USCG rescue in Ambrose Channel

This is the hydrosurvey vessel, the Michele Jeanne.michjeanne2

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.

docklightringHere is the ring that cracked, letting the bulb pop in. Through the large hole, water would pour in with every swell. docklite

Still life with docking light hole and Bill’s shoe:stilllife

Bill holds the plug the rescuers used to keep the water out:


The boat has been fixed:fixedThank you, speedy Sandy Hook USCG!

15 Responses

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  1. thomas armstrong said, on 2009/01/30 at 01:30

    thank you. more please! color too. beautiful drawing.


  2. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/01/31 at 11:41

    What a nice little work boat. 🙂

  3. tugster said, on 2009/02/01 at 07:52

    besides the prose and drawing . . . my other favorite is choice of subject matter for fotos: “stlll life with … hole and bill’s foot” and “plug.”

  4. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/02/01 at 21:22

    Very frightening to see your bow go down. No thank you. Gosh, what a tale.

  5. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/02/06 at 21:19

    BTW, I’m so very slow…….but I love the water color of the fire boat. Great texture… delight in this. 🙂

  6. John said, on 2009/02/09 at 14:02

    I was in the channel that day within sight of that vessel that very day! didnt understand what really happened until i found this. nice job USCG!!

  7. Michele Jeanne Dickey said, on 2009/02/26 at 10:45

    Christina I put this picture you made on our 42″ plasma desktop in the office! Its very nice! Thanks so much!

    Michele Jeanne Dickey-Manager

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/03/02 at 10:23

      Thank you, Michele!!
      Ladies and Gents: this is the Michele Jeanne after whom the boat is named! yay!

  8. […] all fotos below were taken between dawn and work yesterday:  the cheery orange Michelle Jeanne was returning at dawn + one hour  from […]

  9. […] Michele Jeanne swings by, possibly to verify some dredging? and […]

  10. Issacs Maez said, on 2010/04/14 at 10:05

    hi,great jeans in your post,I love thatnicejeans,I need to find one for me,bill

    • bowsprite said, on 2010/04/14 at 12:14

      yes, great. A survival suit would have been better.

  11. ethel v said, on 2012/06/14 at 18:19

    Like your ship sketches. So natural and true.

  12. ben said, on 2012/08/30 at 16:11

    please make a book, if you already have where do i get it

  13. […] reddish and offering very little light.   Fort McHenry and survey boat Christina cross. Yes, Christina . . . namesake you know […]

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