Watch: Lucky escape at the Tweed Bar

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
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Tuesday 25th, May: Kyle Webb, American skipper of the Begonia, a 12m catamaran, times his exit of the Tweed River to coincide with the morning high tide.

Though he chose the right tide, Captain Kyle underestimated the size of the easterly swell hitting the bar. Despite the oversight, the Begonia almost made it to clear water.

Unfortunately, a wave capped and hit the cat's starboard side dragging it back into the impact zone, the following nine minutes a mix of terror for the people aboard, and good fortune too, as the Begonia, despite losing power and steering, somehow managed to avoid the Tweed breakwalls and get washed safely back down the river.

Vision from Swellnet's Tweed Bar surf camera. And yes, if you saw the story on Channel 7 Gold Coast, this is the same footage.

Comments

sangsta's picture
sangsta's picture
sangsta Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 2:48pm

Should have checked that Tweed Bar Webcam before going out for a sail....
However after watching that many minutes of terror, I hope all are ok.

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 2:45pm

What shit's me is people's selfish appetite for risk, like the tool, Captain Kyle.

Yes, right tide, but, surely, he can read a map, listen to a forecast or - if he is in waters unknown to him, make an investigative call to ascertain conditions.

Damn lucky. If luck wasn't on his side someone would have been called in to act, to assist, against their own value's of risk because someone didn't have the foresight to think ahead. Goose.

angatta cool's picture
angatta cool's picture
angatta cool Friday, 28 May 2021 at 11:20am

It's better the first responders have something to do than sleep and jerk off

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 2:48pm

What an idiot captain that bloke was. Just wanted more chances to die.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:02pm

Personally, I think it was worth the risk to life and craft so Stu could write 'Look at the cat get dragged in.' which gets my vote for best thing ever farken written.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 2:30pm

hahaha yes agree but also what a fukn idiot, sorry kyle

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:05pm

It's like a lotto win purchase by someone with no fucking idea what swell is, amazing.

dr-surf's picture
dr-surf's picture
dr-surf Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:06pm

Ahhhhh You Kidding. Captain?

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:10pm

Dosent look like he lost power maybe some steering ...but what were they thinking ......derr ...done many a bar crossing out of ballina in small tinnies and come close a few times .One time in particular the fish were on and fishing at black head you can see the bar knowing the tides turned and the swell has jumped and you can see its now 6ft with the runout tide and the 25 hp isnt really going to cut it with a boat full of jew and mackeral.........almost going backwards ....another time at yamba watching this fishing boat going out and the swell was 8ft ,he knew the swell was up didnt make it and someone drowned.......seriously stupid cause as in that footage its a long run when the swells up and you have to have good skills ....im sure the coast guard would have warned the skipper of the dangers .........hope he learn't a lesson cause some one could possibly have died through his stupidity......so lucky

juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre's picture
juegasiempre Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:17pm

First came the SUPs, then the foils and now Catamarans?! Just ride shortboards FFS.

blitz's picture
blitz's picture
blitz Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:24pm

Geez you blokes are harsh.... I thought his bottom turn, top turn combo was pretty bloody good... then to finish with a tail slide to flats had me locking in maximum points...
Couldn't see his claim though.....too far away.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:27pm

Hahaha someone needs to dub Turpell "Off the top, off the bottom...".

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 7:48pm

haha. Agreed!! A 9.58 for that first wave, possibly the greatest ride ever at the Tweed Bar, followed by a 7.97. He had a great heat!
Hope all are ok though. How well does that Cat handle though. That was impressive that it didn't flip.

johnruciak's picture
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johnruciak Friday, 28 May 2021 at 1:19pm

Starting with a backwards takeoff was a statement

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson Monday, 31 May 2021 at 1:02pm

Yea I reckon the captain wanted to charge it again but the crew were screaming no, and that’s why they were driving around in circles. Was probably a pirate in a past life.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:25pm

watching that footage again and i wonder at what point when he was approaching the bar while still in the river did he think it was makeable in a slow moving cat...straight lines of 6 to 8ft plus white water...........should jail him .

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:35pm

That screen shot up the top just looks like the most fucked up place to be in a boat.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:37pm

Dumb cnt

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:38pm

I eagerly await the next update in the Captain's Log.

Here's Captain Kyle's log from the day before:

"Another early start to make the right tide state for the bars involved. We again had to bring down the spinnaker for fear of arriving too early at Tweed Heads, and still arrived too early anyway. We held off for a while, and entered without issue but before conditions were ideal to be sure."

