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Old 07-23-2007, 02:21 PM
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Default Tour Boat hits Sailboat

From http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/..._regatta11241/

Quote:
Tour boat smashes sailboat at regatta
By Edward C. Fennell (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Monday, July 23, 2007



Joel Lambinus unfurled the sail on his 14-foot Laser on Sunday and then happened to glance backward.

What Lambinus saw made him leap for his life. A Fort Sumter tour boat loaded with tourists was bearing down.

"I looked over my shoulder, and I saw the boat, about 75 yards away and headed dead straight for me," said Lambinus, 57, an experienced sailor who was competing in the Charleston Yacht Club Open Regatta.

Witnesses told the Coast Guard the tour boat was the 102-foot-long, 32-foot-wide, 97-ton, Spirit of Charleston, and that the vessel was crossing an area reserved for sailboat racing. As Lambinus swam to avoid being pulled under the tour boat, it cracked and broke his sailboat, tearing chunks of it with its propeller.

Lambinus said he felt his legs bumping the hull of the tour boat, and he feared the propeller would slice him up, too.

"By the grace of God, I was able to get away," he said. "When I popped up, I realized that if I had stayed in the boat I would have been mincemeat."

Owners of Fort Sumter Tours could not be reached Sunday for comment.

Lambinus had been one of about 40 people in one-person sailboats preparing to compete in the regatta. Instead, he spent much of the day at Medical University Hospital's emergency room.

"I have bruises and contusions here and there," he said. "I'm beat up, but I'm not going to die."

The Coast Guard is investigating the 12:20 p.m. incident. Investigators had no comment.

Sylvia Galloway and Fran Trotman, who operated a safety boat at the regatta, witnessed the collision from a few hundred yards away. They said the tour boat did not stop at the scene after the collision, and its operator did not return calls until after returning from Fort Sumter to peninsular Charleston.

Galloway said the tour boat "came absolutely straight down the middle" of the nearly one-mile-diameter area near Castle Pinckney reserved for the weekend's races. The tour boat "never slowed down until the sailboat popped out of the back and never hailed either of us to see if the sail boater was OK," she said.

Galloway displayed copies of race permits, with restricted areas outlined, approved by the state Department of Natural Resources and the Coast Guard.

Lambinus, a construction company owner from West Ashley who holds a captain's license, said he can't stop thinking about what might have happened had he not jumped. "A Laser sits 6 inches above the water, and that boat is four stories tall and 100-something feet long," he said.

He recalled hearing a woman aboard the tour boat scream as he hit the water. "I thought, what a hell of a way to die. I'm going to die underneath a tour boat in Charleston. What kind of a way to die is that?"
The tour boat captain didn't even stop and render aid!

I'll be waiting to see where this goes.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Wow, that guy keeps getting run over! :p

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/t...162057&posts=1
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

I searched through the recent thread titles before posting but the title "Hey, You scratched my bow!" didn't catch my eye.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Mine neither. Post some more details if you hear anything. I'd like to hear what happens too.
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
rwidman - 7/23/2007 2:30 PM

I searched through the recent thread titles before posting but the title "Hey, You scratched my bow!" didn't catch my eye.
Yeah I know, your title > his title.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

That guy is going to be digging ditches for a living after that one
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
dcmomentum - 7/23/2007 11:22 AM

Wow, that guy keeps getting run over! :p

http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/t...162057&posts=1


That's an Opti, this guy was in a Laser unless the news got it wrong. (in case you weren't joking)
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

That tour boat has been known to drive straight from A to B, often on the wrong side of the Channel, cutting his corners. never can hail him on 16.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
iopturbo - 7/23/2007 4:53 PM

That tour boat has been known to drive straight from A to B, often on the wrong side of the Channel, cutting his corners. never can hail him on 16.
Yes, I heard people trying to hail that boat and they don't answer. They might be above the law!

I wonder what the tourists thought when he ran over another boat and didn't stop to help?
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

an experience they won't soon forget. I think him not stopping pretty much is the end of his license. can't believe he just went on his way, they guy could have drowned. good riddance.
edited to add: had to check my log book before I called him out but, I was towing a disabled blow boat 32ft in length from the harbor to her birth up the ICW. I had her out on a long tow line since that is fairly open water and was making 10 kts. I saw this tour boat on an intersect course and tried hailing, no response. I had to cut the throttle and take in line and jerk the boat out of his way. I was on the horn blowing no response. I wouldn't be suprised if he was on autopilot. that boat shouldn't have it but it wouldn't suprise me.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
dcmomentum - 7/23/2007 3:11 PM

Quote:
rwidman - 7/23/2007 2:30 PM

I searched through the recent thread titles before posting but the title "Hey, You scratched my bow!" didn't catch my eye.
Yeah I know, your title > his title.
Does nobody watch the classics like Caddy Shack anymore?? It wasn't *that* far of a stretch. It was catchy enough for 469 people to read it
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

That sailboater is the kind of plaintiff I am always hoping will come through the door of my law office.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:05 AM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

It goes to show that even those with a "Captains License" aren't always a true Captain. I hope they hang the tour boat operator, I would personally love to see the POS get jail time over it...

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Old 07-25-2007, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Here's the rest (so far) of the story

Quote:
Tour line defends captain
By Prentiss Findlay (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Tuesday, July 24, 2007



After striking a 14-foot sailboat Sunday, Spirit of Charleston Captain O.C. Polk proceeded to Fort Sumter only after bringing the tour boat to a full stop and offering to turn around and help, Fort Sumter Tours said Monday.

Charleston Yacht Club Open Regatta officials told Polk in radio conversations that the sailor was safe and the Spirit of Charleston could proceed to Fort Sumter, according to a tour company statement.

"After the collision, two crew members exited the pilot house and watched to make certain that the sailor was safely rescued," the statement reads.

The company said it interviewed Polk, the crew, some passengers and a National Park Service employee who was in the pilot house. "After we have completed our investigation and reviewed it with the U.S. Coast Guard, we will be prepared to issue a final statement of fact," the statement reads.

Fort Sumter Tours noted that its captains have a combined 82 years of experience, and the company has operated harbor tour boats since 1961. "We are very proud of our safe record," the statement reads.

Sylvia Galloway, who operated a regatta safety boat and reported the incident to the Coast Guard on Sunday, said the tour boat stopped either as the sailboat was struck or while the sailboat was under it. "If the tour boat attempted to radio any of the small safety boats assisting the Laser and Joel (Lambinus), I was unaware of it, and the committee boat did not hear a call,' she said. The committee boat coordinated the race course, Galloway said.

"It appeared as though the tour boat decided to move on as soon as they saw the Laser (sailboat) floating, and the sailor swimming about it," she said.

Polk declined comment when contacted by phone on Monday.

The Coast Guard said that it hadn't determined who was at fault in the collision of the 102-foot-long, 32-foot-wide, 97-ton Spirit of Charleston and the Laser. The Web site of the Coast Guard Navigation Center states that a power-driven vessel shall keep out of the way of a sailing vessel.

"For us to decide if somebody was in violation, we have to figure out who was going in what direction," said Lt. Meridena Kauffman. "We're in the processing of gathering statements and talking to witnesses and trying to find out exactly what happened."

The permit issued for the regatta by the state Department of Natural Resources does not mean commercial boat traffic is prohibited from using the area approved for the 40-boat event, officials said. The regatta permit was issued with conditions, "Restrictions will be placed on the use of navigable waters when deemed necessary by this Department or the U.S. Coast Guard."

The sailor hurt in the collision, Joel Lambinus, 57, of Charleston said he glanced back over his shoulder about 12:20 p.m. at the start of a race and saw the Spirit of Charleston 75 yards away and headed toward him.

"I'm standing still. He's doing 12 knots, and he's heading straight for me. You just can't get a sailboat to start up automatically," Lambinus said.

He made a split-second decision when the tour boat was about 10 yards away to dive to save his life. Lambinus said the tour boat did not sound a warning.

"I know if this thing hits me, I'm dead. I dove and swam for my life," he said.

Adrenalin surged as he summoned all his strength to kick away from the Spirit of Charleston. His legs bounced and scraped along the hull as he fought against being sucked under and sliced by the propellers.

A Charleston Yacht Club boat on standby to rescue sailors in distress moved to fish him from the harbor. Lambinus surfaced spitting water. His mangled Laser floated nearby.

Lambinus spoke with a Coast Guard investigator while being treated at Medical University Hospital. He was released Sunday. "The bruises on my legs are pretty substantial," he said. "I ache today, but I'll live through it."
Local people have posted comments at:
http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/..._captain11287/

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Old 07-25-2007, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

His boat was "standing still" and they ran him over???? Good grief! My bet is it's going to be a short and easy investigation.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Horrible story...on a side note... does anybody believe they will actually be sucked down to the propellers if a boat goes past? I always hear this fear, I think its impossible, but I have never bobbed next to a passing big boat to test it either. I have passed plenty of logs and things in the water that will run right down the side of the hull and not get sucked down. Why is the human body any different?
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Next time anyone is out in the Charleston harbor, hail the tour boat (there is more than one) on 16 and see if they answer. Ask for a radio check or something if they do.
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
Capt. Fred - 7/25/2007 5:26 PM

His boat was "standing still" and they ran him over???? Good grief! My bet is it's going to be a short and easy investigation.
Yep it's hard to get those sailboats up on plane in a short time.

Hitting him could be an accident. Not stopping and rendering aid should be a felony.

And it doesn't matter if there were passengers on board or if he (we assume it's a "he") had a schedule to keep. Is "hit and run" with an auto OK if you're late for work?
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

I'm betting Spiritline ends up suing the guy they hit for scratching their hull and damaging their "good name".

And I'm not joking.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Tour Boat hits Sailboat

Quote:
Joe - 7/25/2007 9:56 PM

I'm betting Spiritline ends up suing the guy they hit for scratching their hull and damaging their "good name".

And I'm not joking.
You are probably not too far off on this. When someone says they have "clout", this would be the understatement for the year for these people. Imagine being the only company who has the rights to ferry people to Ft. Sumter.
They have been in business what seems like forever (maybe 30+ years)..
I'm sure the pockets are deep enough to have this "incident" swept under the rug..
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