Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Woman Injured After Jet Ski and Boat Collide

Southwest Florida briefs Published by news-press.com on May 30, 2005 • FORT MYERS BEACH Woman injured after Jet Ski, boat collide A Jet Ski driver suffered a head injury after colliding head-on with a 24-foot flat boat Sunday afternoon, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. The accident happened at about 4:30 p.m. near the Lani Kai Resort in Fort Myers Beach. The victim, whose name was not released, was ejected from the Jet Ski during the crash. She landed in the water and was picked up by another Jet Ski driver who took her to shore. An ambulance transported her to the hospital, officers said. http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050530/NEWS01/505300395/1075

Monday, May 30, 2005

Jacksonville, Florida has a rich maritime history.... Posted by Hello

Safety Increases Chances for survival on Water

Increase chances of survival on water this Memorial Day weekend By TIM TUCKER Special to The Sun May 27. 2005 6:01AM Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest boating/fishing times of the year and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are imploring outdoors lovers to stay alert, wear their life jackets, and don't drink while operating a boat. The agency says keeping these messages in mind can dramatically decrease your chances of getting into an accident - and increase your chances of survival if you do. "In 2003, Florida led the nation in boating deaths with 64 and last year we had 68. We hope to reverse that trend by alerting boaters to the biggest dangers," said Capt. Richard Moore, the FWC's boating law administrator. Collisions with vessels or fixed objects are the two leading types of accidents. Last year, they accounted for nearly half of the mishaps on Florida waterways. Moore said this reflects the importance of staying alert to everything going on around you. "One of the biggest misconceptions about boating accidents is that they are caused by extremely reckless behavior, but when you look at the numbers you see that it comes down to people not paying attention or making one careless move," he said. "We want people to go out and have fun, but also to understand the minute they lose focus something could happen." Alcohol and not wearing a PFD are the two biggest contributors to fatal accidents. In 2004, alcohol use was the primary cause of 21 percent of boating deaths. Almost one-third of the fatal accidents were classified as "falls overboard", drowning was the cause of death in 65 percent of those fatalities. http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050527/SPORTS/205270334/1119/sports

Two Killed One Missing in Barge Boat Collision

Two killed, one missing in boating accident on Minnesota River Star Tribune May 30, 2005 BOAT0531 A boating accident on the Minnesota River near Shakopee has left two people dead and a third missing. Witness told police that the boaters ran headlong into a barge late Sunday night. The barge had been docked into a lock at Cargill, KSTP-TV reported. The boat struck the barge's bow; the river's current was strong enough to suck the boat beneath the barge, according to media reports. Police have not recovered the boat, which may yet be lodged beneath the barge. The witnesses, a couple of fishermen, said they immediately went to the rear of the barge and found one of the boat's passengers, a woman. They told police that they pulled her from the river and tried to revive her to no avail, according to media reports. The fishermen called authorities, who began a search and rescue mission, according to a Bloomington police spokesman who spoke with media at the scene. Authorities found a missing male passenger a short time later. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Police halted a search for the third boater last night after sunset. The search will resume about 10 this morning near the Shakopee and Burnsville border, according to KSTP-TV. Police told the media that the search will not be considered a rescue mission; rather, it will be considered a "recovery" mission. http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5430309.html
Search continues for missing teen after boating accident By Cheryl Tatum Editor HENDERSONVILLE - Search crews were back on the waters of Old Hickory Lake Sunday looking for a missing teen who fell from a boat Thursday evening. As of press time, rescue workers from six to 10 agencies who were scouring Old Hickory Lake had no success in their efforts to find the 18-year-old Hendersonville girl. Her identity is being withheld by officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) until their investigation is complete. Bob Galoppi, with the Hendersonville Fire Department, said the search will resume first thing Monday morning and continue all day, unless predicted thunderstorms occur. TWRA officer Darren Rider said the teen, who graduated from Hendersonville High School on May 20, was one of three teens riding on the bow of a 23-foot cabin motor boat when a combination of wake and making a turn caused them to fall into the water. Only two of the three surfaced. Search efforts for the missing teen began Thursday around 6 p.m. and continued until after midnight resuming Friday morning. The search has been continuous during daylight hours ever since. Rider said there were seven teens in the boat Thursday when the accident occurred. Currently there have been no charges filed in the incident and Rider said there was no indication of alcohol being involved. However, blood tests were taken, as is required by state law whenever there is an accident with a fatality involved. Results of that blood work are not yet available. Friends and family members spent the weekend keeping vigil first at Drakes Creek Marina, the command center for the the search effort, and later at nearby Saunders Ferry Park at the water’s edge. For them, it has been a weekend of waiting, said Hendersonville Fire Department Chaplin Dennis Allen who has been acting as a liaison between the family and officials. Allen said Sunday family members and friends were drawing support from each other, adding one group of teens has been writing handwritten thank you cards for the volunteers involved in the search. Galoppi said there have been numerous volunteers and career public safety personnel involved in the search. On Sunday four cadaver dogs were being used, with two handlers and dogs having just arrived from Evansville, Ind. The search has been difficult, Galoppi said because it is covering such a large area. “There are a lot of different depths and we don’t have a specific area pinpointed,” he said. Galoppi added the search will continue until the missing teen is found. The intensive search, if needed, could continue up to five days. After that time in case like this efforts are usually scaled back to surface searches, he said. “We will keep looking until we find her or we run out of manpower,” Galoppi said. He added support from the community has been important for the family, friends and rescue workers. The Red Cross has also been on hand to counsel with family and friends and providing food for the searchers. http://www.gallatinnewsexaminer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050530/MTCN0401/305300017/1309/MTCN04

12 year old boy missing after barge boat collision

Search continues for 12-year-old boy missing in bayou The Associated Press May 29, 2005 ARTICLE FEATURES • e-mail this article • print this article • discuss this article After a day of searching, a 12-year-old boy was still missing Sunday after he was thrown into a bayou near here when his vessel collided with an empty barge pushed by a tugboat, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Coast Guard airplanes gave up the search Sunday afternoon, but a small boat crew continued the search for Ben Ribando, said Petty Officer Kyle Niemi, a Coast Guard spokesman. Russel Ribando, a 76-year-old retired doctor, was with four of his grandchildren when his small cabin cruiser hit an empty barge being pushed by the tugboat Leah Cenac on Bayou Cutler. All five boaters landed in the water and four of them were rescued, the Coast Guard said. The other youth on the boat, Russel Ribando III, was taken to West Jefferson Hospital while the other boaters did not sustain serious injuries, authorities said. The Leah Cenac was not damaged in the incident, nor were there any injuries reported to its crew. There were no reports of pollution from either vessel. Dateline Alabama | APN | E-mail Story | Print Story | Discuss Story http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050529/APN/505290895&cachetime=3&template=dateline

Friday, May 27, 2005

Sea Dog!! Have a great boating weekend!! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

How to Have a Fatal Boating Accident in Alaska?

