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Powergroove803 posted 07-29-2015 01:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for Powergroove803   Send Email to Powergroove803  
aside from all the commentary about whether those kids should have been able to go alone on a boat, what is realistically the longest survival time for them if indeed they have one orange life jacket and a yeti cooler?
Im thinking 3 days if no other means to float, but if they had ice and drinks in the cooler they may have a fresh water supply, but that would hard to keep fresh at sea. A Yeti may provide a water tight seal, but just opening it would be problematic.

So they bought $110 of fuel and set out, maybe to the Bahamas but I doubt it as they were leaving at 130ish in the afternoon, and I bet they had to be back that afternoon, so I think they probably headed for the blue water and had engine trouble or lost the vessel in a storm. Somehow it overturned so I would think they maybe were in it when that happened.
Why would they not stay with the boat? Isn't that the number one rule, even for an experienced 14 yo they should have stuck to that.
Sorry, lots of speculation on my part but just wanted to get a trusted boating community opinion.

I still have not let my 16 year old take my boat out alone and he grew up racing sailboats, Otis then Lasers, and has driven the Whaler since he was 12, but Im not sure he's ready for the lake much less the ocean.
For you salty Florida guys do you think a 14 yo is responsible enough to handle a 19 ft boat on the ocean? And I mean kids that grew up there and are around and on it all the time.

EJO posted 07-29-2015 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
I agree my sons that grew up around boating could drive and dock our twin screw 31" cabin cruiser better at 12-14 years old standing on a step to see, better than many adults with 10-15 year boat experience.
That said I would not let them take out our 14" inflatable dinghy out of our sight. Let stand out onto the ocean or even IWC with commercial and/or other traffic.
When the were alone at that age in any boat they were required by us to wear a PFD.
Even as adults going out in an open (CC) boat onto the ocean I would wear my auto inflatable PFD, therefore my kids would too.
Although I don't have to worry about that any more and when they were young they wouldn't have $110 on them to buy fuel so they could not have gone far.
Last but not least any experienced ocean or big lake boater has a back up safety, like handheld radio, hand flares, EPRIB's. They were good swimmers and that boat even when overturned they would be able to get that equipment.
I feel very sorry and sad for the parents, but they were irresponsible to not have the boat properly outfitted and let their sons use it that way.
I'm sad to say the probably were or are shark food by now.
Let's pray they are not.
jimh posted 07-29-2015 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What boys are missing?
contender posted 07-29-2015 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Two boys missing out of Jupiter Fla, since Friday 25th, The boys both 14 filled up with fuel in a 19 ft Sea Craft with a 115 yamaha, headed for the Bahamas (so they said/think), they left around 1400 hrs. out of Ponce De Leon Inlet. The family was suppose to here from the boys at around 1700 hrs and did not. The next day in the afternoon their boat was found 67 miles out off of Dayton Beach overturned, The engine cover was missing with some life jackets and a yete cooler and no sign of the boys. A storm blew up that day (Friday) and had some winds to 50 miles per hour and it was raining as well. I think what happen the engine quit, they removed the cowling to see what was wrong, and with both the boys in the back of the boat and heavy seas the boat took on water and swamped the boat. The father of one of the boys stated he told them not ot go off shore and stay inside the waterway. The Gulfstream has a 3-6 mph current pushing them north, Im afraid if they do not fine them to day they will be to far north in the Altantic and will suffer from hypothema...
jcdawg83 posted 07-29-2015 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Terrible story, my hope is they have life jackets and the Yeti cooler with some water in it. I think dehydration is the biggest threat. If they are moving 100 miles a day North (approx 4mphx24 hours) in the Gulf Stream, they will be about 300 miles North of where they started. That still puts them off of the Georgia coast. The water temps there will still be in the mid to upper 80's, so hypothermia won't be an issue for a few more days.

Like others have said, I don't understand why they left the boat. Even in stormy seas, they should have been able to stay with the boat. Seeing a capsized boat is fairly easy from the air and much easier from the sea than seeing two heads poking up on wave crests.

There are lots of very large sharks in those waters, I've seen some monsters out there, I hope they haven't run into any.

