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Missing Boaters at Cedar Key

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  • kingkong954kingkong954 Posts: 658 Officer
    I fished Friday. A couple of things I can tell you. I always check weather. At 7:00 am I looked at the radar. The storm was at the Florida/Alabama border. Both the weather channel and NOAA had it getting here around 8 pm. I figured it would be more like 6 if it were moving at 35 mph. I loaded up and headed over knowing I would be off the water by 3. Stopped and picked my buddy up and as we got closer to the water I noticed how dark it was ahead of us. I looked at the radar again and it was about to hit Steinhatchee. We decided to stop and have a sit down breakfast and see what was going to happen. At 9:00 it hit us. We were in side. This storm covered roughly 250 miles in just under 2 hours. We waited for it to go by and went fishing. Turned out to be a nice day once it passed. Both the weather channel and NOAA missed the boat on how fast this storm was moving. Prayers to the family's that are having to deal with this.

    One of the things I like to do is see an animated version of a weather system covering the past 2-4 hours -- not just a static image of where it is. It gives me an appreciation of how much ground its covering, and what direction it's heading.

    ...that video from the webcam is nuts; you can see all the boats fleeing the storm. Incredible we didn't have multiple rescues.
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,479 AG
    I am trying to remember now..........who remembers the really BAD weather during the height of the scallop season back around 1995 or 96 in the Big Bend area? I remember we left the dock at Suwannee to take some kids up to the Pepperfish area..........Myself, my girlfriend, her young daughter, my brother, his wife and his two kids and another brother and one of his kids. We were in a 25 foot Pro-line cabin walk around. It was a beautiful day but by the time we hit the outskirts of Horseshoe the sky became angry. Suddenly there were 4 foot swells with whitecaps and 40 MPH gusts of wind and the blackest clouds I've ever seen. We turned tail and went east immediately into Horseshoe and docked in front of a restaurant. The wind was so bad we thew out every bumper to keep the boat from being wrecked against the dock. We got out hoping it would just blow over and ate lunch. It didn't ever get better, at least not for hours. It was so bad called back to Suwannee for someone to pick up the women and kids by car. We waited it out for 5 hours and by then it wasn't nice but not dangerous. We later heard several small boats fishing or scalloping had gone down in fairly shallow water and several people lost their lives that day...........even had waterspouts and worse that day.

    The gulf is fairly tame most of the time but can change on a dime in really bad weather. I no longer take my creek boat offshore more than a couple of miles offshore if the water is more than 4 foot deep. I guess either I got smarter or learned a healthier respect for the open gulf in my older age.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,054 Officer
    I fished Friday. A couple of things I can tell you. I always check weather. At 7:00 am I looked at the radar. The storm was at the Florida/Alabama border. Both the weather channel and NOAA had it getting here around 8 pm. I figured it would be more like 6 if it were moving at 35 mph. I loaded up and headed over knowing I would be off the water by 3. Stopped and picked my buddy up and as we got closer to the water I noticed how dark it was ahead of us. I looked at the radar again and it was about to hit Steinhatchee. We decided to stop and have a sit down breakfast and see what was going to happen. At 9:00 it hit us. We were in side. This storm covered roughly 250 miles in just under 2 hours. We waited for it to go by and went fishing. Turned out to be a nice day once it passed. Both the weather channel and NOAA missed the boat on how fast this storm was moving. Prayers to the family's that are having to deal with this.

    Too sad.

    Not so sure many people saw that one coming til it was upon you. Never seen a storm close in so rapidly (have had thunderstorms bubble up real quickly). I expect some have experienced one like that before but it was my first (been caught in several thunderstorms). had always been able to outrun them, not this one 30 mph was not fast enough to outrun it!

    That was the craziest storm. As you said , Scott, the radar was clear. We were on the water in Pinellas county tarpon fishing by 6:45. Beautiful day. hooked 2 fish in 1st hour on incoming. About 11:15 we noticed the horizon was dark, but no lightning nor thunder and it seemed a ways off on radar. Just before noon we felt winds kick up, looked ok back towards ramp to the south. So we headed back in and in less than two minutes the wind was 30 to 40 mph, waves kicked up to 4-6 feet, rained poured as storm shelf fell on us so fast. One helluva white-knuckled ride back in, had to move fast, too. I almost always have my automatic life vests in addition to the regular stowed ones, for rough conditions. Left/forgot em on the couch that morning. Bilge burned out in storm/ride back. Speaker connection to vhf recently corroded (I checked a few trips ago and was working). Banged my leg on steering wheel, hard - deep thigh bruise.
    It can all go downhill very quickly out there, and I could not imagine being more than 10 miles from your ramp on friday's storm. Whenever these things happen, it should always be a warning to all, but especially new boaters to be prepared and be safe. The waters are about to get really crazy and It would have been a zoo if that storm hit early scallop season with everyone out there trying to get back in. :hairraiser
  • IndianLagoonIndianLagoon Posts: 1,860 Captain
    I fished Friday. A couple of things I can tell you. I always check weather. At 7:00 am I looked at the radar. The storm was at the Florida/Alabama border. Both the weather channel and NOAA had it getting here around 8 pm. I figured it would be more like 6 if it were moving at 35 mph. I loaded up and headed over knowing I would be off the water by 3. Stopped and picked my buddy up and as we got closer to the water I noticed how dark it was ahead of us. I looked at the radar again and it was about to hit Steinhatchee. We decided to stop and have a sit down breakfast and see what was going to happen. At 9:00 it hit us. We were in side. This storm covered roughly 250 miles in just under 2 hours. We waited for it to go by and went fishing. Turned out to be a nice day once it passed. Both the weather channel and NOAA missed the boat on how fast this storm was moving. Prayers to the family's that are having to deal with this.

    :huh This is the radar at 2:55 AM EDT at the Alabama/Florida line.

    southeast_201605200700.gif

    The storm was moving about 35 mph, not 125... that'd be impressive, though. The NWS issued several Marine Warnings well ahead of its advance, including one at 8:42 AM EDT:

    BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
    SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
    842 AM EDT FRI MAY 20 2016

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

    * SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR...
    APALACHEE BAY OR COASTAL WATERS FROM KEATON BEACH TO OCHLOCKONEE
    RIVER FL OUT TO 20 NM...
    COASTAL WATERS FROM OCHLOCKONEE RIVER TO APALACHICOLA FL OUT TO 20
    NM...
    COASTAL WATERS FROM SUWANNEE RIVER TO KEATON BEACH OUT 20 NM...
    WATERS FROM SUWANNEE RIVER TO APALACHICOLA FL FROM 20 TO 60 NM...

    * UNTIL 1045 AM EDT

    * AT 842 AM EDT...STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE
    EXTENDING FROM ST. MARKS TO 38 NM SOUTH OF S TOWER...MOVING EAST AT
    35 KNOTS.

    HAZARD...WIND GUSTS TO 40 KNOTS.

    SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED.

    IMPACT...SMALL CRAFT COULD BE DAMAGED IN BRIEFLY HIGHER WINDS AND
    SUDDENLY HIGHER WAVES.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
    ST. MARKS...HORSESHOE BEACH...BUCKEYE REEF...MARKER 24 BARGE...V TOWER
    AND K TOWER.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    MOVE TO SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY AS GUSTY WINDS AND HIGH WAVES ARE
    EXPECTED.
  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,469 Officer
    I'm overseas right now but for those who aren't aware, the Navionics App now shows weather, winds, tides etc.
  • Scott CrownScott Crown Posts: 661 Officer
    :huh This is the radar at 2:55 AM EDT at the Alabama/Florida line.

    southeast_201605200700.gif

    The storm was moving about 35 mph, not 125... that'd be impressive, though. The NWS issued several Marine Warnings well ahead of its advance, including one at 8:42 AM EDT:

    BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
    SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
    842 AM EDT FRI MAY 20 2016

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

    * SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR...
    APALACHEE BAY OR COASTAL WATERS FROM KEATON BEACH TO OCHLOCKONEE
    RIVER FL OUT TO 20 NM...
    COASTAL WATERS FROM OCHLOCKONEE RIVER TO APALACHICOLA FL OUT TO 20
    NM...
    COASTAL WATERS FROM SUWANNEE RIVER TO KEATON BEACH OUT 20 NM...
    WATERS FROM SUWANNEE RIVER TO APALACHICOLA FL FROM 20 TO 60 NM...

    * UNTIL 1045 AM EDT

    * AT 842 AM EDT...STRONG THUNDERSTORMS WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE
    EXTENDING FROM ST. MARKS TO 38 NM SOUTH OF S TOWER...MOVING EAST AT
    35 KNOTS.

    HAZARD...WIND GUSTS TO 40 KNOTS.

    SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED.

    IMPACT...SMALL CRAFT COULD BE DAMAGED IN BRIEFLY HIGHER WINDS AND
    SUDDENLY HIGHER WAVES.

    * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
    ST. MARKS...HORSESHOE BEACH...BUCKEYE REEF...MARKER 24 BARGE...V TOWER
    AND K TOWER.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    MOVE TO SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY AS GUSTY WINDS AND HIGH WAVES ARE
    EXPECTED.

    The pics of the radar you put up have the storm moving from the Alabama/Florida line to just east of Panama City, roughly 120 mile, in 4 hours. From 3 am to 7 am. That is roughly 30 miles an hour. The Storm them went from just east of Panama City at 7 am to Horseshoe Beach, at 8:30 am. That is roughly 170 miles in an hour and a half. That is moving at 113 miles an hour. I looked at the weather channels loop somewhere between 6:30 and 7. So say 6:45. What I saw, from The 5:45 to 6:45 loop was a storm moving at 30 to 35 mph. Not a storm moving at over 100 mph.
  • IndianLagoonIndianLagoon Posts: 1,860 Captain
    The pics of the radar you put up have the storm moving from the Alabama/Florida line to just east of Panama City, roughly 120 mile, in 4 hours. From 3 am to 7 am. That is roughly 30 miles an hour. The Storm them went from just east of Panama City at 7 am to Horseshoe Beach, at 8:30 am. That is roughly 170 miles in an hour and a half. That is moving at 113 miles an hour. I looked at the weather channels loop somewhere between 6:30 and 7. So say 6:45. What I saw, from The 5:45 to 6:45 loop was a storm moving at 30 to 35 mph. Not a storm moving at over 100 mph.

    The radar shows the QLCS impacting Horseshoe Beach just before 10 AM. At 8:30, the line was just approaching Alligator Point. Covering 140 miles (Mexico Beach at 6:25 AM to Horseshoe Beach at 9:55) in 3.5 hours is about 40 mph.
  • Top ContenderTop Contender Posts: 599 Officer
    navigator2 wrote: »
    I am trying to remember now..........who remembers the really BAD weather during the height of the scallop season back around 1995 or 96 in the Big Bend area?

    I remember it, was scalloping off Keaton beach. Saw it coming and ran for the hill, by the time we made it in we had to stay on plane to maintain forward progress. That was a bad one and several people staying near us died.

    If you're on the water long enough, something will happen. It's how well prepared you are and how you react to the situation that means the difference between a story you tell vs. a news story.

    If you haven't seen them yet, check out the InReach sat texters. I picked one up a while back and now use it more than my sat phone. Not a lot of money for a lot of piece of mind.
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 706 Officer
    I just bought a ACR 2831 GlobalFix V4 GPS Cat 2 EPIRB from iMarine for $371.36. This was just a few weeks ago, it was the best price I could find at the time for that model.

    Jay
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,282 Admiral
    If you're on the water long enough, something will happen. It's how well prepared you are and how you react to the situation that means the difference between a story you tell vs. a news story.

    So true - the sea is a dangerous place - it is not our element - and staying on top vs in is critical. This is a terrible tragedy to be learned from - boat maintenance, weather awareness - latest equipment to help searchers find you if the unexpected or catastrophic happens.

    This was a squall line - unstable air well out in front of it. I don't know if anyone does anything so old fashioned as checking the data buoys anymore - but this is the one we always checked before going offshore out of Cedar Key or CR. There's also one in the panhandle area. Real time data combined with checking satellite images tracking approaching fronts helps.

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42036

    Pop up thunderstorms, sea breeze fronts, can be violent too - and sometimes form rapidly between you and shore - we did not go offshore in the summer. The worst storm we ever encountered - the most frightened I've ever been, was on the St. John's river one August. The wind, sideways rain, no visibility, lightning, trees cracking - :hairraiser
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • mburke001 aka TripleBmburke001 aka TripleB Posts: 1,469 Officer
    The info stated above by all is all good advice; however if you don't use the info, or if you consider cost over safety, then no advice could help.
  • kingkong954kingkong954 Posts: 658 Officer
    Jay G wrote: »
    I just bought a ACR 2831 GlobalFix V4 GPS Cat 2 EPIRB from iMarine for $371.36. This was just a few weeks ago, it was the best price I could find at the time for that model.

    Jay

    :thumbsup
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