Mark Twain famously quipped that a man with one watch knows exactly what time it is; a man with two is never sure. A nice example of that is provided by Internet news sites, which make it possible to pull up different newspaper articles describing the same event.
I thought about that when reading today about Craig McCabe, a lawyer who lives aboard his powerboat Heather in Marina del Rey. McCabe was singlehanding the boat from Marina del Rey to Newport Harbor this past Thursday, when he fell overboard and ended up spending more than five hours in the water.
Meanwhile, his boat wandered off on its own and eventually plowed into Catalina Island, prompting a search for the missing boater. He was plucked from the water near a buoy that sounds like it might be the LA Harbor entrance buoy. But first he was overlooked by a passing fishing boat, almost run down by a passing freighter, clung to a balloon and some driftwood, recited the 23rd Psalm, and was threatened by a territorial sea lion.
The articles all pretty much agree on these dramatic apects of the story. But there seems to be an interesting looseness regarding more basic information like how old McCabe is (58 or 59, depending on which article you read), and how long his boat is (either 50, 55, or 65 feet).
Anyway, you can read the articles and try to figure out the details for yourself:
- Los Angeles Times: Boater’s Tale of survival at sea has a theme psalm.
- Orange County Register: Boater survives cold ordeal and A balloon and a miracle.
- Daily Pilot: Newport men rescue friend lost in Pacific.
- Daily Breeze: Rescued boater thought he was about to die.
- Press-Telegram: Local boater’s watery ordeal.
All the articles seem to agree that McCabe was checking over the side to see if his boat had snagged a lobster pot when he fell in, which is easy enough to believe. But I find myself wondering if it might actually be that McCabe is embarrassed to admit that the real reason he was leaning over the side was that he was peeing.
I guess I’ll never know. Anyway, I’m glad the story had a happy ending.
Photo: McCabe, along with his daughter Kelly and Dr. Jonathon Lawrence, at a press conference Friday at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach. Photo by Bruce Chambers of the Orange County Register.