It was hurricane Bob, and I was the "engineer" on the Gwen Lyn, a work boat owned by D & B boat rentals out of Abbyville, LA. We pulled into our dock at Intracoastal City carrying a load of offshore workers we were evacuating because of the hurricane. The port Captain ordered us to head back out to evacuate more workers, so away we went. The hurricane wasn't so bad, but it was getting worse. We went through the locks, entered the Gulf, and that's when the shit hit the fan. We were in a hurricane.
We were loaded with water, almost submerged on the rear decks. I asked the captain if he wanted me to pump water out to raise us up, higher on the water, but the cap said no - we would bob around too much. Long story short, the cap opted to tie up to a wellhead and ride the storm out. Because he was a wuss boat driver, he set us tied up stern first instead of bow first. The incoming waves overwhelmed the scuppers and the waves entered the engine room vent ports, which should have been sealed. They weren't sealed because I was never told to do that, which I should have been told to do, but our Captain was a maroon and we weren't trained worth a shit.
As the boat was going down, I ran downstairs and made a MayDay call. That's a weird feeling, making a MayDay call. "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! GWEN LYN GOING DOWN IN THE 26 FIELD! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!!! Plus, I was in the depths of the sinking boat. I was really not wanting to see water pouring down through the hatch. I escaped with seconds to spare.
A sister ship heard my call, as they were moored correctly and they came to our aid.
I remember being in the water, with all this shit that was on the loading deck swirling all around me, any of which could have killed me in a heartbeat if it struck me. It was actually more peaceful when I was in the water, as opposed to fighting to stay on the boat.
At the Coast Guard hearing, the Captain was found to be completely at fault.