Tragedy near the Bay Bridge - Page 8 - SailNet Community
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post #71 of 99 Old 08-13-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Little kids should have vests on once they are on the dock, not just on the boat.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #72 of 99 Old 08-13-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Shawn,
The Spinsheet article mentioned the boat may have been swamped by a boat wake while one of the fathers was working on the outboard.

You mentioned speaking with the Coast Guard about making that area a no wake zone.

Was the Coast Guard receptive to the idea? A lot of power boaters don't seem to realize the danger from their wakes.

Jim

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau

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post #73 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Quote:
the boat may have been swamped by a boat wake
When I read that there had been 6 people on a 17 ft boat, I thought that one likely explanation for its sinking was that the low freeboard of the overloaded boat had allowed it to be swamped. I don't know quite how close the boat was to the bridge, nor do I know if there was a large powerboat wake that swamped it. However, I do know the waters under the Bay Bridge well, having kayaked in its vicinity for years, with multiple cross-bay trips via kayak under and near its spans. On most summer weekends, the boat traffic on the Bay is heavy enough that there are lots of boat wakes. Even though they dampen with distance, they travel a long way. Around the bridge, because of its pylons, the refraction patterns from these wake waves are complex, and sudden peaks can occur when they intersect. On days when the waves on the Bay were about a foot high, I've seen sudden peaks of 3 to 4 ft in height near bridge. This effect wanes quickly with distance; even a couple of hundred yards from the bridge, the effect is much less pronounced. Close to the bridge, though, a boat with low freeboard, and loss of directional control (engine out) could easily be swamped, even without a wake from a boat passing close by.
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post #74 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Keep in mind that the "six people" were two adults and 4 little kids.

Probably not much more load than 3 adults which is not overloaded on a 17'.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #75 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

The ages ranged from 5-13. Yes, 5 year olds don't contribute much weight but once they get up in the teens, it can be significant.

Alacrity, 1981 Tartan 33 #168
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post #76 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Amazing job. Reading the description in post #48 makes it even more amazing. I hope if I am ever in the same situation I show the same amount of cool-headedness, seamanship and physical ability.
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post #77 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

thank god you were there to help
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post #78 of 99 Old 08-14-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I was the sailboat on scene and took five people aboard my boat, four children and one adult male. I never saw the sixth person, father of two of the boys.

I was headed northbound west of the main channel when I observed what appeared to be people swimming, it looked odd then I saw debris and knew they were in trouble. I made the distress call to the coast guard.

As I approached the group in the water I saw none were wearing PFDs, and no boat to be seen. I threw every floating device I had then picked up the most distressed persons first, a young girl then a young boy. He had gone under twice before I was able to grab him and pull him aboard. I then went to get the remaining three persons, two boys and older male (I believe one of the fathers). All were aboard my boat with in probably 5 minutes. The man was exhausted, I asked him to hold on to the swim ladder until I could get him a PFD and tried to get him to come around the side of the boat where he could use an easier boarding ladder due to my dingy on a davit... but he would not go back in the water so I loosened the dingy and was able to get him in the cockpit.

By this time the first responder had arrived on scene, a Coast Guard Auxiliary crew. I had the four children put on PFDs and the father. While all this was going on the Coast Guard was calling to get GPS coordinates but I was unable to reply because I was the only person aboard and I knew if I did not get all five of them aboard ASAP they were not going to make it. Fortunately in my my first call and one or two subsequent calls the area of the incident is pretty easy to locate. "Just north of the bay bridge west of the channel near the large concrete support structures.

With in 10 minutes there were at least 10 boats from the coast guard, MD DNR, AA County Firefighters. In addition, two coast guard helicopters and a MD State Police helicopter.

We transferred the five persons to the coast guard cutter and then I waited for about an hour to give the MD DNR a statement. It was originally thought the persons were from my boat, but in fact I was single and their boat had sunk, apparently flooded and sank within minutes.

I was at the right place to help them...those children are heroes. I only wish we were able to find the sixth person. UGH
Shawn, we heard your initial call. It was fantastic that someone was there to help, it was even more fantastic that it was one of our own. Thank you very much for being there, and jumping in when you did. If you hadn't there would have been more than 1 body to be recovered.

-Chris

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post #79 of 99 Old 08-15-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I was the sailboat on scene and took five people aboard my boat, four children and one adult male. I never saw the sixth person, father of two of the boys.

...

I was at the right place to help them...those children are heroes. I only wish we were able to find the sixth person. UGH
Well done, sir!


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post #80 of 99 Old 08-16-2015
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Re: Tragedy near the Bay Bridge

So glad you were there, or things could have turned out much worse.
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