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Got a call Weds - duck hunter had lost a shotgun over board near West river in 10 feet of water. They dropped a decoy weight with a empty water bottle tied to it as a marker - plus had cell phone GPS numbers.

They had shot a duck and lost the boat grapple anchor. They got duck and came back - the decoy line acting as a marker where anchor was lost. They tried to snag the anchor rode with a decoy weight and when throwing it out - line caught shotgun and flipped it over. I give the one hunter credit - he stripped down and tried to free dive for it - water is 49*. Needless to say - one try and he was done.

I was going to fish on Friday so we agreed to meet at Sandy Point at 9 am. Thursday night I swung by TFer Crabby and son to borrow a big magnet. Gary tried it on a shot gun - said it stuck very well.

Launched boat and headed out in a light drizzle. Ran the 35 foot curve to watch meter for fish. Saw some crab pots - made note to avoid when trolling. We got due east of numbers and I turned bow west. Saw one boat in shallow - duck hunters , but far enough away we would not bother them. Slowed to idle as finder was showing 10 feet. Not far away is 5 feet - I get nervous in the shallows.

Swung around but no bottle to be found - ****. Since their grapple had about 30 feet of rode plus 70 feet bundled up - my plan was to drag my grapple to snag it. Then we would be within 25 feet or so of lost shot gun. We put out grapple and did slow circles around the GPS numbers. I was watching side scan - bottom all hard sand with few ripples. We dragged about 45 minutes , circle area expanding. I would try various angles - filling in any void on the GPS trail.

Finally Austin says - I got it. I went to neutral as he played out line. We did not want to pull the lost grapple away. I went into revers as they gave me hand signals until the line was straight down. I hit MOB - as they pulled up their lost anchor. Cool - part A was complete.

May be an image of body of water




I looked at the fish finder - 49*. Not exactly comfortable diving with gear I have. We set a marker jug with a six pound dive weight where we recovered anchor. They figured shotgun was north of this no more than 30 feet. We put over the magnet and grapple - shotgun had a padded sling - might get lucky. The magnet was bouncing along bottom as I slowly ran circles.

Rain had stopped and it was not too bad out - but winds predicted to pick up around 1:00. The magnet grabbed something - I went into reverse and got right over it. We were about 15 feet from jug. Austin slowly pulled but whatever it was - magnet slipped free.

We were 90% sure it was the gun - since nothing else seemed to be down there. We anchored and took turns tossing out magnet. They got it again in same spot but again it came free. Damn.

We decided if it catches again - drop a grapple anchor as a marker and I would go over. Wind was picking up - had to reanchor. Once again the magnet grabbed - I reversed until over it and we set a grapple over it and put jug on the line. Magnet pulled free - but Austin said it had weight. The barrel has tape in spots - perhaps not letting magnet grab tight ???

I put on a 3MM wet suit and then a 7MM semi dry. I have a dry suit that is proper gear for this temperature but not yet trained how to use it. Cussing myself for not doing that.

Slipped into the water - letting the suit slowly fill. It was chilly but bearable - I hoped only down for few minutes. Got to jug and vented my vest - having trouble descending due to so much rubber on. Got to bottom and was fighting to stay down. Did a quick search - being able to see about 3 feet.

Came up and they thought I had the shotgun - I explained needed more weight. Added 6 pounds and now able to descend easily. Got to bottom and did a head stand - this let extra air trapped in semi dry to escape by ankle seals. That really helped - now I could stay tight to bottom.

Hooked my wreck reel to grapple and pulled off 3 feet - did a 360* search. Each time around - 3 feet more. Found one small clump of oyster shell - dug around it - fearing old odd ball piece of metal. No idea why - just a brick size clump of oysters.

Water was cold but suits doing OK job. Current was picking up - incoming and I could feel a kiss of surge - waves likely increasing. Was out about 35 feet or so and saw metal - YES , then - Oh no. It was my dive weight marker. I moved it few feet south - going around one more time.

Got back around to it and took gamble. I reeled back to my grapple - redoing search area - perhaps missed it. Round and round as current picked up and visibility was dropping. Cold was starting to creep in - once shivers started , knew time was limited. The compressed air comes out cold - adding to the chill. Got back around to dive weight - moved it out and did one last search , no luck.

Reeled back to grapple and headed up line. Boat was close - wind much stronger than the current. Crew helped me in and assisted in getting my suits off. While I dried off in cabin - they pulled anchor and got out markers back in.

They told me while I was underwater - a sailboat came close , despite dive flag up. They yelled and waved - but sail boater did not alter course.

We headed back towards Sandy Point - it was 3:30 , not time to fish. Park has winter light display , must be out of park by 4:30 pm. Run back was OK at 22 knots - once past Severn we could run 30 , the north west wind blocked by land.

Sucked not finding the shotgun - I might try Tuesday with a friend experienced with dry suits. With two of down there - should be able to search much faster and larger area. I'm sure we were close on Friday.
 

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Many joke about the tragic day the lost all their firearms in the Bay. Is there something special about this gun Skip? Sentimental? Can't imagine somebody using a high end shotty out on the water but I don't know what I don't know.

Edit:. Longtail, just opinion but I think the gun will be fine. Thorough cleaning, drying and oiling as soon as it comes out of the drink. If a wood stock well that might be an issue.
 

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There’s not really many choices.

Probably an sbe or a browning, I’d dive for that day. A rem, not so much

but after that, the seas’ elements make that firearm unsafe to fire anymore

In sound mind. Call it a loss and call homeowners and than the msp.
 

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So did I

I wouldn’t put that outboard in a pit or duck blind with others and their kids
I would think a cursory inspection of breech/ barrel/ receiver would give you a pretty good idea.
If pulled up, quickly rinsed in freshwater, thoroughly dried and lubed, I can't see enough corrosion occuring that quickly to cause any issues. BUT, if after rinsed and dried, a detailed inspection shows otherwise.
 

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I would think a cursory inspection of breech/ barrel/ receiver would give you a pretty good idea.
If pulled up, quickly rinsed in freshwater, thoroughly dried and lubed, I can't see enough corrosion occuring that quickly to cause any issues. BUT, if after rinsed and dried, a detailed inspection shows otherwise.
Yeah, In brackish water, it's probably going to be ok for a few days or so. Of course that depends on a bunch of factors, and a full disassembly and inspection will tell the story. I'd be more concerned with the smaller parts. Also depending on the finish, it may be more prone to rusting in the future, so a little more TLC may be required. I know this, I'm not going into 49 degree water for any fire arm.
 

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If you tried to pull the magnet straight off, you couldn't. The magnet being flat and gun barrel being round, there is not much contact area and the magnet will slide. Sliding it was the only way to get it off my shotgun. You could not pull it straight off. Good luck with your next attempt........Gary
 
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