Repairing a Hole

Words by Capt Shane McClellan

Found in the 2024 Spring Issue

No captain wants to hear the words “we are taking on water,” but if it does happen I hope you can resolve it as successfully as we did!

Sadly, I ran our Lagoon 410, Guiding Light, onto a reef out at Glover Atoll in Belize. The charts for this area are spotty at best and as we were leaving the atoll along a route I had mapped out from the anchorage we turned into the morning sun. Unfortunately, Lily, on the bow, could not see the last patch reef until we were almost on top of it. I threw the engines into reverse as fast as I could, but we still heard the sickening sound of fiberglass crunching against rock and coral. I tried reversing us off the reef, but we were stuck and that is when I heard those fateful words…A rock had punched a hand sized hole through the hull forward of the keel on the outside of the starboard pontoon. Water was pouring in due to the hole and the rock still pushing against it.

We were going nowhere and water was coming in. That is when I realized how glad I am to  subscribe to the mantra “you can never have too many bilge pumps or fire extinguishers!” Besides the separate bilges in the engine compartments, I had a 600 GPH and a 2000 GPH bilge pump in each hull. I also had a 600 GPH bilge setup that could be placed anywhere I needed it and manual Whale pumps installed. While Lily held towels over the hole to restrict the flow I noticed the 600 & 2000 GPH pumps were being overwhelmed, so I liberated the 2000 GPH pump from the port side and hastily wired it up to run as a temporary pump with the movable 600 GPH. With all these pumps going we were able to get ahead of the water flow and feel very happy that the water came over the floorboards only once and only for four to five minutes. This is how we sat for about five hours with the engines in reverse to keep us from going further onto the reef since the wind was on the stern………

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Read the Full Story and see more great photos – Click Here!

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