Bad morning on the water... Capsized

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Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby sorensonhs » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:06 pm

Today was one of the scariest moments of my life. Within 45 seconds I went from motoring my boat (1648 jon with 35 hp backwater) to taking on water, being thrown from the boat and capsizing on the Iowa river in sailorville lake. Lucky all had vests on and I had a kill tether attached. A triple affect off a 350 lb guy up front, a rogue wave, and me cutting power at the same time sent us down like a sub. As I tried to aim us toward shore the motor pushed me out of the boat. The 30 degree water was quite a shock as I tried to swim in the deep water. :help: Thank God We were 25 yards from shore but when i got there I couldn't even stand. All were ok and I stripped down as the other two made a fire. Will post a pic soon,phone is toasted. be careful out there, it was unreal how fast it went down.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Dep6 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:15 am

Very glad yall made it ok.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Ichabod97 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:10 am

Glad to hear you and your buddies made it out ok. Sorry to hear about your boat.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Weedwacker » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:37 am

My God, so glad your all ok.

Must admit, I consider my self very safe and friends give me crap about it, but things like this are in my mind every time I go out.

Good job with vest and kill switch lanyard .
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby sorensonhs » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:24 am

Weedwacker wrote:My God, so glad your all ok.

Must admit, I consider my self very safe and friends give me crap about it, but things like this are in my mind every time I go out.

Good job with vest and kill switch lanyard .


My self and hunting partner try to be the safety guys. I was even going to have guy move father back in the boat... I realized today that I had one of those silver emergency blankets in my blind bag. In the moment it completely slipped my mind. Definitely a must have in any ones bag. I will never hunt out of a boat with out the cost guard foam that's for sure.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby steve-o » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:40 pm

glad to hear everyone is ok. how did the engine push you out of the boat?
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby 1080tommy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:06 pm

Holy crap! Glad you are ok and all of your hunting partners too. Sorry you lost your rig as well. Hope you can get a new one and get back to hunting.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Weedwacker » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:56 pm

Looking at your picture and gear, your were'nt also towing another boat or that otter boat were you?

That's a lot of gear on the beach!

We tow large canoe and kayaks once in a while and they always change the dynamics of how the boat operates.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Indawoods » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:17 pm

sounds like you overloaded. that 35 is a huge mudmotor for a 16 ft.

glad it worked out.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Erich_870 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:20 pm

wow! Glad you guys are okay. You could have been a statistic. We just lost two brothers up here when they were out deer hunting and their skiff took a wave over the stern. They had a really old 18' lund with no foam and that one wave sank it instantly out from under them. A third guy in the boat was the only survivor and they all had float coats. :crying: :crying: :crying:

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Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Mojo281 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:23 pm

Wow!! Glad y'all weren't far from shore on that big river! I agree that it sounds like y'all overloaded the boat, but you live you learn...
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Quackacardia » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Glad you guys pulled through OK.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby carolinagreenhead » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:08 pm

Glad you guys are ok. That would be really scary. Were you able to retrieve the boat or is it a part of the lake bottom?
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby sorensonhs » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:34 pm

Yeah on my trip home I was trying to add up all the weight. We were definitely over. I always hunt with guys around the 170 lb range so when ya change it up to 350+ and 250 I didn't factor it in like I should have. We had 5 dozen mals, 6 fb mals, 10 honkers, 2 doz honker shells, and 2 doz reel geese plus blind bags and guns. And a heavy mud motor as some one stated but the boat is rated for a 45 hp outboard, was pretty close in weight. And the 67 lb marsh rat across the front. Live and learn.

If you have ever driven a long tail you will know that turning sharp the motor has alot of force on the steering handle and in my haste to aim us at shore before I knew it I was in the drink.

As far as for it sinking it only sunk to the top of the rail ( pretty flush with the water) because of the flotation foam under the bench and front. I think it wouldn't have slowly sank beyond that point? I got it to shore pretty much at the same time it filled to the top. I swam to shore with a rope and pulled the boat in with the two guys in the boat.

Being close to shore was lucky because we had motored across to the other side and back. Could have been in the middle.

In the pic bilge pump had been running for a long time so it was starting to float again.

