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Re: [bolger] Re: running inlets

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  • jhkohnen@boat-links.com
    In-Reply-To: X-Mailer: Yarn 0.92 with YES 0.22 Lines: 80 The early reports of
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 30, 2003
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      The early reports of the Taki-Tooo disaster cited a surviving fisherman
      saying that the skipper turned the boat right, parallel to the seas, which
      sounded unlikely to me, since he was an experienced skipper and he wouldn't
      have survived that long if he pulled stunts like that. Later the deckhand,
      who is probably the most reliable witness, having grown up in the business,
      said that a wave slewed the boat around, and the skipper was trying to get
      it headed into the waves again when the next wave caught and rolled it,
      which seems much more likely. The water on the bar is at least 18',
      according to a survey done this week, at the bottom of the minus tide that
      morning that would leave at least 16', the damage to the rudders probably
      happened when the boat washed up on the beach.

      It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, but I question the wisdom of
      heading out on a morning like that while the tide was still ebbing, I'll bet
      the bar was a lot easier just an hour later. Other boats had got out though,
      so it must have seemed a reasonable chance to the skipper, and I'll bet he'd
      crossed the bar in similar conditions many times before. I can't say he was
      stupid to try it again. The pressures of trying to make a living from the
      sea lead to taking chances that those of us who go out on the water just for
      fun wouldn't think of, but it's a calculated risk, not foolhardiness.

      With one exception, none of the victims' bodies found so far were wearing
      lifejackets. Some of the survivors managed to grab lifejackets, but not all
      of them. The deckhand didn't have one. Four people were trapped in the Taki-
      Tooo's cabin when she capsized and they put on lifejackets before trying to
      get out. Three of them made it, but the other never got out of the cabin and
      was the one victim with a lifejacket on.

      The charter boats really ought to make their sports wear lifejackets when
      crossing the bar. I don't think it would be bad for business in the long
      run. Eleven drowned people from the Taki-Tooo will do a lot more to set
      business back!

      On Sun, 29 Jun 2003 11:40:44 -0700, Gary wrote:
      > I talked to commercial fisherman friend of mine who lives in Newport, OR,
      > south of Tillamook. This is the story he put together from various local
      > reports:
      > The swell was about 15' and it was low tide which leaves only 15' of water
      > on the bar. The skipper waited inside for about an hour thinking about
      it.
      > He watched another commercial boat go out. They slammed down so hard one
      of
      > the passengers put his elbow through a window. They continued out and
      went
      > fishing. Another boat gave up and went back to the marina, where another
      > skipper who was planning on going out changed his mind after hearing what
      it
      > was like. But this guy decided to go for it even though it was low tide
      and
      > and the ebb was still flowing.
      > The first wave he hit was about 10' and not breaking, but so steep the
      boat
      > came down real hard. For some unknown reason he then made a hard right
      turn
      > and headed north, throttles full open. My friend thinks he may have been
      > heading for deeper water or trying to turn around. Maybe he was just out
      of
      > control from falling off the first wave. The next wave caught him
      sideways
      > and rolled the boat over. It rolled twice but he's not sure if that was
      on
      > one wave or two. The rudders and props were bent, so it must have been
      real
      > shallow. Since the skipper didn't survive, we'll never know what he was
      > thinking. He did have about $700 to gross that day though. If he kept
      his
      > bows into the waves he might have made it, even though it was a stupid
      thing
      > to attempt.
      > Gary

      --
      John <jkohnen@...>
      http://www.boat-links.com/
      There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is
      the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness.
      <H. L. Mencken>
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