Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sports fishermen's jeopardy

In the floridatoday.com this morning (also here), they carried the report of U.S. Coast Guard rescued 3 sports fishermen from a raft floating 60 miles east of Port Canaveral, and a helicopter plucking them up 30 hours after a large wave disintegrated a boat they chartered and were taking to the Bahamas for a billfishing tournament.

One of the three men, who was interviewed by a reporter, said an estimated 10 feet high freaque wave shattered their 48 feet custom Uniflite sport fishing boat and scrapped their fishing tournament plans. The three were set out about 4 a.m. Saturday from Port Canaveral aboard the Aqua Mist. They had met only that day, but within five hours, the freaque wave would force them to huddle together in a waterlogged life raft during a cold night. It was all basically calm and quiet out there when the wave struck. Then the bow dipped under a second wave, the 30-year-old boat shook and disintegrated into three large pieces. They found a life raft, inflated it, and all three of them hauled into it. They managed to snag some supplies as they floated by in the boat's debris field: water, rum, cigars, flares and blankets.

"In the first hour, they saw a freighter. They wasted four flares trying to get its attention. Within 15 minutes, they saw a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, he said, but its crew didn't see them.

"They were 27 miles from the Bahamas shoals and 62 miles from Port Canaveral. To stay warm that night they huddled."

It was the boat's owner who became worried when he hadn't heard from the crew. After getting no response when he tried to call the men, he reported them missing Sunday afternoon to the Coast Guard that led to the eventual successful rescue.

"God didn't get us this time," this rescued sport fisherman said. "He meant us to keep on going. We'll pull up our boot strings and get another boat in a year or so."

That's the right spirit -- No retreat, no surrender! It's just a natural occurrence, there is just no need to be alarmed or victimized by it.

1 comment:

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