Thursday, January 29, 2009

Capt. Dave McCloy - BZ

Forget about those pampered pilot types playing seaplane dude on the Hudson - let's buy Capt. McCloy a round or two of Anchor Steam ...
Quick action by the ship pilot in control of the tanker Overseas Cleliamar helped prevent what could have been a serious accident in the Golden Gate when the ship suddenly lost all power at sunset Tuesday just after it passed under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Capt. Dave McCloy, a bar pilot for about a year, had just minutes to stop the tanker from crashing into the steep rockbound cliffs of the Marin Headlands just outside the Golden Gate.

McCloy had just ordered the ship's helm put slightly to the right. So when the Overseas Cleliamar lost power, it was headed for the rocks.

McCloy acted fast. He directed the crew of the tanker to lower the starboard anchor, one of two massive anchors carried on the bow. He had the anchor lowered only partially, so that it would take hold in shallower water close to the shore.

The water in the strait is too deep for ships to anchor, and the shoreline drops off steeply on the Marin side, so there is little shallow water close to shore. The ship had to come very close to rocky Point Diablo before the anchor took hold and stopped the ship.

But McCloy had little choice: Without power or steering, anchoring close to shore was his only option.

"Capt. McCloy did a great job," said Capt. Peter McIsaac, president of the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association, whose ship pilots are specially trained to guide ships through the bay.

I can't find a way to embed the video, but go here for the transponder data. I watched it about 10 times. I'm such a geek.

More over at gCaptain, and the photo (first tug on scene outlined in box) via Duncan Davidson.
UPDATE: Wait, sure I can, I'll just steal the code. Usually, I would never steal anyone's code - but I am making the guess they won't mind. If they do, I will remove it. Refresh the page to see it again.

Hat tip Perry.

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