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Hell gate wreck

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  • FishTankFishTank Member Posts: 78 Deckhand
    edited March 2020 #32
    I believe they added new caution “narrow channel” markers after the meeting last year and it obviously has not made a difference.

    Most of the commercial crab and shrimp boats slow down when the tide is low and use the alternate channel. They normally come through at low traffic hours too. I like the idea about the commercial guys navigate under caution as needed and no wake for recreational. 

    A tragic accident that could’ve been avoided. Hopefully this incident will help make the area safer for everyone. 
  • FishingpervertFishingpervert Deltona, FloridaPosts: 1,010 Officer
    edited March 2020 #33
  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Senior Member Citrus CtyPosts: 1,598 Captain
    How about have the USCG or County etc place arrows on both the red and green sides pointing inward and a large warning sign. 
  • SlackerSlacker Senior Member Homosassa, JaxPosts: 1,815 Captain
    you have the choice if you are running the boat
    I slow down if I feel there is danger
    I get on through otherwise which makes it safer than the congestion.

    If you changed the depth through there you may make a significant change in the upper river. That restriction in flow affects the salinity and influence of tides and storm surge. Be careful what you ask for.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,784 Captain
    How about have the USCG or County etc place arrows on both the red and green sides pointing inward and a large warning sign. 

    There are regulations as to what can be put on official CG markers in order to prevent confusion.  But privately maintained signs at all of the bad spots would help.
  • AC ManAC Man Senior Member OcalaPosts: 7,283 Admiral
    I don't get it. I heard horror stories about this River. I put my 36 triple engine contender up at the head of the river and was pretty nervous after but I heard. I just followed the channel markers at normal speed I don't know about Hell's Gate I didn't notice anything unusual and I never noticed anything shallow coming or going.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,784 Captain
    The channel is fine except for Hells Gate as long as you can anticipate where it is going to turn.  Going up the river from outside, there is at least one spot where you can't see the markers unit you get to the bend and there is a shallow rocky bay right in front of you. There are lots of nasty rocks on both sides of the channel, so if somebody passes a marker on the wrong side, they are going to hit something.  

    Hells Gate is a problem because you can have as little as 2 ft of water under your keel during extremely low tide.  I've seen crabbers and shrimpers hung up on the rocks for hours in the middle of the channel.  There is a deeper cut behind the second little island that has at least 4.5 ft of water, but it is a narrow passage and not everybody knows about it.  

    As far as trimming an outboard up at idle speed going over the bar at low tide, just go ahead and try that in a crowd of boats.  There is typically a really strong current running at the Gate and you will lose steering control on many hulls. 

    I've had two accidents at Hell's Gate myself and I know my boat and the river very well.  Once I decided to use the middle of the channel during a winter low instead of the cut and lost a skeg.  The last one was this past summer coming back from a snapper trip during scallop season.  There was a bunch of boats moving through Hells Gate at a reasonable speed and keeping what seemed to be a safe distance between them.  Just as he goes between the markers, the guy in front of me chops his throttle!  I had a choice to either run up his transom or turn into the island.  This resulted in some glass work on my keel and a reconditioned prop.  The guy had a depth warning set up on his fish finder and panicked when it sounded. 

    I hate scallop season on that river.  If I had a shallow draft boat I would run the Little Homosassa that time of year. 
  • CJFLCJFL North FloridaPosts: 39 Deckhand
    Why doesn't someone just use explosives or excavation to make the channel wider and deeper?
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Senior Member Ozello Fl.Posts: 13,083 AG
    never get a permit... ever.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,391 Officer
    AC Man said:
    I don't get it. I heard horror stories about this River. I put my 36 triple engine contender up at the head of the river and was pretty nervous after but I heard. I just followed the channel markers at normal speed I don't know about Hell's Gate I didn't notice anything unusual and I never noticed anything shallow coming or going.

    It isn't the river thats the problem. All of the bad spots are well marked and the maximum speed anywhere in the marked channel is 25 mph.The problem is boaters that could care less about their speed and how it affects others, and those that either can't read the channel markers, or are not paying attention for one reason or another. Stay in the channel and you'll be OK. Stray a few feet out and expect to pay the price. 
















    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Captain
    you need to take a test to drive a car on public roads, you need to take a test to get a hunting license. Like the perv said , I’m not against a 5 hour safety coarse to pilot a boat. 
  • 4WARD4WARD Senior Member Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,968 Captain
    Tests do not cure lack of common sense.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,784 Captain
    A short course would at least teach the rules of the road.  Coming up the river doing 25 mph in the channel, I once had a guy fire it up coming out of one of the canals on my starboard side and cut right in front of me.  I hit the horn 3 times and swerved out of the way.  He starts yelling at me claiming that he had the right of way since he was on my starboard side.  If he knew the rules (or just used common sense) he would know that the rule only applies in open water or when both vessels are in converging channels. Anybody outside of the channel is a burdened vessel and should give way. 

     Some of those grounding like SaltyDawg showed where people are folks who didn't even know which side of the marker to pass on. We need to require boating courses.
  • 4WARD4WARD Senior Member Cross Creek,FLPosts: 2,968 Captain
    Sorry Doc, But it sounds like he “took the short course”.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Senior Member Citrus CtyPosts: 1,598 Captain
    BoatUS has a free online Boating certification Course for a Florida. Should be a requisite for renting a boat. 
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