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Crappiebasser

Let My Stupidity Be Your Lesson

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I thought I would share my mistake in hopes of helping someone else. We had a beautiful day today so I had to get out on the water. The air was low 60's with water around 45 degrees. After about an hour I hooked a small LM but he got wrapped in the top of a brush pile. I pulled up on it and leaned over to clear the line when splash! I had lost my balance and went head first into the water without a PFD. Between the cold of the water taking my breath away and the weight of my wet clothes I really struggled to get my head above water. I grabbed the side of the boat but I could get a grip to pull myself up. The only thing that saved me was the brush pile. I was able to climb it like a ladder back into the boat. If it had been open water I might not have been so lucky.

Please my stupidity be a reminder to wear your life jacket at all times.

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So glad you were able to get back in the boat! Harrowing experience to be sure. PFD is 100% of the time for me and my family, no questions.

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Glad it turned out ok. I wear a PFD 95% of the time, and that 5% that I don't is hot summer days when I'm out with my brother. I always wear it when fishing alone. Thanks for sharing and glad you're ok.

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Very glad you made it back in the boat.

PFDs are like seat belts and concealed carry firearms (by permit). If you knew you were going to need it then you would make that trip at that moment!

Again.....glad you made it ok.

Please in the future alway wear your PFD while on the water.

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I'm so glad you're safe. I had a buddy that lost his brother and two friends. The three went out sailing and never came back. They found the boat capsized and the PFD's in their compartments. 

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I have fallen off the boat while fishing twice. Once in water only a couple of degrees warmer than you had today. I was very lucky both times. I now wear an inflatable belt type PFD most of the time, and at all times when fishing alone. The second time was in warmer water, but the wind was blowing just enough to keep the boat just out of reach. I managed to catch it with my last ditch effort. Had I failed I would not be here to tell the story. As it was all I could do was hang on till the wind blew me into shore. The second time happened after I had resolved to wear my belt at all times when alone. I had just started fishing, was within sight of the ramp, and had forgotten to put it on. I actually reached to pull the release to find I was not wearing it. It does not get much dumber than that!

 

That lesson was made even more clear two years ago when a good friend drowned while fishing alone on a local power plant lake. It was early in the year, windy, and he was not wearing a PFD. I may have been with him if I had not been in the hospital at the time. I am still haunted by that thought...

 

Glad you were lucky. Thanks for sharing your story. We all need to be reminded that PFDs save lives.

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It's a PFD when you don't wear it ~ (Personally Foolish Decision)

 

a Life (saving) Jacket when you do.

 

Glad you're OK.

 

A-Jay

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Glad you are okay, where was the gopro when you need one?

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Very glad you made it back in the boat.

PFDs are like seat belts and concealed carry firearms (by permit). If you knew you were going to need it then you would make that trip at that moment!

Again.....glad you made it ok.

Please in the future alway wear your PFD while on the water.

Great advice from someone who shed his for an avatar pic? Haha!

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Thank you for sharing your story, it's a valuable reminder to all boaters.

As far as motoring without a flotation vest, I plead guilty as charged (today in fact).

 

About 3 winters ago on Lake Kissimmee, I was standing on the front deck while munching a sandwich.

As a flock of sandhill cranes passed overhead, I rolled my head backwards to observe those beautiful creatures.

When I realized that I lost my balance, it was already too late for readjustment, so I arched my back to roll into the drink.

It seemed like forever before I rose to the surface, and in spite of a chinstrap my hat somehow wound up floating in the lake,

my sunglasses were never recovered, and the water was 59 degrees. With no way to shinny up-and-over the freeboard,

I had to feed my body hand-over-hand to the stern of the boat (a distance of about 15 feet). At the engine, I was finally able

to use the anti-cavitation plate as a step stool, where I boarded the boat with a saturated cotton jacket that felt like a ton.

I like to think of myself as super-human, but that illusion was rapidly replaced by building exhaustion (i.e. hypothermia).

 

In addition to a throwable life-preserver, I now carry a rope ladder on my boat with plastic steps.

