02-18-2010, 11:14 PM #1
Mike Jones account of USCG vessel under tow incident
Here is Mike Jones account of the incident.
February 13, 2010 Morro Bay California
Written by Mike Jones
The boat that broke down and the crew that was rescued, TWICE!
What seemed to be a good idea turned into near tragedy on Feb. 13th 2010, when Chris Ward and Dave Langer decided to take a 13 ft Sea Pro boat out the Morro Bay Harbor in 20 ft + surf. The Harbor, at high tide on a glassy day, is doable. This is what it was like when Wardo's boat left the harbor, non life threatening.
Captain Wardo had a great day of surf at a local break and everyone was stoked. As the day progressed the tide dropped out, the wind came up to gale force levels and a looming fog bank was heading right for the boat load of surfers. Everyone decided it was time to leave and get back to the Harbor. As the jet ski crew entered the harbor to make sure everyone made it in ok, we quickly realized some people were missing. We sat with the Coast Guard and Harbor Patrol, watching 25 ft sets close out the entire entrance. Not good. Troy Leage,
Christian Enns and I (Mike Jones) decided to head back out to sea to look for the missing boat. This was some of the most treacherous waters I have ever been in, huge chop from the wind and massive waves capping way out to sea... Chris headed out to sea, where we could see Don Curry and Ed Guzman motoring around. I stayed a few hundred yards off the Jetties at the entrance for about 15 min, and realized I was almost out of gas...it was really sketchy, I had lost sight of everyone and I did not want to be another statistic so I headed back to the harbor entrance and went in. Once I got back to the docks, I started getting calls about what went down right after, I cam in...
Here is what KSBY NEWS had to say about it: Photo Courtesy of: Geri Lanier Some scary moments in Morro Bay Saturday when large waves caused a Coast Guard boat to flip. Witnesses say the Coast Guard cutter was towing a skiff boat back to shore when it got stuck in some large wave sets. The strong waves then flipped the cutter with three of the skiff passengers on board. "Basically they ran down the face, hit the trough, the bow just started submerging in the trough of the wave and the stern just completely came over the bow," said Ray Savoie, who witnessed the incident. "I mean they did a full forward flip with a half roll." "We came up, we righted ourselves, and my friends were gone, they were gone," said David Langer, who was a passenger on the skiff boat. "I looked and there they were in the ocean looking up." No one was hurt but the Coast Guard cutter was damaged in the incident. The passengers on the skiff boat say they take full responsibility for what happened because they should not have been out on the water, in the skiff boat, in the first place.
SURFER MAG BLOG ABOUT THE EVENT: http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/su...t-guard_41178/
Don L. Curry helped rescue these guys, and had this to say about the News coverage of the incident:
I am shocked to read the total lack of detail in this rescue event that occured on 2/13/10 in Morro Bay. As a K38 certified PWC rescue boat operator, my training is the reason why there were no fatalities. I have to agree with the comment that the skiff should have been left at sea, towing it into Morro Bay harbor with 20' waves was not the right ... See Morecall and is what ultimatly caused the 47' rescue boat to capsize.
Me and my partner stayed with the vessel in distress from the time of engine failure to following the Coast Guard into the harbor and had the presence of mind to risk our lives to rescue the two ejected passengers and narrowly escape the 20' wave that was within seconds and feet of us being another statistic to the infamous Morro Bay harbor opening.
A little photo credit seems kinda silly but still valid in terms of this journalistic attempt to tell the story.
Here is a few shots of a previous day with the Coast Guard and the Morro Bay Harbor!
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