One boat owner from Memorial Day now knows a new definition to the old adage, “I have a sinking feeling.”
“The call came in at 11:30 p.m. on Monday, May 30 from the boat owner’s friends,” said Captain Erich Jaeger of Sea Tow Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg.
For an unknown reason, a short center console fishing boat sank in a dock slip near the Gulfport Casino.
“Since there was no environmental hazard from leaking diesel fuel, we waited until morning when it’s lighter to do the salvage because it’s safer,” said Jaeger.
As a certified salvage diver, Jaeger attached three lift bags to the submerged boat, removed the drain plug, then used a Sea Tow vessel to pull it into open water where a “parbuckle maneuver” could be safely used, he said.
“We put a rope on the stern and the bow, then towed it through the water sideways,” he said. “It floundered at first, then as the Sea Tow vessel picked up speed and we fed out the stern line, the sunken boat righted itself and popped right around.”
A pump was then used to remove the remaining water from the fishing boat.
The salvaged boat was towed to the Gulfport Municipal Marina, where it was trailered for transport.
The salvage operation took from 8 a.m. to noon. Sea Tow did not name the owner of the fishing boat and no law enforcement investigation by Gulfport police is being conducted.