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sailorjim99 06-18-2007 06:18 AM

Want To Hear A Sad Story
On Sunday I went out for the usual race with my club.
An uneventful day..Little wind..Close sailing and all strategy all day..

We came in third on corrected time which was good for us..We ALL can't be winners..

As we were coming in to dock, one of the crew was at the bow ready to go over to tie us off.
The boat came in very slow and for some unknown reason, he jumped off..
All we heard was a scream..
He was not in view after he left so we did not know what was going on..

He broke his leg below the knee..
A guy who saw it said it was like watching something in slow motion and before he could tell him not to jump, he just went for it.

Ambulance came and he went off to hospital.
He broke the same leg about three years ago and needed pins etc to hold it together for weeks.
Now he is going thru it all again.

There is a lesson there..

We all probably do it, right?
Well I am here to tell you from his screams, it hurt..LOTS..

So fellas, be aware that bone and concrete are not user friendly.
Ambulances take time to get thru locked gates and security.
Pain killers do not work all the time.

Just thought I would share that with you.
Take care out there and especially when coming in when you are tired.
It took the gloss off the day for a lot of his friends.


morganmike 06-18-2007 06:23 AM


I always tell people not to jump. We have fixed wooden docks, only slightly more forgiving than concrete.

Hope your buddy recovers full use of his leg. Best wishes.

Giulietta 06-18-2007 08:03 AM

Jim, all the best to your friend...tell him I wish him a fast recovery...

Unfortunately, people don't obey me...I told Tom to jump, but he didn't!!!!

sailingdog 06-18-2007 08:06 AM

Fortunately, at my marina, we usually have enough neighbors on the dock to handle the lines... no jumping necessary.

sailortjk1 06-18-2007 08:41 AM

That is a very sad story, my legs hurt just from reading it.

Never jump.
and never fend with any body part between the boat and the dock/pilling.

My daughter got lucky three weeks ago docking in a cross wind during a squall. She escaped with bad bruise. I should have turned and gone back out to open water when we did not make it in in time before the storm hit, but everyone wanted to tie up quickly. We survived, not even a scratch....... on the boat.

dsmylie 06-18-2007 10:10 AM

I work in EMS and unfortunately see the results of bad decisions every day. We are all guilty, some are luckier others though. The world is a dangerous place and we must all try and learn from our mistakes. This story points out that we must be careful. I wish your friend a speedy recovery. Be safe.

JohnRPollard 06-18-2007 07:31 PM

That is unfortunate, but it's a good lesson to share. It reminds me of a near-miss I witnessed last summer that still gives me shudders.

A teen-sailing program came into the harbor where we were docked, they in an older, heavy mid-40 footer, in nasty weather. They had had a rough day of it in heavy winds and drenching rain. As they approached the pier where they intended to tie up for the night, they discovered that they could not engage reverse. The "skipper", a middle aged counselor, barked an order to two of the teeneagers on deck: "Run to the bow and fend off with your bodies". They ran to the bow, where one teenage girl climbed out into the pulpit and prepared to place herself between the bow and the rapidly approaching pier. The boat was still moving over 4 knots, and the helmsman was aiming straight at the pier, as if to t-bone it. The skipper kept yelling "Fend-Off, Fend-Off", but he did not order the helmsman to turn nor any other evasive action.

We are all loathe to interfere with another skippers docking procedures, but when I realized what was happenning I sprinted down the dock and with the most commanding voice I could muster, shouted to the girl: "MOVE OFF THE BOW NOW!!" and to the helmsman" "TURN YOUR BOAT". The girl pulled herself back through the pulpit just as the bow slammed into a vertical dock piling, cracking it right through, mangling the pulpit, and putting a large crack in the stem and foredeck of the boat. It was so close I almost puked. This mid-40 footer literally bounced back several feet. If that had been my daughter....

After helping them warp their boat in to the dock, I went back to our boat and asked my kids if they had seen what happenned. They had. I told them that if ANYBODY, including the skipper of a boat, ever tells them to fend-off with their bodies or jump ashore, they should refuse. It is the skippers duty to bring a boat in properly so no one needs to get hurt or jump. No part of their body should ever be between the boat and the dock. I think they got the message.

LaPlaya 06-18-2007 08:00 PM

Thats incredible. Lucky young lady that you were on the ball. I hope they (or the parents )were not paying for instruction like that.

sailingdog 06-18-2007 08:25 PM

I also hope you reported that idiot to the people running the sailing program... he is a menace and could have easily gotten that girl killed. A 45' boat is probably ten tons or more, depending on the design—getting a part of your body between that much weight and a relatively unyielding dock or pier is a good way to get crushed or dead.

Catalina34 06-18-2007 08:27 PM

Not long a far far away Country...

"Jump Tom...Jump...."

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