Very very lucky, hope you can learn from my mistakes. Thank you all for you're response
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby mudpack » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:36 am

sorensonhs wrote:Yeah on my trip home I was trying to add up all the weight. We were definitely over. I always hunt with guys around the 170 lb range so when ya change it up to 350+ and 250 I didn't factor it in like I should have. We had 5 dozen mals, 6 fb mals, 10 honkers, 2 doz honker shells, and 2 doz reel geese plus blind bags and guns. And a heavy mud motor as some one stated but the boat is rated for a 45 hp outboard, was pretty close in weight. And the 67 lb marsh rat across the front.

Yes, grossly overloaded. You were fortunate. Had one of your hunting partners drowned, the family could soon be owning everything you have (and will have for the rest of your life).
From the picture, it's hard to tell, but I can't see a grab bar on the boat pictured. I can tell you this: if you have a longtail, you absolutely MUST have a solid grab bar on the boat. If your boat doesn't, I'm not surprised sorenson went overboard. A grab bar is a tremendous help in situations like that. Every person who owns/runs a longtail should be obligated to install a bar.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby WIDrakeKiller » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:40 am

Almost happened to me on the Mississippi but we got out and waded into shore. It was scary but good cuz now I know to not push my boats limits. And I also know how big of a boat Im getting!
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby SOMDcRAB » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:05 am

that is one reason i love that fact i hunt out of a carolina skiff. even if it does take on water it wont sink, so if need be we have something to hang on to so everyone in my party can stay together, i will now be buying a heat blanket and keep it with me. I hear so many stories about people capsizing. i always have my life jacket on, and use the kill feather. glad to hear your ok.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Riverrunner342 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:54 pm

I had the same thing happen to me when I attempted to get back to the boat ramp when winds were high. When i let off on the power, the boat settled down in the back and waves rolled over the back and i was swamped. I never should have been out in 35mph winds and I could have paid a heavy price for my actions.

I put a pair of aluminum pods on the back of my boat and I took away a lot of the problems with the stern settling down, but I do
not go out the might Mississippi any more when things are that bad.
I now carry my cell phone in a pelican waterproof case and I have "spot" satellite transceiver so I can send out a distress signal.
I am glad that you guys are ok.
Last edited by Riverrunner342 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:56 pm

SOMDcRAB wrote:that is one reason i love that fact i hunt out of a carolina skiff. even if it does take on water it wont sink, so if need be we have something to hang on to so everyone in my party can stay together, i will now be buying a heat blanket and keep it with me. I hear so many stories about people capsizing. i always have my life jacket on, and use the kill feather. glad to hear your ok.


Any boat that has USCG certified flotation is "supposed" to be unsinkable even if it takes on water...no such thing as 100% failproof on the water.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby malrdmasher » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:28 pm

Scary indeed. I filled a 16' Jon with water in a split second. Rogue wave and guy sitting on front bench filled it up really quick. Luckily we were 20 yards from shore. Just like you said. It floated all the way to shore with water up to the gunnels. 35mph winds bashing waves over it and it still wouldn't sink. Live and ya learn.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby clwalkin » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:48 pm

Way too much weight for that boat and that doesn't even take in account for your gear. A boat of that size rates for 3-4 people usually, but look at the actual weight that the 3-4 factors in...probably the 350+ and 250 pounders were already above your max. You and your hunting party are lucky to be alive. Go buy yourself a much larger boat or make many trips back and forth to your hunting spot.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby Nomad82 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:37 am

Glad to hear that you and your buddys are here to tell the story!! Def makes me rethink all of my saftey gear and load plan on my next trip out.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:45 am

Wow, good thing you had the vests. We had something similar occue this year out on the GSL. But two of the three hunters didn't make it out. Keep it safe guys.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby calamari » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:11 pm

Accidents by definition are not predictable. Once while hunting at Lower Klamath from my Aqua Pod I stood up to relieve myself over board and enjoy the full moon in the sky and Mt. Shasta on the near skyline on a clear freezing morning. While standing there I pulled on a cord that attached my paddle to the boat not realizing it was frozen to the bottom of the boat and that I was standing on it. When it didn't come loose I pulled harder and lost my balance and shifted my reality into slow motion. Slowly I saw both of my feet pass in front of the moon as I went head first over the side into the water where I'd just voided. Luckily it was only waist deep and I got out and warmed up on the bank or I wouldn't be telling you my story.
You can't predict accidents but you can limit the likelihood your going to have a bad one and you can limit the damage. Don't overload your boat and wear your life vest if you're less than 85 years old.
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Re: Bad morning on the water... Capsized

Postby 4riverman » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:37 pm

Glad to hear all are okay, seems like every year hear of some terrible accident and loss of life. Glad this was not the case.

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