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On my way in from about 14 mile out on Friday evening I got waived down by 3 fishermen in a 17footer about 11 miles out of CLE. Single outboard, dead motor.:mad:

"Did you radio for a tow or the Coast Guard," i asked. "We don't have a radio" they said. "We didn't expect this to happen.":confused:

I called a towing service for them and notified the Coast Guard of the situation and GPS coordinants.

They had NO RADIO AND WERE ALMOST OUT OF CELL PHONE RANGE.:confused:

If you are new to lake erie, please, please, please....buy an inexpensive handheld radio for your small boat. There is NO EXCUSE not to have one.

Unless you want to become a 'statistic' on this unpredictable lake.
 

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Original OGF Staff member and owner
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On my way in from about 14 mile out on Friday evening I got waived down by 3 fishermen in a 17footer about 11 miles out of CLE. Single outboard, dead motor.:mad:



If you are new to lake erie, please, please, please....buy an inexpensive handheld radio for your small boat. There is NO EXCUSE not to have one.

That's good advise to follow. Always carry a radio with you.
 

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at ease
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5w handheld goes for about $80. handheld gps about the same. buy these before getting that whiz bang fishfinder. Ive been out on erie many times and when its foggy or dark the GPS is sure handy to have. A compass is also a wise investment.
 

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spend a few more dollars and get a regular vhf with 8' antenna. Handhelds are great for talking to the dock boy or for a backup but I'd never rely on one, especially 14 miles out.
 

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spend a few more dollars and get a regular vhf with 8' antenna. Handhelds are great for talking to the dock boy or for a backup but I'd never rely on one, especially 14 miles out.
Yup, remember radios are line of sight. From the surface you only have about 11-13 miles of range. Add a good 8' antenna and you just got a boost. you may want to install a DSC capable radio. Wire in the gps to the radio, push a button and send a distress call. Sends out your coordinates and nature of emergency to CG and anyone else with a DSC capable radio. Good option to have in case you are the one incapacitated and a passenger needs to relay a distress call.
 

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On my way in from about 14 mile out on Friday evening I got waived down by 3 fishermen in a 17footer about 11 miles out of CLE. Single outboard, dead motor.:mad:

"Did you radio for a tow or the Coast Guard," i asked. "We don't have a radio" they said. "We didn't expect this to happen.":confused:

I called a towing service for them and notified the Coast Guard of the situation and GPS coordinants.

They had NO RADIO AND WERE ALMOST OUT OF CELL PHONE RANGE.:confused:

If you are new to lake erie, please, please, please....buy an inexpensive handheld radio for your small boat. There is NO EXCUSE not to have one.

Unless you want to become a 'statistic' on this unpredictable lake.
I did almost the same thing about a month ago .There was a Dad and his son that got lucky and there was a north wind they were able to make it into the marina where you dock Five C's they were in a fourteen foot tri-hull i towed them to the ramp at 72nd ( boy were they glad to see me ) I talked to them about what they needed for the big pond im just glad i was able to help.
 

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I towed a crew of three in an old tri hull, one gal two guys, they were staranded and also onshore wind that day, I was comming in for the day and they weren't far from the marina at all but with no anchor and getting closer to the rocky breakwall, I'm sure they were glad to see me, afterwards my brother whom was with me at the time and standing on the bow getting ready to toss the tow line, looked at me with a big smile and said, "should I ask the gal to flash us before I throw the rope?" I was just too shy to give him the green on that one.
 

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LOL @ no wake.
 

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we helped two boats last week one guy in new looking 19 foot Lund needed some 2 cycle oil, his motor was empty,,He did not like the price he thought we should give him a gallon of Evinrude oil,,charged him what we paid for it,,we said thats the price and started to leave and the guys with him decided to pay for it ,,he thought it should be the same price as Wal-Mart off brand the gallon had the price on it ,,,I think if the guy did not act like a jerk I would have given him enough oil to get back to shore ,,The other blew a fuse in his starting system,trouble shooting took about 45 minutes the wire shorted to ground,,replaced the fuse and he and his family were on their way,,I have seen a lot of boats ignore a distress flags,,,I figure the least we can do find out what is wrong and call the Coastguard or tow service,,,,
 

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your kidding me? you went to help some guy in the middle of the lake who wanted to negotiate on oil? what an ass. 1st of all he should have been thanking god that you stopped and tried to help the jerk!!!!! 2nd of all there is no reason to go out on the lake "not prepared" and put someone elses life in jeopardy. this is back to the original post. a boater safety coarse would of helped both the guy without the radio and the guy with out the oil but it wouldnt of helped with the guy just being an *******
 

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I'm new to Erie in my own boat.

