Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All

4 dead after explosion at T2 Labs chemical plant in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE - An explosion and fire at a chemical plant killed four people Wednesday and injured at least 14, fire officials said. It was not clear what caused the explosion about 1:30 p.m. at the T2 Laboratories Inc. plant, which makes chemical solvents and fuel additives, said Tom Francis, a fire rescue spokesman. The chemicals at the plant made the environment "incredibly dangerous for the first responders," Francis said. "Explosions were generating all kinds of side brush fires and other kinds of blazes."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

FWC: Fisherman Killed In Boating Accident in Jacksonville - Dixie Mama

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man died in a boating accident Sunday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fishermen near Clapboard Creek Bridge off the St. Johns River found Fred Francis Odom, 57. The fishermen called 911, and the victim’s body was recovered by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which had the first crew at the scene. Odom reportedly was attempting to secure his commercial fishing vessel, a 1967 31-foot Sea Skiff named “Dixie Mama,” which had broken free from its anchor. According to FWC investigator Kevin Larson, an 8-foot dinghy was found adrift nearby. “It appears that this tragedy was an accidental drowning and emphasizes the importance of wearing a life jacket when on the water,” Larson said. Odom was not wearing a life jacket, according to FWC. FWC continues to investigate the accident.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Crew members' location still unknown

The mother of one of four missing crew members aboard the charter boat Joe Cool is pleading for help from the South Florida boating community to resume the search for the victims. Leanne Van Laar has enlisted volunteers from the nonprofit Texas EquuSearch to help her find out what happened to her daughter, Kelley Branam, who disappeared along with husband captain Jake Branam and two crew members after two men allegedly hijacked the boat in September. But the Texas group does not have a boat; it needs a craft 40-to-60-feet long to conduct a search of the waters and atolls from Miami to south of Bimini, Bahamas, according to Cindy Wisdom, Texas EquuSearch case manager. Wisdom and Van Laar hope someone will agree to donate a boat for up to three days.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Man falls 50 feet aboard cruise ship

MIAMI - A man who fell 50 feet aboard a cruise ship Friday morning has been taken back to land and is being treated for injuries at Jackson Memorial Hospital, officials said. The man fell sometime before 5 a.m. aboard the Norwegian Majesty, a cruise traveling from the Florida Keys to Charleston, N.C., according to a report by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. He fell within the ship and not into the water.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A UM research ship ran aground on a coral reef last month but never reported the damage. The school now faces potentially heavy penalties and costs.

The University of Miami's marine research ship struck and stuck fast on a shallow reef in Biscayne National Park, then cruised on without reporting the incident. The university and the ship's captain both could face potentially heavy penalties for the grounding, which left the 96-foot F.G. Walton Smith wedged on a patch of coral for about an hour just southeast of Elliott Key last month.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Crewman off Vessel Midnight Brave

NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard medevaced a 30-year-old man from a vessel approximately 100-miles south of Lake Charles, La., this afternoon. A watchstander at Air Station New Orleans received a call at 9 a.m., from the Eighth District Command Center, reporting that a crewman working on the vessel Midnight Brave had been injured and was requesting a medevac.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Joe Cool Artilce by Vanessa Leggett

In Cold Blog: The REAL Women's Murder Club

This is a very comprehensive and interesting article by Vanessa Leggett on the alleged murders on Joe Cool.

Dwayne Clark

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ship's Crew To Appear Before Grand Jury

The crew of the ship that leaked 58,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay has been ordered to appear before a federal grand jury. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the U.S. attorney's office is convening the grand jury to look into potential criminal violations.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Coast Guard airlifts ill Jacksonville man - George Erwin Safe at Home

44-year-old Jacksonville man who became ill aboard a tugboat off the coast of North Carolina was hoisted from the boat by a Coast Guard helicopter Wednesday and taken to a Myrtle Beach hospital, authorities said. George Erwin was taken from the boat after experiencing swelling caused by diabetes, according to the Coast Guard. The 80-foot tugboat Socrates was in 10-foot seas about 40 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., when the Coast Guard was called. A helicopter from Air Facility Charleston diverted from a training exercise and a rescue swimmer was dropped onto the boat. Erwin was placed in a hoist basket and lifted from the boat just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, according to the Coast Guard. Dana Treen

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The trawler Gaul: Making bubbles

The trawler Gaul: Making bubbles This is a link to a Trawler Gaul post. We had posted on the vessel and this blog previously. Dwayne

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bourbon Dolphin report inconclusive

A PRELIMINARY report into the capsizing of the anchor handling tug Bourbon Dolphin off Shetland last April says a combination of factors contributed to the tragedy. The Norwegian tug turned turtle during a routing operation, with the loss of eight lives, including the captain’s 14 year old son who was on work experience.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Florida Man dies in boating Accident

A Calhoun County man’s body was found Wednesday morning in Lake Wimico after he was thrown from a boat the night before.Robert Brian McLeod, 32, of Kinard, and his brother-in-law, Neil Goodson, were in a 10-foot aluminum boat in the Moccasin Creek area, checking deer stands for the upcoming deer hunting season when they hit an unknown object in the water about 7 p.m. CDT, said Lt. Stan Kirkland with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Murder Charges Filed Against 2 in Joe Cool - Missing Crew Case

