The problem here seems to be simple boathandling skill: the skipper
is handling the boat as if he were in still water
, but he isn't. The current
wants to carry the boat forward (as it approaches the bridge). The skipper
failed to keep the stern from falling off, and once past about 45° to the bridge, beam-on, with limited room to power in reverse toward the concrete structures in the background and run the stern up-current again, it was a done deal.
Once it was known that the bridge was too low, which happens relatively early in the video, applying liberal
thrust astern and steering
to keep the stern into the current
was called for.
Still, this is less than optimal. Turning the bow up into the current well upstream, then letting the current back him down slowly, shifted into Forward, to gauge the clearance, would put the skipper in a position of better control: the skipper has steerage while "standing still" in relation to the bridge, or even when letting the boat approach slowly. A nudge of the throttle simply increases the boat speed through the water, and will hold the boat off the bridge by letting the boat do what it was designed to do most effeciently, e.g., power forward, instead of trying to power that flat stern against the current, with marginal steerage. Easier to control boat position that way, both in terms of distance upstream of the bridge, and lateral distance, i.e., keeping oneself centered in the channel.
Better yet not to get that close in the first place.