Got towing service (Boat U S) and have a radio. No GPS yet or cell. Got to get a gPS!

Got stupid Sat. hooked line around prop (thankfully engine wasn't running). Ended up going swimming and got most of it off. Anybody got a better idea if this happens?
 

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I'm new to Erie in my own boat.

Got towing service (Boat U S) and have a radio. No GPS yet or cell. Got to get a gPS!

Got stupid Sat. hooked line around prop (thankfully engine wasn't running). Ended up going swimming and got most of it off. Anybody got a better idea if this happens?

Don't cut the line. Start the engine and kick it in reverse/forward and it will unwind just like it went on. You can also keep the boat in gear while drifting, that way the prop will not windwill and wrap around the outdrive.
 

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at ease
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yeah thats pretty bad negotiating the price of the oil. Should've left him for a few hours and gone back to see what he would pay then. Hard to believe a guy would quibble over a few bucks when he's got his safety (and others) at stake.
 

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What if you see a Visual Distress Signal given off by another vessel?

The unwritten law of the sea requires that a mariner come to the aid of a mariner in distress. Therefore, should you see a distress signal, immediate and positive action should be taken. Notify the nearest Coast Guard station or State authority by radio. Channel 9 on CB and Channel 16 on VHF marine radio (156.8 MHz) are recognized distress channels. If you can assist the stricken vessel without endangering yourself, you should.

The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 contains a "Good Samaritan" clause stating: "Any person ....who gratuitously and in good faith renders assistance at the scene of a vessel collision, accident, or other casualty without objection of any person assisted, shall not be held liable for any act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment, or other assistance where the assisting person acts as an ordinary, reasonably prudent man or woman would have acted under the same or similar circumstances."
 

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Defining what "distress" is and then what "aid" is offered is subjective. "Come to the aid of a mariner in distress" does not automatically mean that you have to tow them yourself.

Discovering what the problem is and if they have help on the way is the very least anyone should do. Obviously, a vessel taking on water, on fire or a medical issue is way more urgent than a mechanical failure or no fuel. But if you don't stop, how do you know? If it's just you and them on the water how do you in good conscience leave them alone?

Each situation needs to be judged on it's own merits and responded to in kind. JMHO
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To be clear about the situation, the first question is? Is everybody ok? Then we ask, is the vessel sound and seaworthy. Once the problem is clarified (as a dead motor in this case) so long as weather is good (conditions were fine) then in consult with the Coast Guard after GPS coordinates were established, we determined the situation was fine for them to wait for a tow.

Nobody was in any danger at any time. If they had been I would have taken them all aboard and taken them in/or also taken their boat.

Experience can be a good teacher sometimes.
 

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From what I've read, handhelds give you about a 5 mile range. Good for an inland lake - but not LE.

I have read so many towing nightmares from another forum - it's amazing what situations people are willing to put themselves in.

IF you end up towing someone - do NOT toss them your anchor rode (unless they have none). They should toss their line to you. Since you would be under power - you need your rode, if things go sour - you can release them. If you need to cut the line for any reason - you're not stuck at the dock arguing with some moron about who owes who another $200 rode. AND if you need to anchor for both vessels - yours is available.

Also, make an emergency repair kit. Make sure you have one of each tool, nut, wrench so you can rig something to get you back. We always have enough bulbs/fuses and extra wire, plugs, etc to make a small repair or replace a burned fuse in our tool kit. We keep a bag of misc screws - usually need a size we don't have. but it's worth the extra space to have a chance.

We back up our ride in with seatow and our kicker. Had to use the kicker this past memorial day when we lost power out by the crib. Took us about 45 minutes to get back to the marina, but thankfully it was a mirror flat lake and it was a nice ride.
 
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