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 Fraser River freshet and new boaters.
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Author Previous Topic: Inside Passage 2012 - Stalwyn Topic Next Topic: Tides and Currents and Lagoons  


RO# 24623

Posted - Jul 19 2012 :  11:27:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a bit of a follow up to OS and the current tide thread. I did not want to side track that thread and well the inside passage area has been a bit slow.

Through the month of June 2012 we had a late freshet here on the Fraser River in BC. Freshet is spring run off from the mountains here in BC.

For some this event has been tragic with loss of life. Mom nature as usual can rule with a heavy hand.

I am at the end of a dock that sits in the the current of the river with a smaller dock ahead. Its a bit of a hike down the dock to the end.

This year with the late freshet meeting the begining of a late boating season has had some interesting events for me personaly.

Nice sunny sunday with lots of local boat traffic and the new to our marina vessel in front of me. They be returning from a nice day on the water.

They are trying to dock at the end of the dock through outflow ( out tide ) backed by a heavy freshet. Seems easy enough or so they think. Man the river is running hard , fast , and steady.

I watch from my wheel house trying not to be too much the nosy neighbour. Watching the attempts made by the couple had me not wanting to look. She was on the bow of the 30 sunbridge with that bubble bow ready to leap with line in hand. Master and comander was at the helm getting very stressed. I realy felt the old fishboat of ours was going to take a hit or two. No biggy if the old boat takes a hit so be it.

But I kinda kept my eye on the attempts and could hear the tone of voice's from the vessel climb. Things just aint goin so well.

I took another little look and dayum there is a head in the water. Outa my seat with a yelp to Carrie that there is someone in the water. Out the door a jump to the dock a home plate slide on the dock. ( Yup I am the human crayon ) I just caught her by her PFD. The same PFD that just saved her life was now working against us like some sort of twisted parachute dragging her under the dock.

She was not moving or reacting. I thought she was injured or had hit her head. The water was very cold and very fast moving and she had to come out. I hung over the dock got my arm under her shoulder then got hold of her shorts and rolled my body. She popped out ontop of me lookin me in the face. I started asking if she was OK, had she hit her head or was in any pain etc. I slapped her back on the PFD and she started to respond. I rolled and set her up sitting. Carrie and I then started to get her to come around.

There had been another nosy nieghbor a few boats down from us that had seen the fall. She however had decided to run to the other dock.

Glad I was there being the nosy neighbor. It would realy have sucked to find out that someone had perished feet from me. I my not have known till it was way too late. The girl never shouted out for help, master and commander never seemed to look back never yelped for help and the lady next door said nothing.

Eventualy master docked the vessel with help form my nieghbor who seemend surprised that the girl was with us.

Carrie my wife said we aint going to see them again as the girl walked down the dock and out to there car. Master came back and thanked Carrie and I. I could not resist and asked if he had seen the news recently about the river and freshet. new boaters , new boat , and well the vessel was towed to a more protected spot and then was taken away for places unknown

I reacted, no thought, ends with a good outcome IMO. Experience personal.

Sad that the excitement of the day for them ends in the end of cruising for her. She was not a swimmer to say the least.

Pulling a person from the water my look simple but from a high dock and with fast water be dayum carefull, for me the swimming lessons from way back when paid off ( taught how to pull some one from the pool ).

Should I have been more proactive? Stepped out and offered advise for docking ? I will never know.

As a side note my other option for recovery would have been for Carrie to deploy a portable ladder and for me to climb down and assist recovery. Since I had no idea if she was hurt. I would love to see marinas install portable ladders beside fire extinquishers for customer use. I have my own but.

Just a random story I hope helps some one.


Oldfishboat guy



RO# 20541

Posted - Jul 19 2012 :  14:46:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thank you for sharing this story with us. It points out so many things that we boaters get kind of "ho-hum" about because we just don't know enough about what we are doing/seeing/up against when we are out there.

I am sure glad you were there to be the "nosy neighbour" when a nosy neighbour was a necessity for that situation. Good work, Bud.


Homeport: Porpoise Bay, BC Go to Top of Page


RO# 17370

Posted - Jul 24 2012 :  17:53:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oldfishboat guy:

What a story and to have a happy ending to what could have been so sad. Way to be a "nosy neighbour" there guy. I hope someday if something happens to me that you're the "nosy neighbour" I may need for myself. Thank you for sharing.

1978 Glasply 28' mid-cabin, repowered, remodeled, rewired, rebuilt, replaced, repaired, oh well you get the picture! It's my full time job now that I'm retired.

Homeport: Lynden, WA Go to Top of Page


RO# 24623

Posted - Jul 27 2012 :  11:14:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comments guys. Glad you be able to understand the nosy neighbor ramblings.

Oldfishboat guy

Homeport: Go to Top of Page


RO# 24623

Posted - Aug 09 2012 :  14:10:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a follow up. I met the couple again today. They are giving this boating thingy another shot.She had a great second trip out. There friends convinced her to get back on the horse.
Nice too see.

Oldfishboat guy

Homeport: Go to Top of Page


RO# 17370

Posted - Aug 13 2012 :  07:10:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Always great to hear that someone is willing to give it another try and not let one bad experience ruin it for them for life.

1978 Glasply 28' mid-cabin, repowered, remodeled, rewired, rebuilt, replaced, repaired, oh well you get the picture! It's my full time job now that I'm retired.

Homeport: Lynden, WA Go to Top of Page
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