MIAMI (AP) -- Federal prosecutors charged two men Wednesday with murdering the captain and three crew members of a charter fishing boat they are accused of trying to hijack after hiring it for a quick trip to the Bahamas. Suspects Kirby Logan Archer, 35, and Guillermo Zarabozo, 19, were rescued from the ocean and are in custody. They could get the death penalty or life in prison if convicted. The charges were built largely on forensic evidence and inconsistencies in statements made by the suspects to investigators about what happened aboard the 47-foot "Joe Cool" fishing boat, said U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta. Prosecutors have no bodies, no murder weapon, no witnesses and no confession, but Acosta said there is still enough evidence to back up the charges. "We shouldn't shy away from a case simply because it isn't an easy one," Acosta said at a news conference. "These four individuals were doing what they loved. They were out on the seas, on a boat, and they were murdered in cold blood." Attorneys for Archer and Zarabozo did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment. A hearing is scheduled Thursday in federal court for both men.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Passengers Archer and Zarabozo - Under Investigation for Murder

The captain and crew of the Joe Cool appear to have been fatally shot in the cabin of the doomed fishing vessel, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday, confirming for the first time that two men found in a life raft near the abandoned boat are homicide suspects. 'They are presently under investigation for murder,' Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gilfarb said at a bond hearing for Kirby Archer and Guillermo Zarabozo in Miami federal court, where the two were ordered held without bail. Archer, 35, of Strawberry, Ark., and Zarabozo, 19, of Hialeah, were found Sept. 24 in the Joe Cool 's life raft about 30 miles north of Cuba and 160 miles south of Bimini, where they had paid $4,000 cash to go. The Miami Beach-based Joe Cool was found several miles from the life raft, empty and in disarray.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Joe Cool Update - Tale of Murder on the High Seas?

The passengers are now saying that "unknown subjects" had hijacked the boat, shot and killed the four crew members and then ordered the passengers to throw the bodies into the sea.

Tale of Murder on the High Seas??

Yacht skipper’s family hopeful boaters still alive and cousin of missing captain says survivor’s hijacking-at-sea story far-fetched... ,p/> Jake Branam's website with photos of he and friends can be viewed here. Very sad to view these photos of a young man with a lot of potential. Hopefully the crew is still alive.






Seventh UPDATE - No bodies no confessions may make for a difficult prosecution??


Joe Cool - Missing Crew - What Are the Lessons that Can be Learned?? How Can Charter Boat Captains and Crew Protect Themselves??

Below is a story about the above pictured boat, The Joe Cool. This tragic story is all over the news. It remains possible that the crew who disappeared on Saturday are still alive. They may have been put off on an island or could be floating in life jackets in the Gulf Stream off the East Coast. We hope they are found safe soon. The Captain and his wife apparently have two small children that they left behind.

It is unknown presently whether there was foul play but the there is speculation that the passengers did something to the crew.

This story raises questions about how Charter Captains and Crew can keep themselves safe if their boat is chartered by passengers with criminal intent. In this age of terrorism and at times piracy one must be vigilant when taking on passengers.

If you have thoughts about how vessel owners, Captains and crews can keep themselves safe from criminal acts please share them with us.

Again we hope there has been no crime and that the Captain and his crew are found safe soon.


Reports in this case say that piracy off South Florida is rare to non-existent. This case, however, demonstrates how easy it is for (alleged) crimials to overpower a knowledable and sizeable crew. One must assume that the antenna of all boat captains and operators will go up following this incident and that it will not just be business as usual. Security measures on big ships like Cruise Ships is common but it seems that more must be done to protect small operators. This may be an isolated incident but one must wonder whether others may copy-cat on this incident. If these passengers did kill the crew (alleged but not proven yet) it shows how easy it would be to repeat this crime. These passengers (if they did it) did not know enough to operate the boat to their destination. If experienced operators pulled the same kind of stunt there is no telling what mischief they could do with a boat of this size. To me, this is an imporatant issue for the boating and yachting community.

From this article (,0,3438134.story ) it looks like things may be changing on the docks.

Dwayne Clark

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FBI questions witnesses ( Kirby Archer and G. Zarabozo ) about 4 missing crew ( Jake Branam, wife and crew ) - Charter Boat Joe Cool Crew Missing -

MIAMI - Four crew members were missing from a boat found adrift and two passengers, one of them a fugitive from Arkansas, were being questioned by federal authorities Tuesday after they were rescued in the Florida Straits near Cuba. Kirby Logan Archer, 35, of Strawberry, Ark., and Guillermo Zarabozo, 19, of Hialeah, were found in good condition Monday morning on a life raft. Sunday, the “Joe Cool” charter boat, a 47-foot sport fishing yacht, was found adrift 160 miles south of Bimini, near the Cay Sal Bank, with no one on board.Those missing include the captain of the “Joe Cool,” 27-year old Jake Branam, his wife Kelly, 30-year old Scott Campbell and 27-year old Samuel Kairy.

"Everything on the vessel was in complete disarray, thrown around. It looked like whoever had been on the vessel left in a hurry," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer James Judge.He said a check of the boat's global positioning system indicated the vessel had made erratic movements about halfway to Bimini, then turned sharply south. There was no sign of blood or violence on the vessel. The life raft was missing. "I was hoping that if the boat was pirated, they put the crew in the life raft, because it was missing," said Jeff Branam. Before noon Monday, he learned that was not the case. Here's a strange twist to the mystery. The latest from the Miami Herald. UPDATE on Joe Cool missing crew from Orlando Sentinel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hit and Run Boaters Remain on the Loose - Barry Pendley Killed

Barry Pendley, and his son Dylan Pendley, 8, were riding separate jet skis on the Colorado River near Topock. A boat traveling at high speed slammed into Barry, its wake nearly knocking Dylan into the water as well.Two people, a man and woman, aboard the speeding boat briefly turned back to see Barry's lifeless body floating in the river. They then headed south toward Lake Havasu, leaving an ongoing death investigation to the San Bernardino (Calif.) Sheriff's Department.