Viewpoints How to Have A Fatal Boating Accident in Alaska By Fred Dyson May 24, 2005 Tuesday If you want to have a fatal boating accident, Alaska is the place to be. According to the latest boating fatality statistics Alaskans die in boats at 4 times the national average. If you want to maintain our state's "leadership", you can dramatically increase the odds of having your own fatality by including as many of the following components in your boat trip: Use an open skiff less then 26ft in length Overload the boat with as many people as possible and have them stand- up in the boat and drink alcohol Have the boat operated by a male,18-40, who knows it all, and thinks boat operation is like driving a car only easier because there are no silly traffic control signs or cops to bother with. Make sure he has lots to drink. Do not tell anyone where you are going or when you will return. Don't check the weather and/or tides. Do not protect yourself from cold, wet conditions Do not wear lifejackets [technically called personal flotation devices (PFD)] Do not take tools, spare parts, extra fuel, a radio, bailing can, paddles, maps, an emergency position locator, or hull patching supplies Make a sudden maneuver or hit a rock, sandbar, or log so that all or most of the passengers are thrown to one side of the boat and/or into the water. There is some good news. Overall, our boating accident rate is down and less people are dying in boats annually. Commercial fishing has seen most dynamic reduction in fatalities. Some of this comes from the Federal Commercial vessel regulations that came from the loss of the FV Western Sea in Marmot Bay, Kodiak some 20 years ago. Now commercial vessels carry; survival suits, automatically deploying rafts, Emergency locator beacons, flares etc. In addition the skipper must conduct man overboard and safety drills and stability tests when the vessel is modified. The Alaska Boating Safety Council, the Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, have put immense effort in to "boating safety education", vessel inspections, and the very useful "Kid Don't Float" program. The later has boxes of child size life jackets available at most boat docks and many boat launch sites. We are now without excuse in equipping our kids with life jackets BEFORE we put them in the boat. Amazingly, vandals and thieves have not stolen many of these life jackets. There has been a significant reduction in child fatalities traceable to more kids wearing their life jackets. If you tell kids to wear their life jackets on a boat, they will do it. It's the adult males who always think they know better or don't want to be bothered. Technology is helping. Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) are now available that are easy to wear and work in. A few years ago, a fisherman from the Bering Sea, got tired of losing friends and developed a line of jackets with an inflatable bladder that were very comfortable to wear. That line was called "Stormy Seas". In a subsequent column, we will identify other products and venders. I lived on a boat as a child and I thought a life jacket was part of my body. My mother put it on me in the morning and it was the last thing I took off at night. That was a good plan because a local Fireboat Skipper used to give me a quarter to walk the top of the dock rails (and/or wet my pants). I had many "accidents" of both types and made some good money. He and my mother had a stormy relationship that she expressed in remarkably "colorful" ways. In Alaska, boats are a magic carpet to extraordinary scenery and the best fishing in the world. With a little fore thought and equipment, it can also be safer then driving in traffic. BE SMART, BE SAFE. Note: Fred Dyson is a licensed captain and serves on the Governor's BOATING SAFETY COUNCIL. He lived on boats as a child. He lives on a classic wooden yacht in the winter in Juneau. His father ran tug boats and was a part time smuggler in Puget Sound.. Dyson has operated marine research vessels, fished commercially for 25 years, and now operates a charter boat out of Whittier. Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews. http://www.sitnews.us/0505Viewpoints/052405_fred_dyson.html

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Have a safe Safe Boating Week and Memorial Day on the water!! Posted by Hello

Florida Authorities Investigate Boating Accident That Killed Two

Florida authorities are continuing to investigate a Saturday boating accident that killed Clinton volunteer firefighter Joseph Battista and a friend who had moved from Westbrook less than two years ago. Battista, 23, and Corey Vincent, 19, died Saturday evening in the collision of their Sea-Doo personal watercraft and a 29-foot powerboat. Battista was visiting Vincent, who lived with her mother and stepfather, James and Judith Dowd, in Madeira Beach, Fla., just across Boca Ciega Bay from St. Petersburg. Advertisement Battista and Vincent were close friends, according to James Dowd. "Joe’s been like her big brother. They were just very good friends. … Any time he needed help, she was there for him and vice versa." Battista’s father, John Battista, is Clinton’s deputy chief for emergency medical services. It’s the second tragedy in six weeks for members of Clinton’s volunteer fire and emergency medical services, after the April 12 death of 39-year-old firefighter Jeff Miller from cancer. Joseph Battista, of 23 Hunters Path, Clinton, was a 2000 graduate of The Morgan School and recently graduated from paramedic school. Vincent, who lived in a house fronting the bay, went to Westbrook High School before the family moved about a year and a half ago, James Dowd said. Vincent attended Pinellas Technical Education Centers, had decided on a massage therapy career and wanted to go to college, Dowd told the St. Petersburg Times. Dowd said his stepdaughter and Battista were excited to try out the family’s new personal watercraft, launching from the house and into the bay, which juts off Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Gary Moorse, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the accident occurred one-quarter mile east of congested John’s Pass. "To say that it is heavily trafficked is an understatement," Moorse said. Moorse said Battista and Vincent collided about 6 p.m. with the powerboat operated by Miguel Alvarado of Wesley Chapel, Fla. Although at least 18 people witnessed the accident, Moorse said authorities cannot yet say how the collision took place or whether Vincent or Battista was at the controls of the watercraft. Authorities said Alvarado was allowed to return home after giving officials a blood sample. Investigators have impounded both vessels, Moorse said. The investigation is expected to last two to six weeks. The accident occurred as Florida began observing Safe Boating Week. "It’s just a tragedy," Moorse said. "It’s a tragic loss for the community and the department," Clinton Fire Chief Scott Andrews said of Battista. "He was a very gentle, kind and caring person, and he did a great deal for this town." Battista, like his father, was devoted to emergency medical service and had been working as a paramedic for American Ambulance in Norwich. He also was a volunteer with the Westbrook Ambulance Service. In his 2000 high school yearbook, he lists his "likes" as "skiing, leaving school for fires, saving your life," and his emergency medical technician certificate as one of his most prized possessions. Fellow firefighter Jeremy Hansen said of Battista, "He was everything a volunteer firefighter should be. He had a gigantic heart and couldn’t give enough." In addition to his father, Battista is survived by his mother, Sherry; two brothers, John and Brian; his grandmother, Patricia Fox of Westbrook; and grandfather, John Battista of Virginia. Funeral services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Congregational Church of Westbrook. Calling hours are from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Swan Funeral Home, 80 E. Main St., Clinton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Joseph M. Battista Scholarship Fund at the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department. Funeral services for Vincent were uncertain late Monday. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Associated Press and Metro Editor Ed Stannard contributed to this story. http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14576898&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=517515&rfi=6
Press Release Source: American Safety Council American Safety Council Launches Florida Online Safe Boating Course Monday May 23, 3:09 pm ET ORLANDO, Fla., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Safety Council announces its new online safe boating education course specifically designed for Florida boaters. The course is being launched to coincide with the start of Florida's busy summer boating season as well as National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27, 2005). "It's important to realize that most boating accidents involve individuals with no formal boating safety education," says Bob Proechel, president of the American Safety Council. "Many boating accidents can be prevented if new boaters make safety a priority, which includes taking a boating safety education course prior to venturing out on Florida's waterways. The American Safety Council is pleased to make the Florida boating course available online for residents and visitors," says Proechel. Selected boating statistics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for 2003 (the most recent year for which statistics were available): * Total number of registered vessels in Florida is at an all-time high with 978,225 registered in 2003. * The most likely time to be involved in a boating accident (as determined by accident frequency statistics) is during the months of March, April, May, June, or July between noon and 6:00 pm while cruising. * 48% of reported accidents were primarily caused by either carelessness/inattention or violation of a navigation rule. * Individuals most likely to be operating a vessel involved in an accident are males between the ages of 22 and 50 who have 100 hours or more of boating experience, but no formal boater education (as determined by operator statistics). * 16% of those involved in a boating accident either died or were injured. * Most fatal boating accident victims were males (79.7%) who were 22 years of age or older (75%). * 45.3% of boat operators involved in a fatal boating accident reported having over 100 hours of boating experience, while 90.6% had no formal boater education. FLORIDA BOATER SAFETY EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS Anyone 21 years of age and under who operates a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or more must pass a boater safety course and have in his/her possession photographic identification and a boater safety identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The American Safety Council's online basic boating safety course is approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and is recognized by the United States Coast Guard. The course is fully accredited and meets the State of Florida's requirements for basic boater safety education. The course is available online at the following website: http://www.FloridaBoatingCourse.com . The cost is $14.95 and includes the online course and online exam. Students who successfully complete the course and exam receive a full size completion certificate, wallet certificate and are automatically reported to the State of Florida for issuance of their state boater education identification card. For more information, contact the American Safety Council at (800) 732-4135. Websites: http://www.FloridaBoatingCourse.com http://www.AmericanSafetyCouncil.com -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: American Safety Council