Whalerologist posted 07-30-2015 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerologist  Send Email to Whalerologist     
Unfortunately and I am armchair quarterbacking here, the boys apparently violated the cardinal rule of Mariners: Never leave the vessel, even if overturned/capsized. This current situation is reminiscent of the Tampa Bay pro football players a few years back where the capsized boat was found but occupants never were. Rarely do modern vessels sink , but if they do, then a life vest and or epirb are essential for off shore boating. We can all second guess what happened or what they should have done, but fact is, many mistakes were made. Let's all hope and pray they are found safe and sound.
tedious posted 07-30-2015 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Wg, you are misremembering the incident off Tampa. All 4 of the people on board stayed with the boat, until 3 succumbed to hypothermia and exhaustion. One was rescued.

martyn1075 posted 07-30-2015 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Its so true as a cardinal rule not to leave the boat. This is of course they were not injured before it went over? I suppose fear and panic might kick in but so important if possible stay with anything floating you can cling onto. The bottom of the boat would be the place.

The thing I worry about is the possibility they were injured and drowned before the opportunity was possible because it usually takes such little time to happen. If rough seas were strong enough and at 50 mph you bet they probably would be it could have kept pushing them back in the water losing strength and hope every time. Wouldn't take much for a swell to push over an already submerged boat with extra weight on top.

Very sad its my worse possible thought that travels through my mind its a parents worse nightmare and one I hope never have to live out with my sons. As boaters we introduce our kids to the water they have no choice sometimes we plant that seed in their heads sometimes early. Its our responsibility to teach them throughly. It can be a wonderful experience that changes their life for the better but can also be a lifetime of pain if we don't educate them well enough. I have a son that has no fear right now sign him up for anything anytime no regrets so I have to work extremely hard with him make a deliberate strong effort maybe more then other children but I lay down a strict set of simple rules he obeys and understands or we can't go out. No anger no yelling involved just talk and actions follow. Now he runs to me at age 5 smiling before we hit the marina gate telling me to he wants his lifejacket on. I hope that one sticks with him.

martyn1075 posted 07-30-2015 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Correction to my last post: injured before or just after the boat flips over.
Powergroove803 posted 07-30-2015 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
I didn't start this post to sensationalize this story but, to learn from it. There is much boating experience on this forum and any ideas on training kids, adults, and safety suggestions are the focus.
I did ask what age is generally considered a proper age to let boys take the boat on their own, and how far?
For us that can boat year round that answer may be different, so tapping into to year round boaters thoughts is especially important to this conversation. And especially
people with kids who literally grew up on the water in/around boats may be most helpful.
Any insight we gain from this probable tragedy will help us all.
martyn1075 posted 07-30-2015 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Like I said its our responsibility as a parents to teach them early. Basic rules apply. Lifejacket is a must at all times in the water and around the water. Doesn't really matter if they can swim at early age. It helps, but doesn't matter if they fall off a dock and hit their heads. It takes one second to turn your back and they are in the water. If we can see them thanks to jacket we have a chance and likely a good one, but no jacket could be gone and it takes less than a minute to drown. At a marina or in the open water you could hear a splash but where are they? The water is dark the bottom can't be seen. Its a disaster waiting to happen. Out in the open even if one can swim how long can you tred water for or float on your back put a swell on top of that its not good situation. Cold water less time. The lifejacket can give one hope it takes the effort out of the floating part and conserve your physical and mental strength elsewhere.

At early age a parents actions are everything. If you are organized and safe they see that. If you are careless and dangerous they see that to. Explain everything answer all questions even if they don't get it at first a few years later they will. My son asked me about the MOB function on the GPS. Its not used much as we all know but it does have a reason we hope not to use. I try to explain that feature he nods his head but not sure he gets it yet. next year he will understand and he is 5. Tip of the iceberg so many things to teach but it starts with the parent and how they work a boat.

There are just tons of lessons and rules to follow it takes time years and full scope of common sense goes a long way.

