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Boat on the dock thread got me thinking:

 

My closest call was using a tractor to flip a jump that had been upended by a tornado. 100 ft of 3/8 poly rope, looped over a big draw pin. Dad kills engine, tractor jerks, I hear PFFFFTTT go by my ear. Turn to see WTF, big splash halfway down lake. Drawpin had been jerked out, stretched rope fired it at me like a crossbow.

 

Second closest, towing ramp up river. Fast idle. WHAM! Eye bolt pulls through rotted 2x8, stretchy rope fires eyebolt through the back of the '78 stars and stripes about an inch below rub rail.

 

Kind of a jump theme here. Dam thing was trying to kill me any way it could.

 

Third one was working on a 16" stand pipe 6' under water. But that one still makes me sick to thing about, much less type.

 

What's your closest call?

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During the first year of owning my boat, I'm out on my folks public lake just heading out for a cruise. Find a nice spot in a bay to anchor out and relax. When I decide to head back a couple hours later, I somehow forgot that I had dropped the anchor off the bow. Take off like a bat outta hell, all of a sudden I see the anchor go flying in the air up over the windshield, just barely misses my head and lands right in front of the back seat.

 

Oops!!

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@gator1 - You hit on something that I wish everyone was aware of - a loaded line is a very dangerous thing. It can be a slalom rope loaded by a skier or a cable or chain loaded by a piece of equipment. A heavily loaded steel cable can cut a man in half when it snaps. Lots of energy stored in loaded lines...
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Oh man, lots of stuff. Going out into the river first time in Spring, checked belts, battery, drain plug, but forgot to hookup the pickup hose on the thru-hull fitting. Guys in back shout, Hey Al, did you wash the carpet yesterday, I shout No, they say, why is it all wet back here... head to nearest shoreline with water up to the bottom of the engine, thinking if it sinks, get in shallow water or beach it. Put hose on, idle back to marina to put boat on trailer and pump out and drain for a long time...
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Big thunderstorm rolls in off the big lake. Blowing like crazy and starts to pour. At our pond ramp. I normally back in and wife puts the boat on. I did both but left the truck in neutral in the shitstorm. As soon as I put the boat on trailer it all starts to roll back. Gunned the boat. She was quick and slammed it in park. Close.
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Met a bunch of guys out at the boat ramp and went out on the lake when I got my first boat in the mid 90s. Storm started coming in so we headed back. We pulled all three boats out and were standing in between the trucks drinking a beer when lightning struck 10ft away. Knocked all of us down. The 3 closest guys got burns on their feet and their backs where a bolt entered them and exited. The rest of us had minor burns. It knocked my contacts out of my eyes and I couldn't hear out of my right ear for about a week. 2 of the 3 trucks wouldn't start afterwards. We all took a trip to the ER.

 

Wait........... this explains so much.

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Free skiing and watching my boat jump up out the water after hitting a submerged stump, rudder crushed up into the boat, wifey was driving made it back to me, & I drove the boat full throttle about 100 yards up on the side bank of the lake to save it from sinking, it was labor day & I had quite the interesting afternoon, McGyvering the boat back on my trailer with the help of a buddy, towing me in with electric water pumps rolling !
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Early 80s putting a course in public water. Guy driving wraps anchor rope around prop on a boat with a starter problem so he couldn't shut it off. I go to unwrap prop and it takes a little bit of time, I start getting dizzy from carbon monoxide poisoning. Once I realize something serious is wrong with me I try to grab the boat to climb in and couldn't do it. Another guy sees me struggling and snatches me up in the boat. I was seriously out of wack for a good 20 minutes.
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1 year ago this coming weekend, I was skiing with a buddy (17 yrs old). He had an odd fall with an odd release. When I turned around to get him, he wasn't there....... He was face down, unconscious, and not breathing. Without air in your lungs, Eagle vests don't get my seal of approval! He was submerged. After a few rescue breaths and swimming him to the platform, getting him up on the platform, he was still not breathing. Just starting CPR when he started "up chucking." Got him breathing, but he never regained consciousness until after he was air lifted to Harbor View in Seattle, WA. Skull fracture with no signs of ski impact. Ski never came off in the fall by the way (HO APPROACH bindings) Scary stuff. Almost 1 year off from skiing and he has just got back on his ski mid/late this summer. Just skied with him tonight. Glad the worse turned into an OK outcome. Doctors said that if you wanted to have a brain injury, this happened in the least impactful and long lasting spot. Glad my buddy is OK and skiing again!

