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Yet another kayaker missing and presumed dead


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Yep, another one, 46 year old male kayaking near Saint Augustine, Florida, near an inlet. Irony in all regards: a fitness and wellness director in a kayak club. Of coarse not wearing a life jacket. Who’s next? When will folks learn! 

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1 hour ago, Zcoker said:

When will folks learn

They will learn when they are required to wear it by law.

 

A certain demographic of the user public is never going to follow it unless it becomes a state law.  Just like wearing a motorcycle helmet.  The data is there, but some choose not to follow that data.

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I launched from my backyard dock the other day and got about 1/4 mile away and realized I did something dumb and forgot my PFD. I turned right around and went back to get it.

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43 minutes ago, gimruis said:

They will learn when they are required to wear it by law.

 

A certain demographic of the user public is never going to follow it unless it becomes a state law.  Just like wearing a motorcycle helmet.  The data is there, but some choose not to follow that data.

Maybe, but people don’t really follow laws. Just take a ride down the street and try to keep count of all the laws you see broken. My favorite is the one that almost no one knows, when you turn from one street to another you are supposed to turn into the inside lane. People almost always turn into the outside lane, then switch back to the inside after a few hundred feet. It’s mind boggling. I also live near a 4 way stop, that’s comedy gold. I bet 2% of drivers stop at it, and those people just park there for several minutes and wave everyone thru 

 

one thing about life jackets I’ve also noticed. You’ll see a boat full of people way out in the ocean and never see anyone wearing a life jacket. Just hauling in grouper and sharks miles from land, all of them in beach clothes no PFD. Then you’ve got the flats fishermen in their skiffs, absolutely never seen them with a life jacket 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

one thing about life jackets I’ve also noticed. You’ll see a boat full of people way out in the ocean and never see anyone wearing a life jacket. Just hauling in grouper and sharks miles from land, all of them in beach clothes no PFD. Then you’ve got the flats fishermen in their skiffs, absolutely never seen them with a life jacket 

That's because they aren't required.  I do agree that a certain percentage of the population would not follow the rules even if it was on the books, but certainly a lot more people would wear them if it was a mandated law and there was at least the possibility of receiving a citation if caught.  As it stands right now, I see a lot more people NOT wearing them than wearing them here in MN.  I believe that trend would reverse if they were required.

 

I see more people using a kill switch now that they're required.  It takes time.  But nothing is going to happen if you do nothing about it.  At one point, seat belts were't required either.  Once they were required, the majority of drivers/passengers began wearing them.  That's how it can be done, over time.

 

Obviously wearing one in a kayak would be a really good idea too.  Even more so than in a boat.  I wouldn't even take it off in a kayak.  I take my PFD off in my boat while I'm fishing, but I wear it while underway with the main outboard.

 

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You can have all the laws you want. They mean very little if not enforced. A perfect example of this is I am responding using my cell phone while driving 90mph on the interstate. I got here by turning into the far lane in front of @TnRiver46’s house after a short spinnerbait Xmas gift demo & didn’t use my turn signal because I have 1 taillight busted out along with headlights that only work on high beams!

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Now a days people get slapped on the hands and pay a fine for assault, stabbings and even shootings and put back on rhe street in a few days because the jails are full or overcrowded....what ever woukd we do with all the PFD violations ??  The "rights" people would have a hayday tying up courts !!  It might sound cruel but, I say let them go...mabey we can weed out enough fools to strengthen the population ....look at all the traffic laws and we still have way to many accidents to even count...  Now we are building cars and trucks with so called safety devices to protect the people that don't know how to drive, nor will they ever learn, so why bother, thin out the herd might not be such a bad idea.....

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15 minutes ago, airshot said:

nor will they ever learn, so why bother, thin out the herd might not be such a bad idea.....

That's what we're doing up here this winter on the "frozen" lakes.  People, ATVs, and portable houses are falling through the ice because we're having the warmest December and Christmas on record here.  I know its cruel to say "dig your own grave" but that's exactly what people are doing.  Local authorities have warned people dozens of times to stay off the sketchy ice, and people continue to go out there.  All for the sake of catching a few di** size perch.