------------------------- See this article also.

Cases don't get much worse than this. If you or someone you know has any information about this incident call the authorities. The family will have no closure until this is solved. In most hit and run cases someone knows what happened and they should come forward.


Friday, September 14, 2007

FWC looking for accident witnesses

Lawmen continue to look for someone who drove an injured boater to get medical treatment early Sunday morning. The driver and owner of the boat, 44-year-old Scott Block of Niceville, was treated and released for head injuries, according to Stan Kirkland, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Block’s 19-foot Master-Craft boat was left stranded on the west jetty of East Pass near Destin. Block was reportedly at Helen Back at about 1 a.m. Sunday, Kirkland said. He told investigators that he left with several other individuals. “We’re hoping someone will come forward,” Kirkland said. “Right now, this is considered an active boating accident investigation.” Anyone with information is asked to call the FWC at (888) 404-3922.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Killed in Florida Helicopter Crash; Survivor from Los Angeles

Venice Florida -- A photo shoot turned deadly in the waters near Venice, Florida on Tuesday morning when a helicopter crashed, killing two people and injuring another. Authorities say the copter went down in about 20 feet of water about two miles off of Casey Key Road. That's about six miles northeast of Venice in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

F/V Papa George - Sinking and 2 crew dead

A Seattle fishing vessel that sank off the Washington coast Sunday apparently capsized after becoming flooded, killing two of its crew members, one of whom was seen in her final moments trying to rescue her dog.

"It's pretty cut and dry as to why this vessel sank," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Brian Fischer. "At some point, they were pumping more water on than they were pumping off."

The two crew members of the F/V Papa George who died in the accident were identified by the Coast Guard on Monday as ships master David Starbuck, 62, and crew member Ethel Zelaya, 37.

Reports are that the ship's automatic beacon (probably epirb) did not send signal.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Man Severely Injured Trying To Tie Ship To Pier

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio -- The Coast Guard had to get a man to emergency services after his hand was severely cut while working on a ship on Lake Erie.

The crewman from the Laker Adam E. Cornelius was injured while he was working the lines that tied the laker to the pier. His hand was caught between the cleat on the pier and the line, officials said.

The accident happened at 10:20 p.m. at the stone dock near Marblehead.

Coast Guard Station Marblehead launched a 25-foot response boat to assist the injured crewman and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ocala-area teen in Pompano parasail accident dies

FORT LAUDERDALE - Members of Amber White's family came Monday to say goodbye, as they gave up hope the 15-year-old girl would recover from injuries suffered in a parasailing accident over the weekend off Pompano Beach. "She's passed on," said James Day, Amber's stepfather, seated in the dimly lit seventh-floor waiting room of the pediatric intensive care unit at Broward General Medical Center. "She was declared clinically dead Sunday at about 6 p.m. She's still on life support, just to say goodbye." ======================================= Some say more regulation is needed. This does appear to be an industry that is lax and that has had some safety problems. Dwayne

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blunders led to yacht tragedy... Jamie Butcher

KEEN sailor Jamie Butcher died when the badly-designed keel came off the racing yacht he was crewing, it has been revealed.

The yacht capsized off the Devon coast earlier this year. The skipper and three other crew members were rescued.

A report into the tragedy by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has just been published, showing that the keel - the part of the yacht extending along the bottom from stem to stern - broke off as it was sailing in winds gusting to 35 knots off Prawle Point.


This appears to have been avoidable.


Boat Rage???? Attempted Murder???

BOAT RAGE!!!!!!!!

The scene at the city-owned Kernwood Marina was chaotic when Salem police and harbormaster boats arrived at about 5:30 p.m. last Sunday. Witnesses were pointing at a boat that was partly under water at the end of the boat ramp, and Silva was clutching his arm.

Silva told police he had been boating on the ocean in his new 21-foot Checkmate and was bringing it in toward the ramp when his best friend, Phillips, crashed into the side of the boat where he was standing.

Phillips’ 21-foot Godfrey pontoon boat nearly crashed into his head, the victim said, and the impact knocked him to the floor. The victim believed Phillips backed up and slammed into the boat again, this time damaging the motor.



Sunday, August 12, 2007

Man is in the hospital after a boating accident at Mayport Florida

Three adults and three children were thrown from their boat when it hit the south jetties at the mouth of the St. Johns river on Saturday. Terry Loman was pinned between the jetties and the boat. A good samaritan teamed up with the Coast Guard to help pull the family out of the water. The Coast Guard says Loman had severe lacerations to his chest. See this from Coast Guard News. Dwayne

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yachts, drugs and a body in an old metal barrel

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Charles Maynard Wyatt had it all in the 1970s: a Florida waterfront mansion, luxury cars and an 88-foot pontoon boat called the "Double Ugly."

Even after he was convicted in the early 1980s in connection with one of the biggest marijuana smuggling rings in the United States, he kept up his lifestyle, investing in commercial real estate in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before moving to Travis County in search of a quieter life, his friends said.

Then, in 1990, he disappeared, leaving few clues as to what happened.

His remains, along with a diamond ring he liked to wear, were finally found last September entombed in a 55-gallon concrete-filled metal barrel that surfaced on Lake Buchanan during a drought. The remains were identified in June.


Some mystery.......


Monday, August 06, 2007

Family boat explodes; 5 are injured

CONNELLY - A family of five from Stormville were severely burned Saturday afternoon in an explosion aboard a cabin cruiser on the Rondout Creek, Ulster County authorities said.