 

I had a pretty good safety plan in my head for an injury from running a waterski camp for 10 years, but after that, I have a more concise one in place with a few extra safeguards in place.

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Scary stuff Goodeskier. My buddy had a complete dislocation of his shoulder after a weird fall. When I drove up to get him, it looked like his arm disappeared. Just the two of us. Had to haul him into the boat, and then he had to drive the boat onto the trailer, and off to the hospital. Stuff happens fast.
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@Wish I had two Mali-Nomas removed this summer. Thanks for the heads up!

 

I grew up in boats and never had a mishap. Then I bought my own '93 stars & stripes and took it out for the second time with my then three-year-old daughter and my niece and nephew. I was a little distracted and frazzled from wrangling all of them and launching the boat by myself at a very busy boat launch and completely forgot to install the plug. I backed the boat off the trailer and to the dock and flipped the blower on and saw the bilge pump switch when it hit me. Dough! I've never put a plug in so quickly in my life. And I've never forgotten since. It would have been a bummer to sink my boat on its second voyage.

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@wish - I said awesome because it is a super warning to all of us. One of my teachers mothers passed away from melanoma and my Aunt passed from melanoma as well. Takes someone young and healthy and changes them in an instant.

 

Be careful folks. An ounce of prevention is a TON of insurance.

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Early 70's. Had just skied and Dad had just driven our boat ( Larson Thunderhawk with 65 Merc) with rope trailing onto the lift and cranked it up. Neighbor comes screaming by close to dock at about 35 mph and hits the rope. Huge bang and motor noise like when outboard hits something! Somehow managed to pull our boat off the lift before rope broke. Ropes were not that strong then with lots of stretch. Luckily very litte damage to either boat and none to people. Same neighbor managed to blow his same boat up in the middle of the lake a year or two later. Not your brightest light bulb!
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Years ago when I was a kid, jumped off the platform to ski. Just as I jumped off my buddy put the boat in reverse, major communication error. Luckily he realized what had happen and kill the engine because the river was very shallow at that spot. As the boat came over me, my back was against the river bottom and I was pushing against the boat bottom with hands and knees, the prop and rudder came right across my belly, scared the hell out me. Ever since then I've always slid off the side of the platform.

 

Another time I got pretty scared in the water I was Surfing in the early spring. Air temp was warm, low 80s, so I decided not to wear my wetsuit. Well the water temp was colder than thought. I paddle out to the waves and the body temp started dropping. My arms felt like they weighed 100lbs each, I felt completely helpless, I thought about getting of the board to see if I could touch bottom but then was afraid I couldn't get back on it. Finally I thought, you gotta get back to shore are your going to die here. It took everything I had to get back to shore in bad cross current.

 

The sickest I ever felt skiing was something that didn't happen to me or anyone with me. I thought for sure I was going to see someone die that day. I was out with some friends on a public lake, lot of people out this day. There was guy by himself in a boat with a kneeboarder behind him, he was driving looking back at the boarder and wasn't even watching as he cut diagonally across the normal flow of traffic. There was a beginner skier going slow and struggling, he saw the boat coming at him, panicked and dropped. The boat was coming right at the skier, he was try his best to get out of the way, us and an a couple of other boats were making noise and waving our hands etc. trying unsuccessfully to get this idiots attention. The skier got out of the way just in nick of time and kinda slid down the side of the boat facing the boat and lower body and ski under the boat. He was a little beat up and the bottom of his ski had some cuts from the prop. Dude driving the boat along with the knee boarder just kept going and never realized what happened. Couple of boats took out after the pair. We went over to check on the skier, he seemed physically ok but pretty much in shock.

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Forgot this one till I read all the others:

 

There's a bridge over the river that the kids like to jump off, about 50 ft high. I'm pulling Hap coming from the upstream side, so can't see the downstream top of the bridge. Another boat is coming upstream from the downstream side. He moves over, I move over. We pass each other under the bridge.

 

As I come out from under the bridge, I catch a shape dropping towards me and jerk the wheel to the left. A kid had jumped, assuming the boat noises he heard were being made by the other boat. He smacked his elbow onto my gunwale about a foot behind my throttle elbow as he dropped into the water. Pretty sure he broke it, but once we got him up on shore his buddies took over and we left.

