MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY this is *Reef Slayer, Reef Slayer, Reef Slayer We have run aground on the reef pass. MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY.
What followed next was chaos, local boats loaded up with people, took off towards the pass, boats in the anchorage with big horse power outboards took off as well. The boats left behind tried to keep the caller calm and take instruction.
MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY continued to blare through the radio speakers. Reef Slayer was high and dry on the reef pass, waves crashing over their boat, their boat completely heeled over on the reef. Living out a boat owners worst nightmare.
As help arrived the MAYDAY disappeared. What followed next was complete radio silence keeping all the boats left behind in suspense. Were they about to lose their boat ? how much damage was done ? were all on board okay?
After an hour the boat was righted and back in the channel, no thanks to a big wave washing over them allowing enough water to get the prop in the water and give full throttle in reverse. They were then guided through the pass and down into the anchorage.
Everybody silently clapped and cheered with relief behind their radios at the sight of blah motoring into the anchorage. Well I imagined everybody would be cheering I know I was. For them to run aground had nothing to do with their skill level but everything to do with the pass.
The pass is a disaster waiting to happen, the amout of water draining off the reef and into the pass while water sucks out of the lagoon through the pass at atleast 3knots, the depth being no deeper then 3m, then on top of all that you have the swell jacking up behind you and breaking in the already turbulent waters. The pass is no wider then 20m and looks like a runway from hell. All these factors make for a very scary chaotic reef pass. Its no surprise that out of 7 boats that have come through one came to grief. What a terrible day for the people on Reef Slayer. That is one of the worst things that can happen to your boat. I am sure they would be recovering from that with a stiff drink and will be unsettled knowing they have to go through that same pass to get out. We all are dreading that day we have to leave knowing that the horrendous conditions of the pass await us once more.
There boat survived with only engine damage and nothing structural. They were being looked after that day by the greater force. It was also good to see how quickly the locals jumped into boats and how well they worked to get the boat off the reef.
- Reef Slayer is code name for the boats discretion.