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Tsunami Damages America's Cup Harbor San Diego

SeaTow Kept Busy

Photos: Compliments Of John Campbell


Hi Jim and Carol, we had a bit of everything in SD county today, rain, hail, lightning, snow down to 3,500 ft, Sun, wind gust up to 20 knots, and a Tsunami of what looked like 2 to 3 feet, but a gentle one, not a wall of water. I got a call about 1:30 today from Capt. "Bubba" Severence of SeaTow saying the pier by the old Log office at Dricoll's Wharf was breaking up. I jumped in my car to go and check it out and offer my assistance.


Bubba was already on his 35 foot Eastern when I arrived at Driscoll's Wharf. He had a line on a 110+foot Research ship MERLIN. He waited until the current had ebbed and was starting back out and then he was able to get the ship out into the Bay and set it at anchor. The remainder of the crew arrived and he picked them up and shot them out to the ship. He then rescued a sail boat aground just outside of the America's Harbor on a sandbar. After that he assisted his fellow SeaTow rescue boat tow a approx 70 foot sail boat that had drug its Ball block 20+ yards and was in danger of damaging other boats.


Capt Bubba called me and asked me to try to find Larry Baumann, owner and GM of the Bali Hai Restaurant, because it looked like his new docks were damaged and partially missing. I went over to the Bali Hai and unable to find Larry. I went down to check the docks. I found a 10 foot section was missing from the dock, just seaward of where gangway was sitting on it. The surge must have been very strong and pushed the dock under the water and the force of the water broke the section off.


As I think back on the day, I'm stunned at the lack of awareness and action by the boating community, the Coast Guard, and the Harbor master for not making sure boats left the harbor when it was determined a tsunami was eminant for The Harbor.


I thought it was common knowledge about the effect of a tsunami and the destruction it can cause in a Harbor. I learned about it in Hawaii and today the harbors in Hawaii, including Pearl Harbor had all boats and ship depart the harbors.

More details will ccome tomorrow from Capt Bubba. He also told me he heard about some problems in Mission Bay.

John L Campbell
Campbell Pacific
3960 W. Point Loma Blvd, Ste. H 347
San Diego, CA 92110
SKYPE: starandjohninsd
cell: 619-991-5480

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