It can happen
The morning of July 10th 2003 (thurs.) we were at anchor at Watch Hill RI. listening to the weather band forcast calling for wind warnings by the comming Sat. I had promised my 6 year old son a merry-go-round ride and a day on the beach as it was his birthday. However, with the weather warning we decided to pull anchor at 11 am and head for home running ahead of the front.
The wind was comming up and we were broad reaching thru Long Island Sound at 6 to 7 kts. heading to New York City. We sailed all night with a north west wind just making miles. What a great way to end a week on the Sound that saw us at Mystic Sea Port and other spots of interest.
Dawn broke on friday morning and we are nearing the Throggs Neck bridge and the East river. We had put over 90 miles behind us on the same port tack, it was one of the best overnite sails we had done together.
Latter that morning we have gone through East river and are rounding the Battery at the tip of Manhattan. Lady Liberty comes into veiw and I give her my thanks, as she embodies the very freedom that we sailors hold so dear to take our vessels where we want to go. Shortly we pass the site where the Twin Towers stood and my thoughts go back to that day and the souls lost. We are heading up the Hudson River only 20 miles from home.
About a mile south of the George Washington bridge we were making 3 kts over the ground as we heading into an 3 1/2 kt ebb tide. My fault, made such good time through the sound the nite before, i was early and would have to wait for the incoming tide to give us the push home.
Behind us about 200 yards and 200 yards to port was a large motor yatcht (80 ft). Then out of no where we hear boat engines. I jumped up standing on the starboard cockpit seat and only had time to yell to my wife who was sitting on the port side to jump. Crash!!!!!!!!! We had just been run down by a 45 ft Sea Ray.
I was thrown into the water and when i got to the surface I could not see anyone the deck of my boat, but i could hear my son screaming. He was in the cabin prior to us being hit but I couldn''t see him. I was scaning the water not knowing where he was now. I tried to start swiming towards my boat which was still heading north with auto pilot on but i could not make any headway agaist the current. I could still hear him screaming.
A minute or 2 went by and my wife pops up on deck with her life vest on and next my son with his vest on. What a great sight!!!!!!!
I yell to my wife i am over here but she doesn''t hear. Our dog (a Lab) comes swiming over to me. Between the the dog barking and my yelling i get my wife''s attention. I can see my wife having a problem with the wheel and can hear her yell to the boat that hit us that i was in the water and go help him. They do not.
Minutes go by, but my wife brings the boat back around and picks up the dog and myself.
When i get back onboard; she tells me the Coast Guard is on their way and she made a radio call for help after she had gotten my son and herself in life vests. It was then i could see the damage to my boat.
The Sea Ray hit us port stern at an esimated 20 to 30 kts. My wife was thrown into the open compantion way. She saw the Sea Ray''s hull and props go over her head. She was saved by the binnacle and cabin top.
I could not have been more proud of my wife the way she handled the crisis. She got our son and herself in life vests. Made a S.O.S call to the Coast Guard and with a bent wheel and jamed auto pilot got the boat back to pick me and the dog up. A few days later she was x-rayed and has 4 crushed disks.
The point to all this gentlemen, it is our responsabliy to teach our sailing partners how to handle the boat. My wife never sailed before we met, now she docks the boat better than myself. However, if she couldn''t handle the boat i don''t think i would be here to write this post.
I thank you all who take taken the time to share on this forum as i have leaned and it is in that sprit i share this with you.
Last edited by bubb2; 09-08-2010 at 06:38 PM.