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Old 12-11-2010, 05:53   #1
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Boat Lost After Hitting Submerged ICW Marker Post

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It's a cool and blustery October day on the Alligator-Pungo River portion of the ICW in North Carolina . Captain Ralph Robinson feels a bump, and a vibration that felt sort of like a grounding, but nothing serious. The boat tips to starboard, and then turns to port, just as the port engine goes to maximum rpms, and almost instantly all three bilge pump lights, and high water alarms come on as well. He jumps up from the helm, runs to the aft of the bridge, looks down at the swim platform, and sees water just starting to come over it. The boat is already now 12” lower in the water, and he instantly realizes they are sinking.
For the rest of the story go to: Does this surprise any of you?



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Old 12-11-2010, 06:09   #2
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Certainly a cautionary tale with a lot of lessons learned. Though I do question the wisdom of traveling along at 22 knots in the Intercoastal Waterway. Just because the boat can does not mean that it should. Seems like that was well over "safe speed" especially when there was some confusion about the missing marker.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:12   #3
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From personal experience in that region... No.. its no surprise..
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:26   #4
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Amazing story. The Alligator River / Pungo has debris, but you'd never expect a missing marker 2 feet below he water. I don't think it sounds like the captain is to blame for anything. If he had been going 7 knots it still might have sunk the boat.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:31   #5
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Years ago, wern't it?

Written for the dramatic.

Look being on a boat is more dangerous than sitting at home in front of the Simpsons.

Its not like they were at sea where no one would come rescue them for a few days. the skipper wasted 20 mins ringing for help than getting the cold man ashore and warm.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:53   #6
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We happened to have been cruising southbound on the ICW and passed this same location two days after the event described above. By that time there had been repeated warnings on the VHF concerning the submerged and dangerous piling. It is not my intent to assign any blame or responsibility for the loss, but it is worthy to note that this passage of the ICW in the Pungo River is wide and has well spread red and green markers at regular intervals. With good visibility as well as electronic charts there would be no reason for anyone to run over the location where a marker was missing. During the forty years that we have been transitting the US East Coast ICW we have often seen damaged or missing markers. Sometimes these markers are found floating or floundering far from their original position, but if they are not seen, it's always a likelyhood that the submerged portion of the piling would be in it's original position. Markers are always indicating a position to avoid wether we see them directly; infer their location by parallax and the relative positions of other markers; or indentify their location by electronic aides.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:16   #7
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I did some work on this boat for the new owner who bought it as insurance salvage. The the boat was a mess the the piling they hit (at speed by the way) was steel and pushed the port engine through the salon floor and almost to the overhead as the boat went down. Ruptured a full fuel tank as well oil everywhere. A 10' long by 18" wide gash was put in the port bottom. A shame it was a pretty boat at one time. It has gone back to the UK for complete repairs.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:02   #8
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How long ago was it?
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:20   #9
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I think it sank in 2006 or 2007 not sure exactly i got involved in 2008
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:23   #10
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Here's a link to the original version, with photos. One of the comments on the blog seems to indicate it happened "a couple of years ago", which would suggest 2008.

The Marine Installer's Rant: One hundred and twenty seconds
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:46   #11
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To me, this is a cautionary tale that highlights a few important reminders, which I am sure the skipper has already considered.

  1. Always have an abandon ship bag ready and available as one crew member almost drowned trying to salvage essentials.
  2. Emphasizes the dangers of “connecting the dots” type of electronic charting, where the operator, trying to be efficient, does not employ proper course offsets from “assumed” marker positions, so as to allow for navigational errors.
  3. Relying on only one navigational aid to stay in safe water, instead of confirming with radar parallel indexing, mid channel position, independent of any GPS glitches.
  4. Maintaining a proper navigational lookout so that the missing marker should have been searched for, long before they were abeam (or on top of).
  5. Safe Speed: while 22knts is not excessive, when a known marker is missing, you slow down and confirm your position.
While we all love our push button navionics, forgetting or not learning the basic navigation and seamanship rules only makes Murphy smile and we go ...
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:15   #12
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Look being on a boat is more dangerous than sitting at home in front of the Simpsons.
Depends on what you value and thereby your definition of dangerous.



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Old 12-11-2010, 14:27   #13
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12" gash 10' long: nothing good is going to come from that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 15:21   #14
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Love my steel hull! No worries about things like that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 15:23   #15
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Love my steel hull! No worries about things like that.
Just like the Titanic.
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