Boat accident at dusk

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
Im always looking at the safety thread to get tips and get myself thinking on other peoples’ experiences. My turn to contribute!

Was out on my Regal 1800 with my brother and a friend to run the boat and fix some carb balancing issues (thats another never ending story🤬) . Worked on it for a bit and shut the boat off to just float and relax during sundown. Started to get close to dusk so we turned on the stern light. The lake that I boat in is a dammed up portion of the Housatonic River in CT so its treated (and enforced by marine patrol) like a highway, it not being the widest body of water. We were floating about 20 ft off shore on the right side of the lake going north, well out of the main channel and in the north heading lane. Hadnt seen another boat for over an hour. At that point saw a Lund fishing boat come around the bend about 1/4 mile up river, lights on, full plane going down the wrong side of the lake, heading south in the north lane. I remember thinking that was to fast for the time of day, it getting darker at this point. With this body of water, every boat coming from the opposite direction always looks like it heading right for you for a bit, so by the time we realized this guy wasn’t going to change his heading, it was to late. We waved and yelled but ended up striking us perpendicular about two feet down from the bow of the boat. Could have easily been fatal if we were hit a couple feet closer to the stern, would have went right over us. Bow is pretty damaged above the hull, knocked the cap off the hull a bit and shatter the gel coat and fiberglass. That seems to be the extent of it for now. There was an injury on my boat as well as his boat. Nothing life threatening but required ER visits. Cops, EMS and DEEP were called and a full report was written up.
There are many more details and pics I would want to share, but while this is still being settled I'll leave those off for now.

The owner of the other boat is taking responsibility without a problem from what I can tell at this point. I'm in contact with his insurance company. I’ve never been in a boating accident before, nor dealt with boating insurance. I would imagine its very much like car accidents but I’m not sure. Any tips would be appreciated.
 

racerone

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
31,272
Something called the -----colregs ( spelling ) will come into play.------Make sure you make a sketch of where you were and where you first saw the other boat.-----Make notes of time of day.-----Go out there at same time of day.----Take a picture to show amount of daylight at time of collision.
 

racerone

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
31,272
Boating regulations were made up long , long ago.-----Have done boating on a busy river at night.-----Tiny blinking lights on marker bouys.------Tiny lights on boats.------Today every bar along that river has a blinking red " open " sign.------Cars driving along the river road have blinking red lights as they pass the trees.-----Coming to my home harbor years ago there was one blinking red light on the light house.----Today they ( people sitting at desks ) picked RED for blinking light on about 300 windmills.------Bottom line is that , boating at night needs full attention of everybody out there.
 

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
Something called the -----colregs ( spelling ) will come into play.------Make sure you make a sketch of where you were and where you first saw the other boat.-----Make notes of time of day.-----Go out there at same time of day.----Take a picture to show amount of daylight at time of collision.
Thats a great point, will make sure to do this.
 

cptbill

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Oct 6, 2012
Messages
597
Yep, maritime law is much different than highway law and col. regs. are the rules. Glade to hear there was no life threatening injury's, terrible thing to have happen
 

poconojoe

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
1,898
Bummer.
Scary stuff.
Glad you're ok and hope the others are as well.

I just can't understand how someone can run on plane at dusk like that.
I guess they don't care about their own safety or the safety of others.

So much can go wrong so quickly.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
14,071
I remember thinking that was to fast for the time of day, it getting darker at this point. With this body of water, every boat coming from the opposite direction always looks like it heading right for you for a bit, so by the time we realized this guy wasn’t going to change his heading, it was to late.
Since it was getting dark, I assume your all around stern light and bow lights where functional and turned on?

One night I about “rolled” a couple in a row boat tied to the lighted marker at the mouth of the inlet.

10:30 at night. No lights. Tied to a market. Flicking a “BIC” to notify people of their presence.

Radar didn’t pick them up…too low and in the shadow of the marker.

Fortunate for them it was late and I was coming in “hot” from a 15 mile run so I passed while still above planing speed. Would have been ugly if I had just dropped off plane like normal at that location
 

Grub54891

Vice Admiral
Joined
Jun 17, 2012
Messages
5,552
Had that happen when I almost hit a paddle boat out in our 340 acre lake. I wasn’t going fast but at midnight and no moon you couldn’t see much. Suddenly a flicker ahead of me, paddle boat and a bic lighter. I turned and barley grazed them. They got an earful. My lights were on.
 

