On Wednesday, we had just finished up what was going to be the last job of the day when we received a frantic phone call from one of our customers. His 15' keelboat was sinking in Harpswell, Maine and he was stuck in Chesapeake. His wife had called him when she noticed the stern sitting low in the water. She, nor any of their neighbors, did not have a dinghy in the water and could not get out to the boat.
We turned the barge around and headed back up in the river. It took us about 15 minutes to get on site and by the time we arrive the cockpit had filled and water was up over the seats. We set to bailing with a five gallon bucket and a hand held bilge pump. It was a tenuous task. We do not like to bring the barge along such pretty vessels. We are big, ugly, covered in mud, and awkward; we can break stuff without even trying. We tried to put David on board so I could get the barge away, but she threatened to swamp and go down. So we had to hold her carefully alongside the barge and bail. Luckily, the wind had died down and it was fairly calm.
30 minutes later she was bailed out, her plug was in place, and the only traces of a near catastrophe were our muddy boot prints.
We earned our acronym on Wednesday. Keep that in mind, SOS doesn't just install dock systems and inspect moorings. We do whatever needs to be done to take care of our people.