In this situation I would not allow a young adult to operate a boat more then in a bay use. Offshore 50-60 miles?? No sorry not going to happen. I don't even go that far in a 21 foot GW. If they lied and went for it thats a tough one Im not sure what to say can you blame the parents? Not so sure. Obviously too young to make the call and thats the problem so just don't allow them to take the boat without a parent being on board.

Binkster posted 07-30-2015 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
The Gulf Stream has a 3-5 mph current running north along the Fl. east coast averaging about 3-5 miles offshore. When crossing from west to east you must set your course slightly
S/W in order to go due west. Apparently the boat swamped and rolled, and most likely dumped the boys out on the north side of the boat. They could have drifted 40-50 feet north of the boat by the time they realized what happened. Could they swim back. maybe, maybe not. I installed swim jets in my swimming pool which create about a 2 mph current. The idea is to swim against the current without making progress for exercise. I have to swim hard (and can't very long) to make progress, but then again I'm an old guy.
Their next door neighbor, a PGA tour golfer, and friend of the family offered a 100k reward to find the boys, I imagine there are quite a few folks out looking.
I've been running around alone in small boats with outboards, But not in the ocean, and certainly not in the Gulf Stream, since I was 11-12 but I was a careful kid, and my uncle taught me the ropes. I stayed and traveled with them on their cruiser for a month every summer. My parents were not boaters. I talked my dad into buying a 14' Barbour with a 25 Johnson when I was 14. I had to teach him how to run it. We went fishing every weekend. Guess who ran the boat.
Back in those days, the mid 50's, there were plenty of kids running around in boats with no adult supervision. Todays helicopter parents make it hard for kids to grow up.
that's why some are still living at home and supported by their parents at 30 years old.
It's very unfortinuate what happened to those boys.


martyn1075 posted 07-30-2015 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Helicopter parents? sometimes more like sensible parents that keep their kids alive. We are talking about safety on a boat not walking to a friends house with a hockey stick playing with the big kids on the block that may come back with bloody nose. These kids went out maybe as far as 50 plus miles into the open waters.

Going offshore in a small boat with a single engine at that age imo is far too risky business. They need to be prepared well for a trip like that a 50K winds storm later that night? Thats well beyond a gail force, and was it projected on the marine forecast? Lifejackets radio GPS cell phone? I feel horrible for them but I don't think they should have been that far out there in the first place.

I just can't imagine how the Mom feels according to her statements she can't live another day. Then I go back to Helicopter parents.

Jefecinco posted 07-30-2015 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
It's easy to assign blame. But it's not helpful to any discussion and I find it hard to respect those arm chair quarterbacks who loudly proclaim what is or is not OK from a perspective of absolutely no knowledge of the players or situation. It's really rather knee jerk to me.

Depending upon the boat about the only appendage one could hold onto is the engine foot. If winds are blowing and the sea is thrashing hanging onto that lower unit is at best very difficult. In the incident offshore from Tampa the weather was just fine and the single survivor was able to remain on the bottom of the Everglades by holding onto the engine lower unit.


Binkster posted 07-31-2015 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
Jef sez ( In the incident offshore from Tampa the weather was just fine and the single survivor was able to remain on the bottom of the Everglades by holding onto the engine)

The water temp.

Binkster posted 07-31-2015 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
Jef sez ( In the incident offshore from Tampa the weather was just fine and the single survivor was able to remain on the bottom of the Everglades by holding onto the engine)

The water temp.

Binkster posted 07-31-2015 12:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkster  Send Email to Binkster     
The water temp in the beginning of March off Tampa is about 50 degrees, and the seas were fairly calm. The other victims were washed away, never to be seen again.
The surface water temp. in the Gulf steam off Fl. is like bath water, but the seas are unpredictable.


