Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boaters Plucked, Houseboat Burns

There were some wild rescues over the past few days. Here are the stories that we thought were worth sharing.

Run aground, catch a helicopter ride, repeat.
Two boats ran aground on opposite sides of the country this past weekend, and the crews of both were rescued by Coast Guard helicopters and brought to safety. Both links accompanying the following stories have video.
  • On Saturday evening, three people were rescued from the Lucky Duck, a 27 ft sailboat, by a Coast Guard helicopter, after the boat ran aground near St. Simons Island in Georgia.  (Full story)
  • On Sunday morning, six people were plucked from a 26 ft powerboat named Honey Bee after it ran aground on Matia Island in the Juan De Fuca Strait, Washington. (Full story)
We admittedly don’t know all the circumstances that led up to these two groundings, but there are a couple of takeaways here... or at least an excuse for us to share a couple of safety tips, such as:

Constantly monitor your weather radio - storms can come out of nowhere and ruin your whole day.
Always have your lifejackets ready - you don’t want to waste time looking for them in an emergency.
Make sure your VHF radio works - you want to be able to call for help like it appears these boaters were able to do.
(More on the FirstBoat boating safety page).

Burning to the bottom of the lake
On Saturday morning, a 35-foot houseboat burned to the frame, and then sank to the bottom of Brookville Lake in Indiana. Its two passengers escaped to another boat without injury. (Full story)

The takeaway: Could an onboard fire extinguisher have helped salvage this boat and prevented it from littering the lake? Maybe, but the smart move here was simply to get off the boat as quickly as possible, which these folks appeared to have done.

Boaters beware in Alaska
After a 24 ft boat was found drifting on the Eek River on Monday, the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that as many as 7 people may have drowned in Alaska in just two weeks. All incidents involved small boats and men not wearing lifejackets.

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