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boat almost sunk

Old 01-31-2019, 06:25 PM
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Default boat almost sunk

Found my 32' 1989 Albin Command Bridge heeled over because of an extreme low tide . Next morning I found over two feet of water in bilge. I thought she was sinking . I called 911 to get the local fire dept. to come and pump her out , they came but had no pump. I called tow boat usa and they came and pumped her out. I called my ins. co. and they suggested to haul her out . I did the next morning. I believe the water came in through two through hull discharge just above the water line.. I checked the oil in the engine and trans and no sign of water . I ran the engine for about 10 minutes with no issues. The engine is a cummins diesel. The trans was under water and water was half way up the engine. My question is do I let the Ins. Co. handle things or are there are things I should do ? Surveyor will be here in a few day's . There is a terrible fuel order throughout the boat. Meanwhile the temps. here are in the single digits. Need suggestions !
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by chictic View Post
Found my 32' 1989 Albin Command Bridge heeled over because of an extreme low tide . Next morning I found over two feet of water in bilge. I thought she was sinking . I called 911 to get the local fire dept. to come and pump her out , they came but had no pump. I called tow boat usa and they came and pumped her out. I called my ins. co. and they suggested to haul her out . I did the next morning. I believe the water came in through two through hull discharge just above the water line.. I checked the oil in the engine and trans and no sign of water . I ran the engine for about 10 minutes with no issues. The engine is a cummins diesel. The trans was under water and water was half way up the engine. My question is do I let the Ins. Co. handle things or are there are things I should do ? Surveyor will be here in a few day's . There is a terrible fuel order throughout the boat. Meanwhile the temps. here are in the single digits. Need suggestions !

Maybe the single digit temps had something to do with it? Had you fully winterized? All through-hulls shut and winterized? Do you have an ice eater/bubbler system to keep ice away from the boat? Personally I would not be keeping my boat in a place where she touches bottom during a low tide...

I have a feeling a sunk 1989 boat is going to be a total loss.

Can you post up some pics?
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:01 PM
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did you really call 911 ?
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
Maybe the single digit temps had something to do with it? Had you fully winterized? All through-hulls shut and winterized? Do you have an ice eater/bubbler system to keep ice away from the boat? Personally I would not be keeping my boat in a place where she touches bottom during a low tide...

I have a feeling a sunk 1989 boat is going to be a total loss.

Can you post up some pics?
I have pics but don't know how to post them. I 've been using the boat until this happened. I believe the water came in through the two through hull discharge fittings when she was on her side.. I just want to know if I should let the Ins. Co. take care of things .
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:14 PM
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Wow, 911 because of water in your bilge. Hopefully nobody with a real emergency was hurt while you wasted their time.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:30 PM
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I would drain the transmission to be sure that there was no water in the fluid. Also change engine oil. With 2 feet, the engine starter is most likely shot--also check if the dip tube was under water for engine oil...If so, change out the oil--probably engine going to be OK, but I if water in oil, fill with diesel, turn over by hand--then 50% 10 wt oil and 50 % diesel--again turn by hand. Several 10 wt oil changes, turn by hand, then put in the proper diesel oil and fire the engine. Check oil again after run.
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
I would drain the transmission to be sure that there was no water in the fluid. Also change engine oil. With 2 feet, the engine starter is most likely shot--also check if the dip tube was under water for engine oil...If so, change out the oil--probably engine going to be OK, but I if water in oil, fill with diesel, turn over by hand--then 50% 10 wt oil and 50 % diesel--again turn by hand. Several 10 wt oil changes, turn by hand, then put in the proper diesel oil and fire the engine. Check oil again after run.
I checked both trans oil and engine, no sign of water, I ran the engine for 10 minutes every thing was normal . Sailed the boat to the boat yard with no issues. Again I hope the Ins. Co. will take care of things.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by chictic View Post
I checked both trans oil and engine, no sign of water, I ran the engine for 10 minutes every thing was normal . Sailed the boat to the boat yard with no issues. Again I hope the Ins. Co. will take care of things.
I would imagine a lot of water could also have entered at the low side scupper or the leaning hull.
Hopefully you found correct fluid levels at both crankcase and transmission dipsticks ( which only dip in the top of the fluid column), AND rechecked fluid color after running. Water could have entered and sat on the bottom of the pan or case as it is heavier, and top oil could look normal at rest. . Running the engine would mix any water with the rest.

If you smelled diesel , some fuel and water may have traded places in the tank as the heavier water settled in through the tank hull vent. Better sound the tank through the sender hole with a stick with Sar=Gel or Kolor-Kut water-indicating paste on the end if you aren't sure about fuel tank content. . But maybe if you were ralatively lucky, the hull vent fitting was high enough to not allow water in but became lower than the diesel in the titled tank and some fuel poured out?
Check /recheck the fuel filter/water- separator of course.

Hope your insurance company gets you squared away . Best luck for quick turnaround.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by chictic View Post
I have pics but don't know how to post them. I 've been using the boat until this happened. I believe the water came in through the two through hull discharge fittings when she was on her side.. I just want to know if I should let the Ins. Co. take care of things .
Click Manage attachments, select each picture, press upload, submit post
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SHE GONE View Post
Wow, 911 because of water in your bilge. Hopefully nobody with a real emergency was hurt while you wasted their time.
Great info, thanks for contributing so much to help the situation.
If you happened to be a fireman you might realize sometimes they enjoy a break from the daily, horrible, blood and guts calls, and actually enjoy helping people.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bluevein View Post
Great info, thanks for contributing so much to help the situation.
If you happened to be a fireman you might realize sometimes they enjoy a break from the daily, horrible, blood and guts calls, and actually enjoy helping people.
And what if your kid was in trouble somewhere, and didn't get the help he needed in time, because this jackass called them for water in his bilge?
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by r_ventura_23 View Post
And what if your kid was in trouble somewhere, and didn't get the help he needed in time, because this jackass called them for water in his bilge?
Only thing I would've done differently is call the non-emergency phone #. Assuming there were not a lot of other emergencies at the same time, he likely didn't tie up 911 and the call would be dispatched the same. Many shore towns have marine patrol boats, some have fire, and some harbormaster. The only way they are getting the call off-season or off-hours is to pickup the phone and call-in. I had the pleasure of relaying a distress call I heard on VHF recently and called the local non emergency number and the town dispatch opted not to wake up the marine officers and wait until their shift started (boat hit rocks but not taking on water/actively sinking) and told me to relay to the boat to call sea tow which I think was a fair response.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
Only thing I would've done differently is call the non-emergency phone #. Assuming there were not a lot of other emergencies at the same time, he likely didn't tie up 911 and the call would be dispatched the same. Many shore towns have marine patrol boats, some have fire, and some harbormaster. The only way they are getting the call off-season or off-hours is to pickup the phone and call-in. I had the pleasure of relaying a distress call I heard on VHF recently and called the local non emergency number and the town dispatch opted not to wake up the marine officers and wait until their shift started (boat hit rocks but not taking on water/actively sinking) and told me to relay to the boat to call sea tow which I think was a fair response.
"Likely?" What if he did, and someone died because of it?
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by chictic View Post
. I just want to know if I should let the Ins. Co. take care of things .
Most - perhaps all - insurance contracts have a clause stating that you are responsible to do everything possible to mitigate damages. What that means in the real world is that the insurer can drag their heels and meanwhile you are responsible to do everything possible to preserve the value of your boat. After the fact the insurer can come back to you and say "you should have done XXX, any prudent person would have know that and therefore we are denying coverage" Never trust an insurer to do the right thing.

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Old 02-01-2019, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by r_ventura_23 View Post
"Likely?" What if he did, and someone died because of it?
Most dispatch offices have more than 1 dispatcher and I am guessing this call lasted a minute or two while he gave the issue and location? If dispatch had a problem with it they would've told him to call a different #. And no one would die because of someone calling dispatch, they die because of something else such as an accident or illness.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chictic View Post
I have pics but don't know how to post them. I 've been using the boat until this happened. I believe the water came in through the two through hull discharge fittings when she was on her side.. I just want to know if I should let the Ins. Co. take care of things .
Read your policy

Start reading up on sunk boats

Start contacting professionals for estimates/inspections
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:32 AM
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Someone dies because now you have taken that unit out of service. So while the unit is dealing with a boat that has water in the bilge and a real emergency occurs...who is going to cover the real emergency? It would be another unit from another zone which will most likely double the response time. That is why you don't call 911 unless it's a true emergency
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:41 AM
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What is actually damaged on the boat? If engine and gear have no water in the oil, starts and runs ok, you probably just need to clean out the starter, rinse off engine, clean out the bilge, and change the oil.

Got a deductible on the insurance? Other damage come anywhere near that?
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:45 AM
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I would bet money the dispatchers and emergency service personnel are pretty good at assessing what is an emergency and what isn't, I'm sure the firemen would have been pulled from the pump out job and rushed to a real emergency if one arose.
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Old 02-01-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by miamisportsman View Post
Someone dies because now you have taken that unit out of service. So while the unit is dealing with a boat that has water in the bilge and a real emergency occurs...who is going to cover the real emergency? It would be another unit from another zone which will most likely double the response time. That is why you don't call 911 unless it's a true emergency
They make the decision what units are dispatched and to where. Emergency or not, a sinking boat is going to get some attention. Fuel can leak and most agencies have a boom they can deploy to contain. 911 is just an entry point to dispatch. Calling a non-emergency number likely will get you at the same place or transferred to it. Should he have called 911? That is debatable but end of the day its not a big deal unless there were multiple emergencies at the same time and he tied up a line which is unlikely.
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