The victims, Brian Dodge, 50, Laura Dodge, 48, and Wyatt Dodge, 12, were airlifted from the Rondout Yacht Basin to the burn unit at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.

The two other children, Matthew Dodge, 16, and Hannah Dodge, 18, were initially transported to Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, but were later airlifted to Westchester Medical Center due to the severity of their burns.

All five were reported to be in stable condition, but with serious burns.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation by the Ulster County Arson Task Force, but it appears to be an accident, Undersheriff Frank Faluotico Jr.


Fueling with gasoline can be dangerous. The cause of this may not have been determined but it appears that it is fuel related.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Picture released of boat victims

Jayne Harris and Richard Perry onboard the RIB (pic: Hampshire Constabulary)

Pc Bob Chambers, of Hampshire Constabulary's marine support unit, said: "After the photo was taken the pair departed to look at the warship HMS Severn, which was anchored at Sandown Bay.

"They were seen by crew members on board the ship. After that it's believed they returned towards the beach at Whitecliff, but they were not seen again."

Coastguards believe the pair fell overboard either before or when the boat hit Bembridge Ledge - an outcrop of rock that juts dangerously into the sea.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jacksonville Teen ( William Cesery ) Hurt in Boating / Jet Ski Accident

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A teenager from Jacksonville is in critical condition at the hospital after getting run over by a boat. The Florida Fish & Wildlife says William Cesery, 15, jumped a wake on his jet ski. He landed in the path of an oncoming boat. Cesery turned to avoid hitting the boat. But the driver of the boat turned in the same direction in an attempt to avoid hitting Cesery. The two collided. Cesery suffered critical injuries.

Small boat, helicopter train to save lives

HOUSTON - Two Coast Guard crews conducted training in Galveston Bay this morning to better prepare themselves to work together and save lives.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Galveston and an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Houston conducted rescue basket hoist training.


Train, drill, train.....makes it all work when the real stuff happens.



WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard today announced the death of Adm. Owen W. Siler, 85, Coast Guard commandant from 1974 to 1978, who succumbed to heart failure last night.

“This is a sad day for the Coast Guard,” said Adm. Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard. “The Coast Guard lost a close member of our family and America has lost a great leader. Adm. Siler’s relentless service to his Nation, from World War II to the war on drugs, will never be forgotten.


I had the pleasure of serving under this man while he was Commandant. He was a great leader. We were proud to work for him.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Dead, Several Hurt In Watercraft Accident

jet ski jetski boat safety generic cbs 2 (CBS4) POMPANO BEACH One person has reportedly been killed, several others including a child injured in a personal watercraft accident in Pompano Beach. The Broward Sheriff's Office said the accident involved two watercraft vehicles that were traveling in the Intracoastal Waterway in the 25-hundred block of Southeast 8th Street. -------------------------------------- Posted by Dwayne

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

FWC Publishes Boating Accident Stats

kids_boating 200.gifFlorida’s boating accident rate (671) for 2006 was second only to California’s 757. Florida led the nation with 69 fatalities, compared to 47 for Texas and 44 for California.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said the high numbers reflect the reality that Floridians own more than 1 million registered recreational vessels, and they use them throughout the year.


Thursday, July 05, 2007





National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC 20594






Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board is urging the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to inspect certain lifesaving equipment that might not operate properly when needed.

The urgent safety recommendations are the result of information learned by the NTSB during its investigation of the Empress of the North grounding earlier this year. The Board has identified deficiencies in liferaft release units and evacuation slides. The Safety Board regards the issues as serious enough to issue urgent safety recommendations in advance of the final accident report.

"I commend our investigators for their expeditious efforts and thoroughness in identifying this problem," said

NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker "We hope that the Coast

Guard will act just as promptly in addressing the Board's concerns and solutions."

On May 14, 2007, the passenger vessel Empress of the North grounded at the intersection of Lynn Canal and Icy Straits, about 20 miles southwest of Juneau, Alaska, after the vessel failed to negotiate a turn to the west. No injuries resulted from the accident, but the vessel sustained significant damage to its underside and propulsion system. The 206 passengers were safely evacuated to assisting vessels and transported back to Juneau.

The Empress of the North was equipped with 22 inflatable liferafts stowed overhead on the main deck, 11 on each side, and it had two inflatable slides. Safety Board investigators were informed that about half the launching mechanisms in the liferafts did not operate properly.

Investigators also learned that while the crew attempted to launch the vessel's evacuation slides, they inflated upside down. This resulted in the slides having to be manually turned over by crewmembers.

The difficulties in launching the liferafts and the slides did not adversely affect the safe evacuation of passengers from the Empress of the North, because they were not needed due to the proximity of the other vessels.

Nevertheless, the Safety Board is concerned that had the emergency necessitated a rapid evacuation, valuable time would have been lost employing the lifesaving devices, endangering the safety of both passengers and crew. The Safety Board believes that to preclude that possibility in the future and on other vessels, urgent action is needed by the Coast Guard to ensure that this type of lifesaving equipment works properly.

The Safety Board's urgent recommendations state that the USCG should verify the functionality of the model of remote liferaft release units found on the Empress of the North, and should conduct a one-time inspection of evacuation slides last serviced by the company that serviced the slides on the Empress of the North.

The Board classifies both recommendations in the letter as "urgent". A copy of the recommendation letter may be found at the following link on the Board's website



NTSB Media Contact: Keith Holloway, (202) 314-6100

Monday, June 25, 2007

The - New Blog

This is a new blog that just linked to us. It looks interesting and we will follow its progess. Dwayne

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Debate Over Boater Qualifications

Southold, NY - Sea Tow International, an international marine towing firm, plans to host an executive roundtable discussion at its New York headquarters next month to discuss mandatory boater education.