Monday, May 23, 2005

Teen Missing After Boating Accident

Madison County 05/22/05 Teen Missing After Boating Accident Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version By Andrew Hasbun andrew@wlbt.net Workers scoured Lake Caroline Sunday for Lanie Kealhofer, 16, a sophomore at Madison Central High School. Kealhofer, two teenage boys, and a 17-year-old female friend were enjoying a day on the lake, when authorities say they may have hit a wake. The two girls, sitting in the front of the boat, were thrown overboard. Emergency workers believe the 17-year-old may have hit the propeller, severing part of her leg. She is recovering at University Medical Center. Crews from across Madison county, including a dive team, searched the lake Sunday, but found no sign of Kealhofer. As news spread, friends and family flocked to Lake Caroline. "I found out at church and we just came out to offer some support," said Renee Buckner. Friends from Madison Central High School waited all day for some sign of their friend. Many spent Sunday night at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Madison. "Typically you don't need to worry about these things," said Bucker, whose daughter is friends with the victims. "It's just a freak accident." According to students at the high school, the 17-year-old victim is scheduled to graduate this Saturday and attend Stamford University this fall. Kealhofer was involved in Madison Central's drama and dance departments. One man described her as the daughter every father wishes for. Kealhofer is also close friends with the family of WLBT morning news anchor Jack Hobbs, who was on the scene Sunday night. He asked for prayers for Kealhofer and her family. http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=3377821&nav=2CSfaAXL

Think SAFETY and show respect for the law enforcement officers that are there to make your boating safer!! Posted by Hello

Teen Boating Accident Victim Loved Water ....

Teen Boating Accident Victim Loved Water (Safety must go both ways...its everyone's responsibility) By ADAM EMERSON aemerson@tampatrib.com Published: May 23, 2005 MADEIRA BEACH - Corey Vincent was a water buff. She lived with her father, James Dowd, in a house on Boca Ciega Bay. She enjoyed watching the manatees and dolphins that surfaced in the bay, and spent much of her spare time following them. She wanted to go out on the water Saturday night, so she boarded a personal watercraft with a longtime friend from Connecticut who was visiting, Dowd said. About 6 p.m., the two were about 1/4-mile east of Johns Pass when a 29-foot powerboat crashed into them. The collision killed Vincent, 19, an aspiring massage therapist, and her companion, Joseph Battista, 23, of Clinton, Conn., who was to head back home Wednesday. When she was on the water, Vincent ``did all the right stuff,'' Dowd said. She wore her life preserver Saturday, as she always did, he said. She had finished boating safety classes last week. Battista, a paramedic in Connecticut, was ``a real sweetheart of a guy,'' Dowd said. Investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Sunday they had not yet determined the cause of the crash. They found alcohol aboard the powerboat Saturday but do not know if it contributed to the accident, commission spokesman Gary Morse said. They drew blood from the boat's driver, Miguel Alvarado of 1702 Firewheel Drive in Wesley Chapel, to check for alcohol content, but results were pending Sunday, Morse said. Authorities have charged no one in the accident. There were at least two others aboard the powerboat. Alvarado could not be reached for comment Sunday. Investigators did not know Sunday whether Vincent or Battista was operating the personal watercraft at the time of the collision. All people aboard boats around John's Pass at that time are potential witnesses, Morse said. ``We've got quite a number of people to interview,'' he said. National Safe Boating Week started in Florida over the weekend. Crashes between vessels were among the leading types of accidents on Florida waters last year, according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Web site. Reporter Adam Emerson can be reached at (727) 451-2332.

Man Seriously Hurt in Boating Accident

Posted on Mon, May. 23, 2005 Man seriously hurt in boating accident An 18-year-old man was seriously injured in a boating accident on Lake San Antonio on Sunday afternoon. David Ernest Guzman, 30, was arrested for boating under the influence and failing to stop at an accident scene to render aid. The Monterey County Sheriff's Department reported that Guzman was under the influence of alcohol while piloting a 20-foot Ultra Custom boat that collided with a Jet Ski. Jason Penalba, 18, of Agoura Hills, was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center with crushed lower vertebrae, a broken pelvis and liver and spleen damage. Erik Shirey, 19, of Santa Barbara was driving the Jet Ski with Penalba as his passenger. Shirey received minor cuts and scrapes, deputies said. Officers reported that Guzman fled, but was later arrested. He was described as an employee of the Los Angeles Police Department. http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/11716206.htm

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Keep those lifejackets handy while you are having fun!! Happy Memorial Day!! Posted by Hello

Boating Season is kicking off with summer here. Everyone should use caution with the numbers of boaters increasing.  Posted by Hello

Maritime Day Phots ...USCGC Eagle and tender boat Posted by Hello

Boating Accidents Down in South Carolina

Posted on Sun, May. 22, 2005 OUTDOORS Boating-accident fatalities down in South Carolina By PAT ROBERTSON Columnist OUR 2-YEAR-OLD granddaughter, Madeline, proudly wore her new “boat coat” last fall on her first boat ride. It’s a pity more adults don’t follow her lead. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death in recreational boating accidents nationwide. In 2003, 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. In 2003 in South Carolina, 33 people died in boating accidents. In 2004 the number dropped to 13. This year five have died. The decline, according to Col. Alvin Taylor, deputy director for law enforcement with the Department of Natural Resources, is attributed to increased boating safety awareness. There will be a hard push hard again this year; DNR officers will conduct boating safety inspections at public boat landings. The DNR will increase boating law enforcement efforts during Memorial Day weekend with “saturation patrols” on lakes, rivers, reservoirs and coastal waters. Everyone on board must have a wearable personal flotation device that fits properly and is serviceable without tears or other damage that could lessen its effectiveness in the water.You can obtain a copy of South Carolina's boating regulations by calling (803) 734-3995 or visiting the DNR Web site, www.dnr.state.sc.us/etc/boating.html. Kids don’t count. According to a survey conducted by The Progressive Group of Insurances Companies, a leading boat insurer, 22 percent of boat owners say it was harder to name their boat than their pet or child. Fourteen percent named their boat after their “significant other,” and 9 percent named their boat after their child. Also, 7 percent of boaters who spend less than an hour with their kids each week spend more than five hours with their boat.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Boating Safety Starts with Caution

