Interesting first trip.. - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 09-03-2018, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Interesting first trip..

Well, we had a grand adventure last night. We launched at Galvez and decided to work the grass and shallows around there. We didn't see any flounder but did manage to gig a very large mullet and scoop up a crab. The wind and current were kicking so we were getting pushed along rather quickly, which made seeing into the water and actually spotting something difficult at best. We would drift for a while then crank the motor and reposition after drifting for a bit. We were getting pushed towards the Alabama line so we cranked the motor to turn around when everything died. Nav lights, GPS, everything. We immediately drop anchor and decide what to do. I had a 12' push pole and an oar on board so we start push/paddling across the current to get back to the north shore. That took about an hour of intense, non-stop paddling. Here's were I really start getting agitated. No less than 5 boats pass us as we are doing this. I signalled with a spot light while my daughter was blowing the (turns out hella loud) emergency whistle. We're yelling and waving our arms. Three of the boats slow down and one even turns around but then they all throttle up and leave. I did everything except fire off a flare. We got to a dock and tied off and my buddy had to hoof it about a mile back to the truck. He had to cut through someone's yard so I went to knock on the door and let them know so we didn't get shot or something. Even though the lights were on and tv was playing and I could see them inside, they didn't want to come to the door. I don't blame them for that, it was 1 a.m. and a 6'08" stranger was knocking at the door. I pointed my flashlight at myself and explained through the door why we were tied up on their dock and walking through their yard. They called the cops.
I called dispatch and the dispatcher that answered recognized me as a PPD officer so she told the folks that I was an off duty officer having boat trouble so they were cool with us cutting through their yard but they still weren't coming to the door lol. While my buddy was gone, 3 more boats pass us, slow down at our signals and yelling, then throttle up and keep going. My buddy got the jump starter and we got back to the launch with no problems. All in all, we had a good night- put at least one fish in the boat and learned some valuable lessons. I do have some questions for ya'll though. This was the first time I have ever been in need of assistance while out on the water. I was on our department's boat team for years so the way we responded to requests for assistance was a given. Was I doing something suspicious that made boats come close and then haul ass away? Was there something more that I could have done to show I was in need of help? I signalled SOS and everything I knew how to do. I didn't think my situation had arisen to the level of needing to fire off a flare, I really just needed to be towed back to the dock.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:13 PM   #2
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Use the flare next time. It's a dead giveaway, don't expect other boaters to understand any sort of SOS symbols, most don't.

Whistles are loud but they are rarely loud enough to hear over another outboard.

Flares are the only distress signal that has ever worked either as the person under distress, or the responder, been on both sides.

What was up with the boat? Just a dead battery?

Last edited by NKlamerus; 09-03-2018 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:11 AM   #3
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Towboat US. I once had to wade and drag my boat up bayou grande to the ramp at night from soldiers creek. My power pack went out. After that I bought insurance
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:04 PM   #4
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Yessir, I think the charger wasn't connected properly or something because it's a newer battery.
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongo View Post
Yessir, I think the charger wasn't connected properly or something because it's a newer battery.
Sounds like a bad connection/terminal to me. Everything just doesn't 'go out' like a light switch b/c of a dead battery. My guess is battery terminal and when he clamped the jumpers onto it it wiggled a little and short was gone.
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Old 09-07-2018, 01:53 PM   #6
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Man that sounds like some tough luck. I agree with some of the comments above, it sounds more like a bad connection. A low battery is going to give you a real slow turn over and dimming nav lights before it suddenly goes out. A bad or corroded connection will instantly kill your power.

I've been stranded a couple times, but had my fan motor on a separate battery to get me back. Ever since then, I always keep a wire brush on board to scrub the battery terminals when we have problems like that. I'd also recommend getting some battery terminal washers and spray some corrosion inhibitor to help prevent this in the future (if this is the issue).

Take a look at your wiring and keep us posted what you find out. As far as finding help, I'd shoot off a flare when people are passing by.
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Old 09-07-2018, 04:05 PM   #7
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Alot of folks are oblivious to boaters in need. I'm always willing to help others and have towed a few boats back to the launch before.

Heck I was fishing three mile bridge one night when my main motor went out I had to use my trolling motor to get me back to the launch which was about two and a half miles away. I passed one guy and told him that my main motor went out and I was having to use my trolling motor to get back to the launch and he just looked at me and said watch it and make sure you make it back... didn't offer to help or anything...
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice fellas! I'll check my wires and connections this afternoon and let you know what I find.
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