Fishermen Jump Over the Side as Bayliner Runs Into Their Boat: Frightening Video
By Peter A. Janssen
This is one of the most graphic, you-are-there videos I’ve ever seen, a real nightmare that easily could have been fatal, but wasn’t. We know about it because it was captured, from start to finish, by a GoPro camera mounted on the deck of a 20-foot Weldcraft fishing boat that was run down by a 31-foot Bayliner near the mouth of the Columbia River last summer.
Although the circumstances here may be unique, because we can see them unfold in real time, this type of situation may be more common than we’d like to think. It centers around people not paying attention – of putting the boat on autopilot and then making lunch or taking a nap, of talking or texting on their cell phones while their boat plows through the water at 20 knots; of sitting down instead of standing up when they can’t see over the bow; of getting tired or nonchalant and losing all situational awareness.
Just think about other events like this one that we’ve written about lately: The powerboat that ran smack into the side of a ferry on a clear day in the middle of Puget Sound; the captain of a 60-foot Princess who ran down and killed an 81-year-old fisherman on a 23-foot Steiger Craft, also on a clear day, off Rhode Island; the two U.S. Navy destroyers that collided with huge merchant ships last summer in the Pacific, resulting in 17 dead American sailors.
In this case, Marlin Lee Larsen, 75, said he was sitting down and the dash of his Bayliner blocked his view when he ran over the fishing boat. Police charged Larsen, who uses a motorized scooter on land, with reckless operation, reckless endangerment and fourth-degree assault. He pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, Bryan Maess, the owner of the 20-foot salmon fishing boat, sued Larsen for $372,000. Maess, 47 and a local police officer, jumped over the side with his two companions just before Larsen crashed into their boat. They are lucky to be alive.
See the video by Salmon Trout Steelheader and read more here: