Monday, August 09, 2010

Boaters Found Drifting, Treading Water

Two separate incidents over the weekend remind us to boat safely.

Jacksonville, Florida
After drifting for three days at sea on a 32 ft center console fishing boat, three men were found safe more than 80 miles off the coast of Jacksonville. The men were forced to survive on sushi as both their vessel (boat name: the Shade Maker) and VHF radio bit the dust. A Gulf Stream current then apparently carried them far off course before they were spotted by a Navy ship on Sunday afternoon. The fact that a family member reported the boaters missing when they didn’t arrive on schedule shows the value of a float plan. A GPS transponder, flares, back-up radio are a few items that might have gotten them rescued sooner according to some of the comments below the CNN article about the rescue.

Chicago, Illinois
In an incident with a less fortunate ending, all four of the young adults aboard an untethered 31-foot sailboat (boat name: Joan's Arc) jumped off the boat to go for a swim in Lake Michigan in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Unfortunately, after the boat floated away, only two of the four were found treading water about five hours later. It is an understatement to say that it's sad that they didn’t think to drop anchor or put on life jackets before they leaped into the lake from their perfectly good sailboat. One of the survivor’s stories is in the Chicago Tribune.

Hope you enjoyed a safer weekend on the water than these folks did.

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