Things You've Lost Overboard

Ok, I’m an idiot… classic expensive radio in front pocket as I leaned over the handrail. Oops.

But it got me thinking… what’s the worst/funniest/most expensive/etc gear overboard story from your careers? I’m sure there are some good stories out there.

Wish it was the Ex-mother-in-law

About 38 zippos over my career in my front shirt pocket leaning over the side.

I lost my cell phone overboard. It sailed about 70 yards before it skipped three or four times and disappeared.

I called my wife about a week later from a pay phone and apologized for what was said before I accidentally lost my phone.

Let’s see…1 wrist watch,1 work knife, 2 pairs of sunglasses, cell phone, and a dinner or two (along with what might have been a few internal organs, I’m sure) …

watch (eventually recovered), hat, shoe, the left lens of my Kaenon sunglasses after someone elbowed me in the face, partially digested beef stew, seat cushion, battens, spinnaker sheet and guy, fishing pole (recovered via grappling hook), the front element of my Canon EF 15mm Fisheye lens, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost at least one Motorola radio

My outboard engine! (from my sailboat, so at least I had the wind to get me home!) The wood on the motor mount split when I cranked up the throttle… Too much torque, I guess. It was 9.9 HP Yamaha 4 stroke! That was a BAAAAD day. LOL

Yep I’ve lost a 9.9 Yamaha… those things are heavier than they look, if I remember right they are basically underpowered 15hp’s and are nearly 50% heavier than the 9.8’s.

Hmmm what else… $10,000 radio belonging to Port Everglades (shirt pocket), a couple Motorola’s, and… O yes, my pride!

Shortly after dropping the $10k radio I figured I’d better up my game (the mate’s patience was starting wear thin) so, being a young and eager 3rd mate, I spent a few nights reading and rereading all the safety manuals… Deep within the manual for the hydrostatic release was a comment

"After thaking expired units out of service please dunk them in 3 meters of water. If the unit fails to cut the line please return it to us for lab testing"
A few weeks later all the liferaft hydro’s expired so I tied them to a heavy shackle and - with the help of Lucy the C/M, Bosun and 2 AB’s (each eager to witness my experiment) - tossed the line overboard… only the ship was going 15knots so the shackle didn’t sink 3 meters instead it took off like a water skier skipping at the end of the line (which I had previously secured to a bit) banging mercilessly against the side of the ship. Between the uber-loud banging, the C/M yelling in my ear, the old man shouting down from the bridge wing, and the Ch Engineer squawking on the radio… it took a few minutes for me to cut the line.

I didn’t officially get in trouble to that swift maneuver, the captain tore into the Ch Mate for eagerly bearing witness to my brilliance, but she sure made my life difficult over the following weeks.

Lost my wallet and contents overboard while sitting on the bulwark going out the channel. Several years later a shrimper caught it in his net while dragging the same channel. Still had all the contents though they weren’t much good.

Fell off a jet ski one weekend and all I could think about recovering was the $700 glasses that fell off my face. My wife who was on the back hasn’t let me forget that one.

Not me personally, but an old engineer I worked with. We were standing at the rail on the Texas deck when a sudden sneeze got him, out flew his false teeth in a perfect swan dive to the water!!! He actually got the company to pay for their replacements!

Many pairs of sunglasses. I don’t buy expensive ones anymore. And two cell phones. The second of which cost me a marraige, but that’s another story.

[QUOTE=cmjeff;43778]Ok, I’m an idiot… classic expensive radio in front pocket as I leaned over the handrail. Oops… [/QUOTE]

I did the exact same thing. Happened as second mate when we were getting ready to let go. The radio was in my chest pocket, the dock let our stern lines go early and I ran and looked over the rail to see if the prop was turning. Fortunately we had just taken the ship from another owner and we hadn’t yet inventoried all of the gear.


Real bad day.

My clothes [I]after[/I] going skinny dipping (true story!).

Guess I’ve been lucky. I lost a few hardhats in the GOM while on-board OSV’s.

1970 chief mate didn’t show up for watch enroute to Vietnam half way across the Pacific.
1973? Chief Steward making good forward speed passed me while pushing the pedals on his new bike backwards all the way off the end of the pier in NY. He claims he forgot it had hand brakes.
Chief mate was never recovered though not missed terribly, chief steward was happily recovered by the crew but quite bike riding.

We were on the aft manoeuver station when suddenly something hairy or furry came flying from the bridge. The deck fitter who was part of our team managed to catch it before it went over board. When he presented his catch we saw it was the master’s wig.

Lost my cellphone last night standing watch on the training ship.

Two pair of glasses at different times (the Croakies didn’t work), a cellphone one time and a hand-held VHF. It was supposed to be waterproof. But I could never check that out.
I had one deckhand that dropped the gangway over. I never did get a satisfactory explanation for that.