 

Roger

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I had the same thing happen to me two years ago.  Late fall, breezy cool day with water temps in the mid 40's.  Unlike you, I had to swim to catch up to my boat and the only thing that saved me (I was the only one on the water) was my outboard's power trim.  I was able to grab the side of the boat, but unable to pull myself up and in.  I worked my way around to the transom thinking it's lower when the thought came to me to use the power trim to push me up and out of the water.

Now, if I'm out by myself or the water is choppy, I always have an inflateable PFD on when I'm on deck.  The following spring I ended up overboard and the power trim again came to the rescue/

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Thanks for the stories everybody.  I was fortunate enough to get a kayak this year, and I haven't been out once without my PFD on. The reason for that is not necessarily my own sense of responsibility or self preservation, but because of posts like this on this forum. It's one thing to hear someone say you need to wear a PFD, but quite another to hear a real world story of why they are the most important piece of gear for anyone out on the water.

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Glad it turned out ok. I wear a PFD 95% of the time, and that 5% that I don't is hot summer days when I'm out with my brother. I always wear it when fishing alone. Thanks for sharing and glad you're ok.

Ditto. I wont even considered taking the boat out unless I have someone to go with. Even when fishing with someone else when the water temps are cold or when the lakes are rough I never take of my life vest. Find a vest that is comfortable and effective both and it will be easy to deal with.

Sudden bursts from a trolling motor, unexpected wave(s), or a sudden shift of weight of someone in the boat may be all it takes to take the plunge. Had a friend lose his balance trying to net a large fish right after ice out. Luckily he had several people with him and was fine after a few hours of warming up.

Glad you're ok!

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Thank you for posting this incident.  It sure makes you think about the "what ifs".  Glad you're safe to teach the lesson.

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Wow, thanks for sharing that.  Glad you are ok.

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I always have my pfd on and kill switch attached when I make a run. But I take off the pfd when fishing, but reading this makes me think I should leave it on at all times. Thanks for the post.

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fishing this winter in cold water made me think of something else, pack a go bag with a set of clothes and have in the truck.even after getting safely out of the water and to the truck. someone is gonna have to ride home naked! or freeze in wet clothes. might be kinda embarrasing. think about it.

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Have started wearing a PFD when by myself now....took 40 years!!! Not so much when with someone.

Glad your ok.....You got a gift from above.

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I always have my pfd on and kill switch attached when I make a run. But I take off the pfd when fishing, but reading this makes me think I should leave it on at all times. Thanks for the post.

Wear it! You would be amazed how heavy a sweatshirt, jeans, and light jacket get when they are wet. I had 2 mile ride back up the lake to my house and was shivering uncontrollably by the time I got home. After warming up a couple hours I took some old sweat pants and shirt in a bag and took them down to the boat. I won't be fashionable after my next swim but I won't turn blue either.

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fishing this winter in cold water made me think of something else, pack a go bag with a set of clothes and have in the truck.even after getting safely out of the water and to the truck. someone is gonna have to ride home naked! or freeze in wet clothes. might be kinda embarrasing. think about it.

 

Keep a dry bag of clothes with you on the boat as well. That run back to the ramp could freeze you too. I used to teach boating at a boy scout camp for a few summers and that was one thing the staff kept with us when we went out for fun. It can be a long way back to the dock, and I would rather stand on a boat in the middle of the lake changing into dry clothes than run back to a dock 15 minutes or more away getting hypothermia. The first thing to go is orientation, and you might not be able to find the dock again. That being said, I don't have a boat at the moment, but it will be in a key compartment when I do, along with a couple towels. :)

 

Good advice on a change of clothes.

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Great advice from someone who shed his for an avatar pic? Haha!

 

Do as I say......not as I do! :dazed-7:

 

In my defense......that was before I purchased my inflatable PFD..........I guess I should change my avatar, eh? :sleepy2:

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Do as I say......not as I do! :dazed-7:

In my defense......that was before I purchased my inflatable PFD..........I guess I should change my avatar, eh? :sleepy2:

Just pulling your chain!

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Thanks for the post.  I always wear mine when I'm alone in the boat.

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Kudos to crappiebasser for a valuable message.

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Thank Good you made it back too the boat.

Our lakes here on Ohio, well the three I fish all time, something like that happens and you just have to stand up. They are all like 5" deep everywhere.

Still wear the PFD though, those Mustang's are awesome don't really even notice it, except when it's 90°

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