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Old 04-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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2 bodies - 5 still missing

2 bodies recovered from Mobile Bay, Alabama - CNN.com

When we checked the weather yesterday and saw how bad it could get, we ran a few extra lines took down the canvas etc. Amazes me that they actually allowed a regatta when conditions are like this. Not all the boats involved however were from the regatta. Just so sad and senseless!
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:16 PM   #2
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I'm on dauphin island. They weather gurus had actually backed forecast down somewhat. Pop up storms are common and most boats in the regatta are familiar with the weather patterns and fast build up of the shallow bay. Race started at around 9:30 am under sunny skies with 40% chance of storms. We were holding our annual dauphin island gumbo cook-off and we were presenting awards at around 3pm at the destination docking area. It was only then that the western sky changed to dark and weather reports changed to severe. In just ten minutes we on land experienced winds changing from 10 mph to steady gusts from 65 to 70 mph. The storm was definitely a pop up and was moving at 60 mph to the east. The boats trapped out there were heading west directly into it. I have two families that were out there. One was able to get sails down, the other boat's mainsail sheet knotted and put the boat on its side. Once freed the sail tore and wrapped rudder and prop but boat up righted. They dropped anchor and rode it on out. No one to blame here - it was a freak storm and no one knew its severity. Remember the boats were 5 or 6 hours into the race. And their destination was only an hour or two in front of them. Also bear in mind that a lot of lost boats and people in the water were pleasure craft and not connected with the regatta. We don't need to look for who to blame, we need to put our thoughts and hopes toward those still missing and to their loved ones still here on the island hoping for good news.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:28 PM   #3
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"we need to put our thoughts and hopes toward those still missing and to their loved ones still here on the island hoping for good news."

Thanks for the lowdown Kelbylinn and you are absolutely right!
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:30 AM   #4
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We're docked on the Intracoastal Waterway on the Florida end of Perdido Key. We're about 40 miles east of Mobile Bay, and while the Weather Channel and our local TV channel were giving severe weather warnings for the mid and northern end of our county in FL, no mention was made of the wind and weather coming at us on the beaches -- even after the storm hit Mobile Bay. The 60 mph wind damaged our canvases, caused damage to canvases and hatches on neighboring boats, and awnings were damaged on RVs behind us. If we would have had warning, we would have taken the canvases down. Several trees came down across the downtown area of Pensacola during this quick moving storm.
By no means am I suggesting that our storm experience comes close to the horrifying experience on Mobile Bay, but that it's not uncommon for us to be hit off guard here on the coast with little or no warning. We are heartsick for our fellow boaters and are sending prayers for all of you.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:52 AM   #5
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My tip....if conditions are good for severe development...keep watching direction of storm travel (remember individual cells within a front often travel in different directions) and keep an eye for pop ups. Obviously you will need internet or a weather phone app.


You may not get much more than 30-60 minutes warning, but its enough to prepare for the basics either tied up, anchored or underway.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:05 AM   #6
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Very sorry to hear of this. My prayers and good wishes go out to the friends and family. I hope that they may still be found.

As for weather reports and boating. One can never go by a morning report only. The weather is a constantly changing force that can do so with little to no warning, even with the state of art equipment available today. Sail boats are at a distinct disadvantage as they are limited in their ability to run from a storm. As I guess are many of trawlers too.

I too have been caught between ports and an unpredicted storm arose. Mother Nature is a fickled women.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
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There's more to knowng boating weather than listening to forecasts made for commuters.


It can be the difference between uncomfortable and scary weather and fatal weather.


It is always sad when things like this happen...on many levels.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:09 AM   #8
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News getting it wrong

One other interesting twist with the News and their reporting on this event. It was reported by the News that the Regatta postponed the start of the race for an hour or so due to weather concerns then went ahead and turned them loose. That in fact was not the case. It turns out that too many boats were across the start line early and they called them back to have a fair start - Not weather related at all... As with so many other tragedies there appears to always be embellishments to the facts to create sensationalism at unfortunately other people's expense. Hope is still there for the missing four, but is starting to fade after 2 1/2 days out there. The Coast Guard is continuing on though with a search and rescue mission and have not changed it a a search and recovery mission at least as of yet.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
There's more to knowng boating weather than listening to forecasts made for commuters.


It can be the difference between uncomfortable and scary weather and fatal weather.


It is always sad when things like this happen...on many levels.
I agree with what you're saying. Our local forecasters always include the marine forecasts too with close to 30,000 boats registered between Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, and with this part of the Gulf having such great fishing and diving opportunities, but we are also well aware that we need to be diligent too in paying attention to what is going on at the moment as weather changes so quickly in our area.
I have several weather apps on my iPhone because I've found that one may put out a special weather statement that the others don't, and I am studying harder to understand for myself the ramifications of radar information beyond "red is bad". For instance, our RV friends fly their own plane and were explaining how they watch for hook echoes.
They said that for them the Weather Bug app is extremely helpful. Has anyone else found a particular weather app that has been above the mainstream in notifications and reliability?
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