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Old 03-11-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Here's a couple links to show the damage from the Japan tsunami in Brookings harbor. *All things considered, we still got off a LOT better than Crescent City and other marinas. *Still, it was amazing to watch the surge when it came in.

I had just walked the docks to secure lines and road up with a surge or about three to four feet. *No problem. When I went back to the boardwalk and looked over the rail I saw a large surge coming and and wanted to video the rise of the dock on the pilon. But this was a LARGE surge, which overcame the docks, which could not float fast enough. The docks failed, taking the attached boats with them.


Several boats were washed out to sea, most notably a 42' Grand Banks, which went to sea and wound up on the rocks just south of the breakwater. She's a total loss.








Mike
Brookings, Oregon
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

What a nightmarish thing.* Mike, was that your boat in the mddle of all that?* She looked like the bow was being held down by the lines.* Hope everything is OK.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Holy Smokes, Mike.* I'm glad you're ok, and I hope the boat is as well.* It is tragic to see such loss and I can't imagine what it was like 8,000 miles away at the source.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Wow!
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:54 AM   #5
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Scores of boats were sunk or damaged in Crescent City and Santa Cruz, California.* Crescent City itself was heavily damaged.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:04 PM   #6
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

A couple of notes here:

1) Correct me if I am wrong... BUT... It sure seems to me that the best place to be (in order to insure a boat's survival) would have been to be out to sea.

2) It also seems like every boat that broke away, broke away with a piece of dock attached. The piling stays put in every case. Was nobody tied to a piling on all four corners? That's something our old dockmaster taught us before we left his fixed dock marina and headed to a floating dock marina.

I hope you make it out ok Mike. I know I can sit here and armchair quarterback this after the fact, but I can imagine it was scary and frustrating to watch your boat get torn away from where you parked it. Good luck to you and all of your friends out there. Let us know if we can help.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

West coast marinas usually use the floating dock system with the dock sliding up and down the piling and the boats tied to the floating dock.* The only place I have seen in the PNW where boats tie to pilings is in the fresh water marinas of Lake Washington or Lake Union (Seattle) where the level only changes a couple of feet. Those lakes are controlled by locks. Seattle has 15 ft or so of tidal range in the salt water.




-- Edited by Larry H on Saturday 12th of March 2011 05:38:13 PM
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #8
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Sure... I get that, but here in NC, when we have a storm coming, we retie the heck out of our boats. We run long lines across fairways, double-up all the other lines and tie off to much further away cleats than normal to give the water the ability to rise and fall during a storm. We have a whole locker full of lines marked as "storm-tie". Like I said, I don't want to second guess the loss here, but it sure seems to me that in the devastation I see on YouTube videos, one of the common things I see was many of the boats that floated away were tied to a dock and that all the pilings were still in tact. The dock failure was more the cause of the problems than anything.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Gonzo,

I think that folks here on the West Coast would do likewise, but this was not like a wind storm. A tsunami can come across calm water and only shows how bad it can be when it is on you. Tsunamis don't happen very often, not like hurricanes which the east coast gets every year. I don't know if Brookings had ever been hit before.

Brookings is on the coast in the mouth of a river, and gets storm force winds in the winter. Most likely the locals know how to tie up to resist the wind, but when the water starts moving in at 10+knots, its a different game. I think that now those locals know how bad it can get and might respond differently next time. Leaving the harbor and going into deep water is probably the only real defense against tsunamis, except for hauling out. Hauling out was not really an option as the quake and wave started near midnight in Japan and the coastal area residents were ordered to evacuate to higher inland areas.

Another thing is that the affected harbors were spread out. Brookings, OR, Crescent City, CA, and Santa Cruz, CA are separated by hundreds of miles. The warnings we got were only general in nature, with no targeted harbors.

I am very thankful that my marina in La Conner, WA was safe, as it is well inland. But these tsunamis are a real crap shoot. Stay in the harbor, or cross the bar and go out to sea in storm winds. This tsunami occurred during storm/gale warnings. The CG closes the river bars if the incoming wind/waves are too much, and it is criminal offense to disobey. If you are outside in the ocean when the bar is closed, you have to stay out there and take whatever the ocean lays on you, possibly for 10-12 to 24 hours, or more. Very little boating is done in the winter off the coast of Oregon.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:49 PM   #10
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Let's remember that most of the loose boats were actually well secured to their docks. The docks however...were not.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:28 AM   #11
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

With the boat market the way it is I wonder how many boats were tied up with 1/4 inch clothesline?

