Team Defiance Capsized in SD Halibut Tourney

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jskfish

Member
Aug 2, 2006
742
97
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59
Federal Way, WA
Name
John Kapica
Boat
Pursuit 315OS
WA BD Brutha Hood,

I know many of you are getting to know Bo and other TeamDefiance team members via tournaments and their willingness to help with boating and fishing questions. Cornfed even got to fish the Qudalupe 29 in SD recently. Well just noticed when surfing the Calafornia site (thanksgiving Halibut tourney) that Bo, Rob and others were involved in a terrible accident but fortuneately they are all going to be OK. Bo, so glad to hear everyone is OK and really reinforced how dangerous the ocean and harbor entrances can be. Hopefully we can all learn something from this. I am sure Bo and Rob will post up at some time but most important think right now is everyone is safe, dry & living to fish another day! jsk
 
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Guy with a boat

Zebco Pro Staffer
Jan 28, 2009
339
102
43
SoCal and Victoria, BC
Name
Jeff
Boat
63 Nordhavn
uh oh. Thats not good PR for a boat dealer.

Glad that they are okay, but you can't let that happen, especially when you are out promoting the seaworthiness of your brand of boat.

That article will be on the bulletin board of some competing manufacturers for the next 20 years...
 

Steel Leader

Liquid Therapy
Aug 29, 2005
2,339
158
63
41
san diego
www.facebook.com
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marcus
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27' seastar flybridge diesel
I followed that guy well out of the mouth, not realizing we're the only fuggers even attempting this, iv'e had some gnarly experiences in san quintin, surfing waves in, this was bigger and gnarlier than I have ever seen, We followed that sweet looking defiance for a while and said screw this, then I had to make it back in, I actually covered more ground than the defiance who flipped in the same seas, I went to ob pier than back in, dodging lobster bouys the whole time. my passenger said while surfing a 20' face back in," I can think of a whole lot of boats I wouldn't want to be in right now, this is not one of them". Skipjacks are BADASS.
 
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WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
Aug 26, 2008
2,322
888
113
Kitsap/Westport, WA
Name
Ken
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Prowling for a Cat
Anyone know which boat they were in?

Was it the Quadalopea?

Glad to see they are around to fish another day.

WD.
 

jskfish

Member
Aug 2, 2006
742
97
28
59
Federal Way, WA
Name
John Kapica
Boat
Pursuit 315OS
Guadalupe 290 Pilot House. Big brother of their 250 and 220 models. Same boat recently posted up by cornfed fishing San Clemente calico's. Sorry for the mesed up spelling in my haste and shock during my initial post...jsk
 

Glad Wrap

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 21, 2009
3,548
577
113
Tacoma, WA
Name
Scott
Boat
boat whore
Glad to see everyone made it out okay and is safe.
 

soul troller

Mine bends where yours ends
Mar 14, 2004
360
380
63
Murrieta Ca
Name
Lou
Boat
Pursuit 2870 WA
Marcus,
Not wise in any make boat , especially a 20 footer. Heard you on the radio expressing your concern while we were fishing the tourney in the bay with everyone else who didnt go home. You, like the defiance skipper, are fucking lucky .
 

Steel Leader

Liquid Therapy
Aug 29, 2005
2,339
158
63
41
san diego
www.facebook.com
Name
marcus
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27' seastar flybridge diesel
Marcus,
Not wise in any make boat , especially a 20 footer. Heard you on the radio expressing your concern while we were fishing the tourney in the bay with everyone else who didnt go home. You, like the defiance skipper, are fucking lucky .
I relate it much to a start in a motocross race, adrenalin, competition, I would have never even been out in that chit if it wasn't for the tourney. I thought there were more behind me doing the same thing. I agree though, I need to be much more carefull, If I knew how gnarly mission bay channel got, I would have never even tried.
 

Marlin Mike

pimpin aint cheap
Dec 11, 2007
2,319
1,137
13
Snohomish, WA
Name
Mike
Boat
boat ho now gimme a call
glad to see everyone made it out of a hairy situation.


mm
 

Rob Sanford

Pelon Pescador
Jan 20, 2009
650
7
18
San Diego
www.SanDiegoBoats.NET
Name
Rob
Boat
Work-in-progress semi-custom-junk-money-pit family 34 foot Sportfisher: "Sanford & Son"
This may SAVE YOUR LIFE! …READ THIS! …The REAL story about the Defiance capsizing during the thanksgiving halibut classic – BY ME…THE GUY DRIVING!!!

The first line in this report: We’re all alive.
The bottom line in this story: We’re all alive.
This being said, it is time to put the dozens of rumors, second-guessing, and Monday-morning-quarterbacking aside and LEARN a few things from this terrifying day.

Mike is a great guy, runs a great event and should in NO WAY be blamed for any of this. It is the captain’s (me) decision to factor in all of the conditions, vessel, crew, tide, experience, etc….to determine what is safe and when it is safe. I take sole and full responsibility for the accident…I blame no-one or have no excuses….but there ARE several reasons this happened the way it did, and learning from it may save a life. If it only saves ONE LIFE, then it will be worth the time spent pecking away at this keyboard.

