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justfishin

Please! Wear a life jacket !

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I am a guide but, today just went fishing for fun with a friend and ran into a friend of mine on the river whom was doing a trip who told me a story in which I seem to hear every year. We run Jet Boats with 90/65 motors and the steering is done with a stick. We sit on the front of the boat to drive. The water today was between 39-42 degrees. Last week he rescued a man whom was in a Jet ,as well, and hit a ledge and was thrown out in shoulder high water. He was a older gentleman and could not get back in the boