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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Assisting boats run aground in mud?

Having run aground on a few occasions myself (a hazard of having a deep keel in a relatively shallow area) I have found find that most often folks on power boats will not render assistance although, at least in theory, they are the best equipped to do so. (Some will not even slow down, ignoring the fact that their wakes will "bounce" us on the bottom!). Sailors may try, or be willing to try, but are themselves often constrained by the very shoals I have put myself on.

Most often, my saviors have been small commercial boats, sometimes crewed by a single person, who will swing around, come close aboard, offer a "pluck" if I have a handy line for a tow (I do--because of where we are), or offer to carry out my anchor so I can kedge myself off with a winch or windlass, and advise me where the channel has gotten itself (or on some of the rivers, that the channel marks have gone to inland rules once I passed a certain point).

In view of the foregoing, I generally try to offer assistance to someone if at all possible, sometimes even by standing off up-stream and floating a small messenger line down to the victim with a throwable cushion-pad so they can pass me a line. It usually doesn't take much effort and all are invariably very grateful for the effort, even if unsuccessful.

Now, on the other hand, if someone repeatedly puts himself up on the same shoal--and we do have one fellow that does so regularly as his slip is tide bound and he's too impatient to wait for high-tide most often--we simply wave as we pass by. Some folks have to learn the hard way.

FWIW...
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