The weather reports were substantial…though, none of was even the slightest bit nervous or scared as we left the bay around 6:30. Sure, the stuff was big…but spaced out enough to make it manageable.

We were in a 12,000 pound, 29 foot (about 36 feet length-overall) Defiance pilot house, with twin Yamaha 250 four strokes. We had a full tuna-tower with second station, 115 gallon split bait tank. The floor and bow were all filled with closed-cell floatation foam. Diamond Sea Glaze storm windows. Radar, GPS, Two VHF radios, Two antennas, two hand held VHFs, two Handheld GPS units, a personal EPIRB, two flare guns, extra flares, strobe lights, standard PFDs, six cell phones, etc…etc…The reason I describe this, is the gear was USELESS in this situation! You can prepare, prepare, prepare, and then in a flash, you are upside down in the water. There is NO TIME….NO TIME when it goes bad. NO TIME….YOU MUST BE READY.

After turning up toward the crystal pier area, I pointed the boat into the weather. While I tried to control our direction at the helm, three of us tried to fish. It was un-fishable. After an hour, I made the call to go back in and fish the bay. THIS IS WHERE MISTAKE ONE OCCURRED. I should have thought about the stacked up conditions that would be present at the entrance with a falling tide, and a huge swell heading directly into the tide, two hours after the slack-high point. Didn’t cross my mind. Didn’t think the boat or crew was in danger. Not in the slightest. I have driven into that bay down-swell in dozens of different boats, dozens, if not hundreds of times….why would this be any different? IT WAS!

While we were swinging around trying to fish, we had managed to wrap about two hundred yards of mono AND spectra around the port prop…..It didn’t effect the performance of our ride at ten knots heading back to the bay, BUT IT DID AT FULL THROTTLE WHEN WE NEEDED IT….conditions were too rough to attempt clearing the prop, and it wasn’t effecting our performance….so I made the call to get inside before putting someone out on the swim platform to clear it…..Mistake Number TWO…..
The better call would have been to sit outside all day at idle until low-slack-tide, or limp around to the big bay. Stupid – but I didn’t realize it at the time….DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE – Stay alive.

He we go….I made a big, slow, gradual turn from Pacific Beach to dead-center channel. As we timed the swells, we head in….tabs up….bow up….throttles adjusting for swell-speed….the way the brain says to do it….the way we have all done it….by the book….with the feel….calling on all the experience…..anxious, but confident.

All six of us were in the pilothouse…door closed….I was on the back of a gnarly big one…timing it….it started gaining on us….leaving us behind, …I throttled all the way up to catch it, and had no thrust from my port motor…it was the spectra….we were doomed. The bow fell behind the swell and the next set picked up the stern and rolled us over……..so fast it was unbelievable. The power of those big, ebbing-stacked, twenty-footers is incredible.

A few minutes earlier I asked one of the crew to get all of the life jackets out of the bags and out of storage. How many of us have stowed-away PFD’s?....In a 36 foot-LOA, fully-enclosed pilot house….would you be wearing them in these conditions? ….I thought so too. READ THIS CAREFULLY OR YOU WILL DROWN!!!!!! We had all the PFDs next to each of us as we went in. I had a self-inflating C02 PFD snapped on as I stood at the helm.

When the boat rolled over, the cabin door slammed shut. The water pressure from outside held it shut. Bo Palmer wedged his arm in the closing-door first, but as we all tumbled, he lost his footing and it slammed. He thought this sealed it for us….we were dead…… Somehow with the help of adrenalin, courage, help from GOD, and the assistance of Jared at the other end, he pried the door open till it clicked into the auto-latch…… OPEN!

The water rushed in filling the dark, upside-down pilothouse in five seconds……the five crew who were NOT WEARING PFD’s were ABLE to swim down through the doorway, out into the cockpit, and out from under the boat…….those crew NOT WEARING PFDS!!!!!!.....Crazy huh?....Had they put the jackets on, instead of holding them, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN PINNED AGAINST THE UPSIDE-DOWN HULL AND DROWNED!!!!!.... AGAIN, read this part carefully OR YOU MAY DROWN!!!......CARRY A KNIFE….OR TWO….CLIPPED ON YOUR PFD OR BELT OR BOTH….My auto-inflator, did its job, and floated me to the underside of the cabin floor……I watched all five crew members swim out the door, and I was pinned to the cabin floor by my inflated PFD, with about eight inches of air above my neck. There was so much pressure around my fat head and under my arms, that it was impossible to un-buckle the vest…….My mind raced, and I realized my Spiderco stainless knife was clipped to my pocket….I grabbed it, popped both cells of my PFD, took one last breath from the air-pocket, and swam down out the door, around the bait tank, and up the side of the over-turned gunnel.

