This is the hydrosurvey vessel, the Michele Jeanne.
Bill is the skipper. “When I had just bought the boat (about five years ago), I showed it to W who said, ‘Get rid of the docking lights.’”
“Do you ever use them?”
27 december 2008, Bill was surveying the Ambrose Channel. In mid-October, the channel was extended 2.5 nautical miles out seaward, and the buoys were changed. For weeks, over the radio, captains were referring to “the old 22″ or “passing the old 24, new 28.” Question marks were thick over the air waves: “… east bound, passing…uh..33?” Our pivotal buoy, green 31 is now 35, which is by the Statue of Liberty. Jokingly, I suggested Bill to fix it while he was there, and at 1035, he txt’d “OK, I’ll move them all when I’m done.”
However, over an hour later, at 1146, he wrote, “Emergency, USCG came…It’s an amazing feeling to watch your bow going down. didn’t like it.”
The ring around the port docking light broke after a ship threw a large swell, and he began to take on water in a hole the size of a softball. When it was clear the boat was going down, he made an emergency call, and the USCG arrived in 18 minutes and pumped him out. He was incredibly grateful.
Here is the ring that cracked, letting the bulb pop in. Through the large hole, water would pour in with every swell.
Still life with docking light hole and Bill’s shoe:
Bill holds the plug the rescuers used to keep the water out:
The boat has been fixed:Thank you, speedy Sandy Hook USCG!