The roundtable will include industry representatives from key business segments, a news release says. The company, which has been serving the recreational boating public for 24 years, says boaters, like auto drivers, are at the mercy of those who share their waterways.

“Because of this, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to be cognizant of, and adherent to, basic safety practices and the rules of the road. The way to accomplish this is through universal boater education,” according to the statement.



Body Recovered Identified as One of Two Missing Boaters

Rescue crews from the Coast Guard, Texas EquuSearch, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and local police and fire crews continue the search this morning for Bill Harris.

Bill and Martha Harris went missing yesterday after their empty boat beached itself near Pine Gully Park with the engines still running.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Lake Sinclair boaters urged to avoid search for missing fisherman

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is asking boaters to avoid the Lake Sinclair dam area as the search continues for a missing Statesboro man.

Crews have been searching since late Saturday for Chris Thompson who was involved in a fatal boating collision.

In spite of daylight to dusk searches, Thompson has not been found.



Thursday, June 14, 2007

Empowering woman to take to the sea

The fifth annual Woman Underway seminar at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School took place June 1 with a lot of firsts. It was the first year it was run entirely by women, and “the first time in five years it’s not raining,” DBMS Development Director Anne Mullins said.

“This is the fifth annual Woman Underway seminar, and the first year it is being run by all woman – it is the best year yet because of that,” Duxbury Bay Maritime School Executive Director Ned Lawson said as he introduced the seminar.


See this interesting article from a very good blog on women and the sea.

Boating is certainly not just for men and boys.....There are a lot of great women skippers out there!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Small Boats, Big Worries: Thwarting Terrorist Attacks from the Sea

Globally, terrorists have shown an increasing inter­est in using small boats to attack military and com­mercial shipping and maritime facilities. The tactics and techniques of using commercial or non-commer­cial vessels (under 500 tons) or swimmers to emplace or deliver improvised explosive devices have proven effective and exportable. Contemporary operational practices by transnational terrorist groups include refining proven attack methods, sharing lessons learned, and encouraging others to adopt effective tac­tics. Thus, the possibility of such attacks in U.S. waters should not be ignored.

All boaters can assist the authorities in practicing situational awareness. The Coast Guard and other agencies need all the eyes and ears they can find.....this includes all boaters. If you see something out of the ordinary report it to the Coast Guard.


Monday, June 11, 2007

3 boaters injured in LI Sound - Pleasure boat vs. Barge

Three boaters were injured in an apparent collision between a pleasure boat and a barge in Long Island Sound yesterday that left one woman on life support, Coast Guard officials said last night. The accident happened about 2:20 p.m. about half a mile north of Sands Point near an area called Execution Rocks, the guard and Nassau police said. "A 24-foot pleasure boat was struck by a barge," Police Officer Mary Verna said.

A signal unseen?

Update on this Story:,p/> A Bronx boater said he whistled and waved an orange lifejacket in a futile attempt to prevent an oncoming 324-foot tanker barge from hitting his 24-foot vessel in the waters off Sands Point. ----------------------------------------------------

The above article gives some good tips for avoiding collision or allisons with commercial vessels. Dwayne

Monday, June 04, 2007

Lake Sam Rayburn boating accident witnesses sought

As the investigation of a weekend boating accident that severed the leg of a 16-year-old Lufkin girl progresses, law enforcement officials said, details of the accident have become clearer.

Charles Clayton Gilstrap, 24, of Lufkin, was arrested for intoxicated assault after driving a boat that injured Ashton LaMar on Lake Sam Rayburn Saturday afternoon.


The authorities need help on this one.....


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Boating dangers: How safe are boaters on the waterways you visit?

Failure to wear a life vest, alcohol and inability to swim are factors in most of the 700 accidental boating deaths that occur each year in U.S. waters, according to a Gannett News Service analysis of boating accident data.

Of the 3,507 people who died in boating accidents between 2001 and 2005, about 80 percent weren’t wearing life vests, according to the GNS analysis of Coast Guard data.

Click here to check accident details for any waterway in the country by searching an interactive map.


The above interactive map link is pretty can go state by state too....


Monday, May 14, 2007

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Flying Colours - Independent searchers look for missing sailors -

Coast Guard continues search for missing sailors


Latest vigil news:

Baker City friends to hold vigil for grad missing in Atlantic


On May 29, 2007 a person very close to the crew brought THIS story about the Flying Colours to my attention. The friends and family of the crew remain hopeful and need your help if you are on the water to continue the search for their loved ones. If you are passing through the area where this boat was lost please help the families by keeping a watchful eye and reporting any information that may assist them.



The sailboat Flying Colours was reported missing in rough seas off North Carolina. Photo By: U.S. Coast Guard


Vigil Held For Missing Sailboat Crew

This story is not about the Flying Colours but ended well for another sailor and his crew caught in the same terrible storm. This sailor thought that a oversized (he did not say rogue) wave destroyed his craft and he speculates that a same or similar wave may have taken the Flying Colours down. Sailor details terrifying ordeal of his rescue at sea The Coast Guard measured the waves at 50 feet. Dwayne --------------------------------------

Sailors’ circle holds hope This is the latest on this story. There are many survival tales from the sea. If this group or some of them got to a liferaft there remains a chance they survived this storm. Some survival books we have posted about on this blog relate stories of persons surviving for weeks and months with very little but sheer determination and a will to live. Dwayne --------------------------------------

