Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 143 Times in 132 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters
We had a beautiful sail up to Philadelphia's Penns Landing on Friday evening. We had dinner and stayed the night. We motored back Saturday due to lack of wind.
All of a sudden my AIS alarm started going off, and I looked back to see this jerk bearing down on me from behind. He was doing 26 knots. I tried hailing him on the radio to warn him of impending collision, both with an open hail (by name) and a DSC (by MMSI). No response. He passed me to starboard about 60 ft away. My worst fear (that he was down below and boat on autopilot) was not realized - he was at the helm with guests. Apparently he was just totally oblivious to the damage that his 4' wake might cause.
I was unable to change course by much before the wake hit. As he approached I was afraid to turn at all because I did not know what side he was going to pass me on. After he passed I had only a couple of seconds to try to get my bow pointed toward the wake. We were tossed around quite a bit since the wake was mostly broadside.
Nothing got permanently damaged on my boat. Things weren't secured like normal because there was no wind and I knew that I would be motoring in totally benign conditions. Fortunately my laptop was stowed on the floor in a bag - I had removed it from the dinette table before departing. But other things did get tossed around quite a bit.
Since I now had his MMSI number in my radio log, I decided to do a little searching online. I can't find the guys name, but his boat name popped up immediately. (The Tardis, MMSI #338186002) I can also see where he spent the night, and also where he apparently keeps his boat during the week. With satellite imagery I can pinpoint it right down to the very slip that he rents. So if there was damage and I wanted to take action, I would have no problem finding the guy.
I wonder if these guys realize that their AIS transponders basically guarantee that they could be held accountable for their stupid actions.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina