Flipped pontoon boat at Lake Eufaula!

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by Old Bill, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Oklahoma City
    Did you guys read about the 6 or 7 mature women who were on a pontoon boat last weekend on Lake Eufaula, when it was caught in a sudden storm, and turned over by the high winds and waves?

    The women were not wearing life vests, but all survived by clinging to the pontoons until they were able to make their way from under the boat to the floor area between the overturned pontoons.

    Once the storm had passed, the women were rescued by boaters who had watched from shore, but, were unable to come to the women's aid while the the storm was raging.

    I've always thought that a pontoon boat would be hard to turn over, but I did feel endangered a couple of time on Lake Eufaula, when caught in a storm in my pontoon boat, but by quartering the wind and waves I was able to make it to safety. One or twice I even put on my life vest!:eek:oooh:

    It would have been interesting to have seen how the pontoon boat was righted!

    CATFISHING1 New Member

    most likely if they got sideways in the wind, the wind then caught and pushed on the canipy. just a thought. i have been on them and sunk the front just cause too many people up front. :smile2: when it happened everyone scattered like roaches:smile2:

  3. Old Bill

    Old Bill New Member

    Oklahoma City
    You are right! The article did say that the boat's canopy was up, plus there was a cloth spray shield attached to the side rails.

    It's amazing how much force wind can apply to small areas of canvas or cloth!:sad2:
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    You've got several factors that all combined would make the pontoon boat unstable and easy to flip.
    High wind
    Big waves

    Assume that they incorrectly positioned broadside to the waves and oncoming wind. What side of the boat are the passengers going to be on?
    The side oppsite the onrushing wind.
    You've alreadyt got her unbalanced in a heavy wind heavy situation.

    If the pontoon boat was heading into the the same situation of unbalance could accur causing the pontoon boat to roll as the bow rose to and fell to the beat of the waves.

    The weight of the 7 people onboard probally played a bigger factor then any lift that the wind was providing. I imagine they were all huddled up together on one side or the other.
  5. olefin

    olefin New Member

    If I was on the lake and saw a storm moving in I would head for shore. Or for sure put on a PFD. I wonder if they even had enough PFD's.

    Once we had been gone for the day, looked over to neighbors boat dock.There was this Tracker pontoon boat that one pontoon had sank. The other pontoon was tied to his dock. PFD's, seat cushions, etc, were scattered out on the lawn. The pontoon must have had a leak. I was told later all the people were able to get to his dock. The next day a crew using air bags floated the boat and towed it off to be repaired.
  6. Koon

    Koon New Member

    Only way I can see this happening is they were under power and a corner caught a wave and they buried a side in the water, then they moved to one side and the wind helped the rest. Wind alone at 80mph couldn't do any lifting... been on the lake fishing when a mega cell in Oklahoma caught us in a micro burst down draft.... 80-120mph estimated... lost some loose items on the pontoon but we never came close to flipping... felt like we got blow across the lake but we thought saver to ride it out than try to fight it and make it to shore.

    Just glad to hear everyone was alright.... sad for the boat, lol.
  7. swampratt

    swampratt Member

    You must respect that lake....I was cought with a friend in my 17' coleman canoe in a storm out there and the swells were so high
    all i could see was water ,when we went to the bottom of the swells..
    Reminded me of the ocean when i got sucked out in a rip tide or something...1/2 mile from shore ...swimming.

    Up to the top THERE IS LAND,,,down to the bottom NO LAND..:eek:oooh:

    man i tell you i was real tired of swimming..
    my mom didn't even miss me..

    It is nice to hear they all were ok..
  8. Steven Armstrong

    Steven Armstrong New Member

    i wonder what length this pontoon is, and were they all standing on or near the front? all boats have a weight rating, i wonder if they may have been close to the limit, were they moving or ancored out? there could have been several things that could have contributed to this mishap. praise the Lord every one was all right!
  9. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Yuma, Arizona
    Thats crazy! I always figured that one would have to purposely flip a pontoon to make it happen! I understand that high waves and such can pretty much do anything to a boat but...wow. Im glad that they all made it to safety. God is good!
  10. azcataholic

    azcataholic New Member

    I have fished on lake eufaula and have had warnings by relatives how quick storms come thru that area. Glad everyone made it out okay, they probably will not return to water for a while.
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma
    If that's the storm I'm thinking of, it flipped a few trailers over at the state park.

    I live a few miles west of there, and the storm was nothing like that when it came through here...must have really kicked up.

    I would think if a gust hit a pontoon broadside, and managed to get under the deck, the leeward sponson would kind of "dig in" and provide a pivot or fulcrum...once that happens, look out. If, as Mark speculated, they were all huddled on the down wind side, it would be that much easier.
  12. Cherokee Rod Man

    Cherokee Rod Man New Member

    Eufaula La
    One solid report by channel 6 news estimated the wind speeds @ 90 mph. As some of you have posted it's awfully hard to overturn a pontoon but not impossible, especially if it were a tri-toon. My first thought was if the bow were pitched up on a big wave, then caught by enough wind, assuming this boat had only 2 pontoons it could happen!
  13. mississippi man

    mississippi man New Member

    Godfrey, Illino
    My wife can do things with a car that amaze anyone watching, bet she could do the same with a boat.
  14. Quackshutr

    Quackshutr New Member

    Oklahoma, Collinsville
    Wind does a lot to different things, I never thought my kids trampoline would fly but it did, about 60' horizontally and 15' vertically, and that was without any safety nets. Wind pushed it across the yard till it hit the fence, fence caused one side to lift and the wind got under it. Whooosh, over the fence thru the air and onto my neighbors house roof! !
    I can see lot of scenarios where a pontoon boat could catch air under it and have enough leverage to turn it over.