Hit and Run

Written by Pieter Jan on Jun 11, 2020 — 2 min read

At: Woburn Bay

We’re in a quiet bay where all days are alike, but sometimes something exciting happens. Like a few days ago.

‘Twas a dark and quiet night. I was stowing away the dinghy when I heard some commotion a bit further in the anchorage. The moon wasn’t out yet, so I couldn’t very well see what was going on. I heard one of our neighbors, Bob, yell: “Go away! Go away!”

“Strange,” I thought. Then I could make out some people floating over to the boat next to us, Molly D. Her owner is not aboard for the moment. To my amazement, a diver and two others clambered aboard.

I shouted to them: “Hey, what are you doing?” They said something completely unintelligible. I grabbed our searchlight and lit up Molly D. The guys that had boarded her were on deck.

Then Bob shouted at me: “Call the coast guard, they’re trying to get on my boat as well!!” “By Poseidon, this is a robbery,” I thought. Barbara whirled through the boat, locking the door and all windows.

I turned on the VHF(very high frequency radio, the favorite means of communication at sea). The cruiser’s net was abuzz with people trying to make sense of the situation. I heard ‘accident’ and ‘sinking’. It suddenly made sense. Why would you try to rob a boat wearing diving fins? A guy named John said: “I’m watching over Molly D for my friend. I’m coming.”

I went back outside. The guys were still hanging through the railing. “Somebody is coming to get you, don’t worry.” “Oh thank you mon, thanks a lot!” I felt a bit guilty having thought they were robbers.

Afterwards we heard they were fisherman. They had collided with a high-speed water taxi in the dark. The taxi sped off without looking back. The holed fishing skiff slowly started sinking and they made it to the middle of Woburn Bay before their engine gave out. Now without propulsion or steering, sinking fast, they drifted first to Bob’s boat where one of them jumped overboard and, since he couldn’t swim, tried to climb aboard Bob’s boat. The others floated over to Molly D.

John came over with a friend in two high-powered dinghies. They rescued the one fisherman still in the water, got the three guys off Molly D and towed the skiff, now only its gunwales above the water. Luckily no one was hurt and everyone got off with only a scare.

The aftermath
The aftermath