Home » Beached my Hatteras Yacht with Hurricane Dorian approaching with no other safe place to go

September 2019, Hurricane Dorian was approaching and our marina asked all the boats to leave based on the high winds and title surge that was projected to be roughly 9 to 12 feet.
We decided to take the boat up to the locks lake Okeechobee.
On the way to the locks late in the evening a storm blew in off the ocean and It was simply unbelievable. We were banged up pretty good.
Unbeknownst to us at the time the hot water tank broke free and knocked off a raw waterline flooding the engine compartment.
About 6 miles away from the Inlet large roller waves started coming at us. We sit around 15 feet off the water from the bridge.
I’m 6.5 and as the waves approached I could not see over the tops of the waves. By the time you could see the waves and cut into them it was nearly too late causing us to nearly capsize four or five times.
We put out a mayday call to the US Coast Guard in fear we would be capsized.
Fortunately as we approach the Port St Lucy inlet the water started smoothing out considerably.
The coast guard finally made it to us whereafter they boarded my vessel inspected and passed.
However during the inspection it was discovered water issues in the engine room. The Coast Guard was fantastic they pumped out the engine room and they towed us over to a nearby marina to dock for the evening.
The next day marina personnel showed up along with the sheriffs.
During the daylight hours we discovered the damage and repaired it with a simple hose clamp.
One engine wouldn’t start and the hurricane was approaching.
At this juncture all we knew is that it was going to be a category five hurricane with 185 mph plus winds.
The marina assisted us the best that they could but they would not let us dock or tie off for fear that the marina would be destroyed which is their prerogative to do so.
The bridges headed to the locks were closed and the sheriffs were unable to get those open for us.
At the suggestion of the sheriffs and marina personnel one option was to anchor down in a very congested area with other boats in Shallowater known for anchor drag.
With the hurricane approaching another suggestion was to simply beach the yacht at Sandsprit Park.
And again at this juncture all we knew was that it was going to be a category five hurricane with winds 185 mph or better along with approximately 12 foot surge.
So to minimize damages to property and possible loss of life the decision was to beach the yacht and tie it off and hope for the best.
At this juncture we figured the worst possible scenario when the hurricane hit would be the Hatteras blown onto the beach further or into the parking lot rather than through a dock or somebody’s beautiful home or another boat.
And most important of all we felt that nobody would’ve been injured or killed by safely putting it on the beach.
It was a difficult decision to make and the pressure was incredible.
Thankfully, hurricane Dorian turned and never made landfall and no property was damaged nor lives lost and the damages were very minimal.

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