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Flying Colours Although the Coast Guard has suspended the search the friends and families of the lost sailors of the Flying Colours are continuing on. The Coast Guard has limited resources and searched for many days. They cannot search forever. Now the search is left to fellow sailors, on the same or similar route or friends, family and those generally concerned. These sailors, by all reports were very experienced. They were apparently prepared and had some safety equipment with them. Castaways have been know to live for months at sea with very limited resources. It remains possible some or all of them are alive at sea. Any help from sailors on this course would be appreciated. 40 sailors from different areas are joining in the search. You can help by sending the families reports as you pass through the area or by sending funds. They have an email where they can be reached. Publicity and blogging will keep attention on this search and may help the families with information about their loved ones. Dwayne Clark ---------------------------------------

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Coast Guard suspended active searching today, pending further developments, for four sailors missing off the North Carolina coast since Monday morning: Patrick Topping, 39, Jason Franks, 34, Rhiannon Borisoff, 22, and Christine Grinavic, 25.

“Suspending a search is always a difficult step for the Coast Guard because we understand the impact that it has on the families involved,” said Rear Admiral Larry Hereth, Commander, Fifth Coast Guard District. “In the last six days, Coast Guard cutters and aircraft, along with numerous DOD aircraft searched all of the likely and even unlikely areas where the crew could be. Sadly, the threshold of survival seems negligible.”


Danbury High grad lost at sea 34-year-old's boat missing since Monday

The friends of Jason Franks were praying for the 34-year-old sailor Saturday.

Franks, a 1991 Danbury High School graduate, was missing at sea off the coast of North Carolina. His sailboat, the "Flying Colours," had been missing since Monday , when high winds whipped the ocean as high as 40 feet.


A C-130 airplane and a Coast Guard boat search for survivors of the sailing yacht Flying Colours.  
C-130 airplane and a Coast Guard boat search for survivors of the sailing yacht Flying Colours. U.S. COAST GUARD

------------------------------------------------------ Newport Sailors are keeping watch.... -----------------------------------------------------

This particular storm seems to have surprised a lot of boaters. The results have been tragic. Help with this seach in any way you can. If you are a blogger or in the media keep posting stories as it may keep postitive attention on the search.


Two Hurt In Mother's Day Boat Accident in South Florida - Sea Tow

Two Hurt In Mother's Day Boat Accident (CBS4) MIAMI A South Florida teen remains hospitalized after a Mother's Day boating accident on the Intracoastal Waterway. Witnesses said the 24-foot boat, which was carrying four adults and three teens, was just off the 79th Street Causeway Boat Ramp at the Pelican Harbor Marina when it was hit by a boat owned by Sea Tow Services. -------------------------------------------- Dwayne

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gulf Stream

Coast Guard Hero has Died - BM2 Perrett

BM2 Perrett


Boating accident leaves one dead - Cold Water - No Lifejackets

The United States Coast Guard is investigating a boating accident that left one man dead. It happened around 9:30 Sunday morning on Lake Michigan, about two miles west of Silver Beach. The Coast Guard says 65-year-old James Territo of Carlton, Michigan died in that accident. He was riding on a boat with two other fishermen from Newport, Michigan when the boat capsized....... .................................... The three people on the boat that capsized were not wearing life jackets, witnesses said. There were life jackets on the boat, though. The Coast Guard says this is an example of how important it is to wear floatation devices at all times. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dwayne

Police find bodies of 2 ( Paul Smith's ) college students after boating accident

PAUL SMITHS, NEW YORK -- Police found the bodies of two college students who died after falling into an Adirondack lake. The body of Sean Cornell, 20, of Manchester Center, Vt., was found Sunday about noon, said college spokesman Kenneth Aaron. Divers found Lee Walker, 18, of Enosburg Falls, Vt., late Saturday afternoon. --------------------------------------- Dwayne

Friday, April 27, 2007

Boating Safety Aimed at Anglers - From Coast Guard Waypoints

Anglers Whether an angler prefers fishing for bass, salmon, or trout, one thing’s for sure: it’s important to pay attention to safety when trying to haul anything on board. The U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that, approximately 25 percent of recreational boating deaths were related to vessels that were engaged in fishing activity. According to Jeff Hoedt, Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety, “Boating safety among anglers is a very important outreach initiative. All of us in the collective boating community must take a role in making sure that the estimated 19.5 million anglers on our waterways understand the potential hazards of angling while boating—and how to avoid them.” (From the 2001 U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation survey, available at, p. 83.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why does it take hours to evacuate a sinking vessel?

A cruise ship, the Sea Diamond, ran into a reef off the coast of Santorini, Greece, on April 5, tearing a hole in the hull that sank the vessel 15 hours later. The nearly 1,600 passengers and crew didn't get off the ship for three hours. Why does an emergency evacuation take hours? Dwayne

Rory McAlinden and Clare Steele - Cousins - Perish Together in Tragic Boating Accident

CASTLEWELLAN will come to a standstill today for the funerals of the two teenaged cousins who drowned after a tragic boating accident.

Rory McAlinden (18) died as he heroically attempted to keep his cousin Clare Steele (16) afloat in the icy waters of Castlewellan Lake when the canoe they were in capsized.



