Shipping Lanes

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Trouttrakr
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Shipping Lanes

Post by Trouttrakr » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:56 pm

On Sunday, 9/19 my girlfriend, daughter and I went fishing and crabbing out of Redondo Beach. We were trolling at Robertson Point on Vashon Island and we had a very terrifying experience that I would like to know if anyone else has experienced.

While trolling with a multitude of other boats, one of those VERY large container ships came through. Now I've experienced them before with nothing more then a roller coaster ride for a couple of swells. This one was WAY different. We ended up literally jumping 6'-7' swells. Luckly I was able to put the boat at a 90 degree heading, hold on, say a prayer and power right into them. I literally had to try and jump across one wave to the other otherwise we would have been swamped at the bottom of the swell. The boat a couple times was actually out of the water. Had I been slightly off a 90 degree heading or fell to the bottom of the trough, it would have been game over. I can't believe this is a common occurence that everyone deals with when fishing near the ship lanes. I'm not even talking "near" the ship lanes. We were fishing Vashon Island, but still parallel to the shipping lane.

I don't even know what happen to the other boats out there because we headed straight for Des Moines docks at that point, but we were already heading that way and weren't trolling. We were paying attention. I'm sure some of them were paying more attention to their trolling and might have been caught parallel with the waves. Is this normal? I think the ship was traveling way to fast. About 15 minutes later another cargo ship came through and the swells from that one were only a couple feet. I would appreciate input on this. I only have a 16' bayliner and if this is normal then I am going drive further to stay away from the shipping lanes. Does anyone know if there are shipping regs relating to speed? I would imagine there are. How does someone persue something like this?

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Amx
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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Amx » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:57 pm

Call the coast guard.
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G-Man
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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by G-Man » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:35 pm

Keep in mind that the south bound shipping lane boundaries basically start at the shore of Robertson Point due the narrow passage there. If you don't have a map check out this link: http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18448.shtml It is a bit unnerving fishing there in the fog, you really need to stay on top of what is going on. As for speed, I doubt there is a limitation, otherwise we would all be in violation. Consider it a rude welcome to the fishing the Sound and I am glad that you are safe and no one was injured. I bet that from now on you'll keep an eye out for commercial vessels and their wakes.

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by obryan214 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:49 pm

experienced that once a few years ago in about the same area. once saw a ship pass another over there too.

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Trouttrakr
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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Trouttrakr » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:18 am

G-Man wrote: I bet that from now on you'll keep an eye out for commercial vessels and their wakes.
I'm aware of the shipping lanes and have seen the maps. I know that you have to keep an eye out. That's why I saw it comming and was able to manuver. That's the point. Even manuvering just right, it was still very dangerouse. I would think that the coast gaurd would have speed restrictions on the larger ships just as the "no wake" restrictions around docks and stuff. Obviously not to that extreme, but I think you get my point. I'm going to contact the Coast Gaurd and see what they have to say. Will update here on what I found out.

Thanks for all of the replies guys.
Dan

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Bodofish » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:20 am

As heartless as it sounds when you're out in the salt water, it's pretty much travel at your own risk. It's true that when you have gear in the water you have the right away over any vessel, even sail boats (Not in a shipping lane, you have no right of way period.). Despite that and any right of way, almost all disputes are settled in maritime court so, who ever has the best lawyers and the most cash wins, period. It's not a matter of right or wrong. Calling the Coast Guard will do you no good, all those pranks you play on telemarketers, well they're doing them to you when you call. If it's not a call about smuggling drugs or bombs, they could care less. Once again, it goes to court, there are no tickets, you have to sue. If you are in a shipping lane doing anything but running a 100'+ boat you have no rights what so ever, the captain or pilot will say, "Shoot, my ship is 325' feet long and is in the "huge ton" class, there was nothing I could do. It takes 3 miles to stop and half mile to make a course correction, there was nothing I could do except maybe take my cargo to Portland instead.". So when we're talking about you, in your boat having fun vs many multiple millions of dollars of cargo on a ship and all the money generated by it for the ports, cities and state, you just don't count. Sorry to say it but, it's just the way it is. So I guess my advice is, before you go out, buy the charts, understand them and use them. Remember the most important rule of the road when boating in the open water. Might makes Right! Watch your own @$$ cause no one else is. Now get out there and have some fun.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for the night. Light a man on fire and he's warm the rest of his life!

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by dave g » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:48 pm

you are totally right, bodo. i've worked on those same commercial ships for more than 40 years and have had many close encounters in restricted waterways/ shipping lanes. they are called SHIPPING lanes for a reason. if you're in a small craft you have to stay away from the ships. it's pretty much a no-brainer. you should always be aware of your surroundings and know the rules of the road. personally, i ALWAYS go by the rule of gross tonnage when i'm in my fishing boat. if it's bigger than me, i move, lol... :salut:

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Trouttrakr » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:31 am

Ok, I don't think you guys are reading what I am saying in my post. I was far away from the shipping lane. The wakes don't disapate after leaving the ships. We had finished trolling with all the other boats on the north west side of Robertson point. I'm not ignorant enough to think the ship should go around me when I'm in the shipping lane. I do pay attention. I am always very aware of my surroundings. I have already experienced ships comming through the shipping lanes many MANY times. For an update, I did contact the Coast Gaurd and he agreed. He looked into it and contacted me again and said they had multiple reports even all the way over to Des Moines about that insident. Because we were able to tell him the name of the ship they will contact them and let me know what happens.

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Bodofish » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:56 am

Good luck with that. Doesn't really matter inside or out of the lanes. Be sure to let us know what they do.
Build a man a fire and he's warm for the night. Light a man on fire and he's warm the rest of his life!

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Ezlivn89
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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Ezlivn89 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:19 am

I have something similiar to that happen, about year ago, we were at redondo and the waves almost sunk our 19foot deepv going into the waves. lost some some gear too
It wouldnt be called fishing unless you are always catching, best of luck!

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by G-Man » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:41 am

FYI - if you are fishing off of Robinson Point, you are in the south bound shipping lanes. Most of the ships I see there push the limits of the separation zone and keep towards the center of the channel. Just know that they do have the right to squeeze by the point if they so choose. It is also worth mentioning that a captain is responsible for damaged caused by the wake of the ship he/she is piloting. This is how the residents who had property along the Bremerton Ferry route stopped the high speed ferry from hauling butt around the point and through Rich Passage.

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Re: Shipping Lanes

Post by Trouttrakr » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:59 am

That is true G-man. In fact that is what the guy at the Coast Guard sited. They do have the right of passage, but they are also responsible for their wake. I know the point itself is in the shipping lane. But, when you are sitting along the shore, as I said previously, approx. 3/4 of a mile northwest of the point you are not in the shipping lane. Understand this. We saw the waves coming for probably about 3 or 4 minutes. We knew they were coming. We weren't in the shipping lanes. The wakes even caused problems all the way over to Des Moines. The guy at the Coast Gaurd said that people utilizing the sound for pleasure need to inform them more of things like this, "otherwise we have no idea". They do have a right becuase of their size and if you are stupid enough to get in front of them or follow right behind them then let Darwinism take its course. But the wakes can travel for many miles and they are responsable to everyone on the water as well as living along the shore. But, if no one says anything to the Coast Gaurd they have no idea its going on. So I suggest anyone else that experiences this to contact the Coast Guard because they want and need to know. They have the right to their shipping lanes, but they can't make it so you are trapped with no where to go outside of their shipping lanes.

Thanks for all of the posts and debate everyone!!! Keep 'em coming

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