Carnage in Brookings Harbor, Oregon

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coyote454

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
456
Vessel Name
Stargazer
Vessel Make
Mainship 34
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
Scores of boats were sunk or damaged in Crescent City and Santa Cruz, California.* Crescent City itself was heavily damaged.
 
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.
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
Let's remember that most of the loose boats were actually well secured to their docks. The docks however...were not.
 
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.
 
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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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.
confuse.gif
 
Thanks Mike. How did the boat make out?
 
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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Weaver Davits... Don't leave home without them!
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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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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-
 
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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Wow... I sit corrected... I formally retract my cynicism.
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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
 
Tonic wrote:

Man, you are a cynic!* Here's another view.* I seriously doubt anyone needs to be photoshopping photos of the mess in Japan.
I have to agree. Why would anyone waste their time creating sensational photos when nature already did that. Having been in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans just days after the levee breach, I don't doubt any of the photos. As to the table and chairs, they could be bolted in place.

*
 
Mike,

Ditto what everybody else has said re: our sympathies to those affected by this tragedy.* Kinda makes ya wonder if God is saying "Here, now maybe ya'll will get along better".
 
Interesting, that in Japan there is no wide-spread looting as there would be here in the U.S. Even with food and fuel shortages there is no rioting. My guess it is because Japan is a homogenous society. Everyone is Japanese by ancestry. They do not accept immigrants as Japanese citizens. Babies born in Japan of non-Japanese people are not considered Japanese citizens, (what a concept.) Ergo, the Japanese people are one. A good guess?
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KMA wrote:
Mike,

Ditto what everybody else has said re: our sympathies to those affected by this tragedy.* Kinda makes ya wonder if God is saying "Here, now maybe ya'll will get along better".
It's unfortunite that it usually takes a catastrophy to get us all rowing in the same direction. *

Here's a few photos I took today of a friend's 42' Grand Banks that was carried out to sea and then brought back into the rocks, just south of the Brookings Harbor entrance. Up to Friday this was one of the most beautiful, well equipped and cared for boats in the marina.


Tonic, you are absolutely correct; after seeing what Japan is dealing with, we aren't complaining here!


Marin, being a Grand Banks guy, you may not want to see these. It broke my heart to see her here.




Mike
Brookings, Oregon

*
 

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coyote454 wrote:


KMA wrote:
Mike,

Ditto what everybody else has said re: our sympathies to those affected by this tragedy.* Kinda makes ya wonder if God is saying "Here, now maybe ya'll will get along better".
It's unfortunite that it usually takes a catastrophy to get us all rowing in the same direction. *

Here's a few photos I took today of a friend's 42' Grand Banks that was carried out to sea and then brought back into the rocks, just south of the Brookings Harbor entrance. Up to Friday this was one of the most beautiful, well equipped and cared for boats in the marina.


Tonic, you are absolutely correct; after seeing what Japan is dealing with, we aren't complaining here!


Marin, being a Grand Banks guy, you may not want to see these. It broke my heart to see her here.




Mike
Brookings, Oregon

*


That makes your heart hurt.* Just plain trash at this point.*

*
 
WOw Coyote! I hate to see that GB on the beach and the damage to your boat. Glad to hear no one there got hurt- it is just mind boggling the power of nature to have an earthquake so far away cause so much damage so far away.
 
Its all a matter of luck and timing.* If the boat were swept out to sea, it would have been nice if someone chased after it and ran her back to her slip.

Too Bad,* Hate to see such a wreck!

JohnP
 
Mike,
So sorry to see all this damage to your boat and that GB. Count your blessings and we are thankful you are okay. Our boat is moored at Moss Landing, which is a short distance from Santa Cruz, and other than having a tremendous amount of water sucked out of the marina, all is well at ML and we heaved a huge sigh of relief for that. Half Moon Bay, Pillar Marina, is north of Santa Cruz and it escaped unscathed as well, however it too had water sucked out, I believe I read in the news it lowed 7" in just minutes and it was low tide. At the time of the surges, the news indicated they were seriously monitoring the water levels at Moss Landing. The power plant there at ML has a lookout on one of the two towers there, so there was lots of activity. The power of Mother Nature should never be underestimated. The videos you posted just makes one cringe, as do the ones of Japan. I believe Santa Cruz sustained 12 million in damages and over 4 million in boat destruction. It really is heartbreaking. Take care my friend and our thoughts are with you.


Patti and Rocky

-- Edited by Rocky on Tuesday 15th of March 2011 10:19:56 AM
 
Patti and Rocky,

The video you posted was incredable! I had heard about the devistation at Santa Cruz but hadn't seen it yet. But as we've said before, as bad as the tsunami hit the Pacific coast, we can't complain when we see what Japan is going through. *Our hearts go out to those millions of families.


I think the big thing that saved us here in Brookings, if we can call what happened being 'saved', was that the surge came in past the bar at approximately 8-10 feet, but when it comes past the entrance it goes into both basins as well as up the Chetco River. Having the water run into three areas helped minimize the surge to a more reasonable 3-4 feet. *It completely took out the first dock in the sports basin, but an 8-10 footer would have completely desimated the entire marina.


Thanks again for the kind thoughts. *I'm certainly glad you weren't beaten up by this 'event'. I know I won't think, "This can't happen to us", again!




Mike
Brookings, Oregon
 
Information was passed to my hubby that U dock at the Santa Cruz marina had 34 boats moored, after the surge, only 4 boats were left.* Marina is closed, you can't leave it or come into it.* So very sad.* Good wake-up call.* With us living 3 hours away, felt so fortunate to have some dock friends we could call to check our lines, etc.* I have the same feelings as a previous poster on this thread....seems like there should have been someone that could have rounded up some of these boats that were just floating loose.*
 

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