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
Yeah, had both bow and stern on. I'll make sure to use a bic lighter next time, worked better then my lights in your situations haha
 

jhande

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
426
I'm not planning on being out on the water during darkness. But just in case I get caught coming from late day fishing I'm installing flood & spot lights. ;)
 

jimmbo

Supreme Mariner
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
10,895
Something called the -----colregs ( spelling ) will come into play.------Make sure you make a sketch of where you were and where you first saw the other boat.-----Make notes of time of day.-----Go out there at same time of day.----Take a picture to show amount of daylight at time of collision.
Well, with the current cameras and software for post editing, it is hard to prove the light level with a pic. Examples. All pics are what came out of the Camera, no post processing except to reduce the size, as they are 40mb files Camera was set to Aperture Priority, for all photos

This was taken handheld at 11:11pm. ISO 26500 90mm 1/30sec @2.8 The only light was an alley streetlight about 15ft forward of the boat and on the other side of a powerpole. It looks like Daylight, except for window lights beyond the boat.
DSC_0139a._532.JPG


The next one was actually the 1st pic taken with a brand new Camera. Noon o'clock. ISO100 125mm 1/1000sec @f5.6
DSC_0001_528.JPG

This one was shot a couple of days ago, about 30 minutes after sundown, with an overcast sky ISO 26500 50mm 1/10sec @f3.5
DSC_0886_527_530.JPG


Today pictures, and videos are really not what the eyes see, and should not be accepted as Evidence in Court, as it is also far too easy to manipulate the Image, and even cover the tracks of doing that.
 
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dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
14,071
Both vessels bear some responsibility in the accident

Rule 5, 7, 8, and 17 violations by both vessels

Rule 6 violation on “stand on” (passing) vessel
 

oildriver

Cadet
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
15
Been on the water my entire 68 yrs.In the early 60's, courtesy on the water was evident. If you saw a boat with the engine cover off, you asked if they needed help. If you passed a boat anchored and fishing,you reduced your wake when passing. Most people had at least some knowledge of the "rules of the road". A much friendlier setting than on land. Still, there were inconsiderate boaters with little knowledge and self important personalities.
The exponentially increased speed combined with this attitude has become more widespread. Still,we have tools that make safe boating possible now. Cell phones and affordable towing services cover most situations for casual boaters. A boating safety course, mandatory for all operators, would undoubtedly help. This has been the subject of debate for time out of mind. More serious enforcement of required equipment, along with the already enforced bwi laws would make for less accidents.
 

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
I'm not planning on being out on the water during darkness. But just in case I get caught coming from late day fishing I'm installing flood & spot lights. ;)
This is a good idea, handheld spot light to flash at anyone coming to close for comfort at dusk
Both vessels bear some responsibility in the accident

Rule 5, 7, 8, and 17 violations by both vessels

Rule 6 violation on “stand on” (passing) vessel
Which rules are these? Interested
 

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
Police report came back as the other party is at fault and is taking responsibility. No injuries beyond some stitches in their boat and an air cast in mine.
Having a hard time finding a place to give me a quote (I'm in southern CT if anyone knows anyone good) Lots of guys doing fiber and gelcoat repairs, but nothing structural, which is what this will need, the cap being twisted off the hull a bit. Replaced the bow light and boated all weekend, boat is great besides the ugly grin she has for now.
 

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briangcc

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
1,756
That looks like a decent sized opening that waves/water could get through on the side. I'm not quite sure I'd be willing to operate a boat like that until I got it fixed.

No local Regal dealer that could quote you as it looks like you might need a section of rubrail too??
 

JonBoat55

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
32
That looks like a decent sized opening that waves/water could get through on the side. I'm not quite sure I'd be willing to operate a boat like that until I got it fixed.

No local Regal dealer that could quote you as it looks like you might need a section of rubrail too??
It is a good sized opening for sure, covered it with some marine tape before idling out from the dock to have the kids swim. Regular trips are definently on hold until its water tight again.

I'll look into Regal providers, not sure if any are in the area.
 
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