Monday, December 10, 2012

A Boating Safety Tip: Are you Dr. Hook?

Last summer while up at Port Alice, BC, I learned a very important lesson I want to share.  Sometimes is it the simplest of things that make the different between having a good day on the water and a very bad day.     I was stationed as the Captain on a boat that was about to pull up anchor and get underway.  Port Alice is situated inside a long narrow channel on the North West coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and is largely dominated by the forestry industry.  

The area is not very forgiving when it comes to rough weather.  While the inlet itself is well protected, once you emerge into the West coast, the water can become very rough and unforgiving.  The entire west coast of Vancouver Island is littered with the remains of many ships.  Some call it the Graveyard of the Pacific.

So call it intuition or maybe just luck.   As we pulled anchor and were about to get under way, I had a niggling feeling something wasn't right.  It could have been a slightly different feel in the way the anchor came out of the water.  I felt compelled to check and found something that could have been a disaster for our boat and crew if left unchecked.  The anchor had hooked an old fish net and we had pulled it up to the surface.   The net probably would not have been an issue until we hit a certain speed.  At that time, if could have easily become wrapped into the propeller shaft or even the rudder rendering us powerless to steer or maneuver our ship.  

The lesson I want to share is that it pays to check your anchor anytime you pull it out of the water.  A couple of minutes to perform this simple safety check and haul the net in probably saved us.  Take the time to be safe out there, whether you're a pro or just boat for pleasure.  Things like this can save your skin.

Oh, and don't forget to download the newest of our mobile applications.  We have just launched a light version of Insta-Captain that contains the Morse Code and Phonetic Alphabet references all rolled into one.  You can get the application at 

Cheers!   The Captain~

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