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Old 05-09-2018, 07:29 AM   #1
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Just when you thought you could trust them!!

This past Sunday afternoon a 42' trawler came into Jones Island State Park and tied up to the last buoy available. They had just finished the first day of a four month Alaska cruise and it had been a very long days run from Gig Harbor. When they awoke Monday morning something did not seem right and when he got out of bed the bow of the boat was lower than the stearn. This was not going to be good.

Sometime during a calm night the buoy broke loose from it's anchor and the boat drifted onto a very rocky beach. He got on the phone and called Tow Boat US. After a short conversation, they told him to lighten the load a little and pump out the 400 gallons of water that was on board. Two of their boats from Friday Harbor arrived a short time later.

Not knowing what was in store for them when the water level dropped to a lower level, they dove down for a look. There was a rather large rock under the aft port corner that was going to take most of the weight of the boat when it settled so they found some drift wood on the beach, put that on the rock, then inflated a air blatter and put that between the wood and the boat. Thinking that it might possibility tip over on it's starboard side as the tide went out, they ran about six lines from the port side to various trees on the beach. All they could do now is wait and see. They tide and several more hours to run out.

They got a break and the boat settled as good as could be expected. The props and shafts were safe but it looked like the port rudder could possibly and a slight bend in it. A crew from Tow Boat US stood by the entire day to monitor the situation and were prepared to plug the fuel tank vents if needed as tide continued to go out. All four fuel tanks were nearly full.

The tide was going to be high at 1:00am but they thought it might float off about 10:00 pm. The only problem was no one new what stage of the out going tide they went aground, and the next high tide was almost the same level as the night before.

About 7:30 pm several more Tow Boat US boats returned with more crew. The plan was to tie a tow line to the bow and stearn, and as the tide rose, they would gently apply and slight tug on the lines and pull it off side ways.

This entire time the women in charge of this entire operation was keeping the owners informed about every thing that was happening, explaining what they thought was happening and what was expected to happen based on their experience, and why they were doing what they were doing. That turned out to be a huge help in keeping the stress level down for the owners.

At about 9:00 pm they put the owners back on board (they had been with us on all day on our boat), attached the tow lines, and started applying at slight pull. At 10:15 it was pulled free, the engines were started, and they were escorted back to Friday Harbor under their own power.. Tow Boat US arranged for them to be pulled out for a inspection in Anacortes on Tuesday (yesterday).

It turned out that a pin had fallen out of a shackle that held the buoy to it's anchor. Maybe it was not wired in? The chain and rope was all intact. No one expects the buoy they are tied to to break loose. Maybe everyone should start pulling back a little on the buoy when you tie on?

Everybody in the peanut gallery here on the dock agreed that they will keep renewing their Tow Boat US insurance or else buy a policy when they get home. I have not heard how the inspection turned out. Attached is a few pictures.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:43 AM   #2
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Very poor internet here. Pictures did not upload. Will try again. NOPE, did not work. Will try later. Sorry.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:42 AM   #3
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Yes, never take strange moorings for granted, though I'm surprised that one of those state buoys would do that. We moored there at Jones a few times back when we'd charter up there.

I once had the mooring painter loop break off in my hand at Vero Beach when we were trying to tie up. I exchanged it at the office for a free night when I checked in.

Not applicable to the situation above, but from then on I always use my own tackle to attach to the mooring.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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Yikes! I've tied to those buoys several times, sometimes backing down and sometimes not. Glad it all turned out well.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:28 AM   #5
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I can't imagine what that is going to cost them. That many responders for that many hours.....yikes !!
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
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So the question I have is. Who in this situation is responsible for paying for this? Boat Owner?? Mooring field owner?? Both??

Just asking as when Kim and I head out and want to find a ball, I know dam well I will pull back on it some to make sure I will sleep well

My thinking was get a ball instead of anchor to sleep well. Now I am still keeping on eye open as my confidence in mooring fields just when to
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:29 AM   #7
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Sounds like a lawsuit if it can be proven the State was negligent in the maintenance of the buoy.

Darrell beat me to it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:00 PM   #8
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Might be really difficult to sue the State of WA.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:14 PM   #9
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Why

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cofer View Post
Yikes! I've tied to those buoys several times, sometimes backing down and sometimes not. Glad it all turned out well.
Would you back down on a mooring ball? If it is to check mooring ball integrity I am sure that the case in question would not have been identified because the pin was still in place.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #10
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There is a reason the anchor drag alarms exist. I use mine whenever I am on the hook or on a mooring buoy. About every 5 years I am awoken in the middle of the night, always in time to avoid disaster.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larmex99 View Post
There is a reason the anchor drag alarms exist. I use mine whenever I am on the hook or on a mooring buoy. About every 5 years I am awoken in the middle of the night, always in time to avoid disaster.
Yea the drag alarm seems reasonable. For what distance do you set the alarm?
My drag alarm is not loud enough to wake me.

My high water alarm is attached to a 5 inch bell. Now that will wake me from a sound sleep in the stateroom, one flight down. I suspect, it will wake the neighbors too. LOL

I have often thought about putting an alarm panel in the stateroom for fire, high water and now, a drag alarm.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:54 PM   #12
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Yea the drag alarm seems reasonable. For what distance do you set the alarm?
My drag alarm is not loud enough to wake me.

My high water alarm is attached to a 5 inch bell. Now that will wake me from a sound sleep in the stateroom, one flight down. I suspect, it will wake the neighbors too. LOL

I have often thought about putting an alarm panel in the stateroom for fire, high water and now, a drag alarm.
I set it for 15% longer than the amount of chain that I have out unless I am on a buoy. Then it is set at 50 ft (or less)out from my longest backdown distance from the buoy. I have 2 alarms but the one on my iPad will wake the dead. It is called Drag Queen, but may not be available anymore. Great ap.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:15 PM   #13
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You use alarms mooring, just as you do when anchoring.

The OP Implied that Tow Boat US membership paid for this. I don't think that would be the case. This would have been covered under one's regular insurance policy, assuming one has coverage for towing and salvage. As to who would pay, it's going to be the boat owner's insurance and the owner covering any deductible. To hold the mooring operator liable, one would have to prove gross negligence as opposed to a part simply breaking. Gross negligence would be something like the previous boat mooring there told them about the problem and then they let another boat use it without fixing it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Larmex99 View Post
I set it for 15% longer than the amount of chain that I have out unless I am on a buoy. Then it is set at 50 ft (or less)out from my longest backdown distance from the buoy. I have 2 alarms but the one on my iPad will wake the dead. It is called Drag Queen, but may not be available anymore. Great ap.
Nope, no longer available under that name.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #15
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Isn’t there a limit on the size or weight of a boat attached to a mooring bouy?
One can’t just tie up w any sized boat .. ??
The DF49 is a big boat but definitely not a monster.
Are there limits and rules?
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:45 PM   #16
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WA state parks only allows boats up to 45 on their marine park mooring buoys. The boat that broke free was 42 I believe.
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:40 PM   #17
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We do not normally set the anchor drag alarm on mooring balls but will now.
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:49 PM   #18
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So, after the fact, did anyone notify the state?
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:44 PM   #19
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Try Paul Lutus's Anchor Sentinel application
https://arachnoid.com/android/AnchorSentinel/index.html
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:21 PM   #20
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We use a circle watch and a shallow-water alarm, although sometimes this picks up a fish swimming below during the night and gives a beep or two.
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