TowBoatUS drags a wrecked boat to harbor

If you are a local in north Alabama you probably heard about the cabin cruiser that was in trouble on Wilson Lake…at NIGHT.
Here’s the reason for the emphasis on “night.” Now there is nothing unusual about boats on Wilson Lake at night. However, this night was a little different from “normal.” The day of the night cruise, Wilson Lake was being hammered with high winds and was under a lake wind advisory warning. The wind churned-up waves/rollers in the four to five foot high range.

Somebody must have said, “Hey, let’s go for a night cruise!” Six trusting souls climbed aboard in a merry mood. And why not, a romantic cruise around Wilson Lake seemed to be a perfect plan. However, the captain obviously failed to check the weather and forecast.
Somewhere along in their cruise, the captain (or maybe the other five on board as well) discovered Wilson Lake was not perfect for a night cruise. The vessel took on water and a mayday was broadcast. You have an idea there might be a problem when the captain says, “Uh, you guys might want to put your life preservers on.”

TowBoatUS personnel pump gallons of water out of the ill fated boat seen on the other side of the pier. SFN photo

Killen Fire and Rescue answered the distress call but had real reservations about being able to reach the boat in the condition Wilson Lake was in, again, at night.

I understand the rescue had to be made from land. The night cruiser had evidently made a run to shore and was able to run aground. One rescue fireman noted that the wave photographed that night had to have been at least nine feet high.
All souls on the hapless boat survived but not so for the night riding cabin cruiser. Reportedly, she took a log through the bow and a lot of the transom was missing.
The Boats US personnel managed (somehow) to get the crippled boat to Safety Harbor on Wilson and had, with a lot of effort I would assume, managed to get the wreck on a boat trailer. But the guys still had work to do. A heavy duty pump was sucking enough water out of the boat to fill the lock at Wilson about half full.
As my wife and I slowly idled out of Safety Harbor I, with a serious expression, asked her if she would like to go on a night cruise tonight in our bass boat.
I woke up thirty minutes later with a big knot on my head.

Comments are closed.