Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Holiday Boating Rescues

The Independence Day holiday weekend was a busy time for boaters, and thus a busy time for boating rescues...

Royal Miss Belmar grounded in the U.S. Virgin Islands July 5, 2011. U.S.C.G. photo.

The 4th of July weekend is one of the busiest boating weekends of the year in North America, but it is still relatively early in the boating season. With big crowds, a few inexperienced boaters, and perhaps a little alcohol, it's no surprise there are so many incidents over the long weekend. Of course some incidents can be explained by bad weather, bad luck, or a lethal combination of random events. When bad things happen to boaters, the proper safety preparations can help increase the chances of a positive outcome for those onboard.

Here are just a few of the boat accident stories from the past couple of days that caught our attention...

Grounded in the Virgin Islands
According to a press release from the USCG, Coast Guard rescue crews responded alongside U.S. Virgin Islands and Good Samaritan boat crews Tuesday morning to safely removal all 98 passengers and four crewmembers onboard the Royal Miss Belmar passenger ferry after the vessel ran aground Monday night on a reef off the northeastern end of Great St. James Island, U.S. Virgin Islands. The cause of the incident, pictured above, has not yet been explained.

Sinking Ship in Oregon
On Monday evening, the Coast Guard reported that three people had abandoned ship off of Newport, Oregon, after the boaters' 29-foot "Sea Star" started taking on water. All three boaters were rescued and no injuries were reported, but the Sea Star sank before rescue crews arrived on scene.

Erik - the Baja Tragedy
Seven people were still missing as of this writing mid-day Tuesday, according to the LA Times, after the sinking of the sport fishing charter boat "Erik" off Baja, California. The vessel was carrying 27 tourists and 16 crew members when it capsized in rough waters in the Sea of Cortez on Monday.