Sunday, December 14, 2008
Shipwreck Part Two and the Second Shipwreck
I'm going to continue where Dave left off.
I know enough about sailing to know that boat was in serious trouble, anchored about 150 yards outside the Magic Island Breakwall. I called the situation in to dispatch and from then on all we could do was watch. I did have to briefly ponder the scenario that someone was actually on board but someone found the owner and he assured everyone that no one was on the boat.
Its pouring rain and the 40mph plus wind is blowing out of the SE. Very bad for the boat but more disastrous was the rising surf. I knew it was all over when a wave broke OUTSIDE the boat and ripped up the anchor. The boat took the full impact of wave after wave and in about 3 minutes got pounded to scrap on the rocks.
I love the ocean. I love being out on it, being in it and I do love storms. But let this be a reminder about experience, skill and common sense.
It was exactly two days later when I was walking out to the breakwall to get some people away who were taking pictures and getting too close to the wreck when I noticed a sailboat that was a moment before purposefully heading out the harbour channel and out to sea start to spin and bob in place on the Diamond Head side of the channel about a hundred yards past the breakwater. They knew enough to quickly drop anchor when the engine stalled and I called again to dispatch and let them know we had a sailboat in trouble. It was way too rough to hope that anchor might hold for long.
There was a brief pause and I explained it was a different boat than the one already on the rocks and it was in serious trouble. This day too was very windy and rough -small craft advisory - stay at home or at least in the slip kind of day.
The Ocean Safety jet ski showed up as well as a Fire Dept. boat. The two men on the boat decided to raise the main sail and sail out to sea and hopefully out of danger. As I was watching I commented that they should have raised the jib (or just unfurled it) and sailed back downwind into the harbor. Well, what they tried didn't work and the wind pushed them right into the surf zone at Bowls. The Fire boat quickly got a line to them to try to tow them out but that too was futile - way too small of a boat. The Fire boat got hit by a wave and flipped over and the beautiful 40 foot ketch hit the reef.
The Fire helecopter and the Ocean Safety Jet Ski got everyone out safely and what could have been deadly was just one more of the ways we gain experience.