The inevitable accidents at sea

The inevitable accidents at sea

The captain of the yacht died flying off the bridge.


According to Ocean City Today. Photos by Stuart Browning.

U.S. newspapers and fishing forums are flooded with reports of the death of a captain thrown from the bridge by the ship's sharp roll.

The tragedy happened on September 3, when the 51-foot (15.5 m) fishing boat Waterdog hit a powerful tidal wave as it entered a narrow bay on Florida's east coast. The Jupiter Inlet was already notorious among local captains, and on that day, with clear weather, there was also a strong wave that even surfers wouldn't dare enter.

"The Waterdog took off and «bent» down the wave, blasting its nose up the bulwark. The result was a sharp heel when the boat was almost aboard, and its excellent stability played a bad role in the captain's service. The boat recovered so dramatically that the captain, 61-year-old Tom Henry, couldn't keep up on the high top bridge and fell into the water, hitting the flatbed (top of the boat) in flight. The Coast Rescue Services worked quickly, but the captain died in hospital three days later from his injuries.

According to local forums and newspapers, Tom Henry was one of the most experienced and respected charter captains on the east coast of Florida, and the incident was a fatal accident from which even the best are not insured.

A local government representative also commented that the unusually intense unrest in those days may well have been one of the distant consequences of Hurricane «Earl».

The fateful moment was shot by a local photographer who came ashore to shoot surfers. Not seeing anyone on the water, he decided to take some spectacular shots of a big boat struggling with waves, and that's where it all happened.

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