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An interesting adventure that could have turned tragic!!

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Old 09-02-2002, 03:55 PM
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Default An interesting adventure that could have turned tragic!!

Well,.... I will try and make this story short.. LOL... After the race was over I went and parked on the
beach at GH.. fell asleep.. woke up and went for a ride out on the Big Lake. Well the wife and I went
for a swim about a 1/2mi north of the GH pier! I attempted to page my buddy Jim with the SeaDoo. No
response. I noticed a boat headed north that was really flying through the water, I could see it with the
Binoculars about a mile south of the pier. It looked like it made a real tight 360 turn.. then was headed
towards us. I finally could make out that it was a SeaDoo and it was clipping along at full throttle.. Well I
figured my buddy was just headed our way and he would be there in a few mins.. Well as the boat
approached.. it didn't slow down.. it ran right passed us at about 75' away from us. And NO ONE was
driving.. Well scared the wife and I to death.. thinking my buddy was tossed out of his boat.. So I gave
chase!! We were headed North at better than 40 mph.. This thing was taking the waves just great.. but
turning every time it bounced off a wave. It seemed to head toward every boat coming at us and then
would turn direction and miss them. I tried to yell to one cruiser and tell them to contact the Coast
Guard.. They just waved and held up their drinks.. So we kept chasing and waving at boats that came
near. I could tell it wasn't my buddy's boat because it didnt have the killer stereo in it that he has. My
wife called 911 and tried to tell the dispatcher what was going on.. she handed the phone to me and I
tried to give them GPS info..but I couldn't read it at that speed. Then the SeaDoo veered toward me
and got with in 5' of the boat.. I thought.. this is getting exciting, when is it going to run out of gas. Well it
made a couple of circles and then finally died.. We had chased it 8 miles north of the GH pier!!! And as
luck would have it, it didn't hit any one!! We contacted the Coasties and found out that three people had
been ejected and were ok. They were a bout a mile off shore 3 miles South of Port Sheldon.. Well for
you not too familiar with our shore line. It is about 22 miles from where the boat finally stopped. They
had been picked up by another boater an were ok, only spending 5 mins in the water.
Well I towed the boat back to GH and met the people that owned the boat and they have now taken a
completely different view of boating!! Life jackets and kill cord will be worn at all times. This ordeal
could have ended much differently. It was just luck that no one was injured by this mishap and I was
fortunate enough not to have to use my boat to fend the runaway boat away from any other boats. I was
determined to not let anyone get hurt. Thank goodness it ran out of fuel..

So what did you do on your summer vacation??

What a day!!

PS.. Who was that in the huge Fountain by the boat launch that recognized my boat and waved to
me??? I also ran into Payton during the day.. well I didn't run into him.. just saw him and said hi!!

Dick
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Old 09-02-2002, 04:20 PM
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WOW dude sounds like a mad scene

Jon
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Old 09-02-2002, 04:20 PM
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Wow! That is a scary story, Dick. I hope the driver of that thing learns his lesson about kill switch lanyards. Better yet, I hope he tells everyone he knows about this incident so maybe some others will learn to use them as well. It is one thing to endanger your own life by not wearing a life jacket but, to put others at risk because of your own ignorance or stupidity is inexcusable. Some people think something like that will never happen to them until it does and then it is usually to late. Everyone involved was lucky this time.
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Old 09-02-2002, 04:21 PM
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GOOD JOB- The lone ranger came to the rescue.
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Old 09-02-2002, 04:27 PM
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I had a talk with them and they are already talking to friends about the lesson learned. They had the boat for 4 yrs and just lost the handle on the seriousness of such a situation. But I believe they will preach the word about safety from now on!!

It wasnt that scary for me, because I was careful not to lose control. I just knew that if it headed for someone then it would get real scary..

You think of all the possiblities and it can really make you think. I just wonder how the darn thing went for almost 12miles without anyone else noticing it..???

Dick
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Old 09-02-2002, 08:09 PM
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Dick, did you get a VHF radio in your boat yet?? Maybe you should!!!!!!

Glad everything worked out though. Could have been a LOT worse!!!
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Old 09-02-2002, 08:50 PM
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Troutly,
Give me a few more days and I can laugh with you!! It must have looked pretty wild.. I can hear them everyone saying.. he cant even beat that little SeaDoo!! Why are they going in a straight line??

Mike, no VHF yet.. I am a radio tech at work, at play, I am a horsepower guy.. I am thinking about getting one of those guns that shoot a line, to try and hit the throttles on run away boats???


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Old 09-02-2002, 08:54 PM
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First thing I do after start up is hook up the lanyard. It works well to. I've walked away from the helm and popped it off a few times. An exciting weekend for you though.!
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Old 09-02-2002, 09:04 PM
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Not trying to preach Dick, but I think you NEED one if you're gonna boat on Lake Michigan. After some of the things you have seen/had happen to you I think you would agree that a VHF is pretty cheap insurance. The coasties hate it when you call them on the phone for help too!!! Been there, done that when my VHF would NOT work (no matter what I did to fix it) and I blew a drive 8 miles off shore on a rough day when no-one else was around. Not even a fishing boat.
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Old 09-02-2002, 09:20 PM
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Mr Gadgets, Nice work. That could've turned out a lot worse.

It was cool to get to say hi to you. to bad we couldn't talk. All those loud boats! Those guys should be more considerate.

Nice looking Checkmate

I think I saw more Checkmates in one afternoon around Grand Haven than I see in a mounth down here. I've always liked those boats.
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