 

People want to make their own decisions.  You can't always tell them what to do, even though the ice is literally melting away as we speak.  I hear the term "watch your own bobber" a lot.

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I think folks started using seat belts when they put that annoying alarm on them. They could probably do something like that on a boat but a canoe or kayak might pose a problem.

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We know not wearing a life jacket is not a good idea. My thoughts are with the survivors……the now single parent, family, friends, he won’t be around to help his parents as they get older and need help.

Every thing we do might have the “butterfly effect” to someone or some thing.

My condolences to his family and friends.

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@gimruisI don’t understand how fishing can be more important than someone’s life or limb. There is plenty of times I’ve looked at a really sketchy area  with my dad and said well I am sure I go get to that area in my boat but, you can’t tell me the fishing is that much better there to risk my boat. 
 

As mentioned above people get slaps on the wrists for things too. Maybe if you get caught with out a life jacket your fishing license and launch permit/registration get suspended for a year. Next time it’s two years and a bigger fine.

 

i am one of the few people I see wearing a life jacket while running a boat in the river. I have a routine. Start my motor, pull my trolling motor hold position with the motor till I get my life jacket on than hammer down. My kill switch lanyard is attached to my life jacket. 
 

it sucks to see things that could have possibly been prevented happen. When people ask me about the river I always give them a disclaimer about no matter what you have to be on your toes. There are also people I down right tell them do not take that boat there. 
 

The one thing I have set up in my phone is that my wife can see where I am at gps wise. Just incase the worst happens. I always send her the boat ramp I’m starting at as well. At least god forbid there is a starting point.

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Condolences and prayers for the family and friends of the victim as well as the first responders involved.   I suppose we all take chances.  Luckily most of us don't have any problems.  I don't think rules and regulations are the answer.  Enforcement officers have enough to do without additional regulations.   

 

We all make choices that "could" result in tragedy.   Sometimes the lord looks after us and protects us.   I'm an automotive technician.  ~30 years ago I was changing the outer seals in the front axle on a Jeep Wagoneer.  I had it in a flat bay, jacked up.  I had jack stands under it, but just had it sitting on the jack.  When I got finished I couldn't check the gear oil due to the jack being in the way.  I put the jack stands under the springs and let the jack down.  I laid down under the vehicle on the discover I had the wrong size wrench to check the oil.  When I got back up and reached into my tool box for the right wrench the vehicle basically spit the jack stands out.  I hadn't put the front tires on yet, so it was flat on the ground where I had just been.   It would have killed or seriously injured me had I been under it.  The thing is, I've known forever it takes a 16mm wrench to check the gear oil.  Why didn't I get under it with a 19MM?    The good lord put the wrong size wrench in my hand so I'd get out of under it before it fell.   

 

 

Be careful, it only takes a few seconds for a bad decision to turn into a disaster.   

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16 hours ago, gimruis said:

They will learn when they are required to wear it by law.

 

A certain demographic of the user public is never going to follow it unless it becomes a state law.  Just like wearing a motorcycle helmet.  The data is there, but some choose not to follow that data.

 

Even if a law, still going to be naysayers. Was loading up my kayak the other day while chatting with some bank fishermen when two FWC officers pulled up in separate trucks. They approached us, asking how the fishing was and then asked to see our fishing licenses. All was good and then they became chatty, checking out my fishing yak. One of the officers said while looking at my registration number, “first time seeing this.” I said “you mean people don’t register their motorized yaks—it’s the law here in Florida.”  He laughed, shaking his head, saying “heck no” like it was a joke or something. I didn’t pursue it but they sure did give the impression that it was a trivial matter. Says a lot about laws and enforcement. 

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1 hour ago, Woody B said:

We all make choices that "could" result in tragedy.

Obviously there's a higher chance of getting into a car crash on the way to the lake than there is of dying at the lake.  Raw data indicates that.  Wearing a seat belt, which is mandated by law, reduces the risk of a crash being fatal.  Raw data indicates that.

 

Wearing a PFD, at least while your in a kayak, canoe, or using a boat on plane reduces the risk of drowning should you end up in the water.  Especially by yourself with no one around.  Raw data indicates that.

