Thursday, August 25, 2005

Boat Collision

It’s been a funny summer! I really think the intense heat and humidity stretched out over so many weeks has been cause and effect for strange and unusual events in these parts. I want to show you want looks on the surface like just another pretty picture of the boats and waterway.

Notice anything out of place? Let me show you a little closer shot.

Notice it yet? Something just doesn’t look quite right, does it? Can you see it in this next one?

I’m almost afraid to go into work after my two days off anymore. Two weeks ago I was greeted by a sinking boat. Yesterday I find this. Okay, here’s what happened.

I arrived at work Wednesday morning on time and started my usual opening routine. I checked the printout on the fuel tank monitoring system, turned on the VHF radio base station and powered up the handheld VHF radio I wear on my belt all day. Then I checked the phone messages. I had one. Here’s how it went:

"Sam this is mmmpppfff… on (static) we left the dock this morning at six o’clock and hit mmmfffffppp (static) (static) engine may (static) hanging. Please rush (static) (static) check immediately (static) (static) call us back at mmmppfffpp (static) 9 (static) 94 (static) (static) Click.

My very limited appreciation of cell phones was not enhanced by this urgent and almost completely garbled message. Fortunately I recognized the voice and knew where to start looking on the docks for a problem. I thought to myself, "Engine hanging? What in the world?" You can see above what I found.

The departing boat had been caught up in the current and lost control. That boat hit the boat docked next to it as it was leaving and ripped the outboard engine off of the dinghy as it hung on the davits at the stern. The dinghy, by the way, is normally in a horizontal position on those davits. The force of the collision pushed the dinghy into a vertical position and it got caught on the davits and stayed that way.

Once again I grab the maintenance director because I am working alone on Wednesdays now that school has started. My summer help is in classes during the week these days. We launch a marina boat and go out and inspect the damage.

The force of the collision pushed or pulled the engine that was mounted on the back of the dinghy so hard that it separated the engine from the engine mount. You can see that the mount without the engine is still on the dinghy in this shot.

The net result is the engine is hanging just above the water held only by the control and electrical cables. This is a thirty horsepower engine and is not light by any means.

I send the maintenance director up onto the sailboat and I lift the outboard motor up to him in stages until we get it resting on the deck as you can see in this picture. Whew!

I take many pictures of this situation because I am sure there will be an insurance claim filed on this one.

Later I got a call I could actually understand from the boater that hit the other boat. After I called the owner of the boat that got hit, I started to relax. Except my right arm was all prickly and itchy now. I remembered why.

 The gasoline and oil that was dripping from the fuel tank on the dinghy got all over me as I was lifting the outboard from the water. I went to a sink and washed my arms. Checking in a mirror to see if there is any more grease, oil, or gas on my arm, I noticed my freshly starched uniform shirt. It is now covered with grease, gas, and oil! Sigh!

After I took my shirt off and scrubbed it for what seemed like an hour with a special degreaser, I began to think maybe I just shouldn’t come to work on Wednesdays anymore. By the way, I did get most of the stains out of my shirt and shorts. Oh well! All in a day’s work, I guess!

38 comments:

sieblonde said...

Every time I see your pictures, I wish I was at Jekyll.  Maybe I'll run away there for a long weekend before it gets cold.   ~Sigh.    

paisleyskys said...

Beautiful pictures but the wreck almost made me sick to my stomach!!
That won't be easy or cheap!
What a job you have, my hub will die for it for sure...

Wishing you health, happiness and laughter.
TJ~

http://journals.aol.com/paisleyskys/PaisleySkys
http://journals.aol.com/vaultofsecrets/MoonDancer

anmyatt said...

Once again, Sam, another crazy day at the office!  I don't know exactly how you handle it all, but you seem to do so in expert fashion!  ~Nikki

robinngabster said...

Oh my....I am thinking you publish write a coffee table book with these pictures and call it "WTC? From the Dock Lines and beyond."

mavarin said...

Wow!  It took me three pictures and several paragraphs of text to really understand what happened.  Interesting stuff, well-told.  Thanks!  (Oh, btw, you're on my alerts now.)  -Karen

pixiedustnme said...

Geesh, sounds like another day in the running for the "quite a day" award!

childebrand1968 said...

See.... this is why we appreciate the quiet days at work ;)

Even though they do go by more slowly....

Amazing to see, as always!  Fascinated by the situations folks get themselves into, I am glad no one was hurt.  Boats can be replaced....

Thanks for sharing th pics with us :)

Cat

PS~  Yea for getting most the of the stains out!

slbourgoyne said...

Aren't boats wonderful?  Seems there is more time on maintainance that on the water.  Great shots!  I'll have to get Matt to look at this one.  I guess Monday is Monday even if it's on a Wednesday.  Lynn

olddog299 said...

What is it with these turkeys, anyway? More money than brains? Does no one start out with a small boat and slowly work their way up in size over time, getting good at boat handling along the way?

There's no excuse, Sam. Charge the operator for a set of clothes while you are at it. Perhaps next time he'll look before engaging his prop.

wil

indigosunmoon said...

Wow!  What a day!!!
Yeesh!
Connie

mechants said...

