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Old 28 September 2015, 16:18   #1
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What would you have done

We had our first trip out on our 6m rib this Sunday. Being new to RIBs and only just back to boating after a 7 year gap it was good to be back out on the water.

We launched in Portsmouth harbour by Port Solent and made our way along the channel markers. i had looked at the paper chart and had the garmin chart plotter on and just before the naval base saw a yacht, about 25-30ft, waving frantically at us. The radio was on ch16 and i'd heard nothing.

Sensing they were in trouble I started to head over to them automatically. Within seconds the shallow water alarm was registering 1.5 metres and as i gingerly approached, with enthusiatic encouragement from the yachtsman, we went to 1.2 metre and i could see on the garmin i was essentially on dry land!

At that point i signalled to him that it was too shallow (i'm guessing he needed a tug out) and made a rapid retreat on the falling tide. No point in two boats being stuck and with kids on board our boat it was a risk not worth taking given he was out of the way and in no danger.

I circled around in deeper water considering the options - should i radio ch16 or ch11 when i saw another RIB that happened to be giving lessons so i approached and asked advice. It was simply 'look after number 1' , 'he should have a radio' 'his fault -leave him to sit it out' 'not your problem'.

I don't disagree with any of the advice i was given and ended up just carrying on. We later came back an hour later to find him well on the mud, still safe, and sitting it out.

It just left me wondering what other people would have done in this situation, what depth i could have gone to, what is the best way to tow in shallow water(bow line and reverse out?) and whether i was stupid even approaching him in the first place.
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Old 28 September 2015, 16:28   #2
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First rule of crisis management- limit the number of casualties. You did right. My shallow alarm goes off at 1.8m, anything lower than 1.4m & I'm outta there. If you had dinged your prop or skeg, would the hapless Yottie have stumped up?
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Old 28 September 2015, 16:32   #3
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If it was a sailboat then there's a very good chance he would of had a much deeper draught than you.
If it was still upright and you had 1.2m showing (assuming your transducer is mounted on the bottom of the transom) then I would have certainly ventured closer in with the outboard trimed up as a precaution. Out of curiosity how far further would you of needed to go before being in throwing distance?

Simon
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Old 28 September 2015, 16:39   #4
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I use that channel regularly and find my depth gauge beeps a lot due to the silt. You prob had more water than you think.


However.....in unfamiliar waters and with your family onboard and nobody in life threatening situations-you were right to not put yourself in danger.

I'd of put a quick call in to QHM (VHF chn11) and then be on my way.
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Old 28 September 2015, 16:42   #5
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was the wafi a single keeler or double ? ..
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Old 28 September 2015, 17:10   #6
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Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
However.....in unfamiliar waters and with your family onboard and nobody in life threatening situations-you were right to not put yourself in danger.
I'd of put a quick call in to QHM (VHF chn11) and then be on my way.
^^^^^
For all you - or the other person you spoke to - knew he could have had a radio which for whatever reason wasn't working. Did you attempt to call him?
I'm a bit taken aback by the attitude of the other RIB.
Not putting yourself into danger is entirely correct.
A call to the HM - or to the CG - to draw their attention to him would have been my course of action. They might ask you to stand by to keep them updated as they decide what action to take.
I take it you weren't able to get close enough to shout & find out what the problem was?
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Old 28 September 2015, 17:16   #7
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Originally Posted by Anchorhandler View Post
If it was a sailboat then there's a very good chance he would of had a much deeper draught than you.
If it was still upright and you had 1.2m showing (assuming your transducer is mounted on the bottom of the transom) then I would have certainly ventured closer in with the outboard trimed up as a precaution. Out of curiosity how far further would you of needed to go before being in throwing distance?

Simon
We were still about 50 metres away and i had no idea of bottom really after leaving main channel.
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Old 28 September 2015, 17:29   #8
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There are a lot of obstructions outside the channel. A call to QHM on CH 11 as James said is a good call within Portsmouth Harbour and they will despatch harbour patrol. Often see vessels stranded on the banks around here.
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Old 28 September 2015, 18:05   #9
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I was also out in Sunday, and heard some chatter between QHM and the harbour patrol on ch11. They tried to pull a boat off the mud, but could not, so they took off the children and woman, leaving the man to stay with the boat for the high tide. This must have been around 3pm. Does that sound like your boat?

BTW I launched from Camber, which is a very good slip, and now you can park there again! What is Port Solent like? Do you have to use the lock?
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Old 28 September 2015, 19:23   #10
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What stage of the tide were you at ? also is the water clarity that bad you cant see bottom at 1.2m.

Ive towed and helped out yachts before while living on the IOW. Maybe I just came across a few bad apples but I found they were very ungrateful and rude. One broke his anchorage outside of Yarmouth and was drifting towards the needles, after using almost all my fuel to get him back into harbour he complained he didn't want to pay harbour fees and wanted me to head out and try and recover his anchor.

I had an almost identical incident with another who's engine wouldn't start on a windless day also dint want to spend anytime in the harbour having to pay fees.

So many things could go wrong helping someone out so I would say leave it to the people who make a living on the harbour or you may end up damaging your own boat or getting sued for damaging theirs.

Jon
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