Hurricanes wreck damage in so many ways -- not just immediately but in the clean up as well. Be careful and don't compound the tragedy. One friend's life is hanging by a thread. No more, please.

Post-Hurricane Dangers in the Water

Engaged in hurricane recovery efforts? Please, please remember that the water has all sorts of “nasty stuff” in it from sunken and holed boats: diesel, gas, oil, antifreeze, battery acid, the contents of holding tanks and more. There are over 200 sunken or holed boats in this one harbor, each slowly oozing various liquids. Then there’s whatever may have come from houses ashore. It’s nasty on your skin, worse if you have any cuts or scrapes and potentially catastrophic if you get it in your lungs.

On Friday, one of Dave’s closest friends was diving on his boat to prepare it to be raised after sinking in Irma. He had a near-drowning and got water in his lungs. We’re lucky in the Keys – the medevac helicopters are up and running and he was quickly in a Miami ER. Despite that, he is fighting for his life. In addition to all the “regular” complications of a near drowning, his lungs are extremely inflamed from that toxic brew and struggling to pass oxygen to his blood.

Then there are the other hazards. Sunken and damaged boats have jagged metal and rough fiberglass holes. Rigging and lines are a tangled mess, just waiting to ensnare limbs and dive tanks. Any can cause serious injuries — problems in their own right, and doubly so as the wounds occur in that nasty water.

Add in the overwhelming stress that everyone is under, and it’s easy to see how accidents happen. How a danger can be overlooked. No one is thinking at full capacity and methods for recovering boats are being improvised minute-by-minute as new issues encountered.

If you have to go into the water anywhere that boats have sunk or been holed, please be careful. Think if there is any other way to do what needs to be done. These hurricanes have been devastating enough. Let’s not have additional tragedies.

I'd like to know about...

Explore more

Want weekly tidbits of cruising information? Sign up for The Boat Galley's free weekly newsletter. You'll get the newest articles and podcasts as well as a few relevant older articles that you may have missed.

Do you find The Boat Galley useful? You can support the site when you buy from Amazon by using the links on this site or clicking below. No extra cost for you!

5 Comments
  • Angel Mercer Ganey
    Posted at 25 September 2017 Reply

    Very important message. Thank you for sharing.

  • Claire Ford
    Posted at 25 September 2017 Reply

    So sorry for this whole mess. I pray your friend recovers.

  • Frederick Wulf
    Posted at 01 October 2017 Reply

    BLEESS you Folks for all the help!!

  • Wendy Whitaker
    Posted at 02 October 2017 Reply

    So glad you and Barefoot Gal are in one piece and .Kudos to you for your amazing Blog and the really useful things your write about. Take care down there. Having survived Hurricane Andrew in Miami in 1992 my hearts goes out to you all.

Post A Comment