lakeman posted 07-31-2015 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lakeman  Send Email to lakeman     
Kids today are more experienced than we were at the same age in many areas of living and life. We grew up knowing that if we messed up we would have hell to pay to our parents. Todays kids are fearless, knowing that if they screw up nothing much will happen to them, just look at what our schools and teachers have to endure, with misbehavior. Also, modern kids might/will get the fearless attitude from watching video games, and movies, tv shows where the people/equipment/ are destroyed and by the next week or minute or by the push of a button all is well again, desensitize them to actual events of real life or events.
Knowing nothing about the kids, but i would bet that with their experience they would have done much to survive. Perhaps both were hit by lightning or something rather unusual happened.
We all know how truly dangerous our boating hobby can be whether totally prepared for or not.
tedious posted 07-31-2015 04:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Just to correct - in the incident off Tampa Bay, the seas were anything but calm. There was a major squall line followed by pretty rough conditions, but it was the attempt to retrieve a stuck anchor that caused the boat to capsize, not the bad weather. All 4 boaters survived the capsize, and 3 succumbed to hypothermia, one after another, before the rescue of the survivor.

Both the Coast Guard report on the incident, and the book written by the survivor, are readily available.

jcdawg83 posted 07-31-2015 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Powergroove; I grew up and still live in an area with year round boating. I can say that by age 14, I was more than capable of operating a boat by myself. I'm not sure I would have been competent offshore in a storm, but I was very adept at boat handling. I did lots of stupid things as a teenager and through luck and some modicum of skill managed to survive.

This is a tragedy. The kids were supposedly not going out of the inlet and, like so many teenage boys, decided to run 4 miles offshore to one of their favorite fishing spots. It seems they had engine trouble, the cowling was missing from the engine, and we all know of the perils of being in rough seas without power. What happened after that is known only to God at this point. All things being equal, I don't think an adult being with them would have done anything except result in the loss of three lives instead of two.

To blame the parents is shortsighted and, in my opinion, very cruel. These parents seem to be very loving, involved people and really felt their kids were capable of being in a boat by themselves. I know they will deal with this for the rest of their lives. They don't need strangers who know nothing more than the sensationalist media feeds them second guessing their decisions or parenting. That the media reported that the boys were planning on going to the Bahamas, when that was not the case, in order to stir up emotion in the public, shows that there is no reason to base any opinions on the reporting of this sad story.

I pray for these families. There, but for the grace of God, goes my family in my youth.

jimh posted 07-31-2015 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
CONTENDER--thanks for the summary of the story about the "missing boys." I had not hear anything about this incident.

aside from all the commentary about whether those kids should have been able to go alone on a boat

Where is all the commentary posted? Is there another thread about these boys?

Jefecinco posted 08-01-2015 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Per news reports the USCG suspended the search yesterday. The family is continuing to sponsor a private search. By now a positive outcome is doubtful but I continue to hope the boys will be found.


n1ywb posted 08-01-2015 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for n1ywb  Send Email to n1ywb     
One of the things they taught us during our SOLAS training was that [as soon as possible], after you go in the water, you should lash everything and everyone together as quickly as possible, including the capsized vessel if possible. This is important for several reasons. It means more flotation, more potentially useful survival gear, keeps everyone together, and most importantly creates a bigger target for SAR. Of course doing that in a gale is easier said than done.
jimh posted 08-01-2015 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
...what is realistically the longest survival time for them

I think you will have to consult with some experts about the most realistic, longest time to survive in the ocean under a particular set of conditions. My impression of the ability of a human to survive alone, in the ocean, under adverse conditions, based on reading accounts of situations like that, is the duration is very variable, and depends greatly on many factors and intangibles, including the will to survive. There are extraordinary outcomes of lengthy survivals in the water, but those are balanced by accounts of very short durations of survivals. I don't see that anyone reading this thread would be in a position to offer any insight about the most realistic, longest survival time, based on anything scientific or substantive.

The cessation of the search by the Coast Guard of the United States of America probably reflects a reasonable estimate of the most realistic, longest time of survival. When the Coast Guard stops searching, your time to survive realistically has ended.

jimh posted 08-01-2015 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For you salty Florida guys do you think a [14-year-old] is responsible enough to handle a 19 ft boat on the ocean? And I mean kids that grew up there and are around and on it all the time.

Although I am not salty nor reside in Florida, the fact that these children have not returned from their boating adventure is evidence that they were not sufficiently responsible for their own safety and well-being to be allowed access to and use of a 19-foot boat on the ocean.