Boating safely starts with caution By Willie Howard Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Thursday, May 19, 2005 Hot weather is here. Schools will soon close for the summer. Boats are coming out of storage, and many boaters are preparing for the wet days ahead. Some points to consider: • Boating can be dangerous. Sixty-eight people died in boating accidents in Florida last year, including two in Palm Beach County and one in Martin County. • Wearing a life jacket at all times while on the water increases a boater's chance of survival in an accident. According to the North American Safe Boating Campaign, drowning is the leading cause of death in recreational boating accidents nationwide, and 86 percent of those who drowned in 2003 were not wearing life jackets. • Operators of fast-turning personal watercraft should look for other boats before making sharp turns, said Chief Petty Officer Brian Leavy of the Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet. "They turn so fast a boat can't get out of their way," Leavy said. "Look before you turn." • Passengers should not ride on the bow of a boat. Law enforcement officers will stop the boat if they see bow riding. If a passenger falls from the bow, he or she would likely be hit by the boat or its propellers. • Skippers should file a float plan before leaving. A brief note left with a friend or relative will do. Describe the boat. Be specific about where the boat will leave port, where you plan to go boating, who is on board and when you are due back. Note special medical needs of those on board. • Make sure there's a life jacket of the proper size for each person on board and that life jackets can be easily accessed in an emergency. Life jackets wrapped in plastic and stuffed away below the deck do not meet the ready requirement. • Call the Coast Guard Auxiliary (800) 368-5647 (www.vesselsafetycheck.org) or the United States Sail & Power Squadron (888) 367-8777 to schedule a free vessel examination or inquire about safe-boating courses. Examiners usually make helpful recommendations and notice things that boat owners miss. Consider taking a boating course or picking up a free copy of the state's How to Boat Smart booklet at tax-collectors' offices. Find online courses at www.myfwc.com or www.boatus.org/onlinecourse. • If you're boating offshore or going to the Bahamas, consider purchasing or renting an EPIRB. • Don't drink and drive a boat. If you want to drink while on the water, designate a non-drinking, qualified skipper. • Divers, often swept away from groups by current, should have a way to make themselves visible in the water, such as an inflatable safety tube, a strobe light or a reflecting mirror. A white trash bag is better than nothing. • Divers and snorkelers must pull a float-mounted dive flag, at least 12 inches square. Boats carrying divers must display a dive flag at least 20 inches by 24 inches. Boaters must stay at least 300 feet away from a dive flag in open water and at least 100 away in inlets, rivers and channels. • When running inlets, think about wind and tides before heading out. An east wind pushing against an outgoing tide can make waves stand up. If an inlet looks questionable, stop well before the waves and study it. Don't attempt to turn around when the boat is in the big waves. Want to see an inlet before leaving home? Check out Palm Beach County's inlets online at www.co.palm-beach.fl.us. Search for "webcams." • To report problems on the water, call the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's law-enforcement hotline at (888) 404-3922 (#FWC by cell phone). The state offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of drunken boat operators. Also call the Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16. In emergencies, use a cell phone to call 911. Palm Beach Post

Friday, May 20, 2005

40 Missing in Boat Accident

Last Update: Friday, May 20, 2005. 8:21am (AEST) 40 missing in Bangladesh boat accident A boat with about 100 people on board has sunk in a river in southern Bangladesh during a severe storm, the third such accident in five days. Police say the boat has disappeared in the turbulent Meghna river estuary to the Bay of Bengal, about 325 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka. They say most of the people on board have either been rescued or swam to safety, but nearly 40 people are missing. At least 33 people died and 120 are still missing after a ferry sank in the river Jamuna during a storm earlier this week. Last weekend, at least 60 people were killed and 30 went missing when a passenger ferry sank in a river south of Dhaka. The twin-decker MV Raipura went down with 200 passengers in the Jamuna river at Aricha, about 100 km west of the capital Dhaka, in a tropical storm on Tuesday. "Barring a miracle, it is quite unlikely that anyone would survive so long under water," Mohammad Abu Yusuf, a police officer monitoring the rescue, said. Efforts to refloat the ferry began on Thursday after rescue vessel MV Rustam, delayed by bad weather, arrived with divers. Public anger was growing in impoverished Bangladesh. "Do something to speed up the rescue process," one man shouted. "Don't come up with another excuse or put the blame on the weather alone." Bangladesh has a shocking record of ferry accidents and hundreds of people die each year despite repeated Government promises to better legislate the industry. Much of Bangladesh's vast ferry fleet has little or no safety equipment, and operators and owners often neglect weather forecasts and shipping rules. -Reuters Print Email http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200505/s1372846.htm

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Snorkelling Accident - Swimmer loses arm

Port Authority rules on snorkelling accident Thursday, May 19, 2005 The wakeboarders involved in the accident that saw a snorkeller lose an arm in George Town Harbour last Saturday, 14 May should have been at least 50 yards offshore, said a Port Authority spokesman. Philip Haberlen, a grocery store manager from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, was the unfortunate victim of the accident as he snorkelled at the rear of the apartment where he was staying at Coral Sands, adjacent to Rackhams Pub. Wakeboarders from Florida as well as locals and tourists had gathered at Rackhams for the event, but events came to a dramatic halt at around 3pm after the tragedy. The Port Authority had been informed that the event was taking place, but their spokesman, Joseph Woods, said: “Normally this sort of activity would be at least 600ft offshore. “On Friday 13 May a gentleman came to see me and asked if we had any objections to the wakeboarders operating between Rackhams and somewhere off Seven Mile Beach,” said Mr Woods. “We didn’t have a problem with them operating within that area as there were no cruise ships in, but we didn’t know they were going to be operating inside the shore area. “That area is anywhere inside the drop-off area for the cruise ships. We don’t grant permission, but we would state whether we have any objections and we would direct them away from that area. “There were no cruise ships or other operations, but at no time did the gentleman say they would be operating so close to the shore. We didn’t give them permission to operate from the shore. They would be advised to go at least 600ft offshore to do something like this,” added Mr Woods. However, he noted that the statutory regulations in force for boats operating offshore states: “No vessel shall travel parallel to the shore line unless they are 50 yards therefrom. “No vessel should exceed a speed of five knots or go within 50 yards of any vessel at anchor.” Mr Woods added: “There are no set regulations governing water skiers or wakeboarders, but for events like the Poker Run in 2004 and 2005 we have advised them to stay at least 300 yards away from the cruise ships.” John Graham Taylor, organiser of the ‘Ride the Wake Championship Series’ wakeboarding event, said that he had taken legal advice and was unable to comment on the accident. PC Neil Williams of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, said: “The matter is still being investigated. “The CID will have to ascertain exactly where the boat and victim were and the speed the boat was doing. If the boat was within the shore line limits and travelling at above 5 knots then we would be looking to proceed with the matter a different way other than simply regarding it as an accident.” http://caymannetnews.com/2005/05/839/accident.shtml

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Police Officers Injured in Boating Accident to Sue State?

Police Officers Injured In Boating Accident To Sue State POSTED: 5:06 pm EDT May 13, 2005 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A pair of Jacksonville Sheriff's officers who were injured by debris from the old Fuller Warren Bridge will file a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Transportation for failing to remove pilings that created a safety hazard in the water, Channel 4's Casey Black confirmed Friday. James Brunet James Brunet and Keith Nazworth were injured Feb. 3 while patrolling the St. Johns River in preparation for Super Bowl XXXIX when the boat they were traveling in crashed into a piling from the old bridge. Brunet, 41, suffered a broken neck and spent several months in the Intensive Care Unit at Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center. He underwent reconstructive surgery on his face and was forced to wear a halo on his head until it was removed last week. "I apparently sacrificed my face for the health of my brain," Brunet said. Nazworth, 39, was also injured in the accident, breaking his ribs. Now Brunet and Nazworth are seeking damages. On Monday, the law firm of Spohrer, Wilner, Maxwell & Matthews, which represents the officers, will file its intent to sue the DOT. The suit might also be targeted at Balfour Beatty, the former contractor of the old bridge. According to investigators, rain and fog restricted visibility the night of the accident, and the amount of traffic on the river made the waterway congested. They also noted that the clear plastic weather screen at the helm impaired visibility. "We complied with all navigational requirements for this river for the Super Bowl," DOT spokesman Mike Goldman said. He said that in meetings leading up to the week of the Super Bowl, no mention was ever made about lighting the old pilings. In fact, Goldman said, the DOT has tried unsuccessfully for years to try to take down the remaining portions of the old bridge. "We started the demolition in the fall of 2001, and then we were stopped with cease and desist orders from the federal agencies," Goldman said. Federal authorities mandated that DOT officials quit dumping debris from the old bridge into the water after environmentalists protested DOT disposal methods. The accident report issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission stated that Nazworth, who was operating the boat, failed to maintain proper lookout. It also mentioned that the patrol boat was traveling 40 mph at the time of impact. Previous Stories: February 15, 2005: Officer Critically Injured In Boating Accident Slowly Recovering February 4, 2005: Two Police Officers Hurt When Boat Hits Bridge Piling

