Tidal Fish Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Tidal Fish Super Subscriber - I rock!
Joined
·
435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would you have done?

Last summer I heard another boater calling out coordinates for someone who had broken down on the Rap near Buoy 10. He couldn't pull them with his small boat so he called out their coordinates. I entered them in my GPS and found that I was only 2 miles out. I headed over to them and arrived at dusk.

They had put in at and wanted to be towed back to Garrett's Marina near Buoy 19. I didn't feel comfortable towing them that distance because their boat was considerably larger than mine and it was getting dark.

I offered to tow them the 2 miles to Greenvale Creek Marina and even offered to let them stay at my place until we could get them a ride to Garrett's the next day (my truck was broken down). They refused and insisted that someone pull them to Garrett's.

I didn't know what else to do so I called the USCG and had them reach out to SeaTow. SeaTow set out from Gwynn's Island and I left for home. I checked on them the next day and they were gone so I guess they got their tow but I'm sure that it cost them almost $1,000!

Thinking back on that night I could have towed them into Waterview and taken the captain aboard my boat and ferried him up to Garrett's where he could have driven his truck/trailer to Waterview to retrieve his boat but I didn't think of that option at the time.

I still feel really bad about not being able to help more. What would you have done? If the captain from that night is reading this I'd like to hear from you about your thoughts about that night. How long did you wait for SeaTow and what did the ordeal cost? Have you since signed up for towing insurance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,854 Posts
I don't know the local area, distances involved, water conditions, etc. but you stated that it was dusk and the risk increases. If it was $1000 tow it sounds like their destination wasn't too close. If they didn't like your offer to call SeaTow then they could have waited and hoped someone was going in their direction. A towing plan doesn't cost much, I have unlimited towing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
861 Posts
Under the circumstances, I would have been happy to get a tow to the closest, convenient location. Once you're on dry land, you can make necessary arrangements. Demanding to be towed to your starting location, when the tow is volunteering their time and boat, is pretty "ballsy".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Snailman, you offered to help as much as you could. The other captain should have been grateful with what you could do for him.

You can not jeopardize your safety. I read your post as being they were not in any immediate danger or anything of that nature. (Not sinking, no one injured, etc) Therefore, it was on them to accept what ever you were willing to do to help them and be happy with that.

Bravo to you for taking the time and effort to go to their location and offering what you could. :clapping2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,450 Posts
You stopped and offered assistance and after they refused your offer of help you assisted with other arrangements before leaving.I think you made the right call.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
You did exactly the right thing. Consider this -- if you had towed him to his requested port, thereby passing up the nearest safe port, and something happened -- you could have been blamed for neglect. He asked, you offered, he refused. Personally I would have been grateful to have been taken to a safe port.

Remember, it's the responsibility of each captian to have a back up plan for each trip and file a float plan with someone. Friend, family, Tow Boat US or someone who has the capability of SAFELY getting them in.

You had no responsibility to respond other than to be a good boater. You did exactly the right thing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
To be totally honest, I don't think that I would've offered a tow unless it was necessary to get them to safety.

Because:

- No one was hurt, in danger of being hurt or needed immediate medical attention
- I have never towed a boat B4
- I may have damaged my boat or their boat in the process(see #2)
- My boat is not a towboat/wrecker and I am not a tow captain.

I would have called them a towboat and hung with them until it arrived or was sure that it had been dispatched.

So in my opinion you went above and beyond what a good samaritan should do.


-JB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Thanks Jim. Been looking (lurking) for a while, seems like a nice place. It just struck me this morning because that guy felt bad. He did the right thing.
 

·
Tidal Fish Super Subscriber - I rock!
Joined
·
435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks fol.ks!

Thanks everyone!

It seems to be unanimous but I still kinda feel bad for leaving them there. They weren't in any danger. It was a calm, bright night. They were at anchor and they had their lights on. The only problem was that it was a heavy cabin cruiser (probably 26' or 28') with a blown engine.

I felt comfortable towing them the 2 miles to the closes marina. I've pulled smaller boats so I was pretty sure that I could do it safely. The trip from where they were (N37 43.698 W76 35.880) to Garrett's Marina (N37 48.750 W76 44.456) is about 10 miles so I wasn't willing to attempt that, especially at night.

I'll still always reach out to help another boater and I hope that you'd all do that for me. We'll see ya out there on the river!

God bless...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
That boat could've been 7000 lb. or more, what would you have tied off to, a cleat? No way a cleat is designed to take that kind of stress.

-JB
 

·
Tidal Fish Super Subscriber - I rock!
Joined
·
435 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm quite sure that the boat weighed at least 7,000 lbs.

I have a towing harness that attaches to the rings on the stern that I normally attach the tie-down straps to when I'm trailering. The tow line connects to a pully that runs the lenth of the cable that runs between the two rings.

It's designed to for use in pulling skiers and tubes but it's worked pretty well when towing small boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,381 Posts
I agree with all the others that you did the right thing and he refused. If he had injuries aboard then it might have been different (you should stay to help). There is no law saying you must tow someone to safety, but if you do, you are taking on a lot of responsibility.

Towing someone is a larger responsibility than most realize. Once you attach a tow line and start towing, you are now responsible for both boats; yours and his and you are responsible for the safety and well being of the occupants of both boats.

In other words, you are the person who will take the hit if the other boat sinks, someone on that boat gets hurt, someone falls overboard, there is damage to the boat being towed while under tow, etc. You are responsible. You will bear the burden of all claims............

It's not that you shouldn't help, it's that you need to know what responsibility you are taking on. For the reasons above the commercial towers carry large insurance policies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
You did the right thing, I am not going to hazard my boat unless it's necessary. You offered to tow him in and if that wasn't good enough for him then let him pay for the tow.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,137 Posts
After he gets the Sea Tow bill-I bet he wishes he took your KIND offer.You offer to tow him in and stay at your place-only a FOOL would pass that up.Fix the boat in the morning and cruise home-big deal.

Don't for one minute feel bad.I'd rather be on land away from my dock then waiting for a Tow Boat. Skip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,306 Posts
Had a friend run into the exact same thing 2 years ago. He offered to tow the guy to the nearest port, but the skipper of the disabled vessel wanted to go 15 miles FURTHER up the bay. My friend just waved good bye and NEVER LOOKED BACK. He heard later that the boat didn't get towed in until 14 hrs later on the following day. You did the right thing and MORE. Some people are just to DUMB to know when to accept help. Like said earlier --- Towing can put you in a great deal of jeapordy legally, especially trying to tow a boat much larger than yours.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top