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DEEP: Last week’s deluge sunk boats

October 2, 2018

Last week’s deluge that brought up to 8 inches of rain to Connecticut flooded streets and basements.

It also sunk several boats along the Connecticut shoreline.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Boating Division said it received calls and commercial assistance providers that posted pictures of boats sinking at their docks because of the torrential rain.

It shared photos of water-filled boats from Sea Tow Eastern Connecticut and TowBoat US Mystic.

“This is a funny time of year for boaters.” the division posted on its Facebook page.

“On one hand, many folks want to keep their boat in the water to take advantage of the nice fall weather. On the other hand, it is a busy time of year with school, work, and other sports, it’s easy to ‘forget about’ the boat. There is a piece of boating trivia that is often forgotten, as good as boats are keeping water out (float), they also do a good job of keeping water in (SINK).

“This time of year when many folks do not get to the boat as often as they would like, things can go wrong without anyone onboard the boat. Before leaving your boat unattended for long periods of time keep these tips in mind, after all, you don’t want your boat to sink without you! (Or any time for that matter!).”

The boating division offer this advice to keep boats on the water, not beneath it:

Make sure that all hatches and deck plates are closed completely and locked down appropriately.

Make sure that all overboard drains are not clogged and are running freely.

If you have deck drains that are connected to hoses that discharge overboard, ensure they are in good shape, not leaking and water flows through freely.

Make sure the bilge areas do not have any trash or debris in them that could clog the bilge pump.

Make sure that your bilge pump is functioning properly.

Check of the bilge pump discharge hoses to ensure that they are in good shape, not leaking and that all connections are tight. (So that all the water they are pumping IS going overboard!)

Ensure that your battery is charged and the power to the bilge pumps is turned on.

If you have shore power, make sure that all the associated systems are in working order.

Do not forget to check on your boat, especially after a heavy rain or multiple storms. Debris may have entered your boat and clogged the drains or batteries may need to be charged after the bilge pumps have been running for extended periods of time.

If your boat is on a trailer, the collection of large amounts of water in your boat could damage the boat, gear in the boat or the trailer.

A good tip in this situation is to pull the drain plug and ensure any water that collects in the boat drains out freely.

One more thing ... remember to put the plug back in before the next time you launch.

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