Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Posted on July 20, 2020 by Dena Marie Nelson-Woolwine
My husband and I went off shore fishing on July 17, 2020. The boat was in perfect working order. We always check everything to make sure the boat has no issues before leaving the dock. We went off shore 30 miles on the last day of Red Snapper Season. The seas were “sporty” at that time. Bilge pump was working properly. Upon leaving to return home, we noticed the engine seems “sluggish” We opened the engine compartment only to find more than 3 feet of water in it. It was at that time we realized our bilge pump had failed us. Taking on water from the waves, we were slowly still making it back to shore (very slowly) then the serpentine belt went.
We did have a satellite phone. We used that to contact our family and let them know we needed assistance. The boat was inoperable and we were taking on water. We asked them to send “Sea Tow”. Sea Tow denied our request because of the conditions and how far out we were. The Coast Guard was then notified. Still using only the Satellite phone, we would send coordinates, however, the satellite phone was so lagged and we were drifting pretty quickly the Coast Guard could not find us. We saw the helicopter looking for us, we set off flares, and used a spot light. Water was slowing filling the boat.
After about an hour of sending lagging coordinates though the satellite phone and they were having trouble locating us, we set off our ARC PLB. It only took about 30 minutes and we were found.
The Coast Guard Helicopter stayed with us until the Coast Guard Boat arrived. We baled water out of our middle compartment while waiting for the boat. Seas had calmed and we were taking in very little water at this time, but then we hit a nasty thunderstorm. We continued to bale water.
The Coast Guard boat showed up about 3 hours later. We had baled enough water out to safety get towed back to the shore, but we monitored the water intake closely. The full adventure took 24 hours.
Words of wisdom
Words of Wisdom: Get an EPIRB!
Please never leave without any type of ACR
Thank you note
Thank you so much. This product is truly amazing. I can’t believe how fast they found us once I set it off. This could of ended very very badly with the boat taking on water and no power. You saved our lives and I have no doubt about it.
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA