water safety?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Bob Triggs, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    What kind of safety or survival gear do you bring along when you are out in your boat or kayak? Do you use a VHF radio? If so which ones and why did you choose that make and model vhf? About half of the on the water deaths, drownings etc from boating accidents involve hunters and fishermen. Share your wisdom and experience here, it may save a life someday.
     
  2. kjt111

    kjt111 Member

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    I always carry a first aid kit in my drift boat. Also, have throw bag and rescue knife strapped to rowers seat. In addition have carribiners, pulleys, slings, etc in case of needing to do some sort of "extraction". Hope I never have to use any of that stuff...
     
  3. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    A rescue knife won't do you any good if it is strapped to your seat and you have throw bag line wrapped around your ankle that is taking you deep.

    I typically take a waterproof cell phone, low level trama kit, throw bags (river or motorboat) and common sense. I also have a whistle tethered in a pocket of my PFD, pack a lighter and some Clif Shot.
     
  4. kjt111

    kjt111 Member

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  5. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    A VHF radio is preferred over cell phones while on the water. Main reason is that the Coast Guard monitors emergency channels on a 24/7 basis, and more importantly other boaters (recreational as well as commercial) on the water also monitor those same channels in case a fellow boater nearby is in need. Boats in the vicinity of a distress call (regardless of who they are) are most able to quickly respond and assist in an emergency (and in fact are required to do so). Cell phones are better than having nothing, but are not nearly as useful as a VHF radio because of this.
    Hand held VHF radios are more limited in their range because of their shorter antennas compared with a permanantly mounted one with its taller antenna. On the other hand, small hand helds can be kept in a specially designed water proof bag and perhaps stay with you in case of a sinking.
    A PFD (wear it) is imperative. I use a CO2 automatic one designed for sailing. It's lightweight and out of the way. Choose a color that can be seen by rescuers (blue and green should be outlawed - can't be seen easily in large win tossed open waters like Puget Sound). Carry updated flares as well.
    Certain things are required to be carried onboard by the Coast Guard as well, and the law of common sense while on the water, especially large and cold waters like Puget Sound is imperative. The state has implemented licensing requirements for boaters recently, and go to the Coast Guard website for requirements, and read a good book on seamanship, like "Chapmans" (it's been the seamans bible for years) for real practical advice.
    My experience in commercial fishing as well as ocean crossings on sailboats have taught me to respect the water, big or small and in all seasons.

    Be safe and have fun. Greg
     
  6. Nader

    Nader Unsafe at any speed

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    This might be a dumb question as I'm new to all this and haven't observed others in action: Do people wear PFDs while encased in a float tube? It seems seems redundant and bulky, but drowning would suck, too. Which leads to my next question: Has anyone ever drowned while fishing in a float tube? Thanks.

    Arash
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    I dont know the stats for it but yes, there have been reported cases of float tube fishermen drowning. I remember Fly Fisherman magazine doiing a story on this not long ago. Im sure the Boating Safety researchers, in USCG and in the various states agencies, could find the results for you. The county sherrifs here are issuing citations for anglers in float tubes who not wearing PFD's, at least they said that they would. And that began with Clark County I believe. This stems from the Wa Boating safety Program initiatives now being put into play, and the avalanche of evidence that points to PFD's saving lives. They argue that the float tube is not a swimming raft, but a conveyance or vessel used for transportation.These people get tired of searching for and recovering bodies of drowning victims. They often see a common thread in these tragedies. I think one could beat the ticket in court with a good lawyer. But the whole point is that a float tube or pontoon etc is not a PFD. It cant keep you afloat and alive the way that a PFD does. Many anglers are using the automatic inflatable PFD's like the ones West Marine or Mustang Survival sells. If you are out in the midle of a big lake and you get dumped out of your tube, or your tube fails, it might be an impossibly long swim home. Dressed in waders etc it could be very likely fatal, especially in cold water.
     
  8. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    I picked up an inflatable fishing vest for this very reason. No bulky PFD, but a vest with pockets for stuff and lambs wool patch for flies. It can be inflated either by the mouth tube or CO2 canister.

    Dry bag goes with me everywhere, first aid kit, fire starter, small tube 5min epoxy, wool socks, gloves, hat, poncho, 1# bag of nuts, snack bars, gorp, utility knife multi tool, 30ft of cord. I use it all day for my different clothing layers, if I take off a layer, in the bag it goes. It's in the truck now.
    I also carry a roll of 6" wide tape (super sticky) and 50' of 5/8 manila rope in the boat. The rope has come in handy many times, and tape is a recient addition for emergency repairs to the boat.

    I'm a cell phone guy, as I am not out in the salt much. Coverage kinda sucks sometimes, but you need to hike to the nearest peak. I have gone to a water proof one, becasue I have ruined 2 phones in the last year, just having them in pocket, and go wading.
     
  9. BFK

    BFK Member

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    Speaking of Coast Guard stats-- it's been a while since I ran across this in research, so don't ask for the exact figures--but not only are most drowning victims men, the majority of those victims (I recall something like 70 percent) are recovered with an open fly.

    The idea here is to carry a pee bucket in your boat; don't lean over the side to relieve yourself or stand in a small, tippy boat to do the same.
     

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