Author Topic: We were Hit!  (Read 200 times)

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 290
  • Karma: 4
We were Hit!
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:10:19 PM »
Hi all,

To wrap up what has been a "frustrating" year the story that follows is true to the best of my recollection.  Happened a few hours ago on Charlotte Harbor. 

Arthur and I head out about noon in his Cape Dory 22.  Forecast is NW @10 knots with gusts to 15 and trending down under 10 knots by 2.

We go out of Ponce Inlet and it is windy, maybe gusting to 15 with a nasty 2ft. close chop, and we decide to just use the jib as his main doesn't have reefing.  We get set up and I'm sailing straight west beating into it nicely.  The wind is a bit shifty and gusty but the boat loves it.  About a mile across I see a powerboat heading south about 200 yards to starboard coming right at me at about 10 knots bow up.   Watched for about 20 seconds and the angle isn't changing.  He is going to hit me about amidships unless he turns.  Nope he didn't move and I put the bow down and turned hoping he would cross in front.  I turned too late and he hit the stern and took out a piece of the teak and poked a 3 inch hole in the boat well above the waterline.  Took out the outboard bending the shifter in towards the cowl.  Outboard would probably start although I didn't try because the shifter was "fubar." 
The boat that hit us was a Rosborough 246 pilothouse.  He claimed he never saw us.  I don't doubt it.  He was heading straight into the sun.

I was sitting up toward the hatch and Arthur was behind me.  When we hit he went flying as he never saw it coming.  Luckily we both stayed on the boat and I was unhurt.  He had a bad cut on his leg, I think from the hatch lock, and a cut on his arm and on his right hand.   He was bleeding, which I wasn't really aware of right away as I was concerned more with keeping the boat under control and making sure we weren't taking on water.

I rolled up the jib and decided that the damage wasn't that bad and we were not sinking or taking on water.  The other boat stopped and came around to see if we needed help.  I said we were ok but noticed that Arthur was bleeding a little.  I asked him what he wanted to do and after we decided the motor was not usable he said call to 911 as he was bleeding a bit more and I saw the gash on his leg.  I did so and talked with the dispatcher and let her know our situation. 

She kept me on the line and asked me questions and I did my best to answer them while talking with Arthur and the other boat.  Arthur had a heart attack about 4 years ago and is on blood thinner meds and doesn't clot up like you or I.  It takes a while.  He was applying pressure to his hand wound and using paper towels to sop up the blood. 

I told the dispatcher that we were fine but that we needed someone to stop the bleeding and the County Sheriff boat and Punta Gorda Police were on the scene in about 10 minutes.  While we waited I called BoatUS for a tow.  They were very nice and said they would dispatch a boat.   The Punta Gorda Police and Charlotte County boats arrived and an EMT transferred over to our boat and wrapped up his wounds, took him on their boat to Ponce inlet and he took an ambulance to the hospital.  I told them I was fine with a tow on the way and they all, including the offender, headed in to Ponce.

While I waited for the tow I called Arthur's wife and told her what was going on and to meet him at Ponce or at the hospital.  She was somewhat in shock.  Next I got a call from boat us again who also have the insurance on the boat and I talked with the insurance department.  Very nice people and I had to hang up on them twice while I dealt with the Law Enforcement guys.   I must say that the County Sheriff, Punta Gorda Police, and FWC deputies and officers, and there were about 10 in all, were excellent and very professional. 

Speaking of which, while I was waiting for the tow, a young, armed FWC officer that we had passed coming in when we were coming out, came out and checked on me and asked about life jackets, horn, cushions, etc.  No problem officer.  Once he decided I wasn't drunk or panicking he was really nice and waited until the tow boat came and then followed us in. 

Tow was great, very well done.  I tied the boat off and breathed a sigh of relief.    Paperwork followed and Arthur come home all patched up.  Then the FWC guy left and we put the boat away.  Damage is not too bad and we will see what the insurance companies come up with.  Arthur is out of commission for a while.  He's a tough old guy and will bounce back.  If his wife lets him I have no doubt he will be out sailing as soon as he feels up to it. 

Looking back, I don't really think there was anything I could have done and the FWC guy seemed to agree.  Weekend warriors on powerboats.  I should know better than to go out on a holiday weekend. 

Be safe all,

Happy New Year! 

Bryan


 
2005 Eclipse #23

Offline Tim Gardner

  • 1985 CP19/II # 323 "Andiamo!"
  • Fleet Admiral
  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 1277
  • Karma: 46
  • NSA: This is not the 'droid you're looking for
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 05:20:05 PM »
Hey Bryan,

Tough day for Arthur and you as well.  Good everyone to remember that if an approaching craft gets closer and his relative bearing does not change, then you will most assuredly collide.

Hope you are back on the water soon.

TG
"The sea is selective, slow at recognition of effort and aptitude, but fast in sinking the unfit"  - Adm Felix Riesenberg.

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 290
  • Karma: 4
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 05:49:26 PM »
Thanks Tim.  I used to play those angles with 747-400's that fell out of the sky at 180 knots vs. mooneys, bonanzas, and all the rest to IFR rated c172s and cardinals.  It was fun.  Most fun was a C150 10 miles out on final at midway and trying to keep a ATA 757 behind him.   How long does it take the 150 to get to touchdown if it is 10 miles out at 120 knots?  How long does it take the 757 to wind up 3 miles behind him when the 150 lands if the b757 does 150 knots all the way to the OM?   The important thing is how fast can the 150 go from the OM to touchdown. How big a gap do we need? Hell if I know.  I never got that one right! 

Take Care,

Bryan
2005 Eclipse #23

Offline Christopher

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 47
  • Karma: 2
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 09:11:06 PM »
Bryan,
  I'm glad you began evasive action when you did or it sounds like the accident could have been a lot worse.  I hope you will be able to sail her again soon.

Happy New Year,

Chris

Offline captronr

  • 2nd Watch Helmsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 149
  • Karma: 3
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 11:46:09 PM »
Well written post Bryan.  Had to have been scary; Glad no one was hurt.

Ron
"When the world ends, I want to be in KANSAS, because its 20 years behind the times."  Plagarized from Mark Twain

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 08:14:23 AM »
Holidays....  enough said.  Sorry about Arthur.  Give him my best.  I look forward to sailing with you guys again.
Tough day on the water but sounds like great service from police, etc.  Good thing that is a pretty tough boat.  Is the motor MIA?

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 290
  • Karma: 4
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 08:55:32 AM »
It was still attached to the transom and spun around 90 degrees.  The shifter was canted in toward the cowl and wouldn't move.  Someone with more mechanical skills may have been able to fix it.  I didn't try to start it.  Towboat US was the best choice seeing as we are both members and they are in Fisherman's village.  They had a boat there within 30 minutes of my call. 

My untrained eye guesses that the motor can be fixed pretty easily.  It was tilted up took kind of a glancing blow.

 I look back today and think that if I hadn't turned he would have t-boned us as we were heeled over with the rail down and maybe punched a big hole in the side of the boat,  sending her to the bottom. 

It could have been a lot worse. 

Another day, another lesson learned.

Take care, see you soon Al. 

Bryan
2005 Eclipse #23

Offline deisher6

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 766
  • Karma: 23
Re: We were Hit!
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 09:58:47 AM »
Brian, thanks for the very informative post.  Thankfully a pretty good ending.
regards charlie