We don’t normally monitor the VHF radio when anchored, but because we were relocating the boat in the anchorage and would be anchoring closer to the channel we decided to turn on the radio. Shortly after setting the anchor we heard a call on the radio that we hope we never have to make, and one no one likes to hear. “US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is the sailing vessel (name withheld) we have run aground and my wife has been seriuosly injured, we need help”. The captain had steered to the wrong side of the channel marker and hit a reef just a few hundred yards in front of us. My hubby jumped in the dinghy and went to see if he could help. The Lady on the vessel had been thrown down when the boat ran aground and had a laceration on her arm and said she felt like one of her ribs may be broken. He stayed with them until Sea Tow showed up and advised they could take the wife to meet EMS and pull the boat off the reef.
We went to the marina where the boat had been taken and learned from the husband that his wife’s injuries did not require stitches but one of her ribs was broken.
When we first started sailing I would say “I think we are here” and my husband would say we cannot “think” we know where we are we have to be sure of where we are. Their misfortune has helped me realize how true this is and how important it is to know where we are at all times and how a small mistake can result in injures to your crew/loved ones and damage to your vessel. It is very important to have up to date charts for the area you are cruising and to keep a watchful eye for hazards in the water. Lesson Learned.