Posted on May 3, 2018 by Terry
Friday, September 14, 2012 at approximately 7:30pm, five men and myself set out for a fishing trip. We anchored the boat, two miles north of the S Tower out from Carrabelle, Florida at approximately 10:00 pm. We fished, cooked dinner and ate on the boat. Roughly around 10:30 one of the men wanted to look at the engine room. Byron Sheffield took him down and showed him around. At that time everything was in working order.
Around 11:00pm, I (Terry Womble) went to bed, by 12:30pm all the other guest were bedded down for the night. Approximately 5:00am, Todd heard the generator shut off, it woke him up, so he got up and walked out onto the cockpit to see what was going on. There was roughly two inches of water in the cockpit. He screamed, waking everyone.
I walked out and saw the water. I had Byron take a knife to the front of the boat. I instructed him to cut the anchor rope, once I had both engines running. He asked for a life jacket, which I promptly gave him. I tried the port engine, it cranked and after about 5 seconds, it shut off. I tried the starboard engine, the battery was dead.
At that point, I called “May Day” May Day” on VHF, this is Dirty Pool II, a 43′ Egg harbor, 2 miles North of the S Tower and we are going down fast” The Coast Guard responded, asked how many people on board. I responded “Six, over and out”. While this was going on, all the other crew members were putting on their life jackets, they put a 150 Quart cooler in the water. I ran down the stair, went inside to the couch, retrieved the water proof flair case, looked for the E-Pirb. Byron already had it.
By now most were in the water, I got into the water. All six gathered around the cooler, were accounted for and okay. I then realized that I had left my wallet on the fly bridge. I asked Byron to swim with me to get it We got to about thirty feet from the back of the boat, and I realized it was not worth it. Byron and I turned back to the circle of men by the cooler.
We were all in the water by approximately 5:10 am. We saw the helicopter fly over the first time doing their search at 7:55am. It was about thirty minutes before the coast guard made physical contact with any of the party.
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Thank you note
Thank you ACR!