After I took the photos in yesterday’s post, I was playing around making some abstract motion images when I noticed this:
Being a boater and an occasional safe boating instructor myself, I knew whoever was on this boat was not having any fun at all.
I started watching. There was no one else on the beach right there and no one in the nearby homes seemed to be out watching. I noticed that there appeared to be only one person on board and that person was not at the helm. I decided to run back for my telephoto lens to get a better look.
There was definitely only one person on board and he was up at the bow. Without sails the boat would be difficult to steer in that weather. For him to have given up trying I figured the rudder must be broken or he was having no success. I realized he was up on the bow using his own body weight to try to keep the bow down. I also noticed here the anchor line. That told me something since throwing out your anchor in a storm is a good way to keep your bow to the wind and try to control the boat, but that anchor wasn’t holding in this weather.
And now he’s gone. Well he’s still there, but the wave knocked him off his feet. When you zoom right in to this photo you can see his feet up in the air. He almost got washed over.
I decided to call the coast guard. I hesitated for a moment because I knew he might end up having to abandon his ship which would then be at the mercy of mother nature who obviously was not in a good mood. But I decided if that was me I would be ready to be rescued.
I was very concerned for the sailor but I was also pretty excited at the opportunity of photographing the rescue vehicles with their lights driving on the beach! That’s not something you see every day. Here come the firemen and the beach patrol.
The beach patrol brought along a jet ski and the launch did not go smoothly. They went a little too slowly and one wheel of the trailer got stuck in the sand.
Good thing the firemen were there to help them haul it out of the wet sand so they could try again.
Finally the launch is successful!
A fireman observes as the coast guard goes out to the boat in the jet ski. Just look at the beautiful light that came at that moment.
You can tell in this image how close the sailboat is to the shore. That didn’t make the weather any more bearable for the sailor – it must have been frustrating not being able to beach the boat like you could a power boat.
By this time things had settled down on shore so I approached the man who looked to be charge and told him I was the person who phoned and hoped it was the right thing to do. He told me it was definitely the right thing to do. The sailor was indeed in big trouble and needed help.
If the procedures are like they are at home in Canada, the coast guard would ask the sailor if he wants to be rescued because he would have to abandon the boat. They rescue people not vessels. He must have agreed because the coast guard jet ski returned to pick up another member and a life raft.
The sailor is going to have to make his best jump from the boat to the raft.
And he missed, but thankfully that extra coast guard member was there to pick him up out of the water.
And he is back on solid ground.
The coast guard did go out and attach an additional anchor to the boat to try to prevent it from drifting down the coast and breaking into pieces when it hits something. I thought that was pretty nice of them and felt relieved since it is such a beautiful boat.
It turned out that the sailor was 73 years old. When they asked him questions he was so exhausted from his ordeal he could barely whisper.
You’re welcome 🙂
Well I hope you enjoyed my story-telling images! This is not my usual kind of thing to photograph but I had to take the opportunity that came to me. Most of all, I was really happy the sailor was ok.