Monday, May 26, 2014

When Pogy Boats Attack

The pogy is a fish whose real name is menhaden. The menhaden fishery is a major industry. They are caught by purse seining - a net is put out that encircles the school of fish and then is closed, tapping them within. The fish is mainly used for fish oil and fish meal and is not a table food fish. Pogy boats abound in the Gulf of Mexico.and most oil and gas people see them as a nuisance, especially the helicopter pilots. A boat usually has a spotter plane to help them find a school of pogys. These guys fly around watching the water instead of where they are going. Helicopter pilots hate them because they are unpredictable and we all keep a eye out when a pogy boat is below.

The pictures below show the result of a collision between a pogy boat and an offshore production platform. The boat was running at night and their watch system was less than adequate. Some pogy boats were WW II surplus sub chasers and had reinforced hulls for ramming.

He was lucky because if had hit the platform to the port he would have hit the wellhead and production platform and there would have been a big bang. If had hit the other platform, he would have hit the quarters and probably killed all the men living there. Somehow, he was able to get his props back in the water and he backed out from under the deck and proceeded on his merry way - probably because of that reinforced hull.

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