Video: Fishing Captain Films His Own Sinking Boat

Six anglers survive a sinking fishing boat and 12 hours in a life raft before being rescued in the Pacific Ocean. And the much of the initial disaster is captured on video.

Video: Fishing Captain Films His Own Sinking Boat

Alex Rogers, captain at Protocol Sport Fishing, recently posted several videos on Instagram and TikTok, and one video on Facebook (below) that document the harrowing events of July 18, 2022.

He wrote on Facebook: 

This morning I am thankful to be safe and alive. On July 18th at 10:40 a.m., Protocol took on more water than she could handle and now finds herself at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Myself and 5 friends spent 12 hours in a life raft in 12-15 ft seas at the mercy of Mother Nature. We were rescued that night! We owe our lives to the Cabo San Lucas sport fishing community, who put their lives at risk to venture off despite the closure of the harbor and laws set forth from the Port Captain. Although there is much to tell, right now I want to acknowledge these heroes, whom all played a part either on the water battling the seas, or behind the scenes dealing with anything from the Mexican Navy to deploying private helicopters and planes and using their knowledge to read the currents and weather patterns to give information to the captains on the water to where we may have drifted. Without my fellow sportfishing community in Cabo San Lucas and around the world, we may not of made it. I owe a priceless amount of gratitude to the captains, crews and owners of Reel Quest, Reel Cast, Overtime, Caliente, Cloud Nine, Ole’ Ole’ TailChaser, El Diablo, Will 2 Win, Friday Bank, Tourbillion, Speedwell, Reel Machine, Captiva 3, Bill Collector 2, Quintena and The Man who ultimately found us. Pancho Bojorquez with his crew and friends rolled up like a flock of angels! Thank You!!!!! Zach Morrow, Brad Stevenson, Jaimie Gonzalez, Brett Eller, David Brackman, Rene Audidigier, Tony Frascone , Steve Lassley, Franky Abaroa, Dan Lewis, Eduardo Parra, Jeff Hamm, Gaby Guzman, Nick Moreno, Kim and Jeremy Willer, Pepe Jaramilo, Darick Osuna, Tiffany Megan, Rebecca Ehrenberg, Anthony Hsieh, my wife, Brandi Rogers, and Christian Balderas all stayed focused and went way beyond the call of duty! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

After seeing this video on Facebook, I followed Fish Protocol on Instagram so I could watch the previous “Disaster at Sea” videos parts one, two and three to learn the backstory. I encourage you to do the same if you want to see what happened in the minutes leading up to the beginning of video part four: Instagram@FishProtocol or TikTok@FishCabo. (FYI: Expect some foul language. It’s understandable — the guy just lost his boat and he and his friends just spent 12 hours in a life raft before being rescued.)

I’m not a veteran saltwater angler and know very little about boats this size, but I’ll try to recap the events based on watching Capt. Rogers’ three previous videos in his “Disaster at Sea” series on Instagram. The setting is 20 miles off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.

Video part two begins with Capt. Rogers saying they’ve been fighting a big blue marlin for 40 minutes. Some water has come over the transom, but he says this is normal when fighting a big fish. He says that many times he’s had more water come over the transom than is currently occurring. And the boat’s scuppers are designed to release this water back into the ocean. He then notices that water has remained on the deck, even though his boat hasn’t taken water over the transom for some time. That water shouldn’t be there, which is the first sign something is wrong. But at this point, it’s not a serious situation. He’s trying to figure out the reason for water remaining on his deck.

Next, however, he notices that his starboard engine won’t start. The problem just became a much bigger one. He tries restarting the engine, but it fails to fire. While his client is still fighting the big marlin, a deckhand checks the engine room. He opens the hatch to the room and is shocked to see it three-quarters filled with water, which is why the starboard engine won’t fire. Not good!

At the end of video two, Capt. Rogers says that even though they are bailing water from the engine room, it continues to fill. He’s not sure if there’s some type of through-hull damage (unknown cause) that is letting water into the engine room. That video ends with Capt. Rogers speaking mid-sentence, so you don’t learn more.

Video part three begins with Capt. Rogers saying “Okay, guys, this is where it get gnarly.” The water begins getting deeper in the back of the boat while the crew tries to bail out water with 5-gallon pails. The original angler switches fighting the blue marline with his buddy because he’s tired. Both anglers aren’t alarmed by the water on the floor because it’s not uncommon. They don't understand there's a problem.

However, the water isn’t draining off the floor, it’s getting deeper. It’s not draining because the scuppers are now below the water line. The situation is now dire. Capt. Rogers starts the port engine, evidently someone cuts the line to the fish, and everyone on board begins bailing as the boat slowly moves in a circle. But they can’t keep up with the incoming water.

Finally, Capt. Rogers is on the radio calling for help, life jackets are out and so is the life raft. And that is where the video shown here begins.

For 16 years, Capt. Alex Rogers made great memories for family, friends and clients on his boat, the Protocol.
For 16 years, Capt. Alex Rogers made great memories for family, friends and clients on his boat, the Protocol.


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