How to sink and be saved

Mark Cahill posted this on his blog this morning. Having gone through the same experience himself I can only imagine how he felt watching this. Moral of the story … there are many. But first and foremost is how fortunate these guys were that their handheld VHF radio popped to the surface after their boat sank.  While I’m generally not a lifejacket guy, I am seriously considering a set of survival suspenders after nearly buying the farm on Sunday jumping from my sloop to my motorboat in a big swell during the squalls. I came this close to doing the big swim.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

3 thoughts on “How to sink and be saved”

  1. Dave – wow!

    Well narated and compelling. So, could explain a bit for a landlubber like me? I understand the bilge filling with water washed over the decks, but was there a hole in the hull? How else did they wind up with so much water?

    It was a relatively small boat, but would redundant bilge pumps make sense?

    Lastly, in 125 feet of water, if they logged their co-ordinates, what is the opportunity to salvage the vessel and possibly raise it?

    (Mark imagines future retirement businesses that might involve heavy machinery on the water… Leslie wants to live at a beach and I’d have to find something to do.)


  2. Mark –
    Who knows why it sank — most fiberglas center consoles are made up of a hull with a liner inserted for the deck, floor, etc. In between is a fair amount of open air space which, if the hull is holed, will fill with water. since they discovered the bilge pump fried out, it had either worked itself to death or … was just clogged and burnt out its bearings. Either way, enough water in the hull, hit the throttle, and physics take over.

    Most boats have one pump and a thru-hull scupper that can be pulled so water will drain when the boat is moving forward.

    Salvage? Not worth it for a boat as small as that in those depths. Once an outboard takes a dive it never runs the same again. As for getting it — I’m no diver, but 125 feet seems deep to me, and knowing the velocity of the currents out there, it would be no picnic getting a bead on it, then actually swimming down to attach lift bags etc.

    I can see you getting into marine salvage. Read Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea.

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