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Boating Accident Kills Man Who Worked for Dredging Company

UPDATE New details about the deadly boating accident on the Mississippi River Thursday afternoon. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department now says 55-year-old Michael Boeckenstedt of New Vienna, Iowa died after high winds and waves swamped the boat he was riding in. Leon Kern of New Vienna and Robert Calvey, who lives in Minnesota, also went into the frigid water, but managed to swim to shore. All three worked for a dredging company working north of Dubuque http://www.kwwl.com/Global/story.asp?S=3337806

Accidents Prompt State to Light Phosphate Docks

The week of May 13, 2005 Accidents prompt state to light phosphate dock In the wake of two accidents within 12 hours on Saturday involving boats running into the darkened phosphate dock in Boca Grande Pass, the state began work this week to place lights on the partially submerged pier. Two clients aboard a charter fishing boat were treated at an area hospital for minor injuries after the boat in which they were riding collided with the north end of the unlit dock shortly before 5:30 a.m. on May 7. The boat was heading south when it struck the dock's exposed pilings that extend well into the entrance to Boca Grande Pass. The dock is north of the former Florida Power and Light fuel dock near Boca Bay. Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimated damage to the boat at more than $5,000 as a result of the accident. Later the same day, after sundown, a different charter boat sustained damage to its hull when it struck another cluster of exposed pilings at the former phosphate dock. There were no injuries in the second accident. DEP's Heather Stafford said the dock has not been lit since last year when the lights were damaged in August by Hurricane Charley. "We are working on replacing all of the lights out there," Stafford said. "There will eventually be three lights on the dock." Cappy Joiner, president of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association, said his group has been asking DEP to light the dock for about a year, but has received no response until this week's accidents. "Their (DEP) complaint is that they don't have the facilities," Joiner said. "If they are responsible, they need to take care of it. There is no doubt in my mind that they (DEP) feel they are responsible for these accidents." Although crews worked throughout Wednesday to replace the lights on the old dock, the lights were not working that evening, local guides said. One of the passengers aboard the boat involved in the pre-dawn accident Saturday morning said he and his stepfather were looking forward to a day of tarpon fishing when the collision took place. Steve Anderson of Toronto said he was in Boca Grande vacationing with his wife Claire, their two small children, his mother and stepfather Graeme Clark when the accident occurred. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Division of Law Enforcement: The captain was at the helm of a 24-foot boat. Anderson, 35, and Clark, 61, also of Toronto, were looking forward to a day of tarpon fishing. The captain was headed south on the island's east side, running at 10 to 20 mph, when without warning his boat struck the end of the unlighted phosphate dock at about 5:30 a.m. Anderson, seated in the front of the boat, was thrown forward and struck a rod supporting the spray curtain, straining his neck. Clark, sitting with him, fell forward and suffered bruises. "It was a moonless night and very dark," Anderson said. "The lack of lights on the dock was a major cause of the accident. If it had been marked we wouldn't have hit it." The collision holed the boat's left bow above the waterline. The captain immediately returned to the dock for medical attention, then notified the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. "He was very professional," Anderson said. "He got us back to shore as quickly and safely as possible. He was a gentleman and obviously very distraught by the situation." The captain, who has more than 100 hours of operator experience, was not cited. Anderson and Clark drove themselves to Englewood Hospital, where they were treated and released. The captain said the boat was "done for the season" and is currently being repaired.

Accidents Prompt State to Light Phosphate Dock

The week of May 13, 2005 Accidents prompt state to light phosphate dock In the wake of two accidents within 12 hours on Saturday involving boats running into the darkened phosphate dock in Boca Grande Pass, the state began work this week to place lights on the partially submerged pier. Two clients aboard a charter fishing boat were treated at an area hospital for minor injuries after the boat in which they were riding collided with the north end of the unlit dock shortly before 5:30 a.m. on May 7. The boat was heading south when it struck the dock's exposed pilings that extend well into the entrance to Boca Grande Pass. The dock is north of the former Florida Power and Light fuel dock near Boca Bay. Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimated damage to the boat at more than $5,000 as a result of the accident. Later the same day, after sundown, a different charter boat sustained damage to its hull when it struck another cluster of exposed pilings at the former phosphate dock. There were no injuries in the second accident. DEP's Heather Stafford said the dock has not been lit since last year when the lights were damaged in August by Hurricane Charley. "We are working on replacing all of the lights out there," Stafford said. "There will eventually be three lights on the dock." Cappy Joiner, president of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association, said his group has been asking DEP to light the dock for about a year, but has received no response until this week's accidents. "Their (DEP) complaint is that they don't have the facilities," Joiner said. "If they are responsible, they need to take care of it. There is no doubt in my mind that they (DEP) feel they are responsible for these accidents." Although crews worked throughout Wednesday to replace the lights on the old dock, the lights were not working that evening, local guides said. One of the passengers aboard the boat involved in the pre-dawn accident Saturday morning said he and his stepfather were looking forward to a day of tarpon fishing when the collision took place. Steve Anderson of Toronto said he was in Boca Grande vacationing with his wife Claire, their two small children, his mother and stepfather Graeme Clark when the accident occurred. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Division of Law Enforcement: The captain was at the helm of a 24-foot boat. Anderson, 35, and Clark, 61, also of Toronto, were looking forward to a day of tarpon fishing. The captain was headed south on the island's east side, running at 10 to 20 mph, when without warning his boat struck the end of the unlighted phosphate dock at about 5:30 a.m. Anderson, seated in the front of the boat, was thrown forward and struck a rod supporting the spray curtain, straining his neck. Clark, sitting with him, fell forward and suffered bruises. "It was a moonless night and very dark," Anderson said. "The lack of lights on the dock was a major cause of the accident. If it had been marked we wouldn't have hit it." The collision holed the boat's left bow above the waterline. The captain immediately returned to the dock for medical attention, then notified the U.S. Coast Guard and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. "He was very professional," Anderson said. "He got us back to shore as quickly and safely as possible. He was a gentleman and obviously very distraught by the situation." The captain, who has more than 100 hours of operator experience, was not cited. Anderson and Clark drove themselves to Englewood Hospital, where they were treated and released. The captain said the boat was "done for the season" and is currently being repaired. http://www.bocabeacon.com/story.htbml?number=843

