Posted by ZihuaRob from 18.104.22.168 (customer-148-235-160-137.uninet.net.mx) on Monday, February 18, 2002 at 10:24:09 :
In Reply to: A Fishing Story posted by Jared from 22.214.171.124 (h24-80-137-46.no.shawcable.net) on Monday, February 18, 2002 at 05:46:18 :
I fear it rings quite the bell of truth, but it's a scary truth.
About 9 years ago 3 local fishermen, who usually bottom-fished the seamounts near our bay, decided to go try their luck at tuna fishing. In an uncovered 20' panga with no life jackets, no radio, no compass, and no previous experience fishing for tuna 40+ miles offshore they headed out. They actually caught a few fish, too. Then when it came time to head back in, they looked in one direction and saw some hazy clouds on the horizon, and in the other direction they saw nothing. I cannot for the life of me imagine why they headed for the "nothing", because that is exactly what it was: nothing but more empty ocean.
For three days, some of it during a local fishing tournament, hundreds of people looked for the 3 fishermen by boat and even a few by plane. We ourselves had entered the tournament, and were trolling all by ourselves past the 2nd line, a known shipping lane about 45 miles out, when in the distance we saw a blue and white object, the same colors as many fishing boats, bobbing on the horizon. We got on the radio and announced our find to whomever could hear us as we hauled in our own fishing lines and raced full speed toward the object, certain that we were going to be heroes of the day and find the lost fishermen!
Half an hour later we found ourselves staring at a large, upside-down, fiberglass hatch cover of some kind. Probably covered a motor on the deck of a large trawler. It was empty. Our hearts sank in frustration and embarassment. But it DID look a lot like a boat from afar, same colors and all...
Two nights later and 180 miles off the coast of Acapulco, on the third day of their disappearance, the fishermen spot lights in the open ocean and paddle frantically to reach them, arriving by dawn. The lost fishermen find a large trawler, who give them gas, food and water and admonishingly point them towards the east instructing them not to deviate from their course.
They had survived on the raw fish they had caught, and were dehydrated, sunburned and exhausted. But they at least got lucky, if you can call it that, and made it home.
Having proper reliable working equipment aboard can make all the difference between a day fishing and a near death experience.
So when you go fishing, be willing to pay extra for your safety, else you probably have no business being out there.