Dillon Francis Oberholzer dillonfrancisoberholzer@gmail.com

I saved Frank Virgintino from sinking in Aruba. He and his captain drove their boat directly onto the reef outside the port ..... Set auto helm on old map datum. (What can I say?)  The next 10 days were spent patching the holes with Phosphor Bronze plates using a thousand screws or so under water. I subsequently captained this boat from Isla Mujeres (off Cancun) to New York through 50 mile an hour winds off Cape Hatteras to Cape May in late December. The Phosphor Bronze plates I got from a South African Submarine company whose mini sub I was repairing. Aruba did not have a haul out large enough for Franks boat. At the time I was managing the Marina and two 75 ft catamaran day charter boats for Mike Roche.    Frank Virgintino owns several Marinas in New York one of which I ran for a while.

I saved Frank Virgintino from sinking in Aruba. He and his captain drove their boat directly onto the reef outside the port ..... Set auto helm on old map datum. (What can I say?)  The next 10 days were spent patching the holes with Phosphor Bronze plates using a thousand screws or so under water. I subsequently captained this boat from Isla Mujeres (off Cancun) to New York through 50 mile an hour winds off Cape Hatteras to Cape May in late December. The Phosphor Bronze plates I got from a South African Submarine company whose mini sub I was repairing. Aruba did not have a haul out large enough for Franks boat. At the time I was managing the Marina and two 75 ft catamaran day charter boats for Mike Roche.

Frank Virgintino owns several Marinas in New York one of which I ran for a while.


These are a few of my salvage pics but do not cover most of the work I have done in this field.

As much of my life has been on the water I have received many mayday calls in many different places. Normally one is too busy sorting out the mess to take pics.

For more info on what I have done and how I can help drop me a line.

Marina Sinking - Hurricane Sandy

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Re-Floating Process

  • Bladder bags pumped with air. 

  • Barrels put inside and filled with air. 

  • Dragged to lift slings used and sea cocks opened to drain.

  • Reason for sinking: damage to transom during storm -  lines not properly secured.

  • Marina responsibility.

  • Good help is always hard to find. 


JUST SANK

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Well It happens...

  • Bladder bags pumped with air. 

  • Barrels put inside and filled with air. 

  • Dragged to lift where slings were used and sea cocks opened to drain.

  • Reason for sinking: Heavy rains and drainage blocked due to dog hair and no charge to battery. Once the water reached the aft deck only 8 inches above the swim platform it was all over.

  • Owner responsibility.

  • Use your Brains folks. Just a little common sense. 


Tragic day out fishing

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  • We received the call an hour after they had left port. 

  • The exhaust hose had broken and they could not get into the aft compartment because the subcontractor who put in the live fish tanks never thought to accommodate the changing of the exhaust system.

  • The owner could see the water rushing in but was too afraid to get into the water to plug the exhaust exit flange in the transom. He cell phoned the marina and we picked them up in time.

  • It was a long 12 hours back to the marina. 


Irritating  waste of call-out

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  • Folks you can and should sort this out yourselves.

  • It only requires a few buckets and a pump you can hire from your local hardware store !

  • Don't get me wrong. I will always take the call but really this is a little silly.


Florida Keys

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  • I was passing through on my Grand Banks when we had a heavy rain storm. 

  • The boat opposite was taking on water and I felt kinda bad as I watched her go down. 

  • The owners were in their house and were watching from their window. 

  • It was a surreal moment. I helped them re-float with the dinghy crane off my top deck in the morning. 

  • Once she was righted the emergency pumps I had on board did the rest. The channel was only 6 feet deep on his side.

  • I have helped people off reefs, sand banks, rocks and stuck in piers. I was not about to go running around in the rain that night!


Dis-Masted off Cancun

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Isla Mujeres

  •  A tropical storm came through and these folks sent out a may day and took to their dinghy after they hit a reef.

  •  We looked at salvaging the boat but there was little left to work with.

  • I am very glad they made it to shore. The winds were in excess of 50 knots.


Shallow  water Salvage 

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  • A lovely little boat in a pretty bay outside Bainbridge Island - Seattle WA- USA.

  • The owners had all the sails up and the main sheeting jammed during a jibe. 

  •  The photos were taken about 5 hours after the sinking. We had the help of all local services and were able to airbag and float her sufficiently to drag her to port.