Friday, May 13, 2005

Man Survives Sailboat Accident That Takes Life of Friend

News Former resident survives sailing accident that takes life of friend May 13, 2005 By Brian Saxton STAFF WRITER Lochlin Reidy, 58, a former resident of New Milford now living in Woodbridge, was picked up alive at 4 a.m. on Monday following a sailing accident in a fierce Atlantic Ocean storm that took the life of a friend and shipmate. Through a sea and air search operation mounted by the U.S. Coast Guard 400 miles off Virginia, Mr. Reidy was found after a C-130 Coast Guard plane saw a strobe light in the ocean. Thomas Tighe, 65, died in the arms of Mr. Reidy, his friend and shipmate , after huge waves swept them into the churning ocean while they were trying to prepare an inflatable life raft for the three remaining crew members. Coast Guard spokeswoman Kelly Newlin said Mr. Reidy held on to Mr. Tighe until they were found by a rescue ship, but by that time Mr. Tighe was dead. New Milford residents Jan and Mark Olander, longtime friends of the Reidy family, said Mr. Reidy has long shared Mr. Tighe’s enthusiasm for sailing. “He grew up with boats. He’s a very active guy who loves boats and loves sailing,” said Mark Olander. Jan Olander said Mr. Reidy’s wife, Sandra, was besieged by reporters and declined to make any statements. Efforts to reach Mr. Tighe’s family at their home in Patterson, N.Y., were also unsuccessful. Bethel yachtsman Douglas Griffin remembers Mr. Tighe as “a perfectionist... an experienced seaman.” In a lifetime of sailing, Mr. Tighe, a former member of the Candlewood Lake Power Squadron, made three round-trip voyages to the British Virgin Islands and 45 trips to Bermuda. He routinely delivered boats up and down the East Coast and chartered others in the Caribbean. “He was very dedicated and very sharp,” said Mr. Griffin. On Monday, Mr. Griffin, 55, who often sailed with Mr. Tighe, mourned the death of his longtime friend after hearing the Patterson, N.Y., man died in a fierce storm off the Virgina coast on his annual voyage to Bermuda over the weekend. “Tom was a special friend of mine,” said Mr. Griffin, who went on similar trips with Mr. Tighe. “He was a very dedicated seaman.” So dedicated that when Mr. Tighe sailed his 45-foot ketch Almeisan to Bermuda every year, he would give each crew member a thick, three-ring binder explaining weather conditions, safety procedures and vessel regulations for the six-day voyage. His crews varied between friends and other sailing enthusiasts. “His whole year revolved around preparing for the trip,” Mr. Griffin said. This year, though, the rough winds and stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean defied Mr. Tighe’s expedition as it headed for Bermuda over the weekend. Both men were taken aboard the Panamanian-flagged tanker Sakura Express, which took part in the search and arrived in Boston Tuesday. Coast Guard officials said the three remaining crew members were lifted off Mr. Tighe’s boat Sunday night by a Coast Guard helicopter and taken to a hospital on Nantucket Island, Mass. They were identified as Ronald Burd of Dover, N.H; Christopher Ferrer of Sterling, Mass., and Kathleen Gilchrist of Bloomfield, N.J. They were said to be “in good condition.” All were expected to be released Monday night. According to the Coast Guard and other reports, Mr. Tighe and the four other crew members left Bridgeport for Bermuda last Tuesday. “They were expected to arrive in Bermuda but there were very heavy seas and they had the wind and the waves against them,” Mr. Griffin said. At one point, Mr. Griffin said, it seemed a large window in the boat broke and water poured into the vessel. Mr. Tighe reportedly activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon after his boat became caught up in 28-33 knot winds and 16-20 foot seas. Coast Guard officials said it was then that Mr. Tighe began preparing the raft to evacuate his crew. “While he and crewmate Lochlin Reidy were deploying the raft, both were washed overboard by a large wave,” said a Coast Guard spokesman. On Monday, Mr. Griffin theorized that the line connecting the life raft to the vessel may have severed, allowing the raft to drift away and leaving both men in the water. “This was a very dangerous situation for them,” Mr. Griffin said. The search for Mr. Tighe and his crew began at 6 a.m. on Sunday after the unit’s rescue co-ordination center in Norfolk, Va., heard the radio beacon. Coast Guard airplanes and helicopters from North Carolina, four merchant ships and another airplane from Halifax, Nova Scotia, took part in the search. Mr. Tighe, married with three grown children, was a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where he studied physics. He was a member of the International Maritime Technical Institute and the Institute of Navigation. Among other works, he once produced a video called “Bermuda Bound” that focuses on a voyage he once made to Bermuda aboard his ketch. Harvey Druker, 73, of Bethel, a past commander of the Candlewood Lake Power Squadron, who also sailed with Mr. Tighe on the annual Bermuda run, described Mr. Tighe as “a top-notch captain.” The squadron, which teaches safe boating, is part of a national network of similar squadrons and has 180 members. Mr. Druker, who said he had “the greatest respect” for Mr. Tighe, recalled one trip when they encountered similar bad weather for several days but arrived home safely. “I can only surmize that something went wrong on this trip and the boat started taking in water,” Mr. Druker said. “Tom was just about prepared for any eventuality. He was a marvelous captain. There was nothing he couldn’t handle.” Staff Writer John Pirro contributed to this story.Related Stories

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dredging Makes Boating Safer

Dredging makes boating safer By AILEEN M. STRENG astreng@manassasjm.com Thursday, May 12, 2005 The beautiful and leisurely cruise down the Occoquan River enjoyed by thousands of recreational boaters is now a whole lot safer. After more than three years of planning, studies and federal funding cycles, the six miles of the Occoquan River from the town of Occoquan to the Potomac River has been dredged. The dredging has been a priority to local, county and federal leaders who have said it was vital, not only for recreational boaters but commercial users of the river, the construction of the new Va. 123 bridge and the revitalization of Occoquan. "It's a lengthy process, but once you get through it, it is worth the wait," said Steve Garbarino, Occoquan dredging project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "It is going to be a lot easier to get in and out of the river." The dredging got under way in early January. It was completed in mid-March. Many of the 2,500 recreational boaters who call the Occoquan River home will gather Saturday for their annual Blessing of the Fleet, which kicks off the boating season. This year the event also will celebrate the completion of the dredging. "I know that the channel is very much improved," said Chris Webster, coordinator of the Occoquan River Maritime Association. The association, established in 1999, is a federation of business, marinas and yacht clubs along the Occoquan as well as others interested in promoting the health and the future of the river. It was instrumental in advancing the effort to have the river dredged. Webster, along with others who have already been out on the river, has noticed the difference that the dredging has made. "There is a lot of buzz about it," Webster said. "It's all been very good and very positive." "We've been out on the river several times [since it's been dredged]," said Rick Sorrenti, commodore of the Occoquan Yacht Club. "I think it's a tremendous improvement." One notoriously dangerous portion of the river near the Belmont Bay Marina where shoaling had compromised the depth to as low as 2 or 3 feet has been dug out. "At low tide, it's now 10 feet deep," Sorrenti said. "They did a really great job." The Occoquan had not been dredged in 43 years and gradually with each passing year more silt has settled in the river's bottom. Over the last five years, more and more recreational and commercial boaters began experiencing groundings and damage to their vessels due to the shallow channel. Since the river is a U.S. Coast Guard designated channel that must be federally maintained, the Occoquan River Maritime Association and others turned to U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, R-11th District. Davis, whose district includes the portions of Prince William and Fairfax counties near the Occoquan River, has worked since 2001 to secure $4.7 million in federal funding for the dredging project. Prince William and Fairfax counties also picked up about 10 percent of the project's overall cost. During the dredging, between 30,000 and 35,000 cubic yards of material were taken out of the river and sent to the Prince William County landfill, Garbarino said. As part of the project, the Army Corps of Engineers also realigned some of the channel. "We took advantage of some of the natural depth in the river," Garbarino said. "That saved time and money." The portion of the river between U.S. 1 and down toward the Potomac River and around Belmont Bay had the most problems with shoaling, Garbarino said. While there were a number of problem areas, on the whole, "this is actually a rather wide channel," Garbarino said. "[With the dredging complete,] there is plenty of room to maneuver." The channel now is about 150 feet wide and 9 feet deep. "Everyone is quite pleased," Garbarino said. Webster pointed out that it is not only the recreational boaters who will benefit from the dredging. "There also is a lot of commercial activity," Webster said. "There are marinas, businesses and restaurants that rely on it." Likely the largest commercial user of the river is Vulcan Materials, which yearly moves 100 million tons of sand by barge through the Occoquan and Potomac rivers to Maryland. The maritime association estimates that if Vulcan stopped using the river and moved its sand by highway, as many as 20,000 dump trucks a year would travel the highways and over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Webster said. "The money spent on the Occoquan channel is a substantial return on the investment, especially when you compare it to the amount of increased traffic that would be put on the roads," Webster said. Another benefit of the improved channel is the accessibility it creates for the Virginia Department of Transportation as it works to replace the Va. 123 bridge. Just last week, a large piece of the bridge's infrastructure was floated by barge up the river. "That could not have happened if the channel was not deep enough," Webster said. A safe and deep channel also is crucial to the town of Occoquan's efforts to re-establish itself as a port, many have said. "The completion of the Occoquan dredging project marks a great day for the continuing renaissance of the town of Occoquan. In fact, this project is part and parcel of our efforts to revitalize the riverfront," Davis said. "Thanks to the dredging, the river is now much safer for recreational boaters and commercial traffic," Davis said. "A new deeper, wider channel, coupled with better access to the town via docks and other enhancements, means that individuals and families can again enjoy the attractions, shops and restaurants of Occoquan via the river, rather than just via I-95 or Route 123. "I am pleased to have secured federal funding for this project … and I am also very proud to have worked with local and state elected officials and civic leaders to finally bring this important project to completion," Davis said. A reception for Davis, hosted by the maritime association, to thank him for his help in securing the federal dollars for the dredging will be held following Saturday's blessing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Human Error to Blame for Ship Collision??

