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Old 22-09-2010, 09:18   #1
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A Nasty Collision

This happened in the anchorage at Bradenton Beach Pier in Bradenton Beach FL.
N27 27.58
W82.41.36


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 stairs.

The Coast Guard was standing by in the ICW about 400 yards away but were unable to respond.
Coast Guard: "Whats your GPS coordinates?"
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 coordinates?"

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.

Florida Fish 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.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:05   #2
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And you'd be arrested for that. Some Justice. You know society has gone wrong when the law protects the guilty.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:14   #3
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the local paper here on the island wrote about the drunk jerk's arrest
Anna Maria Island News | The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper | Sun Editorial

9/18, boating while intoxicated, South Harbor Drive. The officer responded to a report of an intoxicated boater who drove his boat onto the boat ramp. He observed the boater sitting on top of his grounded vessel waving at him. He tried to stand up, but fell back onto the boat. As the officer helped him down, he asked the officer to hold his Doritos. He slurred as he refused to take a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest. Witnesses said he came toward the ramp at a high rate of speed. They said he started talking to his bag of Doritos and could not stand without falling over. Later, it was learned that the boat had been involved in a hit-and-run accident with a sailboat, and the boat put a hole in the sailboat. During the investigation, the suspect started banging his head on the windows of the police vehicle. EMS was called to treat the cut on his head. He finally agreed to an Intoxilator test, but when they got to the police station, he refused and asked for his attorney. He was sent to the county jail.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:18   #4
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CG were unable to respond...why? No available vessel? Or just because they couldn't get past the GPS question?

Sometimes there's a reason why, other times, formal charges need to be filed with the district commander.

"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 " Even in FloriDUH that should be good for some felony theft charges and a whole world of pain on both the father and the son. Probably a civil negligence suit against papa for failing to secure the keys to the boat, too. Sounds like some cracker trash has to get taken out and there's always someone willing to help do that. Hired or elected, always someone.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:19   #5
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbillyfunk View Post
Coast Guard: "Whats your GPS coordinates?"
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 coordinates?"
I understand that CG radio dispatchers have been replaced by automated voice synthesizers, similar to how NOAA Weather Radio stations replaced human weather announcers with computer-generated readers a decade ago.

Probably still a few bugs in the system?
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:50   #7
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"I understand that CG radio dispatchers have been replaced"
I don't know about automatons, but for several years a number of USCG stations have used volunteer civilian watchkeepers on the VHF, who join the USCGAux. This is a matter of "We don't like it, but we don't have enough men to crew the boats and we can't use volunteers there."
It is quite possible that a volunteer was on the radio and mis-handled the call, even though they are trained and screened and not just thrown in there. 99% of the time--you'd never know, the volunteers often hold radio licenses in other services, and do an outstanding job. Just like 99% of the USCG, 99% of the time.
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Old 22-09-2010, 10:59   #8
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Joy! Another opportunity to watch the German Coast Guard video. In case you haven't seen it.



Carl

PS - Certainly not meant as a slam at the Coast Guard. They do remarkably well in a difficult situation. (And far more of those difficulties come from Washington than nature)
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Old 22-09-2010, 11:18   #9
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Perhaps if you had told the Coast Guard that the jet boat had drugs onboard and was pumping sewage overboard, they would have stopped it immediately.
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Old 22-09-2010, 11:20   #10
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What good would it be for the USCG dispatcher to look out the portside window at the station, very seldom will the cutters reespond unlee you call it specifically by hull number. That's the reason why they want to know where you are..
They were probably on 22a..
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Old 22-09-2010, 11:27   #11
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Quote:
Sounds like some cracker trash has to get taken out and there's always someone willing to help do that. Hired or elected, always someone.
If Grounds for Divorce were in Lake County, CA he might have been cited as an obstruction to navigation...

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Old 22-09-2010, 11:28   #12
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CG isnt wrong for what they did. they are trained to assess a life-threatening situation first and then call for back-up to make an arrest if no-one is in need of medical assistance or sinking. they ask the same questions if you call them about being stranded only cause you ran out of gas.
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Old 22-09-2010, 11:59   #13
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But stll, they're happy to act like police when it's a simple case of persecuting simple sailors for offences such as poop!

It sounds to me as though the jetskier was putting boaters in danger.
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Old 22-09-2010, 12:07   #14
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THEY ARE RABID ABOUT FALSE POOP AND OIL CALLS ALSO-DESPITE THE CLARITY OF WATER AND EVIDUNCE TO THE CONTRARY, 5 MOORED SAILBOATS WERE JACKED UP BECAUSE OF A FALSE CALL TO USCG FROM AN AUX MEMBER WHO HAS A GRUDGE AGAINST SOME OF THE RESIDENTS HERE.. GO FIGGER....BUT IS KALIFORNIA--
THERE IS AA NO TEXTING WHILE COWBOYING RULING FOR THEM NOW , AS OF THE DECEMBER FIASCO WHEN THEY RAN OVER A BOAT AND KILLED A KID. WHILE TEXTING...IN A CROWDED WATERWAY, DURING A BOAT PARADE.
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Old 22-09-2010, 13:04   #15
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Since when is a GPS a required piece of onboard equipment? So if we are hit while at anchor and the GPS is off or we don't have one, we cannot expect help from the Coast Guard until we go out and buy one or wait for the system to boot up and acquire enough satellites? I would like to hear what the local commandant would have to say about that.
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