This Guy Saved a Sinking Boat with a Vodka Bottle Cork

Boater Joseph Lehr saved his sinking vessel just off Rockaway Beach in New York this week by plugging it with a cork from a vodka bottle. Joseph, we salute you.

by Daisy Meager
01 June 2016, 12:00pm

You're on a boat. You're feeling fancy. You spring a leak.

Forget the knots and buoys and all that maritime code stuff you're supposed to know about before manning a ship, and remember one thing: vodka.

It worked for Joseph Lehr. As The Drinks Business reports, the boater saved his sinking vessel just off Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York while out with two friends on Monday by plugging it with the cork from a trusty bottle of voddy.

Now, there's a guy who gets blue sky (or should that be Smirnoff?) thinking.

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Lehr's 30 foot-boat—named "Knotta Yachta"—started taking on water when he and his buddies were just under 200 metres away from shore. After losing a drain plug, the bilge pump (the thing that gets rid of any excess water) couldn't clear fast enough and the not-a-yacht was sinking fast.

Lehr kept a cool head though, and didn't hit the bottle straight away.

Speaking to the New York Post, Michael Clapman, one of Lehr's friends onboard at the time, explained that they attempted to block the hole with other items: "We plugged it with a shaft of metal, which kind of stopped it. But the water was still coming in. We tried everything—plugging it with socks and other pieces of cloth, but nothing worked."

I mean, socks—really?

The group's attempts failed but with assistance from the New York City Fire Department and the police, they made it to shore unscathed. Back on the boat however, seawater was already three-feet deep. Lehr had to think fast to save his ship from sinking.

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Luckily, help was at hand. Nearby partygoers on the dock threw Lehr corks from their vodka bottles and he jumped back onto the boat to plug the hole. Drunk logic prevailed and the boat was saved from a watery grave.

Dull weddings and awkward work parties aside, it's not often you can say that alcohol literally did save the day.

So, next time you board a boat, don't forget to put on your life jacket and clasp that bottle of Glen's for dear life.