Letter to the Editor: Oil Ships are Dangerous, Even When Anchored


We were out sailing from Marina del Rey in a sailboat, Fluid Flow, when we came across what we thought was an anchored oil tanker. Anchor chains were deployed and it was sitting in the same location for about 30 minutes while we were on the approach.

We got in front of it between Manhattan Beach and the ship, and we noticed the oil tanker had a bow wave — and it was coming directly at us. We scrambled for the aux key and fought to get out of its way. Meanwhile, the oil tanker’s horns were sounding, and damaging our hearing.  

They missed us by a few feet. We were unscathed, but it behooves anyone near those ships to be aware that they can suddenly start proceeding with anchors deployed.

It was a great scare, but no damage was done to us or them. 

This should be a warning to other boaters, to give oil tankers a very wide berth and be attentive to their movements.

Tom Joyce

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