Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Wrecks and Rescues

Spring is in the air, and so are reports of capsizes and other incidents. Sharing these stories gives us an excuse to bring attention to boating safety. Some of these weekend news items wouldn't have made the news if some of the parties involved had taken boating education courses or had been wearing proper life jackets. Some episodes appear to have been unavoidable, but are still good reminders that anything can happen on a boat.

U.S. Coast Guard photo from a training exercise in Chatham, MA
Today's stories involve a kitesurfer, a tug boat, a couple of divers and some families, and stretch across our country and across two oceans.

Kitesurfer Saves Man
A 43 foot tugboat with a two-man crew sank in heavy seas off San Francisco on Saturday according to the San Francisco Examiner. The paper reports that one of men grabbed a life ring and jumped into the water, while the other put on a life jacket and jumped into an inflatable motorized Zodiac. The man in the inflatable went missing and has been presumed dead, while the other man was quickly rescued by a nearby kitesurfer. The tug was only about a half mile offshore when it began taking on water.

Boaters Save Kids
No mention of it in this article, but one would hope the 4 year old and 6 month old were wearing life jackets when their boat capsized on the Intracoastal in Palm Beach County, Florida, on Saturday.

Across the Pond
The Daily Mirror's reporting on a similar incident in the UK is a bit more direct in their story. The short article, which begins with the headline, "First-time sailors rescued after setting sail without a clue", tells of a family of four who had just bought a boat that day and took it out "with no idea how to sail it". When they were rescued, the parents and 4 year old were wearing life jackets, but not the family's 6 month old infant.

Divers Down
In New Zealand on Saturday, two men were about to jump off their boat to go diving, but ended up jumping off the boat before it sank, according to the Bay of Plenty Times. Luckily, they had not yet dove and were able to call for help before their boat went down. Could you imagine if they had already been diving when their boat sank?

Check out FirstBoat.com's tips on boating safety, and stay tuned to the Daily Boater for more boating safety and seamanship articles.

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