Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Sun 23 May 2010 14:48
It was an uneventful departure as we left at 4 PM on Saturday. We stopped at
the fuel docks and then headed out into Galveston Bay to see what wasn't
working. We had problems with our cockpit VHF radio which took some wire
wriggling and swearing to fix and the autopilot. I've had the same problem
with the autopilot in the past and it turned out to be a little corrosion on
the connections. I'll be working on it on Sunday.
The cat is not a happy camper but he does seem to be adapting. He found a
little hiding space under our dingy which is stored on deck.
Once the cockpit radio was fixed we heard the Coast Guard ask all boats in
the area to look for a sinking boat with four people in the bay. I looked
around and didn't see anything so continued sailing. About 10 minutes later
I see a white object in the water straight ahead. As we get closer we
realize it's the bow of a power boat and there are four people in the water
hanging onto a hatch cover.
There was another sailboat that arrived on the scene just ahead of us but it
was a double ender that did not have boarding ladder that would be easy to
climb so we moved in and picked up the first guy. We drifted away from the
main group as the guy climbed our ladder and as we started to maneuver into
position for the next one a power boat from the local towing company showed
up. He was better equipped to pick up the rest of the people in the water so
he got the remaining 3.
Now the Coast Guard helicopter showed up, but once they determined all were
on a boat and there were no injuries they left.
Now we waited on scene until a Coast Guard boat showed up. During this wait
we transferred our passenger to the power boat since we really didn't want
to go all the way back to port. The patrol boat showed up and didn't even
talk to us. They talked briefly to the power boat and were on their way as
were we. It was now 7pm and we were on our way to anchor.
Here is a picture of the boat. It was a 38 ft power boat. They were driving
along when there was a loud bang and they started sinking. I don't think
they had long to look around and figure out what happened. They were in the
water about 30 minutes before we arrived.
Some interesting notes: The guy we picked up never took his life jacket off
while he was aboard - I guess once bitten he wasn't about to take another
I've included a picture of the boat after everyone
was out of the water. I didn't take a picture of the 4 people while they
were in the water - to tacky
There were 3 men and a woman in the water. After
rescue, the men had only the clothes on their back, the woman had that and
her purse - ah priorities
As you can see from the Google maps, we didn't get very far, but that was
not our intention. Today we'll fix the autopilot and head closer to the
mouth of Galveston Bay for a Monday morning departure.