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Old 11-19-2016, 12:07 AM   #1
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Vicious Wake, 1 man down.

Well, I got hit again. In Indian River Lagoon at or about the Martin/St Lucie County line. Traveling north in wide water but narrow channel. I was on the right side of the channel, using autopilot going from stick to stick.

Four Aboard my 38 Present Taiwan trawler, about 28000lb 135hp. 5.5 to 8 knot boat. Overtaken from the port rear by a Sport Fisher 40 to 50 footer running in excess of 30 knots. No horn, no radio call... nothing. We did not see him until he was along side. Perhaps I should have more attentative to my rear, but still... Quite water. I had a 17 Whaler in tow.

The wake WAS HUGE, looked in excess of 3 feet. I knocked down the auto pilot and spun the wheel to port, but too late. The table on the bridge went everywhere. Two of us we're thrown to the deck. Name of boat Danny Yankee, not documented under that name, if documented at all.

I did not even know I was hurt at the time. After we got to the slip (90 min or so later) I noticed my back was hurting. Could not lay down that night the 6th of Nov. Dr Monday, ER Tuesday night, Dr again Wednesday. X Ray and Cat Scan at ER. Could not straighten up for cat scan without morphine, first experience...nice stuff. MRI coming. This is the 18th and I have not slep in my bed since, still in the easy chair, pillowed up.

No help from law enforcement because they "did not see it". The monetary damage to my medical insurance is well over $5k likely over $10k. I have no recourse but civil court so far and then just for pain and suffering. Tough sell. Then only IF I can find him. Even then who was driving? I think I might know where he is and I think I am getting healthy enough to scout the 2 marinas in the Whaler.

Next time one of these drivers throws a wake like that I can only come up with this. Warn every body in his path he is coming on 16. Encourage them to call 911 on cell phones and using channel 16 the CG and others (we had 4 phones on our boat and 5 miles up 2 more in our party in another boat). In other words throw a lot of calls into 911 to red flag law enforcement. There is usually some type of patrol on the intercoastal.

I am open to other suggestions. These type of "Captains" are a menace and need a come to Jesus call. A safety check, sobriety check, sanitation system check along with a one way discussion with an officer might just ruin their day as they did for so many others. For me it has ruined Nov 2016 and I sure hope that is all.

Now I guess I will readjust my pillow, try to get reasonably comfortable for the night.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:30 AM   #2
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That's one thing I like about our sedan cruiser. Windows all around. Helmsman can see 360 degrees. Gotta look though.

No excuse for him just plow'in by at planing speed. Just think of how bad it would have been if he was plow'in along at 13 knots.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:48 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about this Mule. Especially the back issue that ensued. Having just been through a series of imaging myself, let me warn you, MRIs are really noisy. Use the ear plugs well in, and have the ear muffs on as well, and tell them not to bother piping music, because you can't hear it, and it seems to actually intensify the machine noise a bit even. Good luck, and lets hope it does not turn out surgical. Not all disc injuries need surgery. If its a fracture, it will heal in time. If it's a crushed vertebra, well, wait and see, but they might offer to expand it again with special cement. I'm not sure what to say about that except the jury is still a bit out on it.

I hate being waked from behind like that too. There is little you can do unless you have good warning, as the wave comes at you from the stern quarter, and usually one has no time of to turn into it, and often if in channels, as we often are also here in lower Moreton Bay, insufficient depth or time to turn away and take in on the stern, which is the best thing to do in the circumstances. All I can say is turning away is quicker and better if at all possible, even slowing down if short of depth room, as when you try to turn late into it, you have just turned enough to cop it fully broadside, which is the worst possible angle to catch it, and rolls your the worst. But you know that - that's how he got you. Again, best wishes and get well soon mate.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:57 AM   #4
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The worst wake I've been through unprepared was a USCG boat passing from astern, without warning. Rolled enough to have water on deck. Apparently a short mission, the boat pictured here on its return about twenty minutes later in which I was prepared to meet its wake (turned into it and cut the throttle.)

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Old 11-19-2016, 01:11 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your injury, Mule. Concentrate on sorting out your body first, then you can track down the d!@khead.
Enjoy the morphine, but not too much.
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:25 AM   #6
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My commiserations Mule, idiots abound.

Might be worthwhile trying to track him down, if only to give him a piece of your mind. I did that once when I was hit in similar circumstances in Sarawana,I ended up chasing this Riveria 42' and caught up with him as the wife was dropping the anchor, I idled up next to them, pretty close, and suggested that when she had finished with the anchor, she might like to come aboard to help clean up the food & wine that shot out of our fridge that her idiot husband's wake had caused by not having half a brain in his thick skull.

Well that went down well,however the wife was very apologetic turned out they were members of my club.

By the way Mule what does the term 'need a come to Jesus call' mean?
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:31 AM   #7
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Wondering... Do high-speed sport fishermen as a general rule broadcast AIS? I'd be surprised if they did.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:15 AM   #8
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By the way Mule what does the term 'need a come to Jesus call' mean?
Maybe that's Mule talk for "wake-up call"..?
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:04 AM   #9
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One technique I can add is to just start announcing the whole situation on CH16. The CG records it, so a good record of what's happening. Hail the other boat, tell them their wake was excessive and caused damage and injury. Tell them they did not signal their intention to overtake, and passed another boat within x distance at a speed in excess of 30 kts. Then hail the coast guard and ask if they copied all of that. Then make an all stations call to warn other boaters of an unsafe boat/operator.
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:08 AM   #10
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Hi Mule, very sorry to hear about your back. Was waked by a 40' + Sabre going into Charleston, SC last month. He was doing over 30 knots when he passed with only two toots of the horn as he reached my starboard stern. Spun me perpendicular in the channel to where I almost ran aground. Was so shaken I couldn't even get on the radio to say something. Found it hard to believe that I was at a loss for words. It can be that much of a shock.