Human error to blame for ship's collision with trawler, experts believe May 10, 2005 By Lauren Cohen Port Elizabeth: The skipper of the sunken trawler, the Lindsay, has told how he was "guided by an angel" to safety as icy water flooded into his pitch-dark cabin, capsized the vessel and took all but one of his crew to the bottom of the ocean. "All I can say is, there is a God," Mossel Bay fisherman Paul Landers, 36, said from his hospital bed here yesterday. Landers was one of only two men who survived after a refrigerator ship, the Ouro do Brasil, smashed into the Lindsay's port side off Sardinia Bay early on Sunday. The sea swallowed the Lindsay within 20 seconds of the collision. Crew member John Ehlers, 37, was plucked from the chilly water by the crew of the "reefer". Landers was pushed out of the Lindsay by water pressure and was rescued from a life raft an hour later by the Lindsay's sister boat, the Lincoln. No trace has yet been found of the Lindsay's other 14 crew members. Most of the crew, employees of Cape Town company Viking Fishing, were from Mossel Bay and Cape Town. Speaking from behind an oxygen mask in his intensive care unit bed in St George's Hospital, Landers said he had been "prepared to die seven times" during the ordeal, which lasted less than five minutes. He was asleep and was awakened by the impact of the Ouro colliding with the Lindsay. "It was completely dark, but I stayed calm the whole time, even when I was sucked back into the boat when it rolled over," Landers said. "I knew that I just had to take one breath and I would die if I did not get to the next air pocket." He believed his eight years' experience on the boat possibly saved his life. "I knew my way around, even in the pitch-dark.' But it was clear the trauma haunted him, for he said repeatedly: "I shouldn't be here." Landers said he wanted to see his family and those of the many good friends he had lost. "I want to find out what happened. My only regret was that I could not save other members of the crew." The missing men were apparently asleep in the forward hold when the trawler was struck. Landers has a fractured rib and is receiving oxygen to assist with his breathing after he ingested diesel, damaging his lungs. He said he was in pain but expected to be moved out of ICU today. The number of missing crewmen has been revised from 15 to 14. The Lindsay's complement is 17, but she was a man short when she left Mossel Bay on her final voyage, officials say. Meanwhile, Mawande Jack reports that a preliminary investigation into the collision, one of the worst maritime accidents off the southern and Eastern Cape coast in recent years, began yesterday. While sea rescue officials said it was too early to say what had led to the accident, it was clear that the 178-metre refrigerator vessel had struck the 30m fishing trawler, rather than the other way around. Large ships rounding the Cape of Good Hope from east to west come closer to shore to take advantage of the Aghulas current flowing out of the Indian Ocean as this speeds their passage. From their high bridges crew members often cannot see small vessels or manoeuvre fast enough to avoid them. The station commander of the National Sea Rescue Institute here, Ian Gray, believed "human error" was involved. Joe Neft, a retired skipper with 36 years' experience in navigation, believes negligence led to the accident. "It is clear certain navigation rules were not followed by one or both vessels." Neft also speculated that the two vessels could have been so close that the larger vessel's radar was unable to detect the small trawler. The SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) has taken over the recovery operation from the NSRI. Samsa investigator Nigel Campbell said interviews were being conducted with leading crew members of the vessel Ouro do Brasil, which was being detained in the harbour here. The missing fishermen have not been named.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bad Collision and Loss of Life

Could this tragedy have been avoided? ...time and a thorough investigation may tell... ____________________________ Fourteen sailors presumed dead after fishing trawler, Brazilian ship collide 06:36 PM EDT May 09 JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Fourteen sailors aboard a South African trawler were missing and presumed drowned after a collision with a Brazilian ship off the South African coast, officials said Monday. Two men aboard the trawler were rescued, but the rest of the 16-member crew are thought to have gone down with the trawler when it sank within seconds of the collision before dawn on Sunday. National Sea Rescue Institute spokesman Craig Lambinon told the South African Press Association that a massive air and sea search has been called off. "Everything that could be done, has been done," he said. Peter Becker, the manager of the Viking Inshore Fishing Co., which owned the trawler, said three members of one family were among the missing sailors. "It is very tragic," he told SAPA. Authorities said all vessels in the region scrambled to begin an immediate search and rescue effort. The Ouro do Brasil, the ship that collided with the trawler, rescued crewman Johan Ehlers, who had been swept off the deck during the collision. Paul Landers, the captain of the trawler, was rescued by the crew of the trawler's sister ship. An investigation into the cause of the collision has begun, authorities said.

Should The Law Require Children to Always Wear Life Jackets?

