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RE: Cruise Ship Wake, incident Ryndam
By Marvin Davis


May 18, 2005

I whole heartedly agree with Mr. Shrum's recent letter. Last year there was a near tragedy near Cutter Rock where three yound men found themselves in the water for nearly an hour after being capsized by a cruise ship wake. I noted myself an instance in front of Mt. Point boat launch where a wake nearly upset a 16' Lund skiff, and caused the two fishermen in the boat to hang on for dear life. It gave my 28' quite a ride, there is no easy way to escape the high waves with a short distance between crests. It obviously ruined their fishing evening, as they spent some time trying to put their boat and gear in order after the experience, then quit fishing for the evening.

I mentioned both of these experiences to one of the marine pilots, and it was my understanding that at the annual pilots meeting this year that the adopted speed was going to be 7 knots past Cutter Rock, as well as an extended speed reduction in the Gastineau Channel near Juneau past Marmion Island to also accomodate large wakes and small boat fisherman. Since then, I noted a problem again this week while fishing on the southend. When the Carnival Spirit departed southbound Monday evening, it was obviously well above 7 knots as it passed the Mt. Point ramp area, which is about a mile north of Cutter Rock. These large vessels and their owners are responsible for their wakes, as well as the pilot and Master aboard.

It would be nice to hear a response from the Pilots about what the policy is, which vessels it applies to, and what their response will be if another capsize does occur leading to additional property damage or loss of life.

Marvin Davis
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter Cruise Ship Wake, incident Ryndam by Steven K. Shrum - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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