FYI: August 2005

FYI — August 2005
By Brad Dunn

Illustration: Simone Tieber
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Bump in the Night, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Barbara Thiesen, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

Bump in the Night
Do criminals get any dumber than this?

In May a pair of not-too-bright bandits first stole a boat while the owners were below, then got confused and ran the cruiser aground, and finally tried to make a getaway by foot on the shoal they hit.

Police say Sean Huff, 18, and John Camerlengo, 19, broke into a 36-foot Sea Ray at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Palm City, Florida, fired up the engines, and motored off while the owners, Michael and Katherine Jones, slept. When Michael awoke, the boat was cruising at 20 mph; he fumbled in the dark for his cellphone and called 911. “I’m a captive on my boat,” he told emergency operators. “It’s an act of piracy.”

As the long-time boater and his wife barricaded themselves below deck, they gave police specific information about the boat and her captors. While doing so he felt the boat run aground and then used his GPS to give police his location. Police instantly dispatched patrol boats and a helicopter.

The teens made a run for it but were caught running through nearby Sewall’s Point. They were arrested and charged with kidnapping, grand theft, and burglary; both had extensive criminal records. “The boatjackers claimed they had been swimming and drinking when the tide carried them too far to walk back,” says Martin County sheriffs department’s Jenell Atlas. “They said they just wanted to borrow the boat to get back and had no idea there were people onboard.”

For his part, Jones was just as angry about his abduction as he was about the damage to his boat. “We just couldn’t believe what was happening,” he recalls. “When he ran aground, moron that he is, he left it in gear,” Jones said, adding that besides having to endure the indignity of a stolen boat, he discovered that the propeller and hull were seriously damaged. “These guys give criminals a bad name.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the average number of pounds of cocaine seized every day in the United States, with an estimated street value of $10.8 million.

Things We Like
Though this space is typically reserved for clever marine products or boat designs that we see in the field, we can’t help but appreciate a recent comment Ed McMahon made to Reader’s Digest about his long-time friend and colleague, the late Johnny Carson: “He was happily married, and he loved his boat. If you have a boat and a happy marriage, you don’t need another thing.”

5-7. The Antique Boats Show in Clayton, New York. (315) 686-4104 ext. 229.
12-14. The Fall Boat Show in Jacksonville, Florida. (904) 724-3003.
25-28. The In-Water Boat Show in Michigan City, Indiana. (440) 899-5009.
26-28. The Wooden Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island. (207) 359-4651.
26-28. The Summer Boat Show in Richmond, Virginia. (804) 425-6556.

Next page > A Word With... Barbara Thiesen, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the August 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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