So here I was, landed my 60’ sailboat alongside the dock, 40’ houseboat dangling in the stream, (Yeah, I’ll tow anything with almost anything. Single handed…) Hang a line, jump in the whaler to grab the tow and take it to the berth, typical hot landing and I hear something that sounded like a whimper, from the dock. WTF! Look around, nothing. Look down, and a pair of big blue eyes under a shock of red hair under the dock! Flare out hard on the bow to keep from smashing her, reached over and grabbed her. Boated her like a big fish just as my friend Capt. Mike motored by, I yelled " hey get over here NOW". He looked over at the booty bared body and said “She alive?” I said, Yeah, a Minute ago, anyway. Got her aboard, wrapped her in blankets, hit 911. She walked away with the paramedics…
well done sir! but how on earth did the lady in the lake get there in the first place?
I didn’t ask… (Shivering beyond speech)
Only story I recall is sailing on a car carrier that found a lifeboat bright and early one morning, and watching as a US Navy destroyer came and rescued them. Apparently they had come off a Persian fishing boat that sank in a matter of minutes, and only a handful of the crew survived.
Nice job! (Added to meet minimum requirement)
Mine was a windsurfer at the Golden Gate. We were outbound and the AB on the fo’c’sle called up to the bridge to say he saw a man in the water ahead. It was getting onto dusk so light was failing and there was a 3-5’ sea running with an ebb tide against a west wind. This guy had apparently broken the mast on his board and dove to cling to it for dear life. No way in hell he could paddle back to shore so he was being carried out on the tide and was already a good 1/2 mile to the seaward side of the bridge before we saw him.
Hove to and called down to him with a megaphone we’d stand by until the USCG arrived. Took about 30minutes for them to show up and we had to do a bit of backing and filling to stay in position. But never lost sight of the man and saw him get hauled aboard the crashboat before we continued out to the pilot station. No question at all that we were probably the last chance that man had before it became too dark for him to be spotted by anyone and how likely have died of exhaustion and hypothermia in the night.
A friend of mine was in the lazaret of an old small crewboat, fixing an exhaust leak. I happened to be on another boat dockside, when my deckhand yelled up to me that something was going down over there. My friend ended up going into a seizure (this rag-tag outfit we were working for didn’t have a confined space procedure) and the lazaret looked like the inside of a chimney. So, we managed to pull him out of the compartment, and grabbed an SCBA near by and put fresh air on him. Paramedics cleared him when they finally arrived about an hour later.
I was running a fast ferry a few years back in NYC and this nut landed an airplane on the North River just south of the GW bridge… The engineer on the boat was first to spot the plane drifting on the tide directly astern as he came out of the engine room after starting the engines. We were tied up on the Jersey side near Weehawken. He called for us to come see and when we got back there it was just as the doors of the plane popped open, liferafts inflated, and people in their yellow inflatable PFDs started walking onto the wings, which were partially submerged in the cold water- January.
So we dropped lines and went out there, picked up 19 people including the two pilots, Jeff Skiles, and some guy called Sullenberger…All over in a few minutes. My crew just kept pulling people onto the boat, all I did was hold her up alongside.
In '77 we were tied up in Seward AK between jobs. Probably April or May. The weather was nasty and a slight swell rolling up the bay with a fair surge on the lines at the RR dock. After our obligated appearances at the local pubs, our cook left for the boat about a half hour ahead of the rest of us. As we arrived at the dock the gangway was askew. While securing, we heard a faint cry and looked down to see the cook hugging a piling. These pilings were covered with barnacles. His thighs, crotch, torso and face were cut up pretty bad. The doc said the hypothermia probably kept him from bleeding to death. He spent a long time recovering. For some reason or another, he decided to end his seagoing career.
In February of '76 we were in the Miami-Nassau sailboat race when we spotted flares from another boat that was taking on water, somewhere SW of Great Isaac Light. A norther was blowing 20 - 25 kts, and seas were 10 ft. Our boat took five of the eleven crew members to our boat in a bow-to-stern transfer, and another vessel took the remaining six. The USCG flew out and dropped pumps, and then a cutter arrived to take the boat in tow. The crew was safe, but the floundering boat sank before getting back to port.