Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knee Deep ! (Why JET boats are very Handy!)

After our New Year "flurry", things have slowed down a bit, (actually its STOPPED), it's currently 18 degrees in Lake Ozark and going to get colder, so lets turn back to warmer thoughts  - - -
Back in late June , we had a 45 ft Sea Ray aground on mud flat just past the 80 mile marker of the lake. This was a 140 mile round trip for the "Point Young" (Lake Ozark) and a 120 mile round trip for our 24ft Whaler (Osage Beach), it was also in the "boonies" - nearest adequate services for this diesel Sea Ray (if required) was about a 20 - 25 mile tow. He was home-ported out of Osage Beach area, so the tow home (if required) was about 70 miles.  I notified Capt Jones and we elected to take both boats, diver and xtra gear. We set off on the nearly 4 hour cruise to scene, loaded for bear, anxious to get there while it was still light. We arrived o/s to discover he was soft grounded on a half mile long, total silt/mud bank in a little over 2 ft of water, some 100ft from the channel. We anchored the "Whaler" in deep water and loaded gear aboard the Pt Young and began a slow approach to the cruiser. As in many other groundings, with the shallow draft RAIV jet, we were able to come alongside the stranded vessel with no problem!!  After determining the bottom was in fact all mud/silt, we elected to rig her for a double tow from both towboats - reducing strain on fittings and insuring a high degree of a successful re-float. Using the Point Young to transfer tow line and bridle from the Whaler and rigging both towlines, she was easily re-floated. We then set about flushing her sea strainers and the diver cleared the mud from her underwater intakes, tested her for sea-water cooling, inspected/tested her for any shaft vibration, hull damage, etc. She was sound, fired up and was ready to get underway. About 1 and a half hour after arriving on scene, the "Wet Vet" continued on her journey to 92+ mile marker and we headed for homeport - another happy (also lucky) customer - - - Go Team!

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