Another sad story....Should the law always require children to wear life jackets? May 8, 2005 Father, son drown in White River Pair from Lawrence apparently fell from pontoon boat in Hamilton County. By Stu Hirsch stuart.hirsch@indystar.com NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- A father and his young son drowned Sunday afternoon when they apparently fell from a small pontoon boat while fishing on the White River in Hamilton County. The 28-year-old father and his 6-year-old son were from Lawrence, said Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter. "We take so much for granted. When things like this occur, it causes us to reflect and appreciate the things that we have. I can't imagine what this family is going to have to endure," Carter said. He declined to identify the victims, pending the notification of their family. The accident occurred near the Teter Family Retreat at 10980 East 221st Street, about five miles northeast of Noblesville. The boat apparently was put in the water at the Riverbend Campground. The accident was reported about 3:50 p.m. Sunday. A state conservation officer estimated the depth of the river at the drowning scene at six to seven feet and said the water temperature was 60 to 61 degrees, typical for spring. The current was no more than 2 mph in a calm, wide area of the river. Neither the man nor the boy were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident, although a life jacket and buoyant seat cushion were in the boat and appeared to be in good working order, said state conservation officer John Gano. He said no state law requires the wearing of floatation devices, although they are required to be on board a boat on water. The boat was about eight feet long. A deck was attached to the two pontoons, and seats were bolted to the deck. It was equipped with a small motor. The boat, according to Gano, was made from a plastic composite material. While Gano said the boat appeared to be in good working order, he added that such vessels have a reputation of being "tippy" because of their light weight. Authorities were unsure late Sunday when the pair arrived at Riverbend to begin their day of boating and fishing on the river. Several other boaters told investigators they saw the pair earlier in the day. However, no one actually saw either victim fall into the river. Gano speculated that the child might have fallen into the river first, followed by the father. He said authorities might never know the actual sequence of events, or the reasons both fell in. When the boat was recovered, the motor was set in a tight turn, leading Gano to believe the father may have been trying to recover his son. Carter said the initial report to the sheriff's department was for a small child who was discovered floating face down in the water. Several minutes later, another report came in that a man had been discovered. A group of fishermen recovered the boy's body and rushed him to Riverbend, where rescue workers tried to resuscitate him. A group on a pontoon boat out for an afternoon cruise spotted the man under the water, but a man and a woman on jet skis actually recovered his body and took him to shore, Gano said. http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050508/NEWS01/505090315

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Make Your Kids Wear Life Jackets

The Article below is on the US Coast Guard site......It reminds parents to make their kids wear life jacket just like a bike helmet..... Do you agree??? Make your Children Wear Their Life jackets   As Part Of National Safe Kids Week, U.S. Coast Guard Reminds Parents To Make Their Kids Wear Life Jackets WASHINGTON – The U. S. Coast Guard reminds parents that their children should always wear a life jacket while boating. “National SAFE KIDS Week is a perfect time to remember the importance of life jackets,” said the Coast Guard’s Director of Operations Policy, Rear Admiral J.W. Underwood. “It is the parent’s responsibility to keep their children safe when on the water and insisting on wearing life jackets is one of the best ways to do that. “Just like you make your kids wear bike helmets, make them wear life jackets.” Many adults believe themselves capable of diving into the water to rescue a child who falls overboard.  This is a dangerous misconception.  Adults may not notice a child falling overboard right away.  Children who fall in may not surface immediately.  It can be difficult to locate a child in the water—especially when the vessel is in motion. Life jackets could prevent approximately two-thirds of all boating-related drownings of children ages 14 and under.  In fact, in most states, children under 13 must wear life jackets.  It’s the law. According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, drowning remains second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14.   Furthermore, children are much more likely to practice safe habits when they experience similar behavior by parents and caregivers.  “We have done research that indicates children whose parents wear life jackets around water are more likely to wear one themselves,” says Jen Medearis Costello, program manager at the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.  “Therefore we recommend that parents not only actively supervise their children around water, but also demonstrate safe behavior—including wearing life jackets.” The Coast Guard and National SAFE KIDS Campaign strongly recommend adults always wear life jackets as well – not only to keep themselves safe, but to demonstrate safe behavior for their children. National SAFE KIDS Week starts on April 30 and runs through May 7. The U.S. Coast Guard is asking all boat owners and operators to help reduce fatalities, injuries, property damage, and healthcare costs related to recreational boating accidents by taking personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their passengers. Essential steps include always wearing a life jacket and requiring passengers to do the same; never boating under the influence; completing a boating safety course; and getting a free vessel safety check annually from local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or United States Power Squadrons® vessel examiners. The U.S. Coast Guard reminds all boaters, "You're in Command. Boat Responsibly!” For more information on boating responsibly, go to www.USCGboating.org or the U.S. Coast Guard Infoline –       1-800-368-5647. Customer Accessibility • Webmaster (Technical Website Issues) • Disclaimer, Privacy & Internet Link Policies

cold water boating - spring time lure of the water

One man died even with a lifejacket. Cold water boating can be dangerous even with a life jacket. What should boaters do to protect themselves when springtime lures them onto the water?

Friday, May 06, 2005

The sad story below is about two men who drowned while fishing in a small relatively shallow pond. The question, aside from the law, is should there be more education about the dangers of boating in this kind of water without lifejackets. Who should educate the public on this type of boating situation to make it safer?? Two Men Drown in Pond When Boat CapsizedMay 5, 2005 By RICHARD WALKER. T&D Staff Writer DENMARK — A fishing trip among friends turned to tragedy Wednesday when two men drowned after their small boat overturned in a rural pond north of Denmark. Bamberg County Coroner Billy Duncan said Matthew Paul Williams of Blackville and Torean Williams of Springfield were fishing with three acquaintances at a pond off Redwine Road when the accident occurred."They were out here fishing, they said. One of them stood up (in the boat), I'm told, and the boat flipped over," Duncan said. "One of them could swim and one of them couldn't swim."Emergency personnel were called out at about 3:55 p.m. after the two 22-year-old men disappeared beneath the water of the 3-acre pond located in a rural area about four miles north of Denmark.Officials said the three acquaintances remained on shore fishing while the two Williams men, believed to be distant cousins, launched a 10-foot watercraft into the pond. But when the craft overturned, both men were thrown into the water. When they failed to surface, someone at the scene with a cell phone called emergency personnel, officials said.Bamberg County Rescue, sheriff's deputies, Denmark Fire Department, DNR and EMS sent crews to the pond with the outside chance one or both of the men could be rescued. Emergency crews walked the banks of the pond searching the water.As the seconds ticked anxiously by, family members and acquaintances of the men began to arrive. They waited on an opposite bank about 100 yards from the rescue crews.Some knelt and prayed. Others cried in silence. All kept watch on the surface of the water rippled only by a gentle breeze.At about 4:57 p.m., a group of about 10 family members arrived, running across an open field toward the pond. Their cries of anguish arrived before they could."Somebody please tell me no! Somebody please! Somebody please tell me no! Not my son, no God, not my son. Not Torean. Oh God!" a woman screamed hysterically.Still, there were those who refused to believe the two men could be dead. One onlooker chewed a fingernail while staring at the water as if willing the men to surface. She spoke softly, but resolutely, to no one in particular, "They're going to find them. They're going to find them."At 5:10 p.m., a DNR diver entered the water.One of the men who was present when the pair disappeared watched intently as the diver searched for his friends. On the verge of tears and without taking his eyes from the water, he declined to comment.Six minutes later, the crowd of about 40 broke into tears and wailing of anguish as all hope of rescue vanished when the upper body of a man broke the surface of the water."That's Matthew! That's Matthew! No, Matthew!" a woman shouted.At 5:20 p.m., another body was brought to the surface."That's my boy! That's Torean! That's Torean!" a woman screamed.The bodies of the two men, clad in jeans, T-shirts and sneakers were removed from about 8 feet of water and loaded into a coroner's transport van.DNR officials said the tragedy will most likely be ruled a boating accident."It's a little small 9- or 10-footer that appears to have had hull/structure damage. There's a crack in the boat and it took on water," DNR Sgt. Lee Mills said. "From what we've been told, we had one swimmer and one non-swimmer. No life jackets."No autopsies are planned, Duncan said.About two hours after the initial call for help, emergency crews began securing equipment as the crowd of onlookers gradually thinned."And this weekend is Mother's Day. Can you imagine what it's going to be like for those mothers?" an unidentified DNR officer said as he walked away. T&D Staff Writer Richard Walker can be reached by e-mail at rwalker@timesanddemocrat.com or by phone at 803-533-5516.