Remarkable New Center Grounds Ledge or a New Wreck?

In June of 1998 Captain Bob joined pals on their boat for a trip to the Florida Center Grounds. As many of you know this is an place around 100 miles from the west coastline of Florida. It is, arguably, a single of the most prolific maritime habitats in close proximity to Florida. The 37′ Trojan was provisioned and loaded for a 3 working day dive excursion. We experienced a crew of 5: John, the boat’s Captain Sally, his wife Ben, Trudy and myself.

We shoved off at about 1800 and our bearing was 240° from John’s Pass. The large orange ball disappearing in front of us was breathtaking. Out about 5 miles we established the autopilot, set up our look at shifts and settled in to existence on board.

We arrived at our initially dive website at 0900. We anchored and broke out the breakfast. We have been all keen to get soaked and speedily founded dive groups the dive purchase. I was in the final crew. I experienced forgotten how spectacular the Center Grounds are. The dimensions of the fish, the amount of fish and the height of the ledge was mind-boggling. I new this dive was for acclimation. I would knock ’em dead the following dive.

On ascending from my 2nd dive I experienced a decompression obligation of 2 minutes. In the course of the prevent I imagined about modifying my procedures to make certain additional fish on the up coming dive. When I got to the dive platform I discovered my friends shifting all around the salon and aft deck. As soon as I surfaced Sally started yelling at me: “Get on the boat, we are sinking.” Now why would I want to board a sinking boat? I heeded her orders and stripped dive equipment. I moved to assistance bail. I failed to feel this was taking place. There was h2o up to the stern deck plates and even now mounting.

We taken out all the deck plates for obtain to attempt to identify the supply of the leak all to no avail. By this time an additional private boat had arrived and was standing by to help. John experienced contacted a constitution fishing boat who, in switch, radioed the Coast Guard. Try to remember VHF transmission and reception is line of sight. The Coast Guard was en-route. Meanwhile, the constitution boat moved in closer to pass in excess of a hand pump. Ben, Trudy and I pumped and bailed (5 gallon buckets) hardly being even with the flow. Sally and John readied an abandon ship bag and pumped up the life raft on the fore deck. A crew member from the charter boat even swam above to enable discover the leak. Thank God for quiet seas! Right after what seemed like an eternity, I listened to the thumping seem of a helicopter. I now have a deep appreciation for that sound.

The Coastline Guard radioed guidelines on their treatments for dropping gasoline run pumps. They emphasised that the prop clean would blow above just about anything not stowed or tied down. John, Ben and the charter crew member have been on the aft deck, Sally was in the lifetime raft holding it down and Trudy was in the salon. I moved ahead to stay out of the way of the pumps. As the helicopter moved nearer, I read Sally screaming for aid. I acquired ahead and observed that she was pinned to the bow rail by the everyday living raft. The first pump was set-up and the next pump was on its way. I took about 15 minutes for both of those pumps to drain the water.

We observed the supply of the leak. The generator experienced been taken out prior to the trip and overboard port plug experienced dislodged. To compound this, the ahead bilge pump was jammed with a piece of wire tie and the aft pump experienced shorted out. Mechanically, drinking water seeped into the transmission and block. With gap plugged and the drinking water pumped out and no propulsion, we arranged for a tow from a commercial fisherman. It would be three hrs till he arrived.

We cannot go anywhere we are however anchored to a wonderful ledge. Let’s do a different dive!!!

You can discover this web site in the most GPS coordinates. I am guaranteed there are even now fish there.