View Full Version : No one mentioned this....

09-29-2017, 08:12 PM
Holy moly, glad you guys are ok.....

From Ron Powers' report at OTW this week;

Captain Jason Colby and myself had a harrowing encounter Wednesday on the Westport side of Buzzards Bay. The marine forecast had called for 2- to 4-footers but in reality the Maria-inspired rollers topped out at close to 10! On the way in, we were capsized by what Jason estimated to be a 25-foot rogue wave that lifted the Little Sister from the stern, briefly stood the boat vertically then dumped it completely end over end throwing everything including us, violently into the water. I found myself under the boat, a bit dazed but determined to dive down and distance myself from the boat as much as I could. I knew a turning prop and 4 to 5 tons of fiberglass would spell the end for me if I was struck. I found the surface and somehow an hour later, in spite of taking a pounding by 8- to 10-foot waves in pea-soup fog we made it to the Westport River where the Westport Harbormaster picked us up as we clung to a sail boat mooring. There was a lot that went into our survival and this is not the last I will write about this! A lot of precious gear along with Jasonís boat was lost but we are still alive and that ultimately is all that counts. As we were bobbing/struggling in the waves I would occasionally and longingly spot my gray Pelican case with my camera stuff floating on the surface, but for obvious reasons getting it was not a priority. However, should you hear of someone finding this near bulletproof, waterproof gray case bobbing around somewhere, you know where to find me. That thing is stacked with pictures and I would surely love to get it back! And by the way, the tog bite is terrific.

Sea Dangles
09-29-2017, 08:33 PM
Ha, I saw them salvage the Little Sister.
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Got Stripers
09-29-2017, 08:37 PM
Ironically I just left the "reading room" and was just starting the Man Overboard article in the latest OTW, big waves offshore are very dangerous; glad it ended without loss of life. Westport River in big surf and an outgoing tide is a nightmare.

09-29-2017, 10:26 PM
Folks, I've navigated that inlet a number of times a while ago in my Dad's Grady White 20 footer. We had a really scary ride in once, getting back from beyond Gooseberry in a sunny afternoon, when the waves were 5 feet high and breaking over the stern. We were hanging on white knuckled, praying our engine wouldn't die or we would get swamped in the inlet. It was terrifying.

Now. Colby was out in a PEA SOUP fog in waves 8-10 feet high. I'm sorry folks, but you just don't do that in Westport Inlet in a 25 foot OPEN boat. That inlet has submerged rocks, breakers, and serious current The guy was CRAZY to go out in those conditions, period. He may have been swamped by a rogue wave, but under those conditions he could never even have seen it to try to bring the boat around, and even a regular wave could have swamped him or pushed him on the rocks if it broke wrong. He was seriously negligent, and almost got his passenger KILLED. They were both lucky to get out alive.

For people on this board to try and excuse this is simply wrong. This is so stupid as to be beyond belief. No captain with his level of experience has ANY business doing ANYTHING that dumb. If his passenger had died, he could have been guilty of criminal negligence.
Hopefully, his story will get some publicity, so that people will understand the real dangers of dealing with places like the Westport
inlet (or the North River, which is even worse). These are NOT locations to take stupid risks, period!

09-30-2017, 04:21 AM
Life long Westporter here. I have a 17 ft Carolina and haven't been past the knubble in weeks nor have
I seen many boats leaving the harbor. Been hairy as hell out there. I know his boat and while bigger than mine I still feel it was way undersized for those conditions. I was working that day on Atlantic ave across from Elephant Rock beach. Nobody in a boat that size had any business being out there that day. To tell you the truth I don't think anyone in less than a coast guard cutter should have been out in that shi#
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Raider Ronnie
09-30-2017, 05:41 AM
I guess Jason doesn't have to worry about selling that boat anymore.
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09-30-2017, 06:11 AM
The guy was CRAZY to go out in those conditions, period.

"And by the way, the tog bite is terrific."

...nearly died but the tog bite is terrific..:eek:

09-30-2017, 06:28 AM
Small craft advisory was posted on the 25th for down there and wasn't lifted until ,, Thursday night?

Pop up more likely than roge.... Glad they made it,,, gets nasty out there,,,

B safe

09-30-2017, 07:00 AM
I heard about this yesterday. I've known Jason for awhile. This is so bizarre - almost hard to believe he would make this mistake. Was it Ron Powers who was the passenger?

Got Stripers
09-30-2017, 07:30 AM
I agree with most, irresponsible to be out in that to begin with, but then you post the tog bite was great; I swear common sense is in short supply lately.

I remember heading out of Westport a few years back in decent conditions and with a marine report I thought I could rely on. We left a good tog bite off Cutty around noon, as it was really picking up and I saw no sense in chancing the inlet on a hard outgoing tide and a good 20 blowing (love NOAA forecasts) straight into it. As I neared Gooseberry I knew the inlet was going to be a mess on seeing the breakers on the Hens and Chickens Ledge and on getting close it was time to put on a boat driving clinic for my passenger. In my 19 foot McKee Craft, you don't go into that inlet like a 27 footer might, not in standing 6 footers. It was full throttle 90 degrees across the standing waves, pick a swell to turn 180 on then and full throttle back across, trying to stay in between the waves avoiding breakers and make my turns fast on top, until I could make a beeline to the flat water off the beach.

