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Calcutta 263 35mph collision

Old 01-28-2019, 06:40 PM
  #81  
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Just a couple of updates. My jaws are no longer wired together. I just have the lower arch bar in with wires holding my lower front teeth in. The lower front teeth (incisors) will be extracted this Thursday afternoon and then allow the tissue to heal, in preparation for bone grafts in the future. If you noticed in the full picture of my wired teeth, I had three of my lower left teeth knocked out on impact. Those were the pictures of teeth on the boat, one was still in my mouth when we got to the ER. I thought it may have still been attached. At the ER one of the Docs reached in and just picked it up from between my check and tongue. That space was where I was able to put the tip of the pastry bag of blended food in to suck it down. I did lose 30 lbs while I was wired together.

My lower front teeth were put in crooked when they lined them up in surgery. I know it was a difficult job based on both dental and oral surgery reasons. That being said I knew they were going to be removed so I did take a drill and straighten them out just for looks until they are removed. That is the extent of the dentistry I will perform on myself. LOL Just for kicks I had one of my assistants video it on her cell phone. I can't figure out how to post a video.

I spoke to the lead oral surgeon tonight and it looks like a year before I will be fully restored on my lower jaw. So be it. I went back to work after 2 1/2 weeks. My friends have fully recovered and I am alive. Life is good.

I really appreciate the kind words and encouragement from everyone. To the guys with the cutting remarks, no big deal. They were probably making a funny comment.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:42 PM
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And to my fellow Tigers, Live Purple, Bleed Gold!
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LSU2thDr View Post

Bow

Starboard

Port
Those pics make me want to buy a Calcutta! Glad you and your crew are still with us.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:53 PM
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Thank you so much for telling your story. Complacency is every boaters nightmare. Day or night.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:40 AM
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Glad everyone is doing better and thank you for sharing! What are your plans....Repair or order a new? Based on how well this boat handled that type of impact speaks volumes for Calcutta!
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by LSU2thDr View Post
Forgive my slowness, here, and if I missed the answer already but I'm trying to understand what exactly happened. You said you turned the corner and unfortunately hit that concrete dock to the left of that photo there that is parallel to the shore and from what I understand is that you hit the top end (looking at the pic) of that dock, yes? If so, you weren't anywhere near the center of the channel or the river but rather really, really close to the shoreline if the point of impact was in fact that blunt end of that gray concrete dock?

You also said that you reached down quickly to turn on your radar prior to the impact but I'm curious if you had any of your GPS on? Bread crumbs? I'm DEFINITELY not trying to give you a hard time at all and I hope you don't take it that way because that's not my intention. I'm just trying to understand and learn how this happened, especially how you ended up so close to the bank/shore to connect with that flat end of the dock, seeing that it's relatively far away from where I would think the channel is on that river. Perhaps it was pitch black enough to have zero visual of the bank and lost sight of your boat's position? Wouldn't a quick & often glance at your GPS show your boat's position relative to shoreline? Or would radar work better in this case? It seems my radar picks up other boats & metallic objects only and not necessarily a concrete dock? I don't boat a lot at night so I'm just trying to learn.

Looking back, what would you have done differently?
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LSU2thDr View Post

It was a little foggy as I left the marina so I reached down to flip on the radar. When I turned into Tiger Pass it was not foggy at all. I idled thru a no wake zone and and powered up to check engine performance with the new props. We went about 1/2 of a mile and made the turn back to the marina. The waterway is approx 150 yds wide at that point. There was a fairly new concrete dock that sticks out into the waterway approx 30 yds, cutting the actual width of the waterway to 120 yds. It has a light that blinks on and off every two seconds. Neither I or my two friends ever saw the light. I was concentrating on RPM, fuel economy and speed. we were not at full speed just our average cruise speed. Concentrating on performance,. I stopped my scan of other instruments and outside of the wind shield!
So sorry that you had to go through this. Thank you for sharing. A sobering reminder to us all that accidents can happen quickly and we need to be diligent 110% of the time. Hopefully your experience will resonate enough with others and at least 1 other accident might be prevented. I applaud you for acknowledging that the accident was entirely preventable. Interesting to us all is that a string of mistakes/factors actually led to this near disaster. So that others might benefit it seems some combination of the following factors did or may have contributed to the accident:

1. boating after dusk/dark
2. boating after a full work day (tired/rushed/distracted?)
3. not having a co-pilot assist with navigation/lookout while boating in fog/dusk/dark. 2 guests on board who could have assisted?
4. not maintaining watch of nav electronics/waterway
5. intermittent boat mechanical issues/reliability (why test in the dark?). Concern over engines put navigation as lower priority.
6. preoccupation with gauges/economy
7. radar not powered up and calibrated before leaving dock
8. speed/rate of travel given conditions

What am I missing? OP: I am sure you have armchair quarterbacked this to death in recent weeks - what factors am I missing that did or may have contributed? Which factor/mistake do you think most likely led to the accident and/or might have allowed you to avoid the accident? Last question, did you have than instant panic/hair on the back of your neck before the collision that something might be wrong? ( we all know that feeling that washes over you - hopefully in time to chop the throttles and give you time to avoid disaster and get your bearings/react appropriately).

