COIL THAT ROPE AGAIN?
Apologies for this week’s article, but because I am driving across the country I had to ‘regurgitate’ an article I wrote back in 2010, which is still a good read.
Last week was a busy period for the Margaret River Sea Rescue Group as we assisted with the Geographe Bay Raceweek Regatta. With 113 yachts competing there was always going to be plenty of action but as I write this article during the middle of the Regatta, I am still laughing about an incident that I will get to a bit later.
Day one threw the Group in at the deep end, for as we were departing from the marina we were immediately called on to assist a very large yacht, “Wild One “, who had lost power and run into the boulders at the entrance to Port Geographe Marina. The first vessel to assist, a 30ft start boat, had soon after fouled it’s prop, so their were two vessels disabled in the entrance, about 80 boats trying to negotiate the channel and a race to start very soon. The crew swung into action and after about thirty minutes had managed to tow the start boat alongside to a private jetty, sent a diver overboard to cut away the fouled prop, returned to take Wild One alongside who then wanted to be brought in stern first to the lifting crane. Fortunately everything went without a hitch and the next two days were uneventful until………………………
Day three saw another beautiful ocean and once the doldrums set in three of us decided to have a quick dip to cool off. Once all back on board, Trish MacShane stated that she had been casually watching a coil of rope in the transom area that was now moving now and she believed it was a four foot long dugite. One crew member wanted to swim to shore immediately, Geoff Constantine grabbed a steel bar in the event it was needed to pacify our unexpected visitor and I proceeded to phone up local snake wranglers in order to get one to meet us back at the marina. I could not help but make what I knew would be a very interesting radio call and calmly notified race Control that we had to depart the area to extricate a snake from our vessel. Busselton Sea Rescue immediately requested us to repeat the call as they could not believe what was said. We motored in slowly, not wanting to disturb our friend, with everyone fighting to get as far forward in the rescue vessel as possible. Snake bite first aid treatment was debated and when we entered the marina, the snake decided to explore the transom further and we nearly had a vessel without a skipper or crew. The media were at the marina for a photo opportunity as the snake wrangler easily extricated, bagged and then relocated the curious reptile into the bush to live another day. Laughs all around and the obligatory jokes followed about us not checking the vessel properly before departure and all ropes should be coiled correctly.