Very close call on the CR Saturday.

H

Herefishyfishy

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I haven't posted in awhile but I felt like I should post this.
Went out on the CR Saturday down from Rooster Rock park by the lookout for some sturgeon fishing with my wife. The current is still very fast out there but I have anchored in current like that many times and felt comfortable with it. I dropped anchor and started rigging up when I noticed we were moving so I was going to pull up and move a little closer to shore where the current was somewhat less.

I am always VERY VERY carefull about keeping the anchor line away from the boat when pulling it up but somehow the rope got wrapped around the prop! It took a matter of seconds before the boat got turned around with the stern facing upstream and a matter of just another couple seconds before the anchor grabbed and started pulling the stern down. We started taking on water over the stern immediately.

I have always kept a very large survival type knife in the boat in an accessable location with its ONLY purpose to cut anchor rope. I grabbed the knife, dove halfway out of the boat hanging onto the motor and cut the rope just as the top of the back of the boat got to water level. The back of the boat popped back up and we started drifting, the rope that was twisted around the prop slid off, I got it started and managed to get it going fast enough to pull the plug and drain most of what I'm guessing was at least 30 gallons of water in about 15 minutes.

We were not wearing life jackets and that will be the last time we EVER anchor again without wearing them. I don't think I am far off to say we had less than a couple seconds before the boat went down when I cut the rope and with the current as fast as it was I do not believe we would have ever made it to shore.

It was a fluke thing, I have pulled anchor hundreds of times without incident but this one time was very nearly fatal for us. It only takes mere seconds for things to go tragically wrong on the water and I wanted to share this story so people will think about it and be prepared.

KEEP A VERY SHARP LARGE KNIFE ACCESSABLE AT ALL TIMES IF YOU ARE GOING TO ANCHOR, IT LITERALLY SAVED OUR LIVES. WEAR A LIFE JACKET AT ALL TIMES WHILE ANCHORED ESPECIALLY IN FAST CURRENT. When your anchored your boat is attached to the BOTTOM of the river and it only takes seconds for it to end up there.

This was the scariest thing I have ever been through and in 40 years I have been through a lot. I thank god my wife didn't really realize how close we came that day, I would not ever want her to feel the terror that I felt. I did not stop shaking for a few hours after and am shaking a little just writing this.
Please be careful out there.
Mike
 
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G

Growbug

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Glad to hear that you are OK. By the sound of it you were in the 'classic' situation of the boat about to flip over on top of you!!! You were saved by your 'calm' action and the knife.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Nice job keeping your head in a situation like that; being prepared for things that can't go wrong but surely do, makes the difference between you telling the story or us reading about it the mornings paper.:clap: :clap: :clap:

Chuck
 
troutdude

troutdude

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Wow. Very scary indeed. You did great under pressure! I'm glad that you are still here, to write about it and tell others.

Less than a month ago on the Snake River, the same thing happened to some others. A dad and his 2 year old kid drowned. So, his wife has to now live with the loss of her hubs and young child. Very tragic.

Again, I'm glad that did not happen to you.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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That story brings back memories and not good ones. Glad you are OK and you had the knife handy. I know I'll never anchor in swift water on the CR again. Much like your story I was up at Bradford Island area. Dropped the anchor off the bow and had the motors in reverse. Bam the anchor rope fowled both props. No power and a short anchor rope hanging from the stern in fast water. Like your situation the anchor hit the bottom and stuck with the stern facing up river. Then the stren starts to get sucked down. That anchor rope was as tight as I've ever seen a rope. My dad was there and without a word handed me the knife. I just touched the rope with the knife and pop the rope parted. Now we were floating down the river with the both props still fowled. I lifted motors leaned over and stated cutting that rope out of the props. I got one motor cleared and back down for power. I had my son and Dad with me that day. My Dad saved the day by passing me the knife. Now I keep a knife by the anchor rope and one in the stern. I know what you mean about it being a sacry thing. Glad you shared the story so that others my benefit.