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 4:06pm

2nd entry in the Captains log...
0500 hrs - All quiet and no swell in the marina....
0505 hrs. - Getting away early to avoid paying marina fees

sue.radnedge's picture
sue.radnedge's picture
sue.radnedge Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:48pm

no swell at the marina.....its the Ivory Tavern...no swell .....absolute nutter, at least 2km for the bar....

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 4:52pm

Good find, there's a red flag in the first three words of that blog - never heard it called a mooring ball before :)

And maybe a bit of a tell in the "about" section - "we don't care too much about ... labels."

Captain's Log - "Was informed prior to departure that there were 8ft walls of whitewater breaking across the bar but this was quickly dismissed because it was just, like, his opinion man."

Postmodernism bites.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:39pm

Give the bloke a break. He's an American and obviously doesn't understand Austrian conditions.

batfink's picture
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batfink Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 11:07am

Very droll Gary, I like it. :-)

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 4:34pm

nice work Gary

mike.logan's picture
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mike.logan Monday, 31 May 2021 at 2:07pm

Yep the yanks. Know it all!!!! I can handle anything - Captain America. Maybe he is related to Trump.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 3:41pm

they should do a movie........i know ....gilligans island

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 4:01pm

No worries., that Cats got 8 more lives.

sue.radnedge's picture
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sue.radnedge Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:49pm

classic!

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 4:22pm

Lucky the boat wasn't single hull, would have flipped for sure.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 5:47pm

Maybe another victim of wave height measurement inconsistencies... He probably watched the Narrabeen Pro, seen the 6ft claims on the WSL page and thought yep, I’ll handle this Aussie 6ft stuff, no worries, mate.

Riddy's picture
Riddy's picture
Riddy Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 6:19pm

Wow. I remember seeing that cat down in Flinders island in March. Very lucky, glad everyone is ok

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 6:34pm

That boat is a reef waiting to happen with that guy at the helm. Hopefully that knocks some sense into Captain Kyle. The odds of copping one in that thing were well above average. And the bulky rudders on some of those cats snap so easily in surf conditions.
I'm sure the Dad's Army at the Volunteer Marine Rescue are ready to spring into action any day now. ;}

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 7:35pm

What's the issue here I've got no brakes on my pushy, still rockin.

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 7:42pm

Where will he be over the weekend? Hopefully not at sea!

Tuesday was just the lemon next to the pie.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 8:06pm

Tweed slipway is my guess.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 11:09am

Thinking the same dazzler, hoping he is well tucked up in a marina for the next few days.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 8:11pm

The use of the title "Captain" is a bit of an overreach IMO

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 8:14pm

Galley boy Kyle has a better ring to it

spiggy topes's picture
spiggy topes's picture
spiggy topes Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 8:16pm

Who knows what pressure was coming from passengers/other crew. Helmsman clearly didn't know the bar and how deadly the north coast entrances can be. What really is puzzling is why at first he was puttering ahead into solid swell at 3kn instead of going for it when cutting north. He needs to check the thousands of youtube clips of confident skippers busting out of bars in foul weather and, equally, the noobs with a thousand horses of outboards who bury their bows in Florida slop and get swamped, while an audience of hundreds catcalls from the break walls.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha Friday, 28 May 2021 at 8:25am

You used to be able to cut north. Its more unpredictable now.

sue.radnedge's picture
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sue.radnedge Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:53pm

yep...now it hope the best...but to cut over the left...the shallow side.....scary stuff.
did you read the comment," left early to avoid the mooring fees...from Ivory Tavern...and there was no swell...at then marina hahaha....god I hope he travelling alone.

jshe35's picture
jshe35's picture
jshe35 Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 8:31pm

Some serious clean up on the 'poop deck' required after that

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 11:11am

Ha ha ha, that goes to the top of the pile jshe, who said surfers weren’t funny?

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 10:52pm

We’re all surfers, we know sets, periods, rips, currents etc, and we are programmed to work around them and use them to our advantage. We assume everyone else can too but they don’t. Its a scary reality that a lot of experienced yachties and boat operators are completely oblivious to it. Some think they know, but their reflex reaction is still just to head straight into the waves. I first experienced this while going scuba diving on a large cruiser and the crew were hell bent on just charging at the large waves across the bar. It was seriously crazy. They had no idea. Similarly I’ve encountered the same issue with someone who has sailed successfully in several major offshore yacht races. I’ve tried to explain it and they even said they understand but when faced with approaching sets, rather than backing off and waiting, they just went for it.

