Monday, January 31, 2011

A Drama

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

Sometimes there is drama right outside your window.  If you don't look out, you don't see it.  That happened the other day, so I'm giving you this report second hand.

Out here among the moored boats, close to Tarwathie, a man fell out of his dinghy.  Evidently, he wasn't using the dead-man safety switch that all modern outboards have.  The usual arrangement is for the switch to be connected to a cord that you wear around your wrist.  If you fall out of the boat, it yanks the cord which stops the outboard motor right away.

A long time ago, in my high school years, my next door neighbor and friend Lindy, had such an accident. Back then there was no such thing as dead-man switches on outboards.  Lindy was alone in the boat.  He fell in the water.   The boat continued at high speed going around in circles.  Three times as the boat approached, Lindy dove deep and escaped.  The fourth time it got him.  Lindy's injuries were very severe.  In essence, it chewed one of his legs to hamburger.  I'll never forget what happened to him.

This time, in Boot Key Harbor, there were no injuries to the swimming man.  There was a time however while a dozen or more skippers in the harbor watched and wondered who and how the runaway dinghy would be stopped.  Finally, one of them jumped in his own dinghy and chased it down just like a rodeo cowboy roping a calf.

Me?  I was on board and nearby, but perhaps I was napping.  I never heard or saw a thing.

Below: Sunday night's glorious sunset.

From Drop Box

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