Again thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:33 AM
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wow!
glad you are ok!! -ish
jaw can heal, boat can be fixed (im guessing)
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Hatem View Post
Forgive my slowness, here, and if I missed the answer already but I'm trying to understand what exactly happened. You said you turned the corner and unfortunately hit that concrete dock to the left of that photo there that is parallel to the shore and from what I understand is that you hit the top end (looking at the pic) of that dock, yes? If so, you weren't anywhere near the center of the channel or the river but rather really, really close to the shoreline if the point of impact was in fact that blunt end of that gray concrete dock?

You also said that you reached down quickly to turn on your radar prior to the impact but I'm curious if you had any of your GPS on? Bread crumbs? I'm DEFINITELY not trying to give you a hard time at all and I hope you don't take it that way because that's not my intention. I'm just trying to understand and learn how this happened, especially how you ended up so close to the bank/shore to connect with that flat end of the dock, seeing that it's relatively far away from where I would think the channel is on that river. Perhaps it was pitch black enough to have zero visual of the bank and lost sight of your boat's position? Wouldn't a quick & often glance at your GPS show your boat's position relative to shoreline? Or would radar work better in this case? It seems my radar picks up other boats & metallic objects only and not necessarily a concrete dock? I don't boat a lot at night so I'm just trying to learn.

Looking back, what would you have done differently?
Radar was turned on while still in Venice Marina. As he headed towards cypress cove in the main part of the river (between venice marina and cypress cove) he noticed a crew boat on ais up by cypress cove. He tested the props and they ran fine so he throttled down to turn around in the river to head back to Venice marina. Throttled back up and I believe (like he said) he was watching the engine info instead of radar only for a moment and then hit the dock. The water was extremely high that night (water was just over the boat launch dock at Venice). The land showed up on the return of the radar but it was to late, as he came off the throttles the boat hit the dock.

Thankfully no one was on the dock or got hurt more than they did. CJ is a great guy and like he said just had a little bit of complacency. I donít know many people that would of come on here and told this story, especially to this crowd.

Someone mentioned taking care of mental health after the accident and healing process, which can be a big factir for post op recovery. His mental health has been nothing but positive and counting his blessings since the accident. I believe he is going to be the safest boater ever now and hopefully might save someone else from having something like this happen or worse.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:48 AM
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you're a stand up guy. not many people that would come on here and admit to mistakes or show pictures like you did. thank you for the reminder that things can go south quickly and it can happen to anyone. my Calcutta isn't as nice as yours but it is available anytime you're in town. just bring the LSU flag and maybe some crawfish or king cake! looking forward to a tuna or cobia trip with you when the time is right,

Last edited by HuntersDad; 01-29-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:36 AM
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I almost posted when the first hand account went up that I wondered how long it would take people to pile on, but I held off hoping this time it wouldn't happen... shoulda known better. I don't get it. He's said he screwed up. He's more than suffered for it, as have the people on the boat with him, and he is doing one of the very best possible things you can do with a screw up, which is to be honest about it to help other people by accounting for the things that could have been different. He's already bled all over the boat, why ask him to bleed all over the internet as well?

When my kids are denying responsibility and understanding, it makes sense to force them to go back over details to make sure it doesn't happen again. Doesn't sound like the owner is going to repeat, so how about we thank him for the candor and get a good reminder that sometimes small errors have outsized consequences.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:29 PM
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Texas17, most posts have been positive and recognize that this is a wake up call for most and hopefully a learning experience for all. In light of your comment (not sure it was even directed at my post), I just read my post above again and hope the OP is willing to share with us more of his thoughts as he replays the events in his head - I have no doubt he will be more cautious/careful going forward but I expect that he has broken this down over and over in his head and has a good idea what he thinks went wrong/what was the main contributing factor(s) - it is an easy take-away to instruct folks to be more careful - helping us better understand what went wrong that day and what actions to take/avoid would be even more helpful. That said, I understand if OP just wants to move on - again I think it was great that he came here and told us as much he did.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sclancy View Post
Texas17, most posts have been positive and recognize that this is a wake up call for most and hopefully a learning experience for all. In light of your comment (not sure it was even directed at my post), I just read my post above again and hope the OP is willing to share with us more of his thoughts as he replays the events in his head - I have no doubt he will be more cautious/careful going forward but I expect that he has broken this down over and over in his head and has a good idea what he thinks went wrong/what was the main contributing factor(s) - it is an easy take-away to instruct folks to be more careful - helping us better understand what went wrong that day and what actions to take/avoid would be even more helpful. That said, I understand if OP just wants to move on - again I think it was great that he came here and told us as much he did.
having read every posts. I think he said complacency was first and foremost. In other words familiar waters I could run it blind syndrome....the other thing that really stuck out in my mind was the extreme high tide making the channel possibly appear wider than normal....the long drive after working all day and being focused on performance (new props and better running motors) vs being as vigilant as he usually is. It is said that a tired driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver. Iíve been here to the point as to where Iíve scared myself enough to pull over. Having said that I should have likely pulled over long before I did.....all factors combined likely lead to the collision IMO. As far as following bread crumbs just last year I was doing exactly this knowing I was in 4-6 ft of water and next thing I knew Iím slinging sand and hard aground. My bread crumbs were 10 days old in a known navigable channel
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GoneNdoneit View Post


