I wrote a couple of columns for Nor’Westing Magazine over the years. One I called WaterBeat. It was sort of a Police Blotter on the Water. While gathering incidents to write up from local and regional water cops it became apparent that some pretty strange and sometimes funny stuff occurs out there. I thought I’d share some of those incidents with you. If any of you have any humorous on the water tales to tell, please send them to me at email@example.com, I’ll share them so we can all enjoy a laugh.
Hey, I know what to do with the Styrofoam from the computer box…
What happens to graduates of the Milk Carton Derby?
Harbor Patrol received a call on an odd sighting. Two vehicles were seen floating off the Don Armeni launch ramp with people inside. Upon arrival, they encountered an old truck and an old car both rigged with Styrofoam underneath and around the sides. These makeshift amphibious vehicles had no apparent power source to move them through the water. Harbor Patrol could have cited them for not being registered as boats but warned them instead
SO!! I’m used to judging horizontal distances!
Sometime back a racing sailboat with its crew on board and its skipper at the helm was headed toward one of Seattle’s bridges. The crew glanced furtively at themselves wondering about the 6” or so clearance from mast top to bridge bottom. They knew better, though, than to question the skipper’s judgement. The mast cleared fine but the crew looked straight ahead and still didn’t say anything when $600 plus worth of instruments from atop the mast came crashing into their laps.
Geez, I seem to have a lot of extra room in my garage these days.
A Coast Guard helicopter was launched to assist Group Seattle in searching for a person in the water from Washington State Ferry. Ferry personnel discovered an unclaimed car after they unloaded. The car’s owner was finally traced to his place of employment where he said he forgot that he drove that morning because he usually walks on the ferry!
But, mud sailing seemed like it might work.
A Coast Guard helicopter from Port Angeles made two separate search attempts for an overdue catamaran enroute from Shilshole Marina to Anacortes. On the second attempt they located the catamaran north of West Pass out of gas and on mud flats. After lowering a radio to the vessel from the helicopter, Group Seattle took over to assist the boat.
You’re in big trouble now!
A Coast Guard helicopter was requested by Coast Guard Group Seattle to search for an overdue vessel. The 28′ fishing vessel was reported overdue by the 49-year-old owner’s mother when he failed to arrive the previous evening. The vessel was enroute to Blaine from LaConner with one person on board. The helicopter conducted a thorough search before the vessel was sighted being towed to the dock at Blaine Harbor Marina. Conformation was made that the owner was accounted for and he was told to call his mother.
There’s just no traction out there.
A small boat from the Coast Guard cutter Osprey towed an amphibious truck that was disabled and adrift. Vehicle was towed to the boat ramp where it was able to drive out of the water.
Definitely Not Ward Cleaver!
The operator of a 16-foot boat was pulled over driving erratically, jumping wakes and driving in and out of other boat traffic. Four small children on board wearing adult life jackets were under the age of 12. The boat’s operator was a convicted felon, his blood alcohol level was over .20% (over twice the legal limit of .08%.) A stolen, loaded 9mm handgun was found on board, as well as drugs. He said he was “just trying to have some fun with the kids”.
LaConner is brilliant at civic promotion but flying dogs is going a bit far…
The LaConner Landing fuel dock was the site of a boat explosion. The reported cause of the blast was ignited fuel vapors. The boat suffered only minor damage but a dog onboard the boat was reportedly sent flying into the water. The animal was reported clearly shaken but it managed to swim back to its, also shaken, owner who had been on the dock at the time of the explosion escaping unharmed. The explosion shot an onboard ice chest through the windshield of an unoccupied boat moored about 30 feet away.
Well guys, he could have called the Marines!!
A Seattle Harbor Patrol boat hailed the skipper of a 45-foot powerboat traveling near Ivars at the north end of Lake Union. They saw a red sticker and merely wanted to make sure it was current. (It turned out to be a legitimate Dept. of Revenue sticker.) When the boat continued powering forward they hailed again. Officers in a second boat at their offices near by heard the hails and proceeded to assist. Officers in an inflatable patrol boat south on Lake Union observed the action and came over as well. The powerboat, now with three police boats surrounding him was continuing to power forward and the Skipper was on the fly bridge using his cell phone. Shortly, the patrol boats received a call from a 911 officer asking them “WHAT they were doing??” It turns out the powerboats skipper, surrounded by police boats had called 911 complaining about police harassment, as he hadn’t done anything wrong!
Be Nice Out There, Ya Never Know
Recently at a marina in Puget Sound 65-foot boat was heading toward an open slip and had a 45-footer pull in ahead of him. The skipper of the 45-footer yelled across “first come first serve”. The owner of the 45 footer happened to be a contractor handing in a bid on a big job the following Monday morning. When he walked through the office door to present the bid, guess who was behind the desk!!!