Friday, September 10, 2010

WHAT Goes DOWN - Must come UP -

Lift bags being removed as vessel is trailered

On August 19, this 1975, 17 ft Sea Sprite swamped at the 13.5 mm after hitting a dock and most of the 6 persons on board went forward to see if boat was damaged - - -.  The boat swamped down by the bow, all were in PFD's and quickly picked up by passing boaters with no injuries.  - The boat sank in 60 ft of water just off the main channel.  The vessel was not insured, but had to be removed.  An approximate location was GPS'd by the 1st Water Patrolman on scene and provided to us and our salvage partner ATLANTIS DIVE.  We decided to use this as an opportunity to do some "sonar" training and offered to raise the vessel, (at minimum cost) and tow it to nearby Shawnee Bend launch ramp where the owner could load it on his trailer.  About a week later we began to look for the vessel and were able to pick up a couple of "good" targets on (Hummingbird Side Scan) Sonar after a few hours.  Diver McNitt made a confirmation dive on the first target which turned out to be debris from an old sunken dock, diving on the second "hit", he located the vessel, standing straight up and down with the outboard buried in the mud.  (at 60 ft+ depth, a small boat standing nearly straight up and down is a hard target to read - another reason we wanted to practice).

A few days ago after making haul-out arrangements, the vessel was raised and returned to owner - a little worse for wear.
Diver McNitt watches as Sea Sprite begins to surface

The "Sea Sprite" has just surfaced from 60 ft below

 I MUST SAY, this could have ended in nearly the same way as some recent tragedies, but even if these folks were'nt well versed in "Stability Calculations"  - - - -


1 comment:

SpyderWeb said...

Well, they had on PFDs...good for them. I have to admit that this is not something I do when out on my boat.