having read every posts. I think he said complacency was first and foremost. In other words familiar waters I could run it blind syndrome....the other thing that really stuck out in my mind was the extreme high tide making the channel possibly appear wider than normal....the long drive after working all day and being focused on performance (new props and better running motors) vs being as vigilant as he usually is. It is said that a tired driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver. Iíve been here to the point as to where Iíve scared myself enough to pull over. Having said that I should have likely pulled over long before I did.....all factors combined likely lead to the collision IMO. As far as following bread crumbs just last year I was doing exactly this knowing I was in 4-6 ft of water and next thing I knew Iím slinging sand and hard aground. My bread crumbs were 10 days old in a known navigable channel
The thing with this channel also is that is is pretty deep near the edge he was on. It drops off steeply. So, if you were normally in a boat that close to the bank there you would not be hitting bottom. We get high water in Venice that will be around 2' higher than normal some times. It will go over the dock at the Venice Marina and it would have only left 6-8" of this unlit dock exposed. It is easy to see how it was missed. Also, a workboat or big shrimp boat plowing through the middle there would make that channel small quickly. That said, complacency got him. That is not an area you would want to be running that close to the bank as there are shrimp boats and all kinds of crap tied up along that bank. Glad the OP will live to fight again and get him another boat. That said, the boat didn't look that bad and could be fixed by a good glass shop.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ahowle View Post


Radar was turned on while still in Venice Marina. As he headed towards cypress cove in the main part of the river (between venice marina and cypress cove) he noticed a crew boat on ais up by cypress cove. He tested the props and they ran fine so he throttled down to turn around in the river to head back to Venice marina. Throttled back up and I believe (like he said) he was watching the engine info instead of radar only for a moment and then hit the dock. The water was extremely high that night (water was just over the boat launch dock at Venice). The land showed up on the return of the radar but it was to late, as he came off the throttles the boat hit the dock.

Thankfully no one was on the dock or got hurt more than they did. CJ is a great guy and like he said just had a little bit of complacency. I donít know many people that would of come on here and told this story, especially to this crowd.

Someone mentioned taking care of mental health after the accident and healing process, which can be a big factir for post op recovery. His mental health has been nothing but positive and counting his blessings since the accident. I believe he is going to be the safest boater ever now and hopefully might save someone else from having something like this happen or worse.
Thanks for the explanation. I think it's easy to lose sight of how traumatic an event like this can be, especially when the person involved is so candid and willing to speak of it as he's been that we try to ask for more details when we probably shouldn't. Cheers.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:13 AM
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Much respect for coming on here and sharing the first hand details. I run the same area for 20 years at night and there is a big unlit dock. I know exactly where it is but still have come too close to it or buoys when fiddling with electronics on the way in. This story will make me think twice about not paying attention for a second or two when driving in, and Iím sure iím Not the only one.
Thank you for sharing.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:40 PM
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:56 PM
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There but for the grace of god.....

Appreciate your candor and glad everyone will recover nicely! I've been running boats since I was 5 years old and have had a few lapses of attention that fortunately didn't hurt anyone, but I know there was definitely luck involved. Stories like yours remind me that shit can change in a split second and not to take safety for granted. It has to be on my mind at all times. I'm a Michigan fan first and always, but have a soft spot in my heart for LSU. Geaux Tigers!
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LSU2thDr View Post
Just a couple of updates. My jaws are no longer wired together. I just have the lower arch bar in with wires holding my lower front teeth in. The lower front teeth (incisors) will be extracted this Thursday afternoon and then allow the tissue to heal, in preparation for bone grafts in the future. If you noticed in the full picture of my wired teeth, I had three of my lower left teeth knocked out on impact. Those were the pictures of teeth on the boat, one was still in my mouth when we got to the ER. I thought it may have still been attached. At the ER one of the Docs reached in and just picked it up from between my check and tongue. That space was where I was able to put the tip of the pastry bag of blended food in to suck it down. I did lose 30 lbs while I was wired together.

My lower front teeth were put in crooked when they lined them up in surgery. I know it was a difficult job based on both dental and oral surgery reasons. That being said I knew they were going to be removed so I did take a drill and straighten them out just for looks until they are removed. That is the extent of the dentistry I will perform on myself. LOL Just for kicks I had one of my assistants video it on her cell phone. I can't figure out how to post a video.

I spoke to the lead oral surgeon tonight and it looks like a year before I will be fully restored on my lower jaw. So be it. I went back to work after 2 1/2 weeks. My friends have fully recovered and I am alive. Life is good.

I really appreciate the kind words and encouragement from everyone. To the guys with the cutting remarks, no big deal. They were probably making a funny comment.
Thanks for sharing your story. Have you ever been on a boat with FLIR, and do you think it might have prevented an incident like the one you endured?
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:26 PM
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Pretty bad ass dentist!
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