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Old 05-11-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
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Another Victim of the RockPile

Accident Report from the “Rock Plie”, Myrtle Beach, SC, AICW Satute Mile 360-365 | Cruiser's Net
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:54 PM   #2
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42' SF passing a boat in the MB ditch at 18kts. Wow. Not sure who ended up on the rockpile, whether it was the passer or passee... If the passee, fair grounds for being very peed off!!!
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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Sounds like the passer/42' Sportfish ended of on the rocks. Agreed, 18 knots and passing in this area is just plain stupid. This is a problem area only due to boaters that are not patient enough to stay in line for a few miles. My advice: Do not move over for anybody trying to pass from the stern. Call him on the radio and tell him you will be holding your line and he is on his own. Luckily only one ended up on the rocks, 18 knots from a 42 sportfish puts out a pretty big wake!
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:14 PM   #4
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How wide is the channel? As you don't recommend moving over on passing situations, what do you do on meeting situations?
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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How wide is the channel? As you don't recommend moving over on passing situations, what do you do on meeting situations?
When meeting a boat head on there is room to pass. It is a close pass, like being about 3 feet away from the other boat. You cannot do this going 18 knots. Backing down to idle speed and communicating with the oncoming vessel makes it easy. Again, anybody impatient and wants to pass from behind, is on their own. The stretch is short, no need to pass and risk damaging your or my boat. Standard practice is to make a Securite call on 16 to let people know your coming through. Prior to going through, if I hear that a large boat is coming, I'll wait until he exists before I enter.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #6
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It's fine in the middle, but is rock abruptly when you get too far over. How far? Don't want to find out. The custom is to put out a security call as you enter so people know what to expect.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:45 PM   #7
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Rocks! I'm much more comfortable with mud.

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Old 05-11-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Mark-in answer to your question, through most of that area, I would estimate that the channel itself is no more then 100' wide and somewhat less in spots. From edge to edge, the waterway is probably no more than 250 feet or so wide. It really is a ditch. There is a reasonable amount of barge traffic through that area, and as noted by many, you really don't want to meet one head on if you don't have to. Doing 18 knots down a very confined waterway is beyond irresponsible IMO. Presumably the SF was familiar with the area and should have known better, You also have more than a few very small boats and PWCs throughout that area. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the SF and its owner.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:32 PM   #9
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Ideally, in such situations one follows a wider and deeper-draft vessel.

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Old 05-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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Another Victim of the RockPile

Agreed. It's pretty narrow thru there. Can two boats pass? Yes, but the both need to be ultra aware of what is going on. Announce ahead of time your entry on the radio is one way, but talk to the bridge tenders, they know what is coming in regards to commercial traffic. Two pleasure boats can easily pass each other. It's not scary if you know where it is (many do not) and are able to make nice and slow, close quarters passes. We actually passed it before we knew we were in it the first time we went thru it because it was high tide. Our return trip was at dead low and we easily saw that ignorance was bliss.
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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Other than the vague Note E on the chart, is there any physical warning in place like orange diamond "DANGER ROCKS" sign boards? There are a lot of tighter ICW sections in NJ than 250ft wide where people fly past each other daily without incident.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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We just came through there a few days ago and issued a Securite call upon entering to all concerned traffic and also checked on channel 13 for any commercial traffic working through that area

It is a narrow non forgiving channel for several miles and to be doing 18 knots as alleged would be stupid.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:28 PM   #13
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Here is the "rockpile"
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:11 PM   #14
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Thanks for the photo perspective Bess. It looks well enough marked to avoid but certainly negligent to operate at the speed quoted in this thread with traffic.

Makes me wonder if the operator of the sport fish will adjust his thinking after this?
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:18 PM   #15
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I try to keep at least fifty feet from a channel marker unless in familiar waters so to check the current/wildlife.

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Old 05-11-2014, 10:36 PM   #16
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Thanks for the photo perspective Bess. It looks well enough marked to avoid but certainly negligent to operate at the speed quoted in this thread with traffic.

Makes me wonder if the operator of the sport fish will adjust his thinking after this?
Craig, Bess' photos were shot at low tide. At high tide the rocks are completely covered. Plus the edge you see in those photos may be closer to the channel 3-4' down. It is a narrow evil place. Many diver and prop repair shop signs along the banks.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:44 PM   #17
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Thanks for that Don. I agree with Mark in post 7, the mud option is far more conducive to my at times Braille method of operation
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:58 PM   #18
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I've made that transit many times, some on my boat, some on others. Stay in the middle, you are fine. Venture to the edges, TROUBLE is near. Pass another craft, keep it tight. Big barge coming head on, turn around, run away, and find somewhere to duck in.

It's a rare part of the Carolinas where the Coquina rock formation is at the surface. Mostly around here it is 20,30,40-odd feet below SL. Not there in the MB ditch!!
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:53 AM   #19
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Other than the vague Note E on the chart, is there any physical warning in place like orange diamond "DANGER ROCKS" sign boards? There are a lot of tighter ICW sections in NJ than 250ft wide where people fly past each other daily without incident.
Yes, it is well marked with "DANGER ROCKS" signs, or some such verbiage.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:14 AM   #20
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Yes, it is well marked with "DANGER ROCKS" signs, or some such verbiage.
Thank you
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