My error was in the way I dropped the anchor. I did not realize the swift current would suck the anchor rope back so quick. I should have thought about that and positioned the bow to deal with the fast current. Now I just don't anchor in fast water like that. I've heard stories about boat being sucked under on the Columbia but never though it could happen to me......that was as close as I ever want to come. I'm sure you feel the same way. ;)
 
H

Herefishyfishy

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Tigard
That story brings back memories and not good ones. Glad you are OK and you had the knife handy. I know I'll never anchor in swift water on the CR again. Much like your story I was up at Bradford Island area. Dropped the anchor off the bow and had the motors in reverse. Bam the anchor rope fowled both props. No power and a short anchor rope hanging from the stern in fast water. Like your situation the anchor hit the bottom and stuck with the stern facing up river. Then the stren starts to get sucked down. That anchor rope was as tight as I've ever seen a rope. My dad was there and without a word handed me the knife. I just touched the rope with the knife and pop the rope parted. Now we were floating down the river with the both props still fowled. I lifted motors leaned over and stated cutting that rope out of the props. I got one motor cleared and back down for power. I had my son and Dad with me that day. My Dad saved the day by passing me the knife. Now I keep a knife by the anchor rope and one in the stern. I know what you mean about it being a sacry thing. Glad you shared the story so that others my benefit.

My error was in the way I dropped the anchor. I did not realize the swift current would suck the anchor rope back so quick. I should have thought about that and positioned the bow to deal with the fast current. Now I just don't anchor in fast water like that. I've heard stories about boat being sucked under on the Columbia but never though it could happen to me......that was as close as I ever want to come. I'm sure you feel the same way. ;)

I will most likely never anchor in that fast of water again either, there really is no reason that would justify the danger for me. I motored up once to what I have heard called "the shad rack" up by Bonneville dam and thought that would be insane to anchor up there and I have definitely heard horror stories about that place. I too will be keeping 2 knives on the boat from now on also, I had a thought of what if I had dropped that knife in the water and even that thought shook me a little. I wanted to share the story to remind people that things can happen no matter how many times you've done it before with no problems and how fast it can happen.
 
T

todd_brooks

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I just want to say first I'm glad for you and yours that you had the presents of mind to know what to do and got it done in the nick of time. And thanks for sharing your story. I find you learn a lot by your mistakes and I'm glad to be able to learn from yours in this case. I've heard storys but couldn't imagine it happening to me. But not any more. I can relate a bit as I got a line tied up in the prop while crabbing in a bay not long ago. Thank god in was on an incoming tide. I had two of my nephews, one niece and my sister and brother in law on board. That alone was scary enough to give me pause. It is amazing how fast things can go all wrong. I'll be adding a knife to the boat thanks to your story and I'll have more respect for the currents power. Thanks!
 
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M

Mad dog

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May 21, 2009
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Roseburg, Oregon
I haven't posted in awhile but I felt like I should post this.
Went out on the CR Saturday down from Rooster Rock park by the lookout for some sturgeon fishing with my wife. The current is still very fast out there but I have anchored in current like that many times and felt comfortable with it. I dropped anchor and started rigging up when I noticed we were moving so I was going to pull up and move a little closer to shore where the current was somewhat less.

I am always VERY VERY carefull about keeping the anchor line away from the boat when pulling it up but somehow the rope got wrapped around the prop! It took a matter of seconds before the boat got turned around with the stern facing upstream and a matter of just another couple seconds before the anchor grabbed and started pulling the stern down. We started taking on water over the stern immediately.

I have always kept a very large survival type knife in the boat in an accessable location with its ONLY purpose to cut anchor rope. I grabbed the knife, dove halfway out of the boat hanging onto the motor and cut the rope just as the top of the back of the boat got to water level. The back of the boat popped back up and we started drifting, the rope that was twisted around the prop slid off, I got it started and managed to get it going fast enough to pull the plug and drain most of what I'm guessing was at least 30 gallons of water in about 15 minutes.

