I was on a charter this weekend fishing for big Tuna (got snuffed on Tuna).
On our way back in we came across a gentleman in a 17' Montauk with an engine problem. He was about 20miles out of the harbor and the sun was very low. He was dangling over the rear of the boat looking at the motor fuse panel. His feet were on the transom lip, he was wearing hip waders and a rain coat. No life jacket. The seas were building over the past few hours to the point were we lost sight of him between waves when we headed towards him.
On our approach he didn't react much.
He said he was fishing ~35miles out and on his way back to the harbor when his engine just stopped working. He was waiting for a boat he had hailed on the commercial channel to bring him a fuse; he said they would be there in another hour or so but couldn't remember the name of the boat. When we asked him how he planned to stay-put he said he had about 150ft of anchor rope and if that didn't work he was prepared to spend the night. We were in 150+ feet of water that quickly dropped to well over 200 at the end of the shelf. Our captain pleaded with him to let us pull him back to shore and after a few minutes he agreed. After securing his stack of rods and gear he hoped on our boat and was not only un-thankful but completely unfazed by his situation for the entire ride in. He peppered the captain with questions about gear and fishing locations for the majority of the trip. When we dropped him off his focus was finding a local shop to get a new fuse and was aggravated that he had hooked a lobster pot buoy around his engine. Completely thankless for our efforts.
I still can't believe the ignorance some people have at their safety and that of others around them. He could have easily been hit by multiple boats at night. Its common for freighters to use that area for night passing. Not to mention that large amount of trawlers and tuna boats that fish the surrounding areas until dusk and then high tail it back to the harbor just after dark. His lack of respect on so many levels was shocking to everyone on the boat, no respect for the sea and its power and for the thoughtfulness and kindness of strangers.