Safety Measures = Life or Death
If safety wasn’t a priority for John Groth, NIDBA President, he’d likely not be with us today. During the 2nd race of the 2016 season, John was racing down the 800′ track when he heard a bang…and then he heard an even a louder bang. The first thing he did was pull the cord to stop the fuel pump and the motor to coast to a stop. He reported smelling oil at first, and immediately thought that a rod must have gone through the motor, but quickly realized that it was gear oil that he was smelling.
He unhooked his parachute jacket cord, and with the helmet restraints he was unable to turn his head. At this point, John stood up and reports, “seeing water just pouring in and the 3 bilge pumps were screaming, but could not keep up with the amount to water coming in the boat“. Then he noticed the lower Casale gear box was gone. His response was, “holy shit!” He quickly jumped out of his boat, and onto another boat who had come to help. The crane boat was on its way. John recalled, “Boz and Huddy were right there as well as the Lake County Police boat. I yelled out, ‘I am sinking get over here’.” By the time the crane boat got there it was too late. The boat sank.
John’s boat was the first to try out the rebuilt equipment and crane boat that he repaired for the NIDBA club over the winter. Learn More About the Crane Boat. The crane boat worked out well. The crane boat lifted John’s boat out of the water with ease, and drove it about a mile and placed it on John’s trailer.
How did this happen?
John stated that the ear on the prop had broken. This caused the prop shaft to bend, which caused the gear box to break. The unit, then, slid backwards and damaged the shaft log (which keeps the water from coming into the boat).
Assessing the damage:
• The motor needs to be rebuilt • New MSD7AL-3 box • New Prop shaft • New shaft log. • New shaft log boot and grease bearing • Repaired fuel pump • New prop • Re build the Casale Gear box • Total cost around $8,000…not sure yet if the dash gauges will work.
How safety measures mattered:
John attributes being alive to having a blast plate installed, “I have a blast plate under my Sanger. If that was not there the ear of the prop spinning at 10,800rpm would of exploded the boat, and I may have been killed. I walked away from this just with some tears because my baby got hurt.” John manned the crane boat and pulled my own boat out because the team is still in training as this is new equipment to the club. All-in-all, he has a great attitude about his latest brush with death. He jokes, “As they say That’s racing“.