Thursday, May 13, 2010

MUD RUN II - (Headed for the lost lands in the wilderness)

It seems Captain Johnson may have started a trend with his "Mud Run" up in the 70's to unground a stranded fisherman back in late April.  Captain Jones and myself made a Safari up there last Sunday.  Our fisherman, in a 24ft Rinker Deck boat, had it a little rough.  There are just not to many folks up there this time of year - and though he only lives a couple of miles downstream, he managed to find himself HARD aground at the 64 mile mark, on a mud bar in about 4 to 6 inches of water  around 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening.  Almost mid-channel and quite a ways from shore - he was "stuck".  He did see a couple of bass fisherman go by and tried to hail them with no success.  He could make out a couple folks on shore at a cabin, hollered and waved his arms - they waved back - with no radio - and no cell phone - (Note: there is virtually NO cell service up there anyway),  things were not looking good.  In addition, he was diabetic and did not have much with him to counter that.  His deck boat had no canopy and no shelter - Temperatures were heading in to the low 40's (42deg low) he was going to have to spend the night - -.  His wife had gone to bed thinking he was still fishing - it wasn't until sometime early Sunday morning that she realized he hadn't returned home.  She reported him "overdue" to the Water Patrol and an officer headed out to search the area near his home.
Around 1:30p.m. Sunday afternoon he was located by the Officer - still perched on his mud bank.  The Officer with his 28ft Donzi, could only get within 500+ ft of the stranded vessel.  He solicited a nearby fisherman with a Jon boat and trolling motor to get him to the strand.  He found our grateful fisherman, a little worse for wear and swollen from effects of his diabetes, and took him back to his patrol boat.  The officer made a couple of attempts to re-float the vessel, batteries were dead and the outdrive could not be raised - after breaking his towline a couple of times, he contacted us.  He had taken the fisherman home for his medication and treatment and advised us that we would need a "lot of line" to recover this one.

Captain Jones and I decided to take two towboats and additional equipment, a 50 mile one way trip and there is no cell service up there, we determined overkill would be the best solution.  Jones departed from the Osage Beach Port and I left from the 11 mile Port with Kayak and additional equipment.  The trip is over a hour and 45 minutes and once you get up in the 50's (mile marks) you have to navigate very cautiously - -.  Jones with the 24ft Justice arrived ahead and started looking for the best water and approach.  I arrived with the Point Young and we determined the closest location and Jones anchored the "whaler" and I tied up alongside.

"CAPTAIN" JONES READY TO HEAD OUT - Note - I had to pry his fingers from the tow bar and "shove" him off - note the look of confidence - - 

We launched the Kayak and loaded it with a "jump pack" (to raise the strands lower unit) a towing bridle and we attached both towboat towlines to the stern of the Kayak.  Both towboats carry 600 ft of primary towline and it looked like we would need all of it.  Jones shoves off  in a 16 knot breeze and heads for the strand.  15 minutes later he is alongside and begins to rig it for tow and raised the lower unit.
The vessel was easily refloated and returned to its owner's dock, he was doing well after his ordeal, but still in trouble with his bride - - - We headed for home and arrived back at port, Six and a half hours later.

No comments: