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Yet another kayaker missing and presumed dead


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There was a body recovered at Lake Guntersville last week-ish. Apparently, a younger guy (early 20s) was duck hunting from a kayak. Found the kayak capsized/overturned, and the body a couple days later. Stories never said anything about a PFD. I see recreational kayakers where I fish often and they hardly ever have one, much less have it on.

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I aways wear mine literally 99.99% of the time. I had to take mine off for under 20 seconds once as I had to put on a rain jacket and I hated having it off for even one moment.

 

I was an avid bowhunter before getting re addicited to fishing and it was amazing the risk so many people took not wearing a fall arrest harness. 

 

my #1 rule of outdoor activities is go home alive. 

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New Years day I was caught in some gnarly winds in the kayak and white caps. Came in super fast. No PFD. Pucker factor 7/10. Almost lost a rod and reel setup. Couldn't paddle hard enough to beat the wind and was stationary for probably 15 minutes. I pulled a muscle in my left lat. My right forearm was cramping locking out before I finally got around the point to get to my truck. 

 

This is a good topic and will be ordering a quality pfd again. I don't know if I could have made it if I capsized. I've always had the mindset to make it home for my kiddo. Conceal carry, firearms proficiency, medical training ect. but no pfd. Seriously logic flaw. Thanks for the reminder.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, 928JLH said:

 Couldn't paddle hard enough to beat the wind and was stationary for probably 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

I had this happen to me once. I was out near Egmont Key just off Fort Desoto in the Clearwater, Florida area. When I went out all was good, wind was calm, everything looked good to go. BUT, when I turned around to go back I could hardly move! The wind suddenly picked up plus the current in that pass suddenly became wicked. The harder I paddled, I maybe gained an inch! Inch by inch I made it back. About exhausted me to death. Goes to show how conditions can change on a dime. Thank goodness I was wearing a life jacket. Could've easily went very bad. 

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Such a bad feeling when you are paddling as hard as you can and gain inches. White caps coming into a kayak. Reckon I'm getting older now and the mind still writes checks the body can't cash from time to time. 

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No kidding. Scary stuff, that acute awareness of hopelessness, or at least the possibility of disaster. I'm pretty fit and it still took everything I had to gain mere inches. I can only imagine someone not physically capable. Best to be prepared in everyway possible, no matter the age or even if fit and in shape.  

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It bugs me to see people fishing below a tailrace without a lifejacket.

In Tennessee:

All boaters and passengers must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket within the area designated and appropriately marked as a hazardous area below any dam and/or lock.

 

Example (Granted...it doesn't look dangerous....but...those are famous last words):

 

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I own my boat because a gentleman wanted a kayak in addition to a 21 ft bassboat.  He was recently retired from Washington Gas and lived on the Potomac river.  Took the kayak out in Mallows bay, turtled and got hung up in the aquatic vegetation and drowned.  No pfd.  I’ll go one step farther.  I not only wear a pfd, I refuse to wear an auto inflate.  As a matter of fact, I bought myself a new Mustang full collar solid vest for myself for Christmas.  I wear it summer and winter.  I have read too many stories of the inflatables not inflating.  Even though I water skied back when all that was required was a ski “belt” that was no more than a piece of rubber coated foam you wore with a single strap. I don’t  test the odds anymore.  😂

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Learned my lesson the hard way. I fish a lot of smaller lakes. Winter time fishing a 30 acre lake in Sun Dolphen 11 foot  boat with a front deck and pedestal . Not real steady and no jacket. Casted sideways to the shore and was facing towards the bow and fishing to the side. Felt and tap and set the hook and went right over the side close to shore. Heavy clothing, rod in one hand tried to get back on boat. Kept drifting away. Began to swim to shore , but clothing, shoes and rod were dragging me down. Finally dropped rod and made it to shore where I was freezing. That was the a scary experience that could have been fatal miles from anyone.

I am in my 70's and bought a boat I can stand in and wear the jacket. One of my favorite rods too.😪

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Recurve1 said:

Sorry if I missed it in the posts but the title says "missing and presumed dead".  If they don't have the body how do we know he wasn't wearing a PFD?

https://www.news.uscg.mil/Press-Releases/Article/3626173/coast-guard-suspends-search-for-missing-kayaker-off-st-augustine-inlet/#:~:text=— The Coast Guard has suspended the search,of the North Jetties in St. Augustine%2C Saturday.

A-Jay

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a huge proponent of wearing a PFD while on the water. Like many others, I see people on the water without one even though it's required by law. It blows my mind when I see the parents not wearing one and thankfully their kids are (for the most part). What is this teaching their kids?

 

About 2 summers ago, a former coworker of mine who was well acquainted with canoeing & kayaking (he frequently competed) was out with his family in their canoes. He was alone in his and was paddling ahead of the rest of the family. He rounded a bend in the river (slow moving & tame) and went out of sight of his family. When they rounded the bend, they discovered his empty canoe and he was not in sight. It took 4-5 hours for rescuers to find his body. He apparently had a cardiac event  and dumped into the river. Apparently he wasn't wearing a PFD. Although a  PFD probably would not have saved him, it would have saved his family the 4-5 agonizing hours waiting for his recovery. If he would have worn one, it would have saved the responders 4-5 hours of searching and the risks associated with that. Every rescue or recovery has some risks. Tragic. He was only in his forties.

 

I feel naked if I'm not wearing my PFD. While fishing with one or more of my fishing buddies, I pass out 2 way radios in the event of an emergency. Also have a whistle, flashlight, and a strobe leashed to it. Always be prepared......

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A few years ago the conservation area near me started verifying that you had a PFD before they rented you a boat.  If you don't have it with you at the window you don't get a boat. Needless to say, there were a lot of people that fished from the bank.

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On 12/26/2023 at 8:27 AM, Bankc said:

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! 😜

 Having watched many Major League Fishing shows I also observed the pro's don't wear PFD's. Even when they are fishing really rough water. I think you are on to something having them set a good example.

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