I remember screaming for a head count was first. Two were on the hull bottom…two more were holding onto the anchor pulpit. One was swimming toward the end of the jetty, and I held onto the prop and skeg…..THEN….the next monster-breaker blew us away from the boat like we were feathers. I was able to make it back between sets…Bo made it to the other inverted motor. My son Steven was twenty yards down swell, in water-proof pants and tight extra-tuff boots….ANOTHER LESSON……Get your boots off FAST! Do NOT wear any WATER TIGHT CLOTHING!!!!.....You will DROWN!....He is young, athletic, and in shape…but…He was barely able to keep himself afloat for the 15-20 minutes it took for the rescue boat to arrive. He was barely conscious, and on his last couple of breaths when the rescue swimmer got to him…..He did not regain consciousness until he was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital----he coughed out tons of saltwater….GET YOUR BOOTS OFF AND BUY THEM ONE-SIZE TOO BIG!!!!

Jared made it out with a PFD…He was ok. Feller made it to the Jetty. Kerry was aware enough to get out of her boots and sweatshirt, and swim to the rocks….she was exhausted, but alive.
Bo and I were dragged into the little whaler after Steven as the best trained, most heroic SD Lifeguard rescue swimmers I have ever witnessed saved our lives. THESE GUYS ARE HEROS!!!

The lessons here are many. It is my hope that you will read, and re-read these scenarios and play it out in your mind to stay alive when something like this runs up on you.

The boat did what it was supposed to. It floated. We crippled it, then asked it to do what it couldn’t, but it floated like it was built-to until help arrived. We lost the tower to the bottom, the rest of the boat is totaled……who cares…..We’re alive.
 

Glad Wrap

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 21, 2009
3,548
577
113
Tacoma, WA
Name
Scott
Boat
boat whore
Thanks for the real story Rob and agian glad to hear everyone is alive and well.

I hope people take note of this and learn from it
 

soul troller

Mine bends where yours ends
Mar 14, 2004
360
380
63
Murrieta Ca
Name
Lou
Boat
Pursuit 2870 WA
Definitely glad all are ok today. Brings giving thanks this holiday to a whole new level. Listened and watched the rescue unfold, and had a sick feeling in my stomach as I said some prayers. That Coast Guard chopper was looking around for quite a while , and that had us worried. Thank you for sharing the play by play as I am sure many will store the info , myself included.
 

Chasin' Tail

~Jumpers!!~ <*)))><
Aug 10, 2008
1,825
1,851
113
Lacey WA
Name
Mike
Boat
17' Thor-Built Sled, 27' NorthRiver OS
I relate it much to a start in a motocross race, adrenalin, competition, I would have never even been out in that chit if it wasn't for the tourney. I thought there were more behind me doing the same thing. I agree though, I need to be much more carefull, If I knew how gnarly mission bay channel got, I would have never even tried.
This is the quote of the year right here... I hope we all take heed of the fogging our brains can be overwhelmed with on "tourney day", Halibut openers, salmon openers etc.. The ocean is no joke!

Glad Bo,Rob and all the crew are OK.!! Thats the #1 thing.

Hopefully the rest of us can learn from this, and make sure we always get back to dry land safely.
 

Keta

Ignorant Sheep Farmer
Nov 13, 2005
3,100
4
38
67
Still in Oregon
Name
Lee
Boat
3' Too Short
Glad to hear all made it to shore.
 

WaveDancer

Fishing The Pacific Ocean & Puget Sound Since 1969
Aug 26, 2008
2,322
888
113
Kitsap/Westport, WA
Name
Ken
Boat
Prowling for a Cat
Lessons learned for everyone here.

First, great news that everyone got back to the beach still breathing.

Second, this should be the biggest lesson in the world for "captains" to PAY ATTENTION to the tides when coming and going from a bay/channel/river/whatever to the ocean, especially the Pacific.

When you get two opposing bodies of water working against each other, you have a pure recipe for marine disasters. Does the Graveyard of the Pacific come to mind? It's common name is the Columbia River.

Glad everyone is back safe.

WD.
 

MikFly

Bottom Banger!
Jan 5, 2009
127
0
16
Woodinville, WA
Name
Miki
Boat
'96 Trophy 1802 w/ '04 Honda 150 & 8
Thanks for sharing the story! A valuable lesson in many ways. Glad to hear everyone is good.
 

Chasin' Tail

~Jumpers!!~ <*)))><
Aug 10, 2008
1,825
1,851
113
Lacey WA
Name
Mike
Boat
17' Thor-Built Sled, 27' NorthRiver OS
Rob,
Whats the story with 2 capsized boats in your pictures you posted. Did on of the rescue boats also capsize?


EDIT:

I did some more research and found the answer my question..
 

gearho

Captain of my own domane
Aug 14, 2004
953
33
28
52
Irvine
Name
STEVE
Boat
28 Bertrem
Very important thank you there were things I didn't know before. God and adrenalin make a great combo.
 
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