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I was loading up the equipment trailer to set up for a tournament- big tandem-axle flatbed, all alone, which was dumb. I was being careful, lowering the tongue onto the hitch, when the jack broke, dropping the hitch onto the ball. My hand was a few inches above, leaning on the bumper of the truck. The hitch bounced off the ball and squashed my thumb- bone sticking right out of the mutilated flesh. I wish I could have seen the look on my face, as I stood there looking at it until what happened sunk in. Then I dropped a series of the loudest F-bombs ever- I knew right then that if I had ever been woulded in war, my comrades would have shot me just to shut me up. I then had to use a dock post as a lever to get the trailer tongue off the bumper so I could drive myself out of there. I wrapped my hand in my shirt and started driving to the nearesr ER, I got about halfway there and and was losing it, so I pulled into a clinic. Amazingly fast service when you walk in with a blood-drenched T-shirt around your arm- good thing I had my insurance card. I was doing okay until the nurse lost her lunch but I did get to use my worst ever dumb patient joke by asking the doc if I'd be able to play guitar after it healed- he said that would probably be no problem. "Good", I told him, "I always wanted to be able to play guitar". He gave me a look like I was the oddest duck he'd ever worked on. Everything got stitched back together (28 small sutures is a lot in a thumb) and I was able to ski about 4 months later but the day I got cleared to do so, the wind was about 40 MPH so I went roller blading. At some point, I ran over a stick, which got stuck in my wheels and in breaking my fall, I broke my wrist (and nose). Worst summer ever.
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Like most stories this one starts with the caveat that I was young and stupid, probably late teens, early 20's.

 

Spent the evening skiing with a buddy and another friend behind my Dad's 13ft boat with a Mercury 60 hp. We finish skiing and putter out in the middle of the lake to watch the sunset. About the time it gets really dark we have a great idea "Wouldn't it be fun to ski at night". So we idle back to shore, I grab a ski and away we go. By the time I am up and skiing I realize I can't really see the boat.

 

I stay directly behind the boat for a little ways, then decide to get outside the wake. As I am cutting out to the right side of the boat, I feel the boat go hard to the left. Since I can't see much else I am staring at the end of my ski when I see land at the tip of my ski.

 

I hit the shore doing about 30 mph, flew some unknown distance, rolled, tumbled and came to a stop. Amazingly I had hit the shore on a big muddy spot and didn't hit anything hard and wasn't hurt. Even more amazingly, somehow the boat missed hitting anything. The first thing my buddy says after they eventually find me (a bit dazed and confused) on the shore is "Glad I didn't hit anything with the boat, your Dad would have been pissed".

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Great thread.

 

I've taken off with an anchor on the bow before and it certainly does fly when you take off! In our case it flew behind the boat completely. In my defense, we were tied up with several boats and I was not aware that somebody else had tied the anchor on.

 

I've left the plug out once, no big deal since we realized it very quickly.

 

I've left an engine drain plug out, again it became apparent quickly before it was a disaster.

 

I suppose we've been lucky insomuch as we haven't had any "near death" experiences or major boat strikes or anything like that.

 

 

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Crap, now that I think about it I did have an extremely close call earlier this year. Mind must have blanked it out.

 

Took a very random OTF just past the gates on my opener. I have no idea how this could have occurred. Ski just stopped. I still think it must have hit something. Anyway, I believe my knee hit me in the chin and the ski tip cut right in between my nostril and my face. Huge bloody lip from biting into it and a nice cut from the ski. Ski never came off BTW. Could have been SO much worse- my eye was right there as was my mouth! Very thankful for such a benign fall. I was able to ski 2 days later.

 

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@swardco, "young and stupid" made me think of another one. '75, In high school, girls on the dock, pulling my buddy Bill behind our '68 CC mustang we had just dropped a 351 Cleveland in(we were so cool it almost hurt). Bill decides he's gonna carve a turn and soak the girls instead of drop, while the drop was my understanding of what was going to happen. I swing left, he goes to lay a wall of water on them, ski skips out, he slides under the dock. Dock was about 5" above the water.

 

He slides out the other side of the dock, ends up floating face down in the water. We get him up on shore, he wakes up and is loopy for a day. Uncle Butch had nailed fire hose around the dock as a bumper. Bill had the little cross hatch weave pattern from the fire hose embossed on his forehead for weeks.

 

Went home that day. Dad asks how skiing was. I say "fine". Aunt Gloria had narced me out. Got grounded.

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I was driving a novice men's jump event, in the last days before speed contol, so sound and feel were as important as speedos. I knew the jumper a bit but his cut was pretty late so I expected a pass. Instead, there was a loud CRUNCH. I looked over at the judge and he says, "Gawd, he went right into the side of it." I spun the boat and blasted back to the jump where he was stuck in the side curtain, flailing away. (So far the safety boat hadn't yet budged- they couldn't see him.) As we pulled along side and the judge and timer jumped out, he plopped into the water. I yelled "XX are you okay?" His reply: "I'm fine, I just went through it with my hip and shoulder", like this was an everyday occurance. His helmet was cracked, jump suit torn, shoulder bleeding, but no other damage- except to the jump. The chief judge pulled up in the safety boat, saying , "Jeeze, XX, look what you did to the jump!" The jump was towed to shore for repairs. After the skier posed for photos peering out of the hole in the side curtain, and after a beer to settle his nerves, he was persuaded to go to the hospital, but other than the jump there was no damage.
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Dumb college kids back in the late 1970's. Pulling my friend on a deepwater barefoot start in the river. Said hit it, saw his head go back, like normal, then took off like normal for a little and all of a sudden the boat felt like it was tied to a tree. I pulled the throttle back and no sight of my friend. Several seconds later he comes up gasping or air. Somehow he got flipped around and the handle wedged in his crotch and his body acted like a fulcrum taking him right to the bottom, about 12 foot deep. With the slack he got the handle out and then had to figure out which way was up. The Maumee River is very muddy with zero visability. He had major bruises on each thigh, but could have been a lot worse. He said at some point he felt the river bottom.
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Ha! I even want to hit the "dislike" button on this picture of our turtled 196 @AB. It was a sad end to a sweet boat ... my first boat.

 

@Shortenit It happened on Shuswap Lake in BC, but could just as easily have been on Powell. A freak tornado hit the other end of the lake, and by the time the waves got to us, they were six to eight feet high. It was just too much for a tournament boat and it's mooring system. It was ripped from the houseboat, taking the rear corner of the houseboat with it. We battled keeping it off the rocks all night long. It was a long dangerous night. Even worse, it was the first night of our summer vacation with the whole family.

 

We spent day two salvaging the boat, then all I could rent to salvage the vacation was a brand new PWC. Have you ever skied behind a PWC? It's horrible, but the experience helped make sense of the price of tournament boats. Of course the first day we had the PWC, my middle daughter rammed it straight into one of the houseboat's booms, shattering most of its brand new front end. That was day three (damn kids)! Day four rained all day ... etc. On the drive home, a big rock destroyed the SUV's front windshield. This trip had all the ingredients to be the vacation from hell, but somehow we all had an awesome time and went home worn out, happy and recharged ... and broke.

 

Fortunately, the insurance worked out pretty well and with an additional $8k, I was able to get the brand new 2008 196 that we're still enjoying on Shuswap houseboat trips to this day. Now we use whips to moor the boat. This system ROCKS!

 

IMG_0067.JPG

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@sethro: Here is the '78 stars and stripes. As of last month, she was still going strong at over 4000 hrs. New carb somewhere around 3800. The old guy is Uncle Butch, owner of a bunch of jump titles and records and the boat. Bought it new in '78. He still jumps in the 90' range, and I pulled him through 32 off behind it (and his buddy's brand new Malibu) when I went back to Illinois last month. He's somewhere around 78 yrs old. He's working on not losing the connection between his elbow and hip, thinks he'll knock 35 down soon. No kidding.

 

The guy in the stupid hat is me.

 

He's not pissed off about the hole in the transom from the eyebolt, but he's still ragging at me about all the holes I drilled when I was developing the cruise.

 

His sister, my mom, is hacked off she can't get up on her Kidder redline any more and has to ride the jumpers. She started free weights. She's 79.

 

This is what I love about this stupid sport.

