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Old 15-09-2013, 17:07   #1

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
We had us a STOW-ERM!

We noticed the clouds starting to gather to the east about 3:45 PM. Someone went to check the radar and saw a lot of red and orange behind where we were, and moving fast.

We called the instructional boats for sail school in at 4PM instead of 4:30. They came in promptly. By the time the retrieval team was pulling the second boat from the water, the wind was gusting to 30. They had a heck of a time getting the last one in. The winds (not gusts) were up to 50 mph at one point, at 4:45PM.

People ask about cruising the west coast of Florida.

Until things have cooled off -- INLAND as well as along the coast -- it's best to leave early and pull in early. While we were watching the Americas Cup races, we heard two mayday calls. In one, people were already in the water. In the other, a power boat was anchored about 25 miles off the coast with eight people aboard, and taking on more water than the bilge pump could handle. The Coast Guard didn't ask if they had buckets or a secondary pump while I was listening, but astoundingly, they had to tell the "captain" to get all eight people aboard in PFD's. We couldn't hear the boat's side of the conversation, but we heard the CG ask if all eight people were in PFD's.

Huh? Didn't have PFD's on yet?

This storm was moving east to west, so at least people caught at sea didn't have to deal with a lee shore.

Only radar would have indicated the magnitude of the problem with this storm -- its size. Rader also would have shown its saving graces -- it wasn't growing, and it was moving fast. It wasn't moving so fast that there would have been no time to prepare (oh, I don't know ... put on a PFD? Find the manual pump and a bucket?)

I hope those people in the water were found OK.
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