I don't think that there really are many responsible boaters who would set out into the ocean in a 19-foot boat when there was a threat of a storm and 50-MPH winds.

It is inherent in children that they often fail to appreciate their own mortality and often undertake risks and dangers. Can this be bred out of children? Perhaps it can, by careful and repeated instruction. But there is no guarantee that even the most persistent lecturing will bring results.

contender posted 08-01-2015 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
No way should a 14 be allowed to try and cross the Florida straights to the Bahamas. Just not old enought to think out problems and maybe lacking in some common sense... I did it the 1st time when I was 18 and it was in a 16'7" (135 Evinrude) Whaler with another friend (kinda young and dumb with no fear) all we had was a compass. However, we picked our day it was flat calm, no wind, no rain and clear skies. We knew whaler would not sink and we carried extra fuel and drinks. The problem is during the summer a storm can come up out of no where. And no matter the condition of the weather you still have the 3-6 mph current of the gulf. Bimini out of Miami is the 1st of the islands of the Bahamas about 53 miles one way. If you get off course and head to far north the next stop is either Europe or Bermuda depending on how bad your direction is. Best to aim a little south of the island when crossing (not a problem now with GPS), If you miss Bimini you will hit some other islands down the chain. Now with bigger boats and multi engines and of course GPS a lot of boats by pass Bimini and head for other Islands to check in customs. As far as trying to get kids to listen, some will more than others and some will not, you can only show them the correct way, and tell them do not do something stupid. I tell my kids if they want to do something. If I was standing there would you do it? Then use your head...
Jefecinco posted 08-02-2015 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
I learned at a very early age not to seek permission to do much of anything. There seemed always to be a very good "adult" reason not to do things. So I did just about anything I wanted to do. On those rare occasions when something went sufficiently wrong that I was caught I tried for forgiveness.

I was probably thirty years old when I began to give serious consideration to the possible consequences to some of the things I did. After marriage in my late thirties I finally "settled down".

I believe we credit Darwin with too much. Pure dumb luck, good or bad, seems to decide who survives more than other factors.

I also believe there must be some genetic feature which decides which of those amongst us will be risk takers.


RocketMan posted 08-02-2015 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
I have lived and boated off those waters since '78, diving, fishing, and sailing. And I'm a parent who has and supports getting their kids out on the water including licensing them to pilot a boat at 14.

I've known adult neighbors who've disappeared overboard and had the boat beach itself on autopilot. I've had a friend's boat burned to the water line the next time out after I was out in it. There've been regular reports over the years of others such as Chuck Muir disappering in his sailboat. And other's who've gone missing even in good weather. And I know people who are friends of those boys.

The Gulfsteam is big boy water and fourteen's too young to be out their with just your buddy in any craft under any circumstances.

AllanR posted 08-02-2015 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for AllanR  Send Email to AllanR     
I have been boating for a long time in South Florida, since the 1960s. Sometimes with friends and most of the time in my own whaler, first a 13 footer and later my 17 footer, which I still have.

When I was younger I would venture offshore into the Gulfstream, even in the 13 footer, but only on very calm days. It was commonly done then, and I would also see other similar size boats out there. We didn't think anything of it.

But I wouldn't do it today. Now I mostly stay in the bay and ICW and close to the shore on the outside, within a mile or so. I have come to appreciate that even though the Whalers are great boats and are unsinkable, they can capsize. And the weather is very changeable even when it looks calm. Of course now we have much better information about the weather as well. And my perspective has changed.

jcdawg83 posted 08-03-2015 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Contender; the boys were NOT going to the Bahamas. That report was falsely reported by a typical media type trying to hype the story. They were going to their favorite fishing spot 4 miles offshore.

