Posted on May 2, 2018 by Michael
We were heading over to the Bahamas for a few days to do some fishing. We departed out of Hillsboro Inlet at approx. 10am. About an hour into the trip we noticed that the boat was feeling sluggish. I went down stairs and I heard the Carbon Monoxide detectors going off. I opened the aft cockpit hatch and I noticed a lot of water and exhaust in the bilge.
At this point there was nothing I could do since there was approx. 1 ft of water on the out board side of the bilge. The bilge pumps weren’t doing their job or just could not keep up. I tried to access the situation but between the water and exhaust, I was unsuccessful on finding the cause. I told my boss to put out a mayday and I began to deploy our dinghy. Thank god we always have the dinghy on the transom when we cross to the Bahamas. I loaded the dinghy with our ditch bags, the EPIRB, oars, some waters and the foot pump.
I did however forget the kill switch for the dinghy motor. My boss came down and stated that the mayday has been sent. At this time the cockpit was completely filled with water. My boss had to swim to the dinghy because I had to untie it from the transom cleat because it was now under water.
While he was swimming he stated that there was suction and he was being pulled under. Now the dinghy was drifting away from the boat. I yelled at him to take his shoes off and swim! He was absolutely exhausted when he made it to the raft. He was so tired I had to pull him in. Once he was in the raft we deployed the EPIRB.
Within 20 minutes, we had a Navy plane circling above us and we were on the USCG Cutter Bluefin within an hour after the incident. We were about 13 miles off Boca Inlet when we were picked up. There is no doubt in my mind that this could of been worse if we were not properly prepared.
My boss was experiencing chest pains from this whole ordeal and was treated for a mild heart attack. He was in the hospital for 4 days. If we weren’t rescued so fast his outcome may have been different. He is still recovering but we are here to tell our story.
Words of wisdom
Thank god we always have the dinghy on the transom when we cross to the Bahamas. I loaded the dinghy with our ditch bags, the EPIRB, oars, some waters and the foot pump.
Thank you note
Thank you ACR!