Holy Cow! I never would've noticed all that damage! Great job getting it all untangled.

Ari

nightmaremom said...

Yikes!  Next time I want to complain about my day at work I will remember the things you deal with.  Great job and thanks for sharing!  Your pictures are great!  Can't wait to find out what happens tomorrow.

barbpinion said...

Wow! Talk about a rough day. I'd hate to have mine start out that way. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures. They're really great! You have such an amazing journal. Love strolling through it. Was sick for awhile ...then went to a family reunion so missed quite a few entries. It was great catching up.
Barb- http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/HEYLETSTALK

onemoretina said...

    Life is never dull for you with a job like that !   I envy you being able to spend your days on the water. There is something about being near water that is so soothing and relaxing for me.  One of these days, I'll have that house near the ocean that I dream about ....  Tina

stupidsheetguy said...

Sam, as bad as that all was, I picture it a lot worse if they didn't have you to bail them out. Having spent a lot of idle time at a marina on Long Island, I saw enough to appreciate what it is that you have to deal with.

good that you're there for them!

Jim

bvaneps834 said...

wow, what a job! So glad no one got hurt! Guess you are the only one that did--gas on the skin can really burn it--so hope you are ok!

jmorancoyle said...

    What a mess. I wouldn't want to clean up your sink after washing out your shirt. Took me a while, but I finally found your journal. This is my third visit, although I haven't left any comments before. I love water, and I love learning about a life I'm not familiar with. You are a great writer, Sam, and I have enjoyed myself here. Take care and good luck next Wednesday! I'd bring an extra uniform to work just in case.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/JMoranCoyle/MyWay

ltcjan said...

The only thing worse than being away from your own boat is reading about those who are around theirs.  I guess I wish someone as capable as you kept an eye out at our marina. Ours is a public marina and we have to look out for each other--the gang is wonderful, especially during storms, but how much greater to be able to rely on someone with your skill!

sunnyside46 said...

what a weird day
Marti

cneinhorn said...

what a day!!

~  www.jerseygirljournal.com

memes121 said...

I'm sorry you had a rough day but that was a great story!

ally123130585918 said...

Cell phones can be wonderful - but at times very frustrating - how lucky you recognised his voice....Great pictures..thanks....Ally

ryanagi said...

This is one of the reasons I think all work clothes or uniforms should be black or navy blue. LOL

auburndawn said...

Nothing like life to keep you busy!
Dawn

madcobug said...

Great pictures Sam, good job doing the rescue. Every boat dock owner should have someone like you working for them. Helen

lurkynat said...

Daer Sam,
Golly Jammity What a calamity! You must have nerves of steel and a brain like Einstein! Great work! God speed!
love,nat

jevanslink said...

I'll say it again. I'm gald you're doing this stuff and not me. This is craziness. But I mean that in a good way.   Mrs. L

mutualaide said...

Sam!  Gosh....Wednesdays will never be the same for me.  It's my golf day, but I know at the first tee I'll be thinking, "I wonder what Sam's up to this morning?"!

sanforized6 said...

What an interesting life you lead! Holy Dinghy!! rich

alphawoman1 said...

Most of go into work and grab a cup of coffee! This sounds like it could be made into a tv series.....

csandhollow said...

If my boat was at a dock you would be the one I would want watching it!

mcjerseygiri said...

Good night! Lucky you have the ability to stay calm. I think I would get very stressed out having to deal with things like this. I am curious, so the boat owners have to pay extra when you have to spend time fixing their mess ups like this?

jlocorriere05 said...

What a good job you are able to act calmly in these situations!! Me? I'd probably panic first. I don't like cell phones either, I've had one for two years and only learnt last month how to answer it when someone calls. I haven't given the number to anyone, the one call I had was a wrong number! I just keep it for emergencies! Hope you have a good day. Jeannette.

coy1234787 said...

   Sam  I got your note today about your family in Louisiana, all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. I have a lot of family there too. still waiting to hear from my Dad, he lives just outside of the French Quarter. I talked to him in Sunday, he was packed and ready to hit the road, they say no news is good news, I hope they are right!
                                             *** Coy ***

http://journals.aol.com/coy1234787/Dancingintherain

tillysweetchops said...

Your pictures show a beautifully place of serenity ....on the surface! But then you have all this engine drama - what would make it perfect though, is an invasion by a  marauding mass of Great Whites wanting to sharpen their teeth on some glistening hulls. Of course the day would be saved as you single-handedly drive them off with whatever dock paraphernalia happens to be to hand! I'm sure this must have happend at least once in all the time you've been on the docks.
Tilly
http://journals.aol.co.uk/tillysweetchops/Adventuresofadesperatelyfathouse/

belfastcowboy75 said...

I never encountered anything this weird. To me, the offending operator should've stayed at the scene and taken responsibility for mitigating the damage. Instead, he goes boating and dumps it in your lap. I hope we're looking at a serious gratuity here. Three figures.

That Evinrude has a few years on it, huh?

samnsmile5 said...

I had to look twice at the pics to figure out what was wrong.  :)  It's early in the morning my eyes aren't quite open yet.  
Michele
http://journals.aol.com/samnsmile5/lettingitallsinkin

cneinhorn said...

oh boy!