Selling the boat to the insurer is as old as water.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

To answer a couple questions, it may have been prudent to take the boats out to sea. The problem was that we got the tsunami warning around 0400, and several of the large commercial boats had to wait until the*coasties saw it safe to transit the bar. *I'm not sure why that was, but they all left at once. *Everyone who was living in the uplying area, along with boaters, were evacuated.*Looking back, it may have been a better idea to try and leave with them, although I'm not even sure it would have been permitted for a smaller boat like mine.

Secondly, tying to a piling might have been a good idea. It is correct that the dock lines and cleats didn't fail; the fingers of the dock broke away with the boats attached. *The rings that allow them to slide up and down couldn't support the lateral pressure of the water and almost all eventually gave way. Given the level of water, I'm not sure the lines would have been able to rise as the water came in. *You'll note the*ChristyLee only had a foot or so of*freeboard when she broke free. If she were tied to a piling she may have been sunk by the bow going under. *Who knows?


The biggest problem we had was not believing this could all happen "to us". It's the same mentality we carry into several areas of our lives, and I'm as guilty as anyone. *I was living on the ChristyLee in 2009 when we had another tsunami advisory, although they didn't have the alarms go off and no one was evacuated. I watched as our 'surge' from that event was about two inches, according to the depth guage I was watching. See, it really can't happen to us here.


Brookings*faces almost due south, unlike Crescent City, who is*hit often from Pacific events. We expected them to have damage, but*Brookings? Nah. If I had thought we'd have a problem I certainly wouldn't have been walking those same docks that were washed away just minutes before the big surge came through.


At our yacht club board meeting last night the event was discussed and we were told that the governor here has already said he was declaring*Brookings*a disaster area in the next day or so. *The harbor will be rebuilt, but the design will be changed. I'll know more after the port meeting on Tuesday.


The pictures are all of the commercial basin where they had the most damage. *I had been in the sports basin, but when the dock broke up the ChristyLee took off on her own, heading out of the harbor with the dock attached. *But she stopped before leaving, as if to say goodbye, and then changed her mind. *She came back to the commercial basin, where she rested by the fuel dock. *Couldn't have been in a safer place. *We were able to tie her up there for the time being.


Many thanks to all for your concern. *It reminds me that we all have more in common than we have differences.


Mike
Brookings, Oregon
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #13
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

We were at our marina in San Diego Friday morning when the surge came in and raised the water level 33 inches in 14 minutes. The surge went right back out a and kept repeating the sequence every half hour, although with less severity, all week-end. What was interesting was the few people who came to check on their boats.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:24 PM   #14
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Thanks Mike. How did the boat make out?
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #15
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Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

The boat has damage, but it's mostly in the railing and stanchions. *The starboard and aft rails will have to be replaced as they took the brunt of the force.

One window took, what I assume, was a sailboat spar through it as it looked like that kind of damage. The hull has what appears to be a hole in it, but it's a few inches above the waterline. *So far, the boat's taken no water.


Cap rails are damaged and there's several gouges in the hull I can see, but all very repairable. *The surveyor was down today to snap pictures. *I gave him the video to watch so he can actually see the violence of the event.


The hard hull inflatable, which was on the transom, acted as an air bag and most likely staved off damage to the stern. *The inflatable's destroyed, but the boat gave it's life for a good cause!


All in all, the damage isn't too bad for the amount of 'bumper-car' hits they all were dishing out. *And no one was injured here at the port, so we're doing okay.


-- Edited by coyote454 on Sunday 13th of March 2011 07:53:03 PM
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:58 PM   #16
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Weaver Davits... Don't leave home without them!
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:51 AM   #17
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Mike, my sympathies for you and any other US boater that suffered damage.* The videos you posted were painful to watch.

On the other hand, all things are relative...

It takes a while before you realize that this large tour boat is perched atop a two story building!
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:28 AM   #18
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Not sure that isn't a Photochop. The focus and shadows look wrong and look at the deck chairs on the aft deck. Would a boat that went thru whatever it took to get to where it is still have four deck chairs and table perfectly placed? I seriously doubt it.

Tom-
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:02 AM   #19
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RE: Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Man, you are a cynic!* Here's another view.* I seriously doubt anyone needs to be photoshopping photos of the mess in Japan.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #20
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Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

Wow... I sit corrected... I formally retract my cynicism. But you have to admit, that first picture does look suspicious.

How in the hell are they going to get that thing down from there???

-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Monday 14th of March 2011 09:32:04 AM
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