Monday, June 14, 2010

KNEE DEEP!! (In more than just "SILT")

This past, rather slow, weekend was topped off late Saturday night with a call from the Water Patrol.  They were on scene with a hard "grounded" cruiser, taking on some water, up in the back of a cove in the Gravois Arm.  We arrived on scene just after miid-night to find a 35ft Cruiser, with 9 folks aboard, sitting high on a mud shore at the extreme back of cove.  The group of friends were headed back to Osage Beach from a popular night spot in the Gravois Arm.  The young man who was the operator, (who tested below the .08 limit) was not familiar with the Gravois and had turned in to a cove, thinking he was still in the main channel.  We inspected the vessel, and determined a plan to re-float her the following morning. The minor flooding was coming from the port rudder shaft that had been pushed up in to the stern.  The on-board bilge pump was keeping up with it easily, running only occasionally.  With the help of the two Water Patrol officer's on scene, the passengers were divided between our towboat and a water patrol boat for the trip back to their condo's and the operator was dropped off at his place, left with the task of calling DAD with the great news - - - - - - :(  (talk about being knee deep!!) - - he was NOT looking forward to that call!
We arrived back at port @ 0230 hrs, to be underway again @ 0800 with both the "Point Young" and the Osage Beach Towboat.  On scene again @ 0845 with both Towboats,  (and a Water Patrolman) we found our anxious group of friends had just arrived in a pontoon boat to watch the recovery.  Our biggest problem was going to find a location with enough water depth for us to make a good pull on the strand.  After about an hour of rigging bridles, pumps and locating a good "pull" location and angle, we set up both towboats with about 400 ft of towline out, began to take a strain and after tossing up a BUNCH of mud - she slipped around and off the mud and was re-floated a little after 1000 hrs, to the sound of CHEERS from the near-by pontoon boat.  A quick inspection revealed the leaking had not increased and she was not taking on any water from any other place.  She was placed "in tow" for a haul-out facility near the dam, about 11 miles away.
 ON THE TRAILER - Bent rudders, prop blades and some structure around rudder - - NO INJURIES, except for some pride - - -

PHOTO NOTE:  - TOP - Captain Jones - - A little "camera shy" after recent news article - - shows how he really feels about having his photo taken  - - -  : -()

No comments: