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Riptide

3/22 Early Season Assist / Navionics Beta Test Trip

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With such a great sunny day happening on the Cape I figured we needed to get the boat out on the water. The rumors of liced up bass and BLUEFISH to the south of us made getting the boat wet a sure thing. As it turned out Capt. Ruge and Paul Michele of Navionics needed to do a quick Beta Test on a new software update. Perfect timing to be sure. So at 1630 we splashed the RIPTIDE in Bourne Marina and heaed out. I was surprised to see a truck and small trailer already in the lot. We got in the water and found the sun and warmth of the land was gone quickly. HEAVY fog and a cold breeze greeted us. We cleared the no wake zone and let the new Verados loose.

 

As we were passing the flats at Mass Maritine we noticed a small boat in the fog up in the middle of the flats. I came off plane and we took as close a look as we could with the fog and shallow sand. The boat had rods on board, and the motor was trimed up. It wasn't moving but wasnt anchored. From the distance it was tought to figure out what was up with the boat. We guessed maybe someone was shellfishing or something like that. So after a quick discussion we continued on our short tour.

 

We ran out to Wings Neck and found more fog and a stiff chop but no birds or fish. I spun us around and headed back to the ramp. As we approached the Maritime again the boat was still there. We were only gone 15 minutes or so, but the fog had lifted some and we were able to see the entire flat and there was nobody there. I got as close as I could (about 150 yards) from the boat. We yelled and whistled but got no response. The boat seemed to be caught on a high spot on the flats and was rocking and turning with the wind but not moving any distance. I decided to call the Coast Guard and let them know what we saw.

 

I hailed the Coast Guard on Ch16. Much to my happy surprise I got a response first from Group Chatham then from Castle Hill, RI. Gotta love a great VHF radio!!! I requested Group Sandwich but in return got Sector SE New England. I advised Sector what we had and answered all of their questions. In the mean time Ruge and MIchele keep yelling towards the boat. After about 5 minutes and with a CG small boat en route an older man arrose from the floor of the boat. He didn't look dressed for the weather and he looked COLD. With the tide now in his favor, he tried poling the 17' boat towards us. Once he got into a little bit of water he fired up the motor trimmed nearly out of the water and slowly pushed towards us.

 

I asked if he was alright. He was shivering and shaking but he said he was alright. I asked how long he was stuck, he replied 3 HOURS!!! We were cold after a 15 minute run wearing heavy coats and hats. He must have been freezing. It appears he got onto the floor of the boat to get out of the chilling wind. I didn't see a VHF antenna on his boat and he never answered up when we were dealing with the CG so if he had a VHF it didn't appear to be on or working. He wanted to get into Bourne and get warm so we relayed his info to the CG and waited on site as instructed by Sector NE. The Army Corp heard the conversation between us and Sector and launched the Cataumet to assist if needed. We met up with them and the CG advised they would recall the small boat now t hat everything was under control and thanked us for the assistance. Bourne Fire was at the ramp when we returned.

 

Although not an emergency at the moment, it had to be a freezing cold ordeal for the older gentleman. He got his boat on the trailer and was able to get warm in his vehicle. We put the RIPTIDE on the trailer and headed for home. This turned out to be a positive end to a potentially bad situation. Its also a good time to mention that if your boat testing or fishing this time of year your pretty much on your own and its still March, and its COLD out there. Make sure you have all your safety gear on the boat even if your "just going for a short test run". We takled about this on the ride home and we all aggreed before we sat in the cold windy fog I'd have been lobbing rocket flares onto the parade field at MMA that and the billowing clouds of orange canned smoke that the SW wind would have blown right onto the campus would have gotten us home and warm PDQ. There was plenty of help on the MMA campus but it didn't appear the operator had any way to reach them or just chose not to.

 

Regardless, to the reasons, at least it ended well and other than being cold as hell everyone got back to shore in one piece.

 

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We launched my 20 ft hydra at 1230 from taylors point. We saw this boat as well and figured the person was shellfishing. Got real snotty out there for a bit, didn't seem worth the sea bass trip to deal with the elements. Didn't see any boat traffic besides a few large barge's. We must have just missed each other, I think we were off the water by 4.

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