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Old 13-06-2011, 12:31   #1
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Dinghy Recovered in Chesapeake

Short version: discovered an inflatable dinghy and motor floating capsized in the Chesapeake Bay in vicinity of Point Lookout on Saturday, June 11, just after a severe squall hit and departed the area. We have the dinghy and are looking for the owner.

Long Version: On Saturday, June 11, after weathering a severe squall at about 1800 hours on the Chesapeake Bay in the vicinity of Smith Point and Lookout Point (right at the mouth of the Potomac), we found an overturned inflatable dinghy floating in the middle of the bay. We had sailed to the capsized craft to make sure there was no one in the water. After righting the dinghy (with motor attached, we discovered), we took it in tow (we were on the third night of a passage from Wrightsville Beach, NC to Annapolis) and called on VHF 16 to anyone who had lost a dinghy. The Coast Guard answered, took information, issued then cancelled a pan pan (cancelled after determining that the dinghy was likely lost while in tow rather than capsized with souls on board), and told us they'd take no further action unless someone contacted them. No one else responded to our Ch. 16 call reporting the lost/found dinghy.

The dinghy had a long towing painter attached to a towing bridle, an outboard motor attached, and some personal items (anchor, etc.) attached also. There are no identifying marks, registration numbers, etc. on either the dinghy or motor, or in the personal items, other than VIN and serial numbers. No name, vessel name, etc.

We (actually another cruising friend/retired police officer) have contacted Virginia and Maryland authorities, run VIN and serial number checks, etc. and so far have had no luck in finding the owner.

Because we were on passage, and didn't want to leave the dinghy floating as a hazard to navigation nor did we want to divert to leave it anywhere, we towed it and it is currently at a friends dock. We are taking steps to preserve the motor (fresh water rinse, and I'll start figuring out what to do next).

As we are a cruising family, we realize that the dinghy is more than just a $4000 bill, it is the family car, and replacing would be a pain. We would like to get this dinghy/motor to its rightful owner if at all possible. If you lost a dinghy on the Chesapeake on June 11, or know someone who did, please PM me.

Mods, if there is a better forum on which to post this please cross post or let me know and I'll do it.

Regards,
Dave on SV Liberty
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:41   #2
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Good on ya Dave...
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:49   #3
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Yes, good on you.
One guy recently charged for salvage from another cruiser when a dinghy untied itself at night.

I thought that was pretty dispicable.

So nice you are helping


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Old 13-06-2011, 12:54   #4
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

That's is why you were towing 2 dinks under the Bay Bridge Sunday just before the closed the main span for the swimers. I thought that you had his and hers dinghys (LOL)!
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:54   #5
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

I lost a dinghy and motor in the same spot in.....2007 huge seas on the transom Did not think I could safely go back plus the D rings pulled out Hard to leave it there
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:43   #6
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Are you guys still near Annapolis? Need a lift anywhere or local info? Happy to help someone who looks out for other people.
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:49   #7
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

If you get to chesapeake city and need wheels lmk
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:53   #8
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Dave,

Thanks for the post. I had friends lose one in the vicinity last year so it's not them and not uncommon. It's one of those places on the bay where all the rules go out the window. It can make its own weather. My own time bringing home our boat found 8 to 10 ft chop blowing a gale and losing a dinghy becomes the very last item on the check list (mine was on davits). It's a long haul across in foul weather with not many places to bail out into. Any place on the bay would have a far lower chance of bad stuff than across the mouth of the Potomac.
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:56   #9
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Yes, good on you.
One guy recently charged for salvage from another cruiser when a dinghy untied itself at night.

)
If you've ever spent any time in Georgetown, Bahamas you'll have heard folks saying their dink's gone walkabout in the night. This happens about once a week. Invariably they are found either by someone ashore or by the "experts" who get the approximate time the dink went walkabout and then figure out where the tide and/or wind has taken it. No one is ever charged for this. To charge a fellow cruiser for "saving" his dink is unconscionable.
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Old 13-06-2011, 15:43   #10
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum
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Old 14-06-2011, 19:44   #11
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Re: Dinghy recovered in Chesapeake

Velero: its interesting to know that folks notice something like that! Wife thought the his and hers dinghies was hilarious.

Auspicious and Motion30: thanks much, appreciate the offer. We have taken up folks on previous offers, we'll give a ring if necessary.

Last time I recovered a dinghy and returned it to the owner was in Georgetown (actually helped in several of those late evening "help, dinghy came untied while we were drinking rum drinks on someone else's boat" dinghy searches). The french canadian couple was quite appreciative. A year later we're in Nassau, backing out of a really tight slip, and for the first time ever (really, its true) we got our anchor briefly tangled in the lifelines of the neighboring boat. No one on board, and we got away quickly, but a couple of hours later we dinghied back to check with the owners to make sure there was no damage and, if there was, to of course own up to it. It turned out to be the same couple whose dinghy I had rescued the year before! There was no damage to their boat, but it probably wouldn't have hurt that we'd previously met!

Anyways, no luck yet on finding the owner of the dinghy, but I did get the motor flushed out and running today (3 changes of marvel mystery oil and regular oil later). Hope the electronics hold up. I also contacted the outboard manufacturer, adn while they would not reveal the name associated with the serial number they did give me the name of the dealer that sold it new. I'll contact them in the morning and maybe find the owner that way.

Dave
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:18   #12
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Re: Dinghy Recovered in Chesapeake

Update: we found the owner. Tracked him through the Suzuki serial number (called Suzuki USA, they gave me the number of the original dealer, after several calls I convinced them I was trying to do the right thing and they passed on my contact info to the owner), then spoke with the owner and a reunion is being planned (we're away from the boat for now and the owner is just happy he'll see it again). We hope to have it back to him in a couple of weeks.



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Old 10-07-2011, 03:22   #13
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Re: Dinghy Recovered in Chesapeake

Good news and a good deed.

Did you happen to find out how the dinghy was lost? Towing or loose painter?
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:39   #14
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Re: Dinghy Recovered in Chesapeake

That's very cool -- and a diligent piece of detective work on your part.

What has the owner been using for a dinghy over the last three or four weeks? Did he go out and buy a new one?
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:26   #15
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Re: Dinghy Recovered in Chesapeake

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Liberty View Post
Update: we found the owner.



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What goes around comes around so thats good karma points for you. I know this to be true and not by way of some spiritual crap. When in an anchorage it doesn't take long to notice some people are often helping out other people and I think that reputation spreads.

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