Alice gets back into blogging by sharing a freaky video of a tug capsizing in Skookumchuck Narrows

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgI'm back. In person, and online. And not all that thrilled about it, but I'll cope. ;-) I'll regale you with updates on our fab trip out west, and on how my fall is shaking out, including teaching and research plans, but I first have to finish reading a dissertation that is being defended tomorrow, and writing an activity report, also due tomorrow. Offlinelessness has its price, but at this point I still think it has been worth it.

In the interim, let me share with you a video of a tug accident that happened in the Skookumchuck Narrows near my parents' cabin. The Skookumchuck (Chinook Jargon for "strong waters") is a set of tidal rapids where a cubic mile of water goes through a narrows on a 10-ft tide -- these are big rapids, and kayakers come from around the world to surf them.

However, there is a point when the tide is turning that the rapids disappear and there is "slack tide." This is the time when it is safe to traverse the rapids if you are not in a fast boat or crazy. The tug was going through at slack tide, and capsized -- the video was taken and uploaded by kayakers. A man was stuck inside the capsized tug for 10 minutes, but made it out okay, and there were no other injuries (let alone deaths, a more normal occurrence to accidents in the Skookumchuck).

These rapids are maybe a mile from my parents' cabin, where we were the week after this accident. My parents saw the plume of smoke that went up from the tug, and saw various boats go in to try to help rescue both people and property; their view of the tug itself was obscured by the islands.

That was probably the most "exciting" thing that happened around our trip - some other time I'll tell you (if I haven't already) of how I helped scare a cougar away from killing my dog at the same cabin. A slightly dangerous place... we otherwise completed our trip unscathed.

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Incredible footage. Mind-stopping. SW's real grandpa (my dad) disappeared in a boat capsizing on Lake Superior. I've been through that narrows on a boat and indeed a boat has to go through with exquisite timing. Thanks, Alice.

By science grandma (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

What my mom said :) that's incredible footage. But more importantly, this is the second time you've mentioned a dog!!!!

I spend too much time on boats (for work and fun) that videos like this scare the bejesus out of me. The narrows are a spectacular place to watch the force of water. Scary stuff.

Glad you had a good trip other than that!