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Old 09-02-2014, 12:43 AM   #1
J_Franchise
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Almost hit by boat - Catalina

I'm not one to post much, but today's events seemed worthy of throwing up here.

So, Kapono and I decided to jump on the ferry to Catalina today - Labor Day. We arrived in Avalon and got a quick cab ride to Pebble Beach, I think it was.

Vis was horrible inside, but would clear up to around 30-50ft or so on occasion once you got a little ways out (maybe 40-50 yards out). So all in all pretty shitty lol
I actually had my first sighting ever of yellowtail, which was pretty cool. They came in to check me out and were gone before I could even track for a shot. But I was still pretty stoked to finally see one. (forgive me, it's my first year spearfishing)

Anyhow, we were about 30 yards off the beach when I heard a boat engine getting close. Kapono was down about 25 ft and heading to the surface. I had a 100ft float line with a bright orange Riffe float on the end. Kapono surfaced about 20 ft away from me as the boat sped towards both of us. We both waved guns and hands in the air, and the 2 guys on board waved back (almost apologetically). The boat missed Kapono by about 10 ft, and passed by me even closer. They ran over my float line, and before I had time to react I was pulled through the water as my gun was ripped from my hand. It was so violent that my dive glove was ripped in two places, and my right thumb was jammed hard and is pretty sore.

Now I have to say, Kapono and I kept our cool. The boat cleared the line and came back to us. The guys were apologetic but ignorant none the less. We asked why they were driving so fast so close in to shore. Why not head out a few hundred yards and not risk killing someone? They agreed and apologized again. It took everything not to blow up on them, but I kept thinking of the hammer story and figured I'd try and avoid that

Anyway, there are always lessons to be learned, and I'm sure I'll get a wide range of opinions from all on here. I told Kapono that my personal lesson was to invest in a dive flag for my buoy, and to seriously consider the "holiday boaters" factor (ie - Labor Day weekend) before going out.

We ended up calling it a day shortly thereafter. The vis was poor, and I spent more time looking above the water for boats than for fish under.

oh yeah, Kapono thinks he has it all on goPro, so waiting to see if that pans out or not...
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:49 AM   #2
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Intense story. I'm glad you guys are okay, can't imagine losing a dive partner to a boat accident.

- Adrian
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:17 AM   #3
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Damn guys, glad you guys are back home safe. Kap should have blasted the hull, we were just talking about that crap yesterday.

Last edited by mainphrame; 09-02-2014 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:37 AM   #4
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

besides keeping an eye out on the guy down, top buddy should be looking out for boats. keep in mind that you shouldnt dive if there is a boat within a dive time of you...e.g. - if your dives are a minute long and you see an incoming boat 1-2min away, wait for him to pass or see you before diving. also, when you come out, first thing you should do is scan horizon again.

so, last thing before you go down, and 1st when you come up - scan above.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

hit me up if you guys go on another on of those trips im always down
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Made me think of this thread and why boat operators should be required to obtain a license.

http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=176700
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #7
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

This is why boaters should be required by law to take a boaters saftey course and earn a boaters operator license. Glad you guys are ok, these kind of things can be safely avoided if people just had more knowledge. Next time please also use a dive flag.
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Glad you guys are ok!

We were just talkin about this the other day... Crazy
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Hate being underwater and hearing a motor moving closer....

Glad you're ok.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

That sucks man. Glad to hear you're both ok.

Great meeting you and diving with you the other day!
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

The only bright side of this story is that it sounds like the guys owned up to their responsibility and probably won't be doing the same thing again. Glad you and your friend are okay.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #12
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

I read this a couple of times, and if I am understanding it correctly, you were diving without a dive flag. Is that correct?

If so, you need to have a dive flag. A boat operator seeing a float would not necessarily know that there were divers in the water.

It is common for people who freedive to dive without a flag?
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:21 PM   #13
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Franchise View Post
... I had a 100ft float line with a bright orange Riffe float on the end. ...
Most people don't dive with a flag because it gets caught in kelp (like hopelessly tangled). Boaters at Catalina Island can be very careless. I even saw a commercial tour operator driving very recklessly, apparently thats how it goes. I always dive near the boat or keep the boat running and put it between the divers and oncoming traffic, with a dive flag in one hand and a whistle in the other.

Dive safe guys...
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #14
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Almost hit by boat - Catalina

There are so many a holes who drive boats. They are everywhere. Knowing that, it is your responsibility to stay as safe as possible.

Never dive without a flag! You always always always have someone on the surface looking for a holes driving boats.

There are to many wreckless people where I dive, if I didn't have someone on a boat to position it between the diver and the incoming a hole, I think I'd carry a flare gun. I'm certain if that were the case I'd be forced to shoot it every other dive.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:05 PM   #15
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Re: Almost hit by boat - Catalina

I still don't think some on line "boaters safety license" is gonna help all the idiots out there. Don't get me wrong, I am all for fixing the problem....just don't know how
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