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Old 16-05-2015, 07:37   #1
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Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

We were sailing on a night passage to the Dry Tortugas From Port Charlotte. We were approximately 50 miles off shore in 70' of water.
When we were stopped dead in the water from a fishing net . I was not on watch but my mate called me up and as soon as I got on deck a light came on not 100' from our boat . It was actually a lantern. I was able to get one engine started and we broke free from the net [we only found out the next day it was a net after we untangle the starboard prop]
I was not sure the size of the boat or the nationality as it was pitch black we could not see a thing. I was not about to go back and see who it was .
The next day I dove under the boat and the fairly new bottom paint was scrapped in several places and one area on the Keel the bottom paint was gone .
I attempted a call to coast guard but no answer.

Sooo - has any one else had this happen .
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:23   #2
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

No, but have had the crap scarred out of me by a whale at night. No running lights on them either.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:34   #3
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to encounter trawlers off the coast of southwest Florida, often shrimpers, operating without or with only minimal lights. We have made the passage from Tampa to Key West and Ft. Jefferson several times when we encountered unlighted boats. Often there is enough moon/star light that they can be seen but on a moonless night or in heavy overcast that is not so. Thank goodness for radar. When we do encounter fishing vessels, we make a point of staying well clear to avoid nets/trawls which can extend for several hundred yards behind a boat.

Good luck...
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Old 16-05-2015, 14:30   #4
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

I have had similar experiences going from Tarpon Springs to Key West. The fishing boats sometimes seem like they want to play "chicken". For every course change I make to give them a wide berth they alter course to put them back on a collision course.

Some have even turned off their lights. On one occasion I had to do a quick 360 to avoid collision. The other boat then came on the radio to ask if needed assistance. My response can not be posted here. Thanks to radar I knew where the other boat was despite no lights.

I must admit, those have been among the very few times I was glad to be armed. And among the even fewer times when the idea of shot, even into the air, was tempting. By the way when this particular incident occurred it was 3 a.m. and blowing 30 kt

I really don't enjoy that part of trip off the coast near the Everglades


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Old 16-05-2015, 14:37   #5
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Up here in the PNW we get fisherman, at 0300, laying their nets sometimes with no lights and AIS comes on only after you spot them. The worst part of the 11-7 shift IMHO. Some of these boats are big international units operation within the 12 mile limit, and if they think you are USCG they run like smack for the open sea. One almost ran into me last September.
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Old 16-05-2015, 14:44   #6
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pirate Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Wait till you do a S. Pacific crossing... 200 miles W of the Galapagos we cme across a series of 1km long nets tended by guys in open boats with 25hp engines..
Bit of a surprise at first when one roared up and asked if we had any beer.. then 5 miles down the road another asked for cigarettes..
Had both so left some happy fishermen in our wake..
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Old 16-05-2015, 16:16   #7
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Boatman,

I hope you know you were comitting a crime. You were contributing to the delinquency of liners. 😊


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Old 16-05-2015, 18:13   #8
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Up here in the PNW we get fisherman, at 0300, laying their nets sometimes with no lights and AIS comes on only after you spot them. The worst part of the 11-7 shift IMHO. Some of these boats are big international units operation within the 12 mile limit, and if they think you are USCG they run like smack for the open sea. One almost ran into me last September.
It's like that in the Straits of Juan de Fuca in August.
Indian fishing nets all over the place and the boats aren't moving, so a lot of them leave all the lights off.
Before we had radar, I found on my previous boat that the 3 blade Maxprop could stop us from 6 knots in one boat length upon seeing a net run straight across our path.
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Old 17-05-2015, 04:04   #9
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

You often hear in Thailand and Asia that fishing boats will deliberately try and run lines across in front of your boat/course or go to great lengths to steam across in front of you trying to get you snagged in their lines or nets. All looking for compensation from the rich westerners. I've heard of this happening heaps of times. And if you manage to motor sail out of their way, they then give you a wave, but they also park their boats anywhere at night with nets and lines out with no lights on. You really need your radar or a good night vision camera I think anywhere in the world this day and age.
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Old 17-05-2015, 07:30   #10
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

We have just sailed back to Singapore having sailed to Phuket and back via the Straits of Melaka and both in Malaysia and Thailand you find smaller fishermen out in the deep blue but l must say most of them have some sort of light on their boats but only in certain parts of Thailand did we see net floats that actually had a led light on them, a great idea for both fishermen and sailors 👍

PS - A great trip


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Old 17-05-2015, 14:14   #11
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

In Malaysia it was often assumed by many sailors they had come in close contact with pirates when "fishing boats" seemed to be closing at high speed. This may be the origin of the story that they will deliberately try to foul you in their nets.

Apparently however it turns out they are trying to offload evil spirits by a fast approach and sudden turn. They believe evil spirits are not able to negotiate sudden turns. So they're just trying to give you their problems.

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Old 17-05-2015, 19:47   #12
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Off Columbia on way to Ecuador, nearly broadsided a Passport 40 sailing without any lights. It was a dark night and all of a sudden this boat appeared moving along pretty fast under full sail. We also were moving along fast and it was a crash tack to avoid the boat. No one responded to our hail on VHF. Perhaps they were running dark to not be seen by drug runners off Columbia.
Also, the longline fishing 60+nm off Ecuador are impossible to see at night.

A sharp lookout is prudent 'out there'.
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Old 17-05-2015, 22:05   #13
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Quote:
Originally Posted by domander View Post
In Malaysia it was often assumed by many sailors they had come in close contact with pirates when "fishing boats" seemed to be closing at high speed. This may be the origin of the story that they will deliberately try to foul you in their nets.

Apparently however it turns out they are trying to offload evil spirits by a fast approach and sudden turn. They believe evil spirits are not able to negotiate sudden turns. So they're just trying to give you their problems.

-Brian Domander
I've got 99 problems... and at least 5 of them aren't mine, but those of some random Thai/Malay fisherman.
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Old 18-05-2015, 03:55   #14
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

Have had bad experiences in the Mississippi sound, the ICW around Dauphin Island. Fishing boats apparently making for a collision as I try to avoid it. Back in the 70s-80s it was worse as the new Vietnamese population took over the shrimp boats. I go armed.
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Old 18-05-2015, 11:30   #15
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Re: Fishing Boat with no Lights in the night

I almost had a head on collision with a sailboat heading east from Miami in the night as I was arriving from Bimini. He had no lights at all and was almost completely invisible in the city lights behind him. The cavalier attitude of these sailors makes my blood boil! They figure they will see you and get out of your way, so they don't need to display lights! There's a special hell put aside for such "sailors".

My other scare was approaching Nassau from the east after dark. Only vague shapes in the dark warned me that an array of fishing boats were standing in the dark just off my starboard bow. No lights at all. When I lit them up with my spot light there was a crew member standing there on the deck of one of the boats not a couple of hundred feet away. I don't know what he was thinking he was going to do, put out his arms to stop the boat??

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