Had the tide been incoming, that inlet is a snap in a hard SW, but put the hard outgoing against it and lookout. I grew up in Scituate and fished the north river a lot and I'd never ever go near that inlet in similar conditions.

09-30-2017, 07:40 AM
Had not heard of this.

I do know one more cast or it does not look as bad as they say is something we've all said or done.

09-30-2017, 07:57 AM
I respect both Jason and Ron as fishermen, if only on what I have read of their experience and reputation from years on the water. So we are missing some of the story here, IMO. 2-4' I could see them venturing out to fish. 8-10' I would expect they would not have ventured out of the river. So did it build quickly while they were out? Possibly. We will hear more on this from Ron, as he said in his OTW report.
That said, I am not going to be heading into 8-10' unless I am the only one in a position to save a life. And I wonder if I would be able to make that decision, quite honestly......
Sorry he lost the boat. Glad they are safe. I am sure they are embarrassed, second guessing, pissed off or any combination of the above. Best thing we can do is learn from their mishap.

09-30-2017, 08:02 AM
My two worse experiences on OTW were both between the mouth & Gooseberry .
Its been a very long time . But I,ll never forget them .

maybe that,s why I don,t even try to go outside with a big heave .

I might be a little nuts .But I always respect the ocean .Really glad no lives were lost ><><

Sea Dangles
09-30-2017, 08:09 AM
I have spoken w Jason a couple times since this incident. If this were an outgoing we would be having a different discussion. He screwed up obviously,my guess is that the opportunity to impress an OTW contributor would generate enough publicity to help his business and this impaired his judgement. I am glad they are ok
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09-30-2017, 08:41 AM
SMH, there was a small craft advisory up for days with a huge heave. kinda tough to tog on structure in 15-20' of water with those conditions. I cancelled 2 trips down there.

09-30-2017, 09:45 AM
It is usually experienced guys that get in trouble as they think they know better and know the water and surrounding area and push the limit. A novice would probably Not go out in iffy conditions like that. Foolish and lucky. Hopefully he will learn. There are old sailors and bold sailors but not many old bold sailors. Count your blessings
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09-30-2017, 10:19 AM
I can think of a few times waiting inside Nauset inlet watching the swells build on the bar with an outgoing tide. Then thinking let's live to fish another day and go home.
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09-30-2017, 10:24 AM

09-30-2017, 07:14 PM
I KNOW JASON GOT A NEW BOAT ....... the one they got rolled in ..was it the old one or the new one ????

Sea Dangles
10-01-2017, 06:26 AM
Old one, he hates the new one.
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10-01-2017, 07:46 AM
wow, wonder what he is thinking now ??? maybe .should have gone golfing ......... been a lot of Lucky people that have made it out alive this season ><>,

10-01-2017, 06:18 PM
Beavertail has put a lot of folks in Davey Jones Locker.

10-02-2017, 05:39 AM
Glad those guys are ok.
I was working a job on the river the day this happened. At lunchtime I drove a half a mile down to the mouth of the river to eat my lunch. The waves and surf were huge!!!!. Not 2-4 foot!!.... more like 10 ft.+ constantly.
I could see waves breaking on a shoal a mile out. Then I saw a CC boat running at high speed parrall to the waves, disappearing now and then in the troughs. I have no idea who it was, but my thoughts at that moment were what kind of an idiot would be out there in those conditions. Sure, the captain had many years of experience...just maybe a little overconfident.

Raider Ronnie
10-02-2017, 06:15 AM
Old one, he hates the new one.
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New boat is a Hydrasport.
Big improvement over the blue boat.
Maybe he liked the wide open compared to the center console.
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Sea Dangles
10-02-2017, 09:24 AM
New boat is a Hydrasport.
Big improvement over the blue boat.
Maybe he liked the wide open compared to the center console.
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Both boats are cc. He bought the hydrasport sight unseen and put new power on it. He used it twice and realized it was not for him🤷🏽
Very limited deck space.
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10-02-2017, 10:09 AM
glad they made it out OK... people.. even experienced people... make mistakes.... I speak from experience.

The reason for my signature.

10-02-2017, 11:11 AM
Yeah, the problem with Westport is that it's too easy to guess the conditions wrong. You have to estimate BEFORE you go out what you're getting when you come back. If you go out in 3 foot waves and it's up to 6 or 7 a few hours later when you come back, you're SOL.
That's what happened to us when we went around Gooseberry and got clobbered on the way back. So, it's hard to say whether they simply
were too optimistic on the way out as to what they would get on the way in, or they were too confident in their boat handling capabilities.
Have to wait for more info to tell.

10-02-2017, 11:15 AM
Going back around Gooseberry with wind against the tide late in the day is a harrowing experience. As a passenger my bro in law scared the hell out of me a few times.
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