We were not wearing life jackets and that will be the last time we EVER anchor again without wearing them. I don't think I am far off to say we had less than a couple seconds before the boat went down when I cut the rope and with the current as fast as it was I do not believe we would have ever made it to shore.

It was a fluke thing, I have pulled anchor hundreds of times without incident but this one time was very nearly fatal for us. It only takes mere seconds for things to go tragically wrong on the water and I wanted to share this story so people will think about it and be prepared.

KEEP A VERY SHARP LARGE KNIFE ACCESSABLE AT ALL TIMES IF YOU ARE GOING TO ANCHOR, IT LITERALLY SAVED OUR LIVES. WEAR A LIFE JACKET AT ALL TIMES WHILE ANCHORED ESPECIALLY IN FAST CURRENT. When your anchored your boat is attached to the BOTTOM of the river and it only takes seconds for it to end up there.

This was the scariest thing I have ever been through and in 40 years I have been through a lot. I thank god my wife didn't really realize how close we came that day, I would not ever want her to feel the terror that I felt. I did not stop shaking for a few hours after and am shaking a little just writing this.
Please be careful out there.
Mike

Mike,

I'm glad you were prepared!!! A good lesson for the rest of us! BE PREPARED!!! Swift water moves fast.....faster than a human can react! An ounce of prevention is worth.....well, a whole lot more than a life! I've seen driftboats sunk in water I consider pretty tame!!!
 
J

joesnuffy

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Baker City, Oregon
Wow. Very scary indeed. You did great under pressure! I'm glad that you are still here, to write about it and tell others.

Less than a month ago on the Snake River, the same thing happened to some others. A dad and his 2 year old kid drowned. So, his wife has to now live with the loss of her hubs and young child. Very tragic.

Again, I'm glad that did not happen to you.

i was fishing about 5 miles away this same day. Search parties and Choppers all over the placing looking for them.
 
H

Hawk

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Mar 28, 2008
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Have You Kissed a Bass Today???
BRO fishy, i'm mighty Happy you & your wife are Safe. That is SCarey situation.
BE SAFE.

I heard on the news, a man backed his boat & trailer down the ramp into the water at Applegate Lake. He got out of his pickup (didn't put truck tranny in PARK). He went behind his truck, truck rolled over his leg, breaking his leg. Truck kept backing into the water & was completely submerged. Other people fishin called 911. Man was taken to hospital, had a cast put on his leg after being set.

A tow truck & a boat got his truck & boat/trailer out of the water.

Take Care Sisters & Brothers. BE SAFE OUT THERE. Wear a PFD.
 
R

Ray

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Jul 31, 2009
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Sweet Home, OR.
Thats a scary deal thank god you had a good sharp knife on hand. Made me think about that, perhaps I will add a little floating keychain to my boat knife. at least if it falls in at the worst time I might stand a chance of grabbing it. Life jackets are mandatory equipment for anyone setting foot on my tug. Never know when a good trip will turn bad. Just last week up at green peter I was blasting along probably 25 mph in my boat and went over a submerged stump. It flipped my outboard up so hard that I thought it would get torn off. The boat yanked sideways and was a real handful for a few seconds. My boy banged his head on the side glass and got scared pretty good. Could have been a lot worse real fast if I banged my head and flipped boat. But at least he had his float vest on. Boat is down for a few more days though, I tore the skeg off and turned my prop into a crushed can.
 
G

GDBrown

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Hillsboro, Oregon
Thanks for the Reminder!

Thanks for the Reminder!

Glad I read this thread! I've not gone out on the CR or the Willy for the past few months because I just don't need to fish that bad. I'm usually by myself and had that happened to me I would not have had a knife to deal with it. I will from now on!

This is why I love to visit here OFF-ten. We care enough to share.
 
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