 

 

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@SkiJay Wow, that is wild. Really glad no one was injured (pride doesn't count) and that it all worked out for you. I've seen alot of crazy stuff on Powell but never a tornado- and hope I never do. I just got back from Powell and didn't have my boat this time so skied every day behind a PWC just to stay in shape. Better than nothing..........next trip will have my 196 and a portable course again. Great that you are still houseboating too!
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Gator1, I thought you would make the connection...It's Seth. I live next door to Bruce "Uncle Butch" and skied with you and Gordon when you came to Illinois this summer. In fact I was able to ski with Gordon two weeks ago in Springfield, though my neck is still sore from that day at the lake with you.

 

At least he fixed all the holes you drilled while developing the speed control. :)

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A few years back a bunch of us skiers skied in the morning, then moved our boats over to the big public lake and went out to the island where everyone hangs out. We'd use 50ft anchor lines front and rear with fluke anchors to anchor to shore and out in deeper water to keep our inboards from being pushed sideways up onto the beach by the waves. Everyone decided to head over to someone's house on the water and in my hurry to catch up, I coiled the rear anchor line in the floor but left the anchor sitting on the platform. So I took off behind everyone else and accelerated up to 36mph when the ZO took over. All of a sudden, something dropped out of the sky and splashed to the front right of me. Thinking it a fish, I kept going. Then I saw the passenger in the boat in front of me point up. So I looked up and realized that it was my anchor!!! 50 ft above my head flying in a big huge arc on it's anchorline and still attached to my stern ring!!! By the time I could react, it landed. Closer! So I pulled the throttle off and peeled left before the line tightened up and sent it skyward again. Crazy!!! Had it come down 6 ft to the left, it would have killed me!
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@sethro haha! Awesome! Told you it could be a twin!! I remember uncle Butch skiing 30 years ago too! Nice guy! Unfortunately I didn't run into him (or you or @gator1 - I don't believe) a couple weeks ago at the CanAms.

 

Sorry for the thread hijack. Although there are likely 100 stories with uncle Butch in the center!

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OMG been laughing so hard at all the stories thought I would share our closest call.

1996 I Finally convinced my wife the kids where big enough not to fall out of an inboard so I bought my 1st one at age 32 with kids ranging from 4 to 9, the next purchase was a boom "for the kids to learn how to ski".

So I convinced my wife to drive the boat while I bare footed on the boom. We started across the lake and I was up and footing about half way across we hit some rollers and I fell and just like when I was a kid I didn't let go and went to pull myself back up just as my wife throttles down, I end up flipping over the boom my wife see's that I am still there and throttles back up, but now the cable on the boom wrapped around my neck and I am upside down head under water and feet in the air, now my wife is scared and doesn't know what to do and starts her nervous laugh with my 5 & 6 year old daughters sitting next to her. she eventually gets the boat stopped and I get myself untangled from the cables and stop coughing and gagging.

I still have that wet suit with the the cuts around the neck and one of the arms. 17 years & 3 boats later my daughters still get freaked out when I barefoot one won't even go in the boat if she knows there is a chance I might go.

I still don't let go if I fall but she doesn't slow down.

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@sethro!!!!!Hey buddy!!!.Gord told me you came down and that your neck was getting better. Hope you got a tetanus shot after skiing in lake cessfield with gordo! quite the transition from the best water I've ever skied up in your lake to the hot cocoa gordon calls a lake. Really glad you didn't need another fusion.
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A couple years ago at the lake, a friend (a "wally" w/ a sterndrive) at cottage next door kindly asked if I'd pull he and his guest free skiing behind my boat. No problem, but after they skied, my friend was adamant that I take a rip. While reluctant to let him drive my boat, the lake was wide open...so I set the PP and and told him just to go straight til I let go.

On the pull up, he hammered the throttle (from neutral). Fortunately my arms weren't dismembered, but I can still vividly recollect the horrific sound of my damper plate engaging.

I skied a short distance then let go of the rope. I cringed and looked away as I watched my boat do a sweeping power turn. While pulling the ski off, I fortunately looked back over my shoulder, immediatley seeing my hull #s directly over my head. I had just enough time to "jack" myself away from the bow as my boat went by and eventually came to a stop.

I'm not sure who was more shocked... me or the driver. Not much was said, I swam to the platform, climbed in and drove home.

On days at the lake when I have no one to drive, he still offers to pull me. Not for all the beer in China is that gonna happen.

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