A Cruiser Helping Other Cruisers!
This is the e-mail I sent to the USCG back in December in response to the request for public comments. It is gratifying to see that a problem of long standing is now being addressed.
From: Joseph T Plunkett CPA
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 10:57 PM
Subject: CG 7th District LNM 07482016
To whom it my concern:
I wish to comment In regard to the proposed elimination of Fernandina TRUB 2 and establishment of Fernandina Beach Daybeacon 2 (LLNR 37988) in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W (30°38.9115N / 081°29.0581W, 30.648525 / -81.484302) .
On September 4, 2016 at approximately 13:30 hours I ran aground in the Amelia River while piloting Happy Hagar, my 40’ Burns Craft Sun Deck Motor Yacht. The point of grounding was in the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W (30°40.7333N / 081°30.4834W, 30.678889 / -81.508056) . Time was approximately 1.5 hours after high tide. The shoal in this area is unmarked. The USCG Station at Jacksonville, Florida should have a record of my contact on that day. The grounding resulted in the loss of our portside prop shaft and prop, bending of a prop strut and a bent port side rudder post. I was successful removing the boat from the shoal and stemming the flooding from the loss of the shaft. I anchored my vessel and waited approximately two hours for a tow from Towboat US from Brunswick. Total damage including yard repairs and towing may exceed $20,000. The missing shaft and prop are on the bottom of the Amelia River somewhere in the vicinity of the grounding.
While awaiting the tow I observed an outboard powered boat run aground in the same area. The outboard powered vessel was able to free itself from the unmarked shoal by trimming up their motor while throwing up a rooster-tail of sand. I have no information as to what damage, if any, that vessel may have incurred.
The Towboat US operator informed me that the problem shoal has been present for at least nine years. I have attached a photo of my chart plotter showing Happy Hagar’s track up to the point of grounding, at anchor after the grounding and while under tow heading toward Fernandina Beach Marina. The chart plotter image is shown as course-up with the top of the picture being SSW. The end of my track extending furthest south would be the point of grounding. The chart indicates a depth of 12-15 feet at that point. I have also attached a photo of a sailing vessel that grounded in the same area taken by Towboat US, date unknown.
I ask that you consider relocating Daybeacon 2 to the vicinity of 30-39-104N/081-29-089W (30°40.7333N / 081°30.4834W, 30.678889 / -81.508056), the point at which I grounded, subject to conducting your own survey. The existing Fernandina TRUB 2 could be replaced by a semi-permanent Daybeacon 4 in position 30-38-54.689N/081-29-03.486W (30°38.9115N / 081°29.0581W, 30.648525 / -81.484302) .
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my comments.
Joseph T. Plunkett
M/V Happy Hagar, Official Number 660256