Saturday, June 28, 2014

Man OVER BOARD at SBSBC during launch Sat 28 July 2014

surf launch at shell beach
Went fishing just to the North of the Shelly Beach Ski Boat Club where the Sonny Evans Small craft harbor is the launch site for  ski boats this morning hoping to get me a shad for breakfast. When we got there just before six bells the surf was up a bit and there was a bank of clouds out to sea, with no wind in the air.

The fishing was not that good, and only peckers were nibbling on our bait so I threw a spoon for a while and watched some skiboats launching. at about one chime after seven (quarter after seven) we decided to call it a day and go home to some mielie pap.

Shell beach launch site
When we got to our car parked on the northern edge of the Shelly Beach skiboat club we bumped a few guys that were just coming down to take a peep see if there were any shad in the district, so we relaxed for a while and had a bit of a grannies meeting discussing fishing, when we saw a guy from the TRANSVAAL with a tiny dam boat that had two motors which were way too big and powerful for the sea, as if one suddenly opened them to full taps the boat would definitely lift the nose way too much for launching in the surf, so we decided to sit and watch this guy, as we were sure that this was going to be a GOOD CACKLE as he launched.

None of us had a camera, or a mobile phone,  as we had come fishing, and were prepared to get a bit wet if need be. What a pity as this was quite a thing to watch.  These guys with the tiny boat were definitely not experienced fishermen, and we could see from that way that they pushed their boat into the water that there would be an incident at launch.   We stood around discussing past deep see fishing incidents and cackled about all the mistakes that we our selves had made collectively over the years, especially the ones where copious amounts of liquid beverages (Alcohol) were involved during our younger days.

NSRI base at Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour
Now the launch here at the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbor is reasonably safe, but for inexperienced skippers who do not know how to read the waves and count the sets, there is a chance that one may experience some AIR  under the boat as you punched the last line of waves, if you do not run left and stick between the sets of waves and the coast line.  This was a tiny boat with really over sized motors suited to pulling a skier on a dam, and we knew that if the skipper opened up to full taps too fast that the nose would lift considerably and offer the sea an opportunity to flip the boat over, so we watched as these guys went  out and we were convinced  that there was going to be an incident of some sort.

launching a boat at SBSBC
We were not wrong, and as these guys got to the last wave in the set, it stood up in-front of this tiny boat and the skipper gave the motors free reign to punch through the wave lifting the nose and launching the boat vertically into the air.

The passenger realised that the smelly stuff had collided with the wind making machine and took it upon himself to ensure that he would be clear of the boat should it decide to fall on his head by diving over board. Some how the skipper managed to keep things under some form of control, and the boat swerved this way and that but he was out in the open ocean and did not even realise that his passenger was missing for a good few seconds.

Sunrise at Shelly Beach Skiboat Club
When he did realise that his passenger was missing and turned around to come back, he also realised that he was now in the CRUNCH ZONE so promptly turned again and went back out to see and watched in disbelief as his sole crew member was forced towards the shore by the white water.  The skipper just idled around the back line and I have no clue as to what was going through his head, as it was obvious that he was an inexperienced skipper, because he did not even try to save his buddy.

WE watched idly as we were in no position to do any thing,  the guys in the tower at the Sonny Evans Small Craft harbor had obviously also witnessed the incident and the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institution) has a base right there, with  some body  already driving down the beach with a safety crew to help the swimmer if need be.

We had a good cackle about this, as most of us had at some point in our lives experienced something similar ourselves, all 5 of us being well into our fifties and remembering the old days back in the 1970's and 1980's when these types of incidents were common place all along the South African coastline and there were no safety nets like the NSRI to help-out when things went wrong.

Thanx for reading this post, and if you are interested the #4u2gofishing project has a Google plus page at  +4u2gofishing which is in place to support this blog and help us have better fishing experiences all along the KZN South Coast.