Rescued a broken down boat and boater - some lessons learned.

Hot-Streak

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I helped out and towed in a boater who had broken down and was stranded floating off saxe point (Victoria waterfront) when his main motor broke down.

He was lucky to be picked up by another boat outside the harbour and then I took him in tow inside the harbour back to a dock.

Good thing the winds were light and he was close to an area with other boats around.

Here are some things that could have led to disaster had conditions been different.

1) He didn’t know how to use his radio and how to call coast guard, or even what channel they are on. He didn’t even know how to pass on the general area he was in.

2) Couldn’t start his kicker but figured out later on he might have been able to start it but panicked when his main died.

3) Didn’t have an anchor onboard for emergencies.

4) Didn’t have flairs on board or whistle.

5) he was generally unfamiliar with the safety gear and what to do. He wasn’t prepared to respond to emergencies.

Lesions he learned (I recommend to him)

1) know where he is and how to call for help.
2) test and warm up your kicker before you leave the dock in case you need it/main motor dies
3) have an emergency anchor ready for letting go with enough line to get you to the bottom. I suggest he get 200ft and chain
4) have sound and light signalling devices
5) know your boat, know what to do in case of emergencies, table/top and think them out before they happen so you have an idea what your reaction should be. Know generally where you are when you call for help.

In this case he was ok but had it been windy or some other thing go wrong this individual would not have been prepared.

I asked him if he had take the boater license course and he said he did but kind of rushed though it.

I would encourage anyone who can’t say they can deal with points 1-5 to sort it out before they go out again.

I'm not knocking the guy, just a new boater that didn't appreciate the hazards that are out there. This turned out to be a very gentle lesson for him.

For me I need to carry some more rope for towing and have a way to rig a fender on the stern of my motor.

Stay safe everyone and have fun out there! …. And of course - tight lines
 
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wildthing

Well-Known Member
good man helping him out ......but really going out and not having a clue..... mind boggles

need's to go on a power squad course the sooner the better... shows the joke of the online boat op card ......
 
good man helping him out ......but really going out and not having a clue..... mind boggles

need's to go on a power squad course the sooner the better... shows the joke of the online boat op card ......
Like the guy at the power squadron course told me:
The Pleasure Craft Operators Card will get you ON the water, Power Squadron Courses will get you back OFF the water…
 

casper5280

Crew Member
I have to totally agree one of the Best courses that I have taken, everyone should take one before they go on the water.
Should be the standard course instead of the Pleasure Craft Operators card. That PCO is a joke.
 

agentaqua

Well-Known Member
Should be the standard course instead of the Pleasure Craft Operators card. That PCO is a joke.
Agreed. Even the SVOP is limited in teaching practical habits. Experience is often and unfortunately the best instructor - if one survives. Or maybe asking for, receiving and incorporating recomendations/lessons from those who did survive... He was lucky to have you there, HS
 

RevyG

Crew Member
Agreed. Even the SVOP is limited in teaching practical habits. Experience is often and unfortunately the best instructor - if one survives. Or maybe asking for, receiving and incorporating recomendations/lessons from those who did survive... He was lucky to have you there, HS
Couldn't agree more... I took my SVOP and never went near a boat? I was shocked. But like most courses you are right, nothing beats experience. You know how I got 52 years experience?52 years! Don't beat yourself up, you're a smart guy, you'll get it! Hahaha, had an old work bud drop that on me, never forgot.
Definitely lucky you were there, hope he learned a few things you told him.
 

Derby

Crew Member
I carry a custom tow harness with rope ready to go on my boat ... u just never know when u have to help someone out.. Do agree that boaters should know there equiment and basic saftly stuff for sure...
 

Brando

Well-Known Member
There's enough rules out there already. How about we just be careful and watch out for each other.
That’s all well and good until your putting others in harms way to save you from a situation that never should have happened. Going out in the ocean with no knowledge of how to call for help is insane! Hopefully a lesson learned for that boater.
 

eroyd

Well-Known Member
That’s all well and good until your putting others in harms way to save you from a situation that never should have happened. Going out in the ocean with no knowledge of how to call for help is insane! Hopefully a lesson learned for that boater.
A lot of us survived the pre- GPS, personal VHF, Radar and whatever whiz bang gear people have today. All in sub 20' boats. There's risks in anything. I'm not staying on the couch waiting for my heart to give out. Wouldn't want to put the Coast Guard out of business.
 

Brando

Well-Known Member
A lot of us survived the pre- GPS, personal VHF, Radar and whatever whiz bang gear people have today. All in sub 20' boats. There's risks in anything. I'm not staying on the couch waiting for my heart to give out. Wouldn't want to put the Coast Guard out of business.
Ya knowing how to read a map and compass, if you don’t know the radio frequency of the coast guard you probably don’t know how to use those either..
 

kmorrison

New Member
On Canada Day this past year there were no less than 3 maydays near me on my way to Pirates Cove:

1) Sailboat ran aground near Silva Bay, husband flew down the companion way and was bleeding/unconscious. Wife was on the radio and called for help competently. Sounded horrible but the Coast Guard had the hovercraft on the way in moments.

2) Almost right afterwards: Dude and friends called on 16 that they were adrift and about to hit rocks. Gave is lat/long and a description then stopped responding to calls. I had just looked at my position because of the previous call and saw that it was close. Turned out he was at the south end of Reid Island in his new ~30' Ranger tug with about 6 friends. My wife and son took the dingy over to offer our Jerry can. She asked why they hadn't responded and he said he turned his radio off - clearly in a panic and totally unsure how to operate just about anything on the boat including the anchor and gas kicker. Luckily his friend in an Axxopar turned up and towed them away. :-/

3) Moments later! Coastguard reports that someone has called on their cellphone near Porlier pass that they were out of fuel in their sailboat. We called the cell number and the guy was puttering over from Vancouver in a small sailboat with no mast or sails and was actually about 2/3rds of the way from Vancouver across the straight. No radio, no spare fuel, etc. We could not reach him in our sailboat or dingy. I told him to start trying to flag someone down or pop a flare.

Know where you're going, where you are, and how to call for help. Know your boat and some basics about engines, fuel, etc. Also, LEAVE YOUR RADIO ON AFER YOU CALL MAYDAY.

Kyle
 
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