09/30/2009: "Whalewatch Boat Takes On Some Water"
( Vessel Assist photo: Passengers ready to abandon if required )
Capt. Richard J. Rodriguez of Friday Harbor is in the business of vessel assist and training of future Captains, and on Tuesday (9-29-09) he once again (past story) came to the rescue of a boat in danger of sinking.
Rodriguez reported “At 13:00 a local wildlife boat issued a Mayday. She was taking on water faster than the bilge pump could keep up, with 28 people on board.”
The wildlife boat was the whale watching boat Western Prince II, owned by Western Prince Whale & Wildlife Tours of Friday Harbor.
Captain Rodriguez recounts that the boats “Master considered briefly beaching her on Goose Island. Both Capt. Fritz and I were about 15 minutes from the vessel’s last reported position. We both made a mad dash for the boat. The three pumps we put on board were enough to dewater the boat. The capacity of the pumps were about 10,000 gph.
Rodriguez stated the “source of the water was a loose hose clamp.” A SJC Sheriff’s boat also responded to the call, as did another boat, and all passengers were off loaded and safely returned to dry land.