NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

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NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Paul26 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:52 pm

This morning on a large coastal river a large jon boat capsized. Everyone survived.

The hunters wanted to get to a spot on a creek off the river first, so they crossed the very-wide river going west to east in a strong west wind, as opposed to driving about 20 miles to a launch that is 600 yards from where they eventually hunted. They had 2 boats, got across, and made it to their spot. I heard them shooting a lot, and they were picking up about 2 hours after LST, so I assume (but do not know) they did well (not that it matters).

They then had to cross the wide river again, this time going east to west into the wind. At mid morning the west wind was now howling. My guess is close to 25 mph (I was hunting on the same creek….it was blowing so hard that I had made the decision that I would cross the creek at a spot significantly further up, where it was very narrow and relatively calm). So they motored off into one of the nastiest, white-cap conditions I have ever seen on the river during duck hunting season.

One of the boats, which looked to be a 20 feet jon boat with a 45 degree angle pointed bow, along with a very nice camo outboard…I’d say 40-60hp…took a strong wave and flipped. The hunter had the presence of mind to stay with the boat. His buddies in the other boat picked him out of the water.

Coast Guard was called. Not sure if they made it there before they were back.

Very glad all are safe. Many lessons here, not the least of which is checking the weather. This wind is no surprise. I have been tracking it all week. No one in a small boat had any business crossing that river today. The extra 30 minutes they slept…rather than driving to that near-by ramp…almost cost a life. For a dead duck.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Junior Duck Commander » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:05 pm

Glad to hear everyone is alright. Know your limits everyone and know your vessels limits. 20-25 kt winds can kick up 2-3 footers easily, even in the lee if you are 1/2 mile to a mile from shore.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby harkers » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:57 pm

Seen the wind forecast and did not take the two kids out on the 14 ft. wide john but went for a little walk and got 2 mallard drakes and 1 ring neck. Hope all is good with the crew.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby NCfowl » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:48 pm

They were buddies of my buddy. All are safe and sound and home! Man up top was looking down on them!
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Adam Gibbs » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:31 pm

Any input as to why the bow was pointed up 45 degrees? Unbalanced load or not trimmed properly? I hunt an 18ft jon and I know the limitations pretty well. I have been out in 3 and 4 footers and been able to turn around and go back because it was too rough. Did it flip up and backwards or on its side? How big do you think the waves got?

Crazy things can happen out there. Glad to hear they made it safe. I had a good scare myself this year due to mechanical failure and moderately rough water. We almost always hunt 2 boats for that very reason.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Paul26 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:24 am

Adam: poor description on my part. The bow was not up 45 degrees. What I meant is that it was not a square- front Jon boat.......but one with a pointed bow.....with the point having 45 degree sides
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby NCfowl » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:47 am

It was a 19 ft . My cousin rescued them all the gear and saved the boat. There was 3 of them and all are well grown men loaded with decoys.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Paul26 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:28 am

I spoke to them in the darkness prior to hunting. Very nice guys...responsible hunters.

Just a bad choice on the river that day, given wx conditions.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby Dingbatter » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:35 pm

As I was loading up after finishing my hunt a large skiff came up followed by a 16 ft jon with a 25 hp outboard. Loading inside the jon boat was a layout boat. The guys with the skiff said the party with the smaller jon boat where with them. I told them there was no way that small jon boat was going to make it out in those conditions. The guys with the skiff talked to them and insisted they all hunt out of the large skiff although the guys with the jon boat thought they could make it. After talking a bit more the guys with the small jon loaded up in the larger skiff.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby sampsonhuntin » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:00 pm

NCfowl wrote:It was a 19 ft . My cousin rescued them all the gear and saved the boat. There was 3 of them and all are well grown men loaded with decoys.

Seems like we have mutual acquaintances, my buddy from school Michael said on facebook they were the group to pull them out.
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Re: NEAR TRAGEDY THIS MORNING

Postby NCfowl » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:56 am

Maybe there was 2 near tragedies in the same area then. Because my cousin had to pull his boat down after getting a helpless call from the guy drowning. Boat flipped, decoys floating way down the channel, and all. Saved the guys, boat, and all decoys and gear. Pulled boat back to the ramp
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