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post #18 of Old 04-12-2013
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Re: Bay sailor needed - Deale to Quantico, VA

This is slightly off topic, but given the discussion of night sailing, I thought I'd share. My surveyor and I went to lunch the day of my survey, and we went to one of his local hang-outs. There were 4 or 5 other captains there that day, and they were all telling stories. These were all tug boat captains, and one guy said that they were bringing several very long sections of pipe up the Chesapeake a few years ago as part of some project. The pipe was so long, it had to actually be suspended between two barges. The pipe sat low, and was essentially partially submerged. Late one evening, as they were making their way North, they hear an engine, and it's LOUD. It's clear that this guy is going very fast. They see him as he comes around a bend, and he's clearly on a course to cut directly across their path. The pull out a spotlight and shine it on both barges, and on the pipe between the barges. The guy keeps coming. The try to hail him on the radio while they shine the spotlight again. The guy keeps coming. They honk the horn, call on the radio, shine the spotlight. Still coming. They do this 3 or 4 times, and yet they watch as the guy continues to aim right for the space between the barges. As the boat gets close, they can actually hear music blasting above the sound of the engine, and hear the driver and his friend excitedly whooping and hollering. Then they hear a scraping sound, and they hear the prop begin to rotate in the air, followed by a splash. They hear cursing, and the boat slows some for a few seconds, then speeds right back up again and goes on its way, never to be heard from.

Sorry...long story...but it was meant to reinforce JamesWilson29's point - stay away from 2 vessels close to each other! You never know what's between them. Also, operating a vessel at night while under the influence isn't really the best of ideas. And combining the two together is pretty much a recipe for at least a new bottom job.

- Jim
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