Evidence suggests they had engine trouble, the cowling was missing from the outboard engine. A boat without power would be in trouble quickly in rough water. The biggest mistake the boys made, assuming they made the decision, was to leave the boat after it capsized. We will never know exactly what happened, but they definitely were not going to the Bahamas.

jimh posted 08-03-2015 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It seems to me that the more a reader knows about an actual news-worthy event, the more errors he will find in the mainstream media reporting of that event.
contender posted 08-03-2015 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
83 read my post again I think that is what I said
EJO posted 08-03-2015 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for EJO  Send Email to EJO     
It is a tragedy but no matter how you look at this, going or not going to the Bahama's or a favorite fish spot, engine trouble or not, 99.5% of this tragedy could have been prevented.
Of course the parents love(d) these teenagers, we parents all love our children no matter what. I feel very sorry and sad for the parents, but they were irresponsible to not have the boat properly outfitted and let their sons use it that way.
But any experienced ocean or big lake boater (14 years old or 74 years old) has back up safety in place, such as handheld radio (most new ones float and have more than a 4 to 5 mile reach (for many hours) some are AIS capable and have auto emergency buttons), hand flares (put in a ditch bag), EPRIB's (personal tied to PFD).
They were good young swimmers (not old like me) and with the boat overturned they would be able to get that equipment (even I would say in rough conditions in the stream as both they and the boat would go the same speed).
They might have gotten hurt when thrown overboard preventing them from taking survival measures such as mentioned before, like tying of to each other and the boat.
Again this is a sad,sad, story but it was preventable.
Last but not least when in really rough seas, I wear a PFD, I use a kill switch lanyard, I use a "life" line when sailing tied to the boat, if having engine trouble out in the open water I wear a PFD while bending over the engine and if unable to get it running seeing the weather getting bad I'm on the VHF, or even a cell phone asking for help(3-4 miles out?), and preparing for the worst.
jcdawg83 posted 08-03-2015 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Contender, sorry, I read it as a criticism of the parents for letting them attempt a crossing to the Bahamas. I agree with you that two 14 year olds should not try that trip, regardless of the boat or it's equipment. Way too many unforeseen things can happen. Not only on the crossing, but once they are in the Bahamas. The Bahamas are not Disney World or some sort of US operated beach resort. Two skinny 14 year old boys in a nice center console boat would be a tempting target for some of the less reputable natives of the Bahamas.

A friend and I started out on that trip, West Palm to West End, in our mid 20s. We started on a beautiful day in early May in a 21' center console with twin Yamaha 115s and 120 gallons of gas. About halfway across according to our LORAN, this was in the mid 80s, the wind changed from Southeasterly to East Northeasterly and the Gulf Stream went from lazy 2-3 ft swells to a pretty nasty 3-5 foot sea in a matter of minutes. When the stream is running against the wind in any way, it can get ugly quickly. We suddenly felt very alone and very vulnerable. I hooked the kill switch to my belt and we made sure the life jackets were within easy reach (we didn't put them on, we were in our 20s and still pretty invincible) and we let discretion be the better part of valor and turned around to head back. The return trip was easier because we were going in the same general direction as the wind. 25 or so miles in a quartering sea off the port bow at around 15 knots was not the most comfortable offshore trip I've been on. I think one of the most reassuring sights in my life was the first boat we saw on the way back. We didn't need him for anything, but knowing we weren't alone out there was a great relief.

Powergroove803 posted 08-03-2015 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
A couple of questions linger in my mind;

They put in $110 gas to go 4 miles offshore... Why?

I don't know too many teenagers who would put that much gas in a smaller boat like that unless they were going a long way offshore, but again I don't think they planned on the Bahamas, just too late in the day to make that trip and get back IMHO

Was the boat retrieved, and any evidence found?

If someone found a Yeti cooler floating on the ocean would they return it as evidence, or pocket it? or does anyone apart from the boating community even know that might be theirs?

jcdawg83 posted 08-03-2015 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
803, I wondered about the gas too, but I also wonder if they had Dad's credit card and just filled up the tank or if they charged it at a marina they had an account with. $110, at marina gas prices would probably be less than 30 gallons, not exactly a huge amount of fuel. Also, in that area, there isn't much reason to travel far offshore as the Gulf Stream is only a few miles off the beach and when you get far offshore, the fishing actually gets worse as the water depth gets very, very deep. Most people fish in 125-300' deep water.

Good question about the cooler. It could still be floating around out there off of the coast of Newfoundland.

RocketMan posted 08-03-2015 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
It's simple. If you're going out the inlet you fill the tank.
contender posted 08-03-2015 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
83 and Rocket, I agree with both of you probably dads credit card, and I always fill the tank as well. $110 at the marina at probably $3.50 a gallon really not that much fuel. The old 19 seacrafts held about 60 gallons I think. Still a sad story for two famlies, wish they would have stayed with the boat and been found, would not want to lose my son...
martyn1075 posted 08-04-2015 03:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
One engine can certainly be enough if its a strong performer but I personally just don't make any crossing on an offshore adventure unless I have a kicker attached. I start it before I leave so there is no hassle. Sometimes they can be real nasty to start. Flood it and you have time on your hands to wait to self vent or worse a needle gets stuck and it may never start. That time could be life or death especially when a boat gets broad-sided which they almost always do in strong winds and sea. Following sea not much better with waves breaking over your engine.
wally910 posted 08-06-2015 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for wally910  Send Email to wally910     
I highly doubt they were crossing to the Bahamas at 1:30-200 p.m. in the afternoon. The reason the boat was found 60 miles offshore is because it drifted with the natural flow of the stream. It is just a few miles offshore of Jupiter, but by the time you get to Jacksonville, it is 70 miles offshore. I'm sure the likely scenario is that they went a few miles offshore, had engine trouble, and a storm blew up and capsized them. The edges of the summer storms in Florida can be extremely violent. It's not uncommon for what were two foot seas to whip up to 6 to 8 foot with very short periods in a matter of minutes. I saw a video of some guys running into Jupiter on the day the boys went missing and it got quite nasty. I also have a friend who tells a story of having left the stream a little too late and getting caught in a storm 9 miles out of Jax. It was all he could do to keep the nose into the waves and hold a steady course. They donned life jackets and were standing in calf deep water in the stern of the boat. Mind you this was in a perfectly functioning 27 Contender with twins. He is a guy who has been offshore fishing and diving 2x weekly for 25 years or more, and it scared the hell out of him, he said he seriously believed they were about to sink.

The fact that they were offshore in a single engine 19 ft boat, apparently without radio, sea tow membership, or epirb, and that they left at the prime time for storms to develop, suggests that they were not experienced enough to do handle the situation.

RocketMan posted 08-07-2015 06:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
Summer fishing off the Palm Beaches in a small boat: You are out the inlet at sun up and done by one (1:00 pm) or you are going to get chased in or hammered by the afternoon storms. You don't go out (or at least stay near the inlet) past one until they're over (around 4:00-5:00 pm) or you could have hell to pay (like we're talking).
Powergroove803 posted 08-07-2015 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
Wally and rocketman are as close to accurate as speculation can get. Leaving at [1:30 p.m.] in the summer [defines an] inexperienced boater. The theory of just going a few miles offshore then getting caught in the storm and pushed out [farther] is probably the most likely scenario.
Jkcam posted 08-08-2015 11:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam    
I'm just up the beach in Stuart, FL. I go offshore all the time in a 17'. But I never go without wearing my auto/inflate PFD with my ACR PLB, and my submersible Horizion XK870 VHF/GPS with distress calling, strapped to my PFD. If I had young kids, any boat they used would also be equipped with a SPOT so I could do a little shore bound verification as to our agreed limits of thier excursions, it would also be running on a 6 gal. portable tank with a 2 gal. spare.

Things have changed a lot in boating over my 50 years of being on the water, the most notable is the fantastic safety gear in the form of electronic communication. EPIRB, PLB, VHF, etc. has actually made boating much safer for everyone.

However, none of it does anyone any good sitting on the shelf at West Marine.

RocketMan posted 08-09-2015 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for RocketMan  Send Email to RocketMan     
JK illustrates, whether he intended to or not, the difference in risk perspactive and mitigation between young and old. In this case let's say there's a one percent chance something bad will happen. The young perspective is often 'full speed ahead' without any mitigating action. Hey, it's a 99% sure thing! No addition thought required. The old perspective might be to say yeah, the probability for success IS high but the risk severity is critical and therefore put into place every mitigating option up to and sometimes including avoiding the risk altogether. This has been my own experience as I roll on down the highway.

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