Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last Sunday August 21, we had a rather unusual recovery operation near the 26 mile marker at a dock on the main channel.  The storms from the two days before had wreaked havoc with the dock which had a 44 ft Sea Ray and a 24 ft Formula on lifts.  The lift holding the FORMULA had come apart and the forward lift arms had broke loose causing the front of the very heavy lift to sink, one of the lift bunks somehow managed to get wedged into the out drive of the FORMULA and pulled the stern of the vessel down.  When we arrived on scene, the FORMULA was taking on water continuously and the stern was still hung on the lift, plus the partially submerged lift was trapping the FORMULA in the slip - - - -.  The channel was very rough and we were constantly being plagued by large cruiser wake waves, which made working conditions rather dangerous. - -  We attempted all sorts of maneuvers to free the FORMULA from the lift without success and the rear lift arms were coming loose with all the pounding.  We were afraid if the lift came completely loose before we freed the FORMULA it would sink, taking the boat with it - - -.  Some 5 hours later, we brought in our diver Tim McNitt (Atlantis Dive)  with dive gear, lift bags and a SawsAll - Tim cut the lift up enough to free it from the FORMULA and then we would sink the lift and remove the boat - - well that would have worked, but the rear of the lift hung on the underwater dock cross brace and would not sink all the way clear.  Tim went down and put a 2000 lb lift bag on the front of the lift to try to lift it so it would slide forward and clear the brace - - the bag could not quite lift the front, but did take some weight off - - finally we were able to get enough clearance to remove the FORMULA, and tow it to ramp for haul-out - - 

Once again,  Don't let appearances fool you - - what might look like a simple recovery upon arrival can quickly turn in to a NIGHTMARE!

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