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 10:54pm

"I'm not an ambiturner... I can't turn left."

epictard's picture
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epictard Friday, 28 May 2021 at 6:55am

This just reminds me of so many paddle out attempts when it has been bigger than it looked from the car park. From the 'That was easy, almost out the back already' to the final defeat sitting just inside the impact zone contemplating a quick paddle back out versus going in and doing 'the run around'.

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman Friday, 28 May 2021 at 7:04am

Some of those cats have inboards in one hull and steer like a underpowered brick
I think that’s why he couldn’t turn it

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha Friday, 28 May 2021 at 8:23am

I thought the Tweed River sand bypassing program was designed to make the bar safe?... oh that's right its designed to protect beachfront investments further north... 600+ wannabe skippers lining the super(?!) bank is just a happy accident...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 28 May 2021 at 8:33am

It's designed to "maintain a safe, navigable entrance to the Tweed River and restore and maintain the coastal sand drift to the beaches on the southern Gold Coast of Queensland."

Old mate could have easily steered left at the rivermouth and then gone around the Bar (was early high tide and there was a good channel to the north). But, for some reason he decided to punch through. 

gannet's picture
gannet's picture
gannet Friday, 28 May 2021 at 9:39am

I think left is called 'port' Ben
;)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 28 May 2021 at 10:10am

Not to ye olde landlubbers.

Trentslatterphoto's picture
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Trentslatterphoto Friday, 28 May 2021 at 10:37am

you see people this way going out fishing and its like 7 mtrs on the live bouys. people be cray, but hey they say the same thing about surfers.

Eggman's picture
Eggman's picture
Eggman Friday, 28 May 2021 at 11:09am

Read: Great Comments on lucky escape from Tweed Bar. Some serious wit at the end of the week. thanks!

angatta cool's picture
angatta cool's picture
angatta cool Friday, 28 May 2021 at 11:18am

If only the swell was a bit bigger and Parko was on the boat

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso Friday, 28 May 2021 at 11:26am

My boat is 6'4 and 45 litres (no outriggers yet)...no passengers, and it doesn't go out when its pushing 6 to 8 ft anymore. Cap'n Fatso has at least one functioning braincell

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:09pm

How embarrassing.

Mind you, attempting a fins-first take off on a 38-footer deserves some praise.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:40pm

This could be the Knob
https://www.noonsite.com/news/portrait-of-a-cruiser-maryanne-and-kyle-webb/

if so he could probably update 'Things you would do Different' or 'Scariest day on the Water'

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Friday, 28 May 2021 at 1:13pm

Yep, that's him udo
How's this quote from his spiel.....
"I felt somewhat that I was simply riding the conveyor-belt of life and not actively steering in any particular direction. "
He uses the same philosophy for crossing bars...

sue.radnedge's picture
sue.radnedge's picture
sue.radnedge Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:44pm

Well, as a sailor girl the captain, got a death wish....and the vessel is then steer over the shallow section of the bar...pays to talk to a few locals before heading out...even the local fishing boat didn't go out...let alone a cat, heading the bar looking that nasty....madness.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 28 May 2021 at 12:50pm

https://followingsea.net/blog/Begonia
Is he going to update attempting to leave Tweed Heads ?

sirboonie's picture
sirboonie's picture
sirboonie Friday, 28 May 2021 at 2:21pm

can someone speed this up with some comical music please..? Captain pugwash theme would do the trick

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 28 May 2021 at 3:08pm

Checked the specs on the tub , flashy bit of gear but only has 2 X 20 hp diesels for a displacement of nearly 6 tons. Not something I would cross that bar on big swell in. And I've crossed it way worse than that.
Makes you wonder if your'e just cruising around why would you risk it? It's bad enough having to make these calls when your'e livelihood depends on it , but that decision to cross , under powered and especially straight up the guts was flat out stupidity.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Friday, 28 May 2021 at 3:17pm

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost, the Minnow would be lost.

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/gilligansislandlyrics.html

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Friday, 28 May 2021 at 3:59pm

Sing a long...Waterboys Album "This is the Sea"
Note: I slightly changed the lyrics for Captain Kyle

These things you keep
You'd better throw them away
You wanna turn your back
On the local fishermen's ways
Once you were moored
And now you are free
Once you were tethered
Well now you are free
That was the river
This is the sea!

