Web Waypoints - Soundings Online

Web Waypoints

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These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

If only the dog could have driven the boat

A Florida man was rescued this winter after he fell overboard and his boat, with his dog still on board, raced in circles around him.

The 46-year-old Ocoee man was heading home after a day of fishing when his black Labrador retriever, Shadow, hit the throttle, sending him overboard without his PFD, a report in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper says.

As the boat and Shadow raced in circles, the man shouted for help. Nearby residents heard the cries and called 911. The Ocoee Fire Department launched a rescue boat, but the man was picked up by a good Samaritan, who also corralled the runaway boat. “The only thing [the man] said … was ‘That dog couldn’t drive the boat,’ ” a police officer says in the report. The man was taken to an area hospital to be treated for possible hypothermia, according to the report. The dog was unharmed.

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Three homeless men came to the aid of a boat owner who slipped off an icy dock and fell into the Washington (D.C.) Canal in January. The men were walking by the Washington Marina when one of them heard shouts for help, jumped a 7-foot iron fence, and ran down to the docks, according to a Washington Post news report. Unable to pull the struggling boat owner from the 38-degree water, the homeless man held onto his arm while the other two men alerted police. The D.C. harbormaster arrived on scene and helped the first man pull the boat owner from the water. The men reportedly wrapped the boater in their blankets until he was taken to an area hospital for treatment for hypothermia.

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A New Zealand woman was injured and suffered two heart attacks after a dolphin leapt from the water and collided with her as she sat on the bow of a moving runabout. The bottlenose dolphin reportedly left the water from about 15 feet away, the New Zealand Press newspaper reported, hit the 27-year-old woman in the chest, rolled off the boat, and swam away. The woman apparently suffered a heart attack shortly after paramedics arrived and was revived. Her heart stopped again while being transported by helicopter to an area hospital, where she was listed in serious condition. A second woman on board was thrown through a windshield and canopy in the incident, and a male passenger fell overboard. No one else was injured.

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The crew of a Florida shrimp boat was rescued after the vessel apparently was attacked this winter by sharks. A group of bull sharks had been slamming into the Christy Nichole for several days before a 14-foot shark broke the vessel’s shaft, causing the boat to take on water, according to a report in Florida’s News-Press newspaper. Adrift about 100 miles off Fort Myers Beach, Fla., the crew tried using pumps to keep the vessel afloat. Two hours after the collision, however, they boarded a nearby shrimp boat that took the disabled vessel in tow. In 6- to 8-foot seas and heavy rain, the captain of the Christy Nichole remained on board to continue pumping but abandoned ship before the “propeller broke loose and … ripped out the back end of the boat,” he says in the report.