With the low cost of digital video recording, it may be time to add cameras pointing fore and aft to record the idiots.

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Old 11-19-2016, 07:22 AM   #11
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If one of those truly bad wakes, and there is no doubt of recklessness, reasonably secured items have been displaced and anyone goes down or against an object.......

I agree, make the call to the USCG and get it recorded.

Use the words "operating in a negligent manner" as the word negligent is the official term for the USCG (at least it used to be). Also immediately say checking passengers for injuries and vessel for damage. That will start the dialogue or they will ask those questions if the watchstanders are doing their jobs.

It leave it open that future injuries or discovered damage will have more than a "I got waked bad" call.

The USCG usually bounces wake calls to state enforcement (I had that happen last year in NC when a sportfish broke out w sections of rub rail when the wake jumped the boat entirely over extra large fenders at a fuel dock).

It may or may not go anyplace but if law enforcement boats are out and about...it may help.

Pictures may be the only real help....so whatever means, including a loop recorder might be your best friend.

A huge problem is there are so many complaints of reasonable wakes, the truly "inexcusable" ones dilute the reasonable complaints.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:15 AM   #12
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If you can find him, for sure, sue him in small claims court. Doesn't cost much. Who knows, you might win.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:24 AM   #13
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Wondering... Do high-speed sport fishermen as a general rule broadcast AIS? I'd be surprised if they did.
I depends, just like boats if all types, some do, some don't.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:59 AM   #14
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A come to Jesus talk is a way of putting the fear of God in him. Seldom works for long...
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:24 AM   #15
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This remind me a situation earlier this year up here on the river. Admiral and I were on the path to return to our slip after a nice weekend at the anchor in a cove. We were in sight of the bridge to cross before the marina. I looked back to check if anybody was coming like a crazy rocket as it is common here. A big sport cruiser ove 40 feet was coming full speed I thought ok at this speed he will pass me before the bridge just prepare for thebhuge wake. Than the guy slowed down and stayed behind me at 7 knots, I thought wow at least there is one brave man here he will wait after the bridge to pass me at slow speed. The first pile of the bridge was like 50m on starboard when this bastard ( excuse the word but he really is ) put full throttle to pass us under the bridge. As I was not expecting him to do so I did see him only when he was in front of us, we tookmhis huuuuge wake quarter on stern by port, we really thought we would capside. The admiral falled down of her seat, we heard everything crush down below. I just still not realize how lucky we were not tom hit the bridge pile as the wake just push us toward it like amsurfer.
I cannot understand what is going on in the brain of these guys to act like this.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:05 AM   #16
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Sorry for your troubles Mule, I empathize completely with injuries of the spine. Take care of yourself and try not to focus on the asshats.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:08 AM   #17
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I am truly sorry that you got hurt. Without diminishing my sympathy..

If you were both operating in a uncontrolled area...

I do not beleive you have a claim for damages, and I do not beleive that he violated any law.

If he had passed you at 15 knots instead of 30, his wake would have been much larger, so it's difficult t make an excessive speed argument.

You are not going to like this, but as captains it is our responsibility to keep a sharp lookout and be prepared to react to the normal things that happen at sea. Wakes happen. Big wakes happen. When operating in close quarters, in uncontrolled areas Really big wakes happen.

Commercial vessles throw often times much larger wakes, and at least in my area they never announce their intentions, so this is not a recreational boater being stupid issue. The worst waking I have ever experienced have been in close quarters by tour boat captains... Folks that's drive boats every day for a living.

At first, like you I got pissed at the "offending boat". Over time I have learned that they are doing nothing more than operating their boats as they were designed to be operated, and it was MY inattention that led to my being suprised.

Now I pay better attention. When operating in close quarters I use my radar and back it down to 1/2 mile or less range to aid in my duty to keep a sharp lookout.

Perhaps your doing so will help prevent this in the future. The fact is that you are going to be waked again, but the good thing is that you have the ability to alter the outcome by being prepared, and fulfilling your duties to your passengers by keeping a sharp lookout.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:09 AM   #18
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A come to Jesus talk is a way of putting the fear of God in him. Seldom works for long...
There is a reason I keep my magazines unloaded and the 5.56 AK spray and pray rifle in the v berth. By the time I were to fish it out and load up there would be reflection time for me to think better of it + he would be out of range. Better to stay out of more serious trouble.

The one fable I tell myself is that what goes around comes around. I sincerely do hope he gets his....sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:36 AM   #19
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Two things: one of those video cameras that continuously record and a loaded paint gun.

If we have video evidence of someone creating a situation that results in injury or significant property damage, maybe a civil suit would be successful. Can you imagine a jury watching as the boat violently rocks beam to beam?

And the paint gun idea is fun because the offending guy would not even discover he'd been hit until he got to his destination. And by then he'd probably realize (though that wouldn't be guaranteed!) it could have been any number of boats he waked that day...
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:45 AM   #20
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Two things: one of those video cameras that continuously record and a loaded paint gun.

If we have video evidence of someone creating a situation that results in injury or significant property damage, maybe a civil suit would be successful. Can you imagine a jury watching as the boat violently rocks beam to beam?

And the paint gun idea is fun because the offending guy would not even discover he'd been hit until he got to his destination. And by then he'd probably realize (though that wouldn't be guaranteed!) it could have been any number of boats he waked that day...
The paint gun will most certainly get you in a whole heap of trouble if your caught.

As to the offending boats responsiblity, most wake laws are base on what a prudent operator should do under the circumstances at the time.

In this case I think he could be found liable.
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