 

I am a watch your own bobber kind of guy.  If someone wants to use their kayak without wearing a PFD, that's their own personal decision.  If someone wants to ride their motorcycle without a helmet, that's their own decision.  Won't be me though.  And won't be my kid until he's 18.  Then he can make his own decision just like everyone else.

 

If these items fell into the same category as a seat belt, more people would voluntarily wear them knowing that there is a stiff fine even if the chance of being caught is slim.  Until that happens, there are going to be more people NOT wearing them than wearing them.

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Regardless of laws, statics, data or whatever, this guy was apparently a fitness/wellness instructor who belonged to a kayak club, healthy and fit and educated. Should be a good example to those who might think that "it can't happen to me!" Only thing that we can do about not wearing a PDF in forums like this is to press on with: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! 

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Wearing of life saving equipment has been a topic of concern for me for just about all of my adult life.

When it was part of my job description, I witnessed the demise of many men, women & children who went into the water without any; recreational & professional alike.

IMO, Seems there's two categories ~ Folks who know, care, are responsible and respect their lives and the lives of those who love them.

Then there's Folks, who don't know the dangers, are mostly oblivious to any situational awareness at all, are supremely selfish and take their life and those that love them for granted.

 Personal feelings on this matter, one way, or the other have proven to be like a waste of time.

This one resembles drunk driving in many respects.  Folks just keep doing it. 

But the first time I handed over the lifeless body of a 12 year old girl to her hysterical parents on the beach, it changed me. 

Stay Safe

A-Jay 

 

 

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I still say this is the reason why they should mandate professional anglers to wear their PFDs at all times.  If you see your heroes doing it, you'll WANT to do it to.  And that's a lot better than being told you HAVE to do it.  At least for most people.  Right now, they have the laws set so kids have to wear them, but adults do not.  And no one wants to look like a kid, so it's "cool" to not wear a PFD.  It shows you've "grown up" and "know your way around a boat", so you don't need that safety net.  The system is discouraging the use of PFD's, in a way.  

 

Especially these days with the self-inflating PFDs that are so comfortable to wear.  There's just not a good excuse.  It would be like the sun protection gear.  You see the pros wearing those UV clothes and gaiters over their face, which admittedly look pretty silly, but they've quickly expanded into the general population on the lake.  The pros made it "cool" to wear.  And now we all want to look like sponsored NASCAR drivers on our days off! 😜

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If I go fishing today without a life jacket there’s a 99% chance it will not be a problem.  There’s a 1% chance I will get an expensive ticket and about a 0.001% chance I will die.   Some think 99% are good odds.   Some fear the expensive ticket.   The chance of dying should be the biggest fear.   There are some mistakes you can only make once.

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On the kayak I wear my NRS Chinook 100% of the time.  I like having the pockets when using the kayak.  On the bass boat I wear my Mustang Elite self-inflating PFD 100% of the time.  

 

I also have a Garmin In-reach on me with 15 min track update so if anything happens, they know where I am (Not just falling in, but I'm at that age where other debilitating things can just happen). And it has the SOS function.

 

I owe it to the ones that love & rely on me to look after my well-being.

 

 

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When I was guiding, we launched one day and while no-waking it at 6MPH to the first creek, a kayaker "flew" by us.  This guy was cookin' and all three of us commented.  Fast forward about an hour or so and we motor out of the backwater creek we were fishing and out into the main creek.  There he was, hanging from the side of his kayak.  I asked him as we sidled up next to him if he was cooling off with a dip (it was about 100 degrees) or did he go in accidently.   Accidently...  He lost his phone, rods and tackle.  I asked him if he'd like some help getting in and he said yes.  We got opposite of him and it took three of us (big fella) to pull him into his boat.  Once settled, I asked him, "as a licensed USCG Captain, could I make an observation?"  He said absolutely.  I told him that kayakers should always be wearing a PFD.  He agreed.  I told him that not only was he not wearing it, he didn't have one at all.  He said he had just sold his big boat and the PFDs went with the boat.  He said, "I figured I was just coming down to the creek for a little while, what could possibly happen."   Accidents by definition aren't planned.

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