know where I was or miss me till I didn`t show up to work, that may be all right if your walking a beach, but is just dumb when out on the ocean. No longer will it be " Somewhere between P-town and Montauk".
People with very limited experience and inadaquate vessels are taking unusualy high risk. It`s time to sit back and revaluate the chances we take just for a fish.
Slinger
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:47 PM
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Yes that story was a definite wake up call. I always do a quick 1-2 minute safety briefing with my passengers and make them aware of where everything is kept. The cell phone in a bag was a great idea and one I shall do from now on. To be honest I think there was something else going on with Mark's boat to have that happen so quickly, he even said that he thought there was an outstanding issue before he took the wave over the back. I have on many occassions taken considerable water over the stern and it always flows back out as fast as it entered, a testament to the design of my Triton. The other plus is the fact that in my boat there is no way for the water to infiltrate the bilge unless I leave one of access hatches open which never happens, so if water comes in that is the only place it is going is on the deck so if swampped I believe that my boat should stay upright without issue and it would be a matter of powering up and draining the water out. All of this does not take away from the fact that you should be safety concious at all times and file a float plan with friends/wife/relatives, it is this information that the CG will use to base their search for you on and if there is no float plan then it is like a needle in a haystack. Be careful out there and enjoy the bluefin bite while it lasts.
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:22 PM
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I remember making 5 hour runs in seas as high as telephone poles, luckily spaced about as far apart. Although we quartered into these waves, they would occasionally present a hairy traverse over the top when they'd threaten to break and pitch-pole us into the dark north pacific, often over 1000 ft deep in this chasm that separates Swiftsure bank and Neah Bay. The sky was darker than the water, and the water was dark - and it was mid-day.

They got closer together as we passed the US border mid-strait, and huge waves would come completely over the console on Ken Morgan's 21ft Bell Bouy, and the other 3 boats were also being virtually submerged on the long, slow run through the storm. Only by happenstance would we see another boat in our party, when the sequence of waves would coincide. Over the course of several coincidences, all would be accounted for without radio contact and Ken would turn his eyes straight ahead for a while.

We would be staring directly into the depths as each of these came over the top of the hardtop and fell like a 2 ton curtain of water, a thundering cascade down the back of the bulkhead filling the deck with seawater as the bilge labored and the scuppers flared like firehoses, yelling to talk to each other a few feet apart in the howling wind. I remember seeing the inside of these waves and looking up through them at the dark sky.

Another thing to think about out there is the water temps. You'd only last 20 minutes out there before hypothermia claimed you, and based on the timing mentioned in Mark's account that would be about 20 minutes too few. Something to think about in spring or fall, or when a big chill emerges like two weeks ago when the back beaches plummeted to 51 degrees F on Cape Cod.

As another wave would roll over us, I would just look over at the Clint Eastwood face of my angling mentor, 30 years my senior but twice as spry - and as long as he didn't flinch I didn't panic. We had our limits of big halibut aboard, kings and coho, and some big lings. I wondered if we'd have to jettison the motherlode, but we never did and I took fillet duty in the storm back at the docks. The chill of rainwater and sweat pouring down the back of my neck was only washed away by the hot shower and hard liquor at the motel kitchen. I slept like a rock, no like a dead rock that night.
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Old 08-17-2005, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juro
Another thing to think about out there is the water temps. You'd only last 20 minutes out there before hypothermia claimed you, and based on the timing mentioned in Mark's account that would be about 20 minutes too few. Something to think about in spring or fall, or when a big chill emerges like two weeks ago when the back beaches plummeted to 51 degrees F on Cape Cod.
In western NY, where boats go out on 32-degree Niagara River & Lake Ontario
waters all winter long, the guides wear Mustang suits to change the odds a bit
if they end up in the water.

One of the very basic things about boats is that they are alien to most of the
people who use them. We all grew up with cars, so by the time we get around
to driving them, we explicitly and implicitly know about a lot of their shortcomings
and dangers and problems to avoid. So, for example, most of us know something
black ice. But most of us have not had that sort of life-experience with boats
before we take them on as adults, which means that most of us simply do not
know what we might be in for. And, as others said, when something happens it
often comes on us incredibly quickly. I had several brushes with disaster and
all seemed to come out of nowhere at 100 miles an hour.
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Last edited by Greg Pavlov; 08-17-2005 at 11:11 PM.
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