When- last friday (June 29)
Where- Kokrine hills bible camp. (I'm a Christian) The camp is located in the interior
about 350 miles north of Anchorage and 200 miles west of Fairbanks, on the Yukon River. The only way to get to the camp is by boat or plane.
What happened- So I'm there as staff for a week and a half, and Im assigned a maintenance
position. Which there means general labor. Once per camp they take kids
downriver to a sandbar for a day in the mud. So I and 2 others were given the job of launching the second of 2 boats that would be transporting people to and from the sandbar. The boat was on a normal trailor, nothing improvised. So we took a front loader with an improvised hitch on the front of the bucket, which was the normal machine for launching boats in the camp, and moved the boat to the boat launch, which was a shallow part of the river, and we took our time putting the boat and trailer in the water
. One thing, no put the plugs in, none of the 3 that go in it. so we get the boat in to where its floating, and the water
is starting to come in, and we have a guy climb in as we are about to disconnect the boat from the trailer. And as soon as he gets in, he screams PULL IT OUT PULL IT OUT!! So me and another guy start pulling it out, another problem, the current
of the river has almost pulled the boat off the trailer, meaning we can't pull it out without destroying the trailer AND boat, because the boat is too heavy for only the one side of the trailer that is keeping it from drifting away to hold it. So we are standing there, boat sinking, guy in the boat, and we can't find the plugs either. So the guy in the boat climbs out and runs for help as we don't know what to do. He comes back with one of the camps bush pilots, now this guy comes and sees the boat, and says, while holding back laughs, you idiots forgot the plugs didn't you!? We nod and just then, Gunner, the guy who basicly runs the camp comes and says, who forgot the plugs!?! And then proceeds to ask questions as to what we've done. Also by this point the boat is 2 inches from sinking but has stopped going down because the trailer is stopping it, but it is slowly bending and breaking. So Gunner proceeds to give orders, one guy in the water to put the outer plug
in, and another guy in the boat to put the 2 inner plugs in. Then we drive boat out into the rive a ways and the turn around and bring it back in, realigning with the trailer, and the we pull it back out on trailer and pull the plugs back out to let the water all drain out. But when I say we drive it out, I mean Gunner drives it out. So we put the inner plugs in like nothing, but the guy in the water is have ling trouble, he can't get it, so Gunner ignores common sense and disconnects the boat, and drive it out in the river, turns around a little to hard and puts a back corner under water and then guns
the throttle and bring the boat onto the trailer just right, all the while the back of the boat is under water, and we hook up the boat and pull it out with about 300 gallons of water all through the boat, and one side of the trailer an inch off the ground. So we pull the plugs and water pours out. And the boat is just fine. And the three of us are simply told not to forget the plugs again, and then are left to relaunch the boat.
Moral of the story- don't forget the plugs when launching a boat