This happened in the anchorage at Bradenton Beach Pier in Bradenton Beach FL.
Saturday the 18th was a nice day and Mattie needed some beach time, she and I walked the three blocks from the fishing
pier to the beach and sat out on the sand watching the gringos bake. When I left the anchorage it was nice sleepy afternoon, Grounds For Divorce
was anchored about 60 feet from Waltzing Matilda
, lots of families were on the pier sight seeing and fishing
, another pleasant day in paradise.
When I returned about an hour later everything was in an uproar, Grounds for Divorce
was damaged and lots of people were talking about the collision
. Some drunken jerk in a 270HP jet boat was racing
around in the anchorage (a posted Manatee/no wake area) and buzzing the pier, He had pissed off and soaked a lot of folks and he went flying up the ICW
through a bascule bridge, turned 180 degrees and shot back into the anchorage plowing into the bow of Grounds For Divorce
snapping her anchor rode
and knocking Sailor John down the companionway
The Coast Guard was standing by in the ICW
about 400 yards away but were unable to respond.
Coast Guard: "Whats your GPS
Concerned Mariner: "look out your port window and you'll see the vessel speeding around in the anchorage"
CG: "do you have a life jacket on?"
CM: "are you going to stop that vessel?"
CG: "What's your GPS
After slamming into Grounds For Divorce
the drunk jerk sped around in the anchorage a bit more, got his photo
taken by a witness and took off north, he was arrested for a BUI when he tried to load the speed boat on a trailer, forgetting to get the tailer and launching the boat up the concrete ramp
and Wildlife commission responded after about 90 minuets and took statements from Sailor John and other witnesses, I had already contacted the witnesses on the pier, gotten a photo
of the perpetrator emailed to John and we had the vessel's registration
number. FWC hasn't filed charges yet, (it takes 5 days), Bradenton Beach PD wasn't aware that there had been an accident
till Tuesday. The owner of the speed boat has no insurance
on the thing and claims that it was his son operating the vessel without his permission and claims no responsibility. Even in a non-boating state like Arkansas, any vessel with more than 10hp is required to have liability insurance
. John has holes on either side of his bow, the forestay chain plate
is ripping out, a bent chain roller and cracks running length wise along his gunwales.
Sailor John finally found a lawyer willing to take this case, his journey is halted until repairs
can be made, the fracture all the way to the waterline makes his craft un-seaworthy. Fortunately Waltzing Matilda
was not hit, the weight and speed of the drunk jerk craft would have ripped her in half. It's a really good thing I was not on board when this event was taking place, I might be in jail for firing a safety
flare into the offending vessel.