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Our story begins 25 years ago when we first started commercial fishing. We have always believed in safety gear, including an EPIRB, long before they were required by the U.S. Coast Guard. The reason for that became apparent on August 5th, 2013 when we had a massive engine room explosion. We are not sure of the cause, but we suspect a diesel fuel leak in the return line right where that line came out of the block on the main, an 8-71. This fuel leak caused the main to run away and explode. That explosion caused a refrigeration bottle to explode. This final explosion blew the entire side of the house off and 1/3 of the hull from just below the waterline to the top of the cap rail on the aft port side. There was no pump on the boat that would keep up with that kind of destruction.
We put on our survival suit, made the mayday call and got in the water. The boat went down fairly quickly to where the house was flooded. It was an aft house. When the fish hold finally filled, it did not take long to go under. The life raft deployed and the EPIRB came to the surface. Rick Goche on the Peso ll heard our call and came running. We had been fishing together for the past 7 days catching albacore tuna. We were hauled aboard his boat and watched ours sink below the surface. One of our two cats, Topaz came swimming out away from the debris field when the boat was half sunk and we were able to get over to her and I scooped her up. Jasper the other cat stayed right on the bow till the boat went down. We were able to get over to him and I was able to get him picked up as well. The EPIRB did get a signal off and had we needed that it was sure good to know it was there and it worked.
Thank you ACR!
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