It’s 02:00 and I just sat down to do this list. The reason isn’t the normal procrastination the precedes most everything I do, but a much more interesting tale that involves my boat breaking down on the Susquehanna river 100 yards from the boat ramp.
Everything was going fine, we cruised around the river with no problems, caught a bunch or Channel Cats, and weather was great.
About 9:30 Pm we decided to head in and call it a night. As we approached the boat ramp the engine shut off. I tried restarting it several times to no avail. As I was attempting to restart the motor we drifted about 400 yards in the fast moving current. Finally we threw anchor so we wouldn’t lose any more progress or drift into a rock. We tried all kinds of things, switched gas tanks, purged the water/fuel separator. I called people looking for another boat to tow us to shore, and to see if anyone could talk me through a fix.
Nothing worked, so I had to break down and call Lancaster County Wide Communications, commonly known as the 911 center. I called the non emergency number and asked, “suppose someone was to break down on the river, what would they do?” They asked me if I was stuck on the river, I told them that we weren’t in distress and that we just couldn’t get the motor started.
I was hoping that maybe they could send someone out non-emergency or that maybe there was was a AAA for boats that I didn’t know about that they could send. They told me to call back and use the actual 911 number so that they could plot my location better.
After calling 911 with my location now confirmed I hung up the phone and pulled up an app on my phone that broadcasts fire and police radio transmissions. That’s when I found out that apparently there isn’t a stranded boat AAA like service. They dispatched 5 boats from 3 different counties, a Rescue Squad, 2 engines, a Medic unit, and the police, lol. We could hear the sirens coming to our rescue. I thought to myself, wow this seems a little excessive, I mean we could sleep in this damn boat and it still wouldn’t be an actual emergency.
The rescue boats descended on us from multiple directions with their red and white lights flashing, which seemed a little strange since there wasn’t any other boats on that whole section of river. The first boat pulled up beside us, I threw them a rope and they towed us back to the boat ramp.
That was the first time I had that boat on the Susquehanna river, if this ever happens again I’ll probably just pull the plug, let it sink and swim to shore. All in all not a bad day, we caught some fish, enjoyed the weather, and now have a fun story to tell.
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