Posted on May 3, 2018 by John
Weather prediction was for small spread out swell and some wind in the afternoon. We started our day with the standard safety brief of where the life raft, jackets, EPIRB, How to use the radio, and how to get the GPS coordinates off the screen.
We were wrapping up fishing around 11:45 with 9 fish as the seas began to build. I stowed all the gear and prepared for the trip in. Told the guys that it may be a little bumpy and headed to the helm. As I headed in a large… very large wave came up and began lifting the vessel, I told everybody to stay calm and hold on.I was trying to steer, but the vessel was unresponsive as the seas were stronger than the motors would push. The boat laid all the way over, we immediately within seconds grabbed for life jackets, and the raft. I grabbed the EPIRB and my ditch bag and then the mic to make the Mayday call, as I was making the call a second wave rolled the boat over.
I was inside the cabin with water pouring in as I swam out with the EPIRb and Ditch Bag. We had 4 out of 5 accounted for. One man was inside the boat and thankfully breathing an air pocket. He grabbed a life jacket and popped up minutes later.
Things went bad much faster than you would imagine. This all took place in seconds… not minutes. I pride myself on being safe, and have been fishing these waters for the last 15 years. There are things that couldn’t occur fast enough. We managed to get the raft out of the box, but as the boat rolled it stayed under. Life jackets should probably be worn or inflatables for everybody. We did not have enough time to properly dawn life jackets. 2 of 5 had life jackets; the other three (myself and two others) hung onto the boat and waited for help.
In the end we were plucked from the water after about a hour, they did a great job. I was told that there were technical difficulties with local air support, so they sent air support from North and South. An hour seemed like eternity!
It was a good day as all 5 of us made it out and were plucked in a short amount of time. An EPIRB is a must!! We all had mild hypothermia and were released this afternoon.
Words of wisdom
An hour seemed like eternity! It was a good day as all 5 of us made it out and were plucked in a short amount of time. An EPIRB is a must!!
Thank you note
Thank you ACR.
Off the coast Oregon