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Old 31-08-2011, 12:50   #1
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Sailboat Runs Over Divers

I transit this bridge frequently and I am SO GLAD to say that this was not me!!!

Sailboat nearly runs over divers | runs, beach, sailboat - CAUGHT ON VIDEO - WPEC 12 West Palm Beach

Just goes to prove that it not just powerboaters that do stupid and thoughtless things.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:07   #2
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Re: Sailboat runs over divers

In FA the cops do the same occasionally..
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:21   #3
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Re: Sailboat runs over divers

Perhaps swimming in a channel is not a good idea, ever think of that?
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:26   #4
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Re: Sailboat runs over divers

Its dark under bridges when you have been sailing in the bright daylight.

Also lots of cruisers have a silly hate of being in a shipping channel.

The video didn't work for me.
Are there clear dive flags on the yacht entry side of the bridge?
Why were the divers under a bridge which is not excluded from boat traffic? If its that much a popular dive site why don't the dive companies rope it off and put up dive flags?
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:32   #5
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Re: Sailboat runs over divers

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Originally Posted by offline View Post
Just goes to prove that it not just powerboaters that do stupid and thoughtless things.
Agreed, why didn't the divers have a safety boat over the top of them? oh and yes I am a diver.

Actually that close the divers would have no problem hearing the yachts engine and they would know exactly what was happening. Sound travels extremely well underwater.

What is always a worry is a yacht under sail. Silent and several tonnes of steel hanging down below the boat.

Pete
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:38   #6
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

This area is known for boating craziness of all kinds. Most of the whackiness takes place at the nearby boat ramp.

I did not see a dive flag and if I am not mistaken, there is a sign close by that says no swimming or diving within so many feet of the channel. Been through there many times and the whole area is a tight mix of boats and swimmers.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:40   #7
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

Press blurb says its a popular dive spot-for what?--training of some sort, maybe.

A little strange.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:46   #8
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

Agree with MarkJ and others.

I thought the divers speaking in this video were pretty smug. Diving under a traffic bridge strikes me as something resembling idiocy.

Anyway, the sailboater was warned? Give me a break -- he wasn't expecting to see dive flags under the bridge and by the time he figured out what was happening, what exactly should he have done (in a split second) that wouldn't have potentially put his boat in jeopardy?

I'd fault the guy for not taking the main channel, but other than that, I don't see what he did wrong.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:48   #9
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

And if that boat is full power, it has to be the slowest sailboat ever.

I'm guessing there were no flags on the other side of the bridge and as the people on the dive boat where yelling, the captain was looking at them and wondering what the fuss was. It looks like there are a couple of small channel markers he is threading through, but the video isn't that clear. Hopefully those weren't divers on the surface.

I'm new to diving. Boats on the surface is a tough one for me still. It's easy to get off track along the bottom. I've followed the wrong anchor chain a couple of times. At some point, I guess you have to surface. I purchased one of those inflatable tube flags for such a situation.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:50   #10
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

The divers had no business being there and the boat did not run over any diver. Sometimes the span next to the main draw has better clearance like the Julia Tuttle in Miami.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:53   #11
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

I'm a dive instructor. The boat captain did a stupid thing. No excuse for what he did. However, I have to ask myself - why dive in a high traffic area? The divers did nothing wrong, however hey should have planned for the unexpected. (maybe they did, I don't know)
There are two issues here. The obvious boat captain stupidity, and the divers that seem to be blindly following the rules, not thinking ahead. Sometimes following the rules and being safe are not one in the same.
Their next dive should be planned around what the captain did, not what he should have done. After all is said and done, dead is dead no matter who is at fault. Having said that, a few weekes ago this happened to me on a 10 ft deco stop, so I quess I need to take my own advice.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:58   #12
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

My guess is he didn't see the diver flags until he was already under the bridge (flags were on the exit side of bridge). Then where to go?

In spite of people screaming "he's going full throttle", looks like he was barely making way. Maybe he just put it into neutral and coasted on through the dive zone.

Obviously should have applied the emergency brake and parked boat where he was.
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Old 31-08-2011, 13:59   #13
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

11 posts all in agreement. Have we set a record?
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Old 31-08-2011, 14:00   #14
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Re: Sailboat runs over divers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Agreed, why didn't the divers have a safety boat over the top of them? oh and yes I am a diver.

Actually that close the divers would have no problem hearing the yachts engine and they would know exactly what was happening. Sound travels extremely well underwater.

What is always a worry is a yacht under sail. Silent and several tonnes of steel hanging down below the boat.

Pete
No safety boat needed or required in this area, the divers are diving off the beach- I grew up around this bridge and my guess is the sailboat owner was a new boat owner and just did not know what to do- As far as hearing the engine underwater that area is loaded with boats going by so your hearing engines all the time while in that area-I ran a commercial dive boat for 10 years and that was the park I did my pickups and drop offs on-the good thing was the sailboat was only doing about 1-2 knots and no one was hurt- by the way the diving under that bridge is pretty good-heres a few min under water -under that bridge with my grand kids-
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Old 31-08-2011, 14:08   #15
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Re: Sailboat Runs Over Divers

didn't look like "plowing" to me..more like "mowing" at idle.
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