Brosnahan - Nearman - Story Continues -Iowa lawmakers fear proposed drunken boating law may be too tough

In the wake of an Okoboji boating death involving a Sioux Falls man, some Iowa lawmakers say they’re worried about a proposed law that would toughen drunken boating laws in that state. A bill, which was approved unanimously in the Iowa Senate, would lower the blood-alcohol limit for boaters from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent, the current limit for driving on Iowa roads. ----------------------------------- We have commented on this case for many months now. Dwayne

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Airboat Overturns In SW Miami-Dade - Airboat Accident

AirBoat Flips During Tour In Southwest Miami Dade (CBS4) SW MIAMI-DADE Several people were in need of assistance after an airboat overturned in SW Miami-Dade. The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon 15-miles west of Krome Avenue and Tamiami Trail when an airboat operating out of the Miccosukee Reservation overturned, sending approximately 8 people into the water. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived at the scene and was able to remove everyone from the water safely. The victims were treated nearby for minor injuries. ---------------------------------------------------------- Dwayne

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Why Celestial Navigation?? Do you need it??

Celestial Navigation is the art and science of navigating by the stars, sun, moon, and planets, and is one of the oldest of human arts. With the rise of radio and electronic means of finding location - especially with the increasingly popular GPS, based on satellite transmissions that can tell us our latitude and longitude within feet - knowledge of celestial navigation has experienced a precipitous decline. So why should anyone study it? This site will tell you why. says this: Well, the real answer is you don't. You don't even need a boat to get to Hawaii or Bermuda, or take a trip around the world. You can do this by plane. It is faster, cheaper, and more comfortable. On the other hand, if you do choose a life at sea, then one of the fundamental rules of thumb that has been tested so many times we don't even have to go over it, is you must be prepared to take care of yourself. You must be self reliant. Murphy's Law was invented on a small boat at sea. Anything electrical is vulnerable after some time in the salt air, especially when it is being jarred, bumped, banged, and dropped (i.e. going to weather). -------------------------------------

If you are planning an ocean passage and want to be safe this writer advocates celestial navigation as a safety contingency.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dead Coast Guardsman not from Puget Sound

A Coast Guardsman who died Sunday after being ejected from a 25-foot homeland security boat belonged to a maritime safety and security team deployed to the Seattle area.


This just goes to show that one may give his or her life for Country, even in training. This can be a risky business but the training is a must.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Schooner Sullivan crew saves 3 fishermen off Florida coast

The crew of Wisconsin's flagship, the schooner Denis Sullivan, rescued three fishermen whose boat had sank in the Atlantic Ocean 11 miles off Islamorada, Fla., Coast Guard officials reported this afternoon.The Sullivan, which sails from the Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin on Milwaukee's Lakefront, was navigating from Miami to Key West with 19 high school students on board when the crew spotted distress flares from the sinking vessel about midnight.Scott Hooper, the Sullivan's First Mate, assisted two of the injured fishermen onto the Sullivan, while the third man worked his way onto the schooner's rescue ladder.All three were taken by Coast Guard craft to receive treatment in Islamorada.The three-masted schooner sustained a one-foot puncture to its hull when it struck the submerged fishing vessel, but remained afloat with the assistance of pumps delivered by Coast Guard boat and helicopter. The ship was making its way to Key West for repairs.

AUDIO: Phone interview with Hugh Covert, the captain of the Denis Sullivan, and Scott Hooper, the first mate

Coast Guard Press Release here.

This is a really nice ship.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Falls 60 Feet From Cruise Ship, Lives to Tell His Tale - Sometimes you Get Lucky

March 22, 2007 — By almost all accounts, Michael Menckmyer shouldn't be alive.

Last week, he plunged 60 feet from the balcony of his cruise ship. Alone in the ocean, he tread water for eight hours. Miraculously, he survived with only minor injuries. He told his story exclusively to "Good Morning America."


Truth can be stranger than fiction.....


Friday, March 16, 2007

Coast Guard finds man who jumped off ship

MIAMI - Coast Guard crews found a 24-year-old man Friday hours after he reportedly jumped from a cruise ship about 30 miles east of Fort Lauderdale.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

West Boca boater swims all night for his life, prays for lost friends

Fighting for his life against the tide proved impossible, so Frank Yanac turned toward a beacon of light on shore and swam. His two friends were swimming behind him after a boating accident Saturday night in the Gulf of Mexico, but their voices grew dim as Yanac, 66, a former lifeguard, made it through patches of cold and warm water in the throes of exhaustion and onto the sand. ------------------------------- Dwayne

Monday, March 12, 2007

Body of missing boater found

The body of missing DeBary boater was found Sunday morning in Lake Monroe about a mile from where his boat was recovered.

Authorities discovered the body of Gregory Collins, who had not been wearing a life preserver, about 9 a.m. floating in the northwest section of the lake, said Kat Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Investigators will need to wait for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but there were no signs of foul play, Kelly said. Collins is a diabetic, and did not take his medication Wednesday morning, his wife, Sue, told authorities.



Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Airboat Accident / Death - No Criminal Charges to Be Filed

This was said: "Hathaway listed the factors as the dimensions of the airboat, unfamiliarity with the weight limitations of the boat, a lack of standard operating procedures, a lack of experience, the decision to fasten the backboard to the basket, a lack of time to assess the weight carried by the boat and the occurrence of an unexpected wake from a passing boat. "A violation of standards does not establish criminal liability," Hathaway said. "We're not here to assign fault. We're here to see if the event rises to the level of criminal negligence."" .... The question addressed by Hathaway and answered in his report was straightforward: Did Robert Drye, as the operator of the Cornish Rescue Squad airboat, negligently cause the death of Virginia Yates? In short, the answer is no. ---------------------------


Monday, February 19, 2007

Tug Valour Hearings Resumed in Search of Cause of Sinking

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Coast Guard has concluded it final public hearing this afternoon regarding the sinking of the tug Valour, a 125-foot tug that sank approximately 40-miles east of Wilmington, N.C. Jan. 18, 2006.

Coast Guard investigators recalled the crew of the Valour to testify one last time before the investigators submit their findings to Coast Guard District Seven Command in Miami and Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington for review. Facts collected at this final hearing will be developed into a conclusion to be presented in the Coast Guard's final investigative report.

Investigators focused their questioning for the six crewmen in three major areas: training, survival equipment and the procedures regarding ballast tanks. The Coast Guard called this hearing to clarify certain issues in each of these areas.

It was also released in the public hearing that the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center in Washington and engineers with Over Seas Shipholding Group, Inc., the owners of the tug Valour, believe that Valour couldn't have sank with out water being present in the engine room.

The mood throughout the hearing was very emotional as the crewmen recalled the chaotic events that unfolded that January night. The widows of Richard H. Smoot, 50, of Southpoint, Ohio, and Ronald L. Emory, 56, of Milford, Del., were in the hearing and wept as the crewmen testified about the deaths of their husbands.

The Coast Guard's investigation is intended to determine the causes of the accident and obtain information that may prevent or reduce the occurrence of similar incidents.

The owning company is still talking of bringing the Tug Valour up from the bottom.



Five People Spend Night At Sea After Boat Capsizes

CBS4) MIAMI BEACH Coast Guard crews scrambled into action Sunday morning after a boat capsized, stranding five people in the water for over 15 hours. The accident Saturday evening near Fowey Rocks, about 5 miles south of Government Cut, when the five people on board the boat tried to raise the anchor, but several waves crashed over the bow and forced the vessel to capsize. -------------------------- These folks were really lucky. This could have been a disaster if not for the keen eye of the freighter Seaboard Florida and her captain and crew. Dwayne

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Booze and Boats Don't Mix - Example of Aftermath - Grant Czuj and Judges Wrath

A Livingston County Circuit Court judge was unsympathetic toward a Hamburg Township man he sentenced to prison for a July 2005 fatal boating accident on Zukey Lake, saying he was not the victim, but the perpetrator.

Judge David Reader sentenced Grant William Czuj to a minimum of eight years, three months and a maximum of 15 years in prison for operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol causing the death of Michael John LaFave, of Brighton Town-ship, and causing a crippling injury to Sarah Ribas of Howell. See this also.


This Judge wanted the defendant to take responsibility for his actions. He did not accept that Czuj was in any way a victim but was in the wrong. His sentence reflects this.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Skipper in fatal boat wreck tested for intoxicants - Kenneth Venard, of Newport died

Skipper in fatal boat wreck tested for intoxicants PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests given to the skipper of a fishing boat that wrecked last week, killing one man.

An Oregon State Police spokesman said the same man was arrested in December for boating under the influence of intoxicants.

Kirk Opheim, of Burlington, Wash., was arrested Dec. 23 after a tipster told police he was drinking and piloting the Starrigavan.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Coast Guard Bomb Dog in Training

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2007)--Coast Guard Petty Officer Fred Leland and his black Labrador retriever, Asia, are lowered from a helicopter for the mock overtaking of a  Catalina Express ferry near the Port of L.A. January 17, 2007. Asia was trained at Auburn University to sniff out explosives. She is one of two Coast Guard explosives detecting dogs dedicated to homeland security in the L.A. area.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner. LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2007)--Coast Guard Petty Officer Fred Leland and his black Labrador retriever, Asia, are lowered from a helicopter for the mock overtaking of a Catalina Express ferry near the Port of L.A. January 17, 2007. Asia was trained at Auburn University to sniff out explosives. She is one of two Coast Guard explosives detecting dogs dedicated to homeland security in the L.A. area. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner.

Use your BRAINS in Evaluating Boating Accident Risks

BRAINS is a tool that enables you to isolate the effect of a specific variable, or a group of variables, on the probability of having a specific type of boating accident (based on the relationships between variables in the Boating Accident Report Database (BARD), which is the universe of all reported accidents).

The Coast Guard does not know if variable relationships of non-reported accidents are similar to those reported in BARD. BRAINS also gives you the flexibility to make predictions using variable combinations that are not frequently occurring in BARD.


Grieving parents call for mercy

Roger Frechette is still grieving over the loss of his 2-year-old son. But he says that putting the man responsible for that death on trial -- and possibly in prison -- would only compound the tragedy. The man charged with driving a water scooter onto a Windermere boat dock and killing the boy was Frechette's best friend. Dwayne

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dobbs pleads guilty to misdemeanors in Harding boating accident

Derek William Dobbs, 21, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts, carrying a maximum sentence of nearly three years in jail, in connection with the boating accident that killed Hendersonville teenager Emily Harding in May 2005.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Lost At Sea, Sailor Calls Home For Help - Ken Barnes - Rescued by Ship

(AP) The calls have been steady, giving updates about a Southern California man adrift alone on his storm-battered sailboat off the tip of South America.

They haven't always come from law enforcement and other officials, though. Word of Ken Barnes' status has come from the stranded sailor himself, who has been able to ease his family's concerns by satellite phone as an intense search-and-rescue effort continues off the coast of Chile with hopes that help will reach him by Thursday evening.

Update on search for sailor.  His site

Second update on Barnes.

Another solo sailor Donna Lange at is looking for Barnes on the open ocean.

Ken Barnes has been rescued. Good to see a happy ending to this sea story!

Story Photograph



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Lake Havasu rated nation's 11th most dangerous waterway

Lake Havasu is the nation's 11th most dangerous waterway, according to figures released Friday through the state Department of Game & Fish.

The list, which was compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, is based on a waterway's number of accidents. Fatalities do not factor in, said Kevin Bergersen, Arizona Game & Fish boating law administrator.