Now if you're feelin' weary
If you've been a dickhead for too long
Maybe you've been suffering from
A few too many
Bar crossings that have gone wrong
And you're trying to remember
How fine your life used to be
Safely back in the Marina
Like it's 1973
Well that was the river
This is the sea!
Idiot!

Now you say you've got trouble
You say you've got no steering
You say' youve got nothing left to believe in
Nothing to hold on to
Nothing to trust
Nothing but Anchor chains
You're scouring your conscience
Raking through your memories
Scouring your conscience
Raking through your memories
But that was the river
This is the sea yeah!

Now I can see you wavering
As you try to decide
You've got a seppo brain in your head
And it's tearing you up inside
You're trying to make sense
Of the sets that you just can't see
Trying to make sense now
And you know you once held the key
But that was the river
And this is the sea!
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!...Idiot

Now I hear there's a train
It's coming on down the line
It's yours if you hurry
You've got still enough time
And you don't need no ticket
And you don't pay no Marina fee
No you don't need no ticket
You don't pay no mooring fee
Because that was the river
And this is the sea!

Behold the sea!....Idiot

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 28 May 2021 at 4:06pm

That's gone into the excellent range.

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Friday, 28 May 2021 at 4:11pm

Actually, I feel bad wasting a good tune like that on Cap'n K

sunbird's picture
sunbird's picture
sunbird Friday, 28 May 2021 at 7:01pm

Yes Megzee, one of my favourite tunes ever!

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Friday, 28 May 2021 at 11:58pm

I don't imagine the vessel has gone too far . Perhaps Swellnet could break out the company tinny and send one of their investigative reporters around the river to track Kyle down and do a bit of a one on one with the man .

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 4:25pm

Probably showing my age but this immediate;y came mind .............

Gilligan's Island theme song

By the living harrys Ginger was hot, ooops can I say that?

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 5:30pm

Yeah, but is was Marry-Anne who made all the coconut cream pies.....
Now there is a good lookin country lass......Well, I thought that when I was 13

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 4:40pm

Captains log updated today. https://followingsea.net/blog/Begonia
Tied up at another free mooring in Terranora creek. Doesn't mention the incident but states the engine/s and steering needed repair.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 6:59pm

Haha, wasn’t memorable enough to log for Kooktain Kyle.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Monday, 31 May 2021 at 9:15am

Brilliant. I'd say nearly capsizing/destroying the boat would justify some sort of note in the log? Could downplay it if needed... "Unsuccessful attempt to exit the Tweed River mouth, some repairs now required"

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Saturday, 29 May 2021 at 6:52pm

I wonder if Kyle has been to Hawaii ??

gray's picture
gray's picture
gray Monday, 31 May 2021 at 8:44am

The phrase "It didn't look that big from the carpark..." springs to mind ;-)

GM's picture
GM's picture
GM Monday, 31 May 2021 at 9:07am

Looks like Captain Kyle is a serial harbour exit blooper. This from "Portrait of a Cruiser" interview with Kyle's wife Maryanne. This is her answer about their worst sailing experience...
"...As for the most scary day, we differ for that answer. ... For Kyle it was exiting the Strangford Lough a little later than we should have (missing the slack water) in Northern Ireland."

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Monday, 31 May 2021 at 9:49am


Hope Kaptain Kook has YouTube so he can get a few tips from Senōr Sloan

simba's picture
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simba Monday, 31 May 2021 at 12:02pm

that was a ten.......lucky bastard

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 1:50pm

They snuck out of Tweed river on the 2nd
https://followingsea.net/blog/Begonia

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 2:02pm

At least he's learning how these rivermouth thingys work...

megzee's picture
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megzee Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 2:17pm

Plus, he reckons he has some major repairs.......I am sure he does....
Pull both rudders out.......Straighten rudder shafts and replace quadrant gear
Numerous hull delamination's......especially around chain plates
Standing rigging damage
This will hurt his "the wind is Free" budget....

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 4:28pm

Exactly megzee.
"Despite the damage we've been assured by two separate businesses that the boat is safe to haul {whew} and once that is done the major work can be begin" ...Captain Clueless Kyle
Says a lot about it's current condition.
Haul out and hardstand costs aren't cheap in that neck of the woods either.

megzee's picture
megzee's picture
megzee Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 5:19pm

Yep, I think in this case Tubeshooter, the old acronym for BOAT......Bring Out Another Thousand, will ring true.......
Imagine if the things folds in half on the travel lift......

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Wednesday, 9 Jun 2021 at 5:27pm

lets hope so...save others a lot of grief in the future