1 Lost in the Fog

During the summer months, the Pacific Northwest Coast is known for quick moving ‎areas of dense fog. If you visit any of the small towns that dot the coast during one of ‎these fogs, you would certainly hear the low booming foghorns which almost sound like ‎a cow mooing, but it is many times louder and deeper. The foghorns sound at regular ‎intervals and are usually located on buoys on the open water just outside the mouths of ‎harbors. Sometimes fog is so thick that, after it passes through, you feel as if you could ‎wring water from your clothes.

One sunny August morning Steve Sackman and a group of friends set off near the ‎mouth of the Quilayute River in Washington to go fishing on the Pacific Ocean in a 24 ‎foot boat. Not long after they were on the ocean, they hooked a thirty-five pound salmon ‎and were having a great time trying to land it on the boat when a wall of fog rolled in ‎unexpectedly. The fog was so thick that the men couldnt see more than several yards in ‎any direction and soon became disoriented.‎

The mostly uninhabited coast is dangerous in this area with lots of sea stacks, dangerous ‎currents, and rocky islands. The fog blotted out all sight of the landmarks on shore that ‎they used as guides. It blotted out the sight of the sun so the men had little hope the fog ‎would soon burn off.

Lost in the Fog 2

They had a compass on board but it seemed dreadfully insufficient ‎to guide them through the many dangerous obstacles in the water. They might pass within ‎several yards of a safe haven and never know it. Unfortunately in this sparsely populated ‎region there were no fog horns to guide them to safety.

When it became apparent the fog was not just a small patch but instead a massive fog ‎bank, Steve Sackman took the only sensible course of action. He called for help. His ‎two-way radio was broken, and he could only receive messages and not send them. So ‎Steve called for help on his cell phone. The 9-1-1 operator quickly put him in contact ‎with the Coast Guard. The problem with calling on a cell phone was that the Coast Guard ‎could not get a fix on the boats location like they could if he were calling on a two-way ‎radio. The Coast Guard realized that the lives of the men on the small boat were at risk ‎and organized a large search effort to find them. They called in several boats, ‎helicopters, and planes. One search plane even came from as far away as Northern ‎California. They searched over a thousand square miles of sea to find the men.‎

For a good part of the day, and all the night, as well as the morning of the following day, ‎the fishing boat remained lost in the fog. Early in the afternoon on the second day, a ‎fishing boat with a much better electronic navigation system was cruising along, ‎monitoring the Coast Guards efforts to find the lost boat, when they spotted the missing ‎men in the boat. They were able to lead the missing boat to a Coast Guard ship which ‎eventually brought them to safety.

A day and a half is a long time to spend lost in the fog at sea. However a great many ‎people remain lost in a different type of fog for a lot longer than a couple of days. It ‎seems as if a great fog bank of unbelief has rolled over the hearts and minds of many ‎people and is blocking out the knowledge of God from their sight. Just as the fog blotted ‎out the sight of the sun from the fishermen on the boat, so the fog of unbelief is blotting ‎out The Sun of righteousness (who) shall arise with healing in his wings, from the ‎hearts and minds of people. (Malachi 3:12)