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Cypress Sun

40 Years Ago Today Sunshine Skyway Disaster

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Posted (edited)

Forty years ago, the southbound span of the Sunshine Skyway bridge was struck by the 600' ship, Summit Venture and fell into the water and on the ship. Thirty five people lost their life that day when vehicles could not stop from running off the bridge or were on the span at the time. The ship had been driven out of the channel by a thunderstorm with winds at 80 mph.

 

I was just on my way to the job in Tierra Verde in south Pinellas County when they announced it on the radio. When we arrived about a 1/2 hour later, we went past the jobsite to go see for ourselves. Just couldn't believe it. 

 

 

 

https://www.heraldtribune.com/photogallery/LK/20200509/PHOTOGALLERY/509009999/PH/1

Edited by Cypress Sun
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If you have never driven the replacement bridge which opened in 1987, you are in for the ride of your life. ;)

Although beautiful in its design as seen here..

2020_05_10_07_58_29.jpg.92b2580fdb320dfeec74b0c03f96c908.jpg

 

...the incline will rise up before you and scare the $h!+ out of you! :o

 

2020_05_10_07_59_02.jpg.1cd920d8dd3db40bb081780081c0bab2.jpg

 

Back in 1990 when my wife and I made a trip to see my grandmother who lived in St. Pete., we took a day trip and were in for the surprise of our life as we approached this behemoth.

Our little 1984 Chevy Cavalier felt like the "Little Train that Could", as we feared we would slowly roll back into oncoming traffic and eventually fall off the bridge.

A change of clothes was in order when we returned to the house. :blush::lol:

 

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Posted (edited)

I was stationed in Daytona Beach when this happened and we had gone over the old bridge a couple of times while visiting in the Tampa Bay area.  We started crossing the new bridge in 2000 and every time we did my wife always tensed up, crossed herself and mumbled a prayer.  The new one is a beautiful and impressive structure.  We moved into the Tampa Bay area two and a half years ago but when high winds are present and they post warnings signs I turn around and go to I-75 which adds at least one more hour to my destination.

Edited by Dawg Hair, SASS #29557

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1 hour ago, Father Kit Cool Gun Garth said:

If you have never driven the replacement bridge which opened in 1987, you are in for the ride of your life. ;)

Although beautiful in its design as seen here..

2020_05_10_07_58_29.jpg.92b2580fdb320dfeec74b0c03f96c908.jpg

 

...the incline will rise up before you and scare the $h!+ out of you! :o

 

2020_05_10_07_59_02.jpg.1cd920d8dd3db40bb081780081c0bab2.jpg

 

Back in 1990 when my wife and I made a trip to see my grandmother who lived in St. Pete., we took a day trip and were in for the surprise of our life as we approached this behemoth.

Our little 1984 Chevy Cavalier felt like the "Little Train that Could", as we feared we would slowly roll back into oncoming traffic and eventually fall off the bridge.

A change of clothes was in order when we returned to the house. :blush::lol:

 

 

I go over the new about once a month now. Used to go over it 4 - 6 times a month, round trip everytime. The new one doesn't bother me at all except on the rare occasion that it is foggy. I must admit that I do get a little apprehensive when I'm on it and a large ship is crossing under it.

 

If you thought the new one is scary, you should have gone over the old one. I thought it was a steeper incline, much narrower and the steel grate at the top was slicker than grease when it was wet. Looking down through the grates at the top of the bridge at the water 160' below didn't create a warm, fuzzy feeling either.

 

By the way, this disaster was the second disaster that happened at/near the skyway that year. In January, the US Coast Guard ship Blackthorn, a 180' buoy tender collided with a large tanker and sank killing 20+ crewmen. 

 

With the two accidents and the 10+ people that commit suicide each year by jumping from the bridge.....some folks believe that the Skyway is cursed. I haven't heard anyone say that for some time though.

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Never understood why bridges had to be so high when merely having a drawbridge, unlike what you normally think of,  could be constructed for a lower construction cost. 

 

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A monument to collective stupidity!

 

 

Cat Brules

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16 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

A monument to collective stupidity!

 

 

Cat Brules

 

A bridge is a monument to collective stupidity???

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On 5/10/2020 at 10:16 AM, Cypress Sun said:

 

I go over the new about once a month now. Used to go over it 4 - 6 times a month, round trip everytime. The new one doesn't bother me at all except on the rare occasion that it is foggy. I must admit that I do get a little apprehensive when I'm on it and a large ship is crossing under it.

 

If you thought the new one is scary, you should have gone over the old one. I thought it was a steeper incline, much narrower and the steel grate at the top was slicker than grease when it was wet. Looking down through the grates at the top of the bridge at the water 160' below didn't create a warm, fuzzy feeling either.

 

By the way, this disaster was the second disaster that happened at/near the skyway that year. In January, the US Coast Guard ship Blackthorn, a 180' buoy tender collided with a large tanker and sank killing 20+ crewmen. 

 

With the two accidents and the 10+ people that commit suicide each year by jumping from the bridge.....some folks believe that the Skyway is cursed. I haven't heard anyone say that for some time though.

Yup. Been over both of em. Didn’t like either one.

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18 hours ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

A bridge is a monument to collective stupidity???


Of course it is; it should have never been built.  If there are stats regarding accidents on that structure, it would not surprise me to learn that they were found to be purposely inaccurate.

 

Cat Brules

 

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2 hours ago, Cat Brules said:


Of course it is; it should have never been built.  If there are stats regarding accidents on that structure, it would not surprise me to learn that they were found to be purposely inaccurate.

 

Cat Brules

 

 

I'd have to say that the statement above is a statement of monumental stupidity. You have stated zero facts to base your statement on with the pre-qualifier that if there are stats, they would be purposefully misleading.

 

Have you ever personally seen, visited or went over either bridge? Did you bother to garner any information to back your claim? Didn't think so.

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14 minutes ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

I'd have to say that the statement above is a statement of monumental stupidity. You have stated zero facts to base your statement on with the pre-qualifier that if there are stats, they would be purposefully misleading.

 

Have you ever personally seen, visited or went over either bridge? Did you bother to garner any information to back your claim? Didn't think so.

After a while you learn to disregard almost everything he posts.

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2 hours ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

After a while you learn to disregard almost everything he posts.

 

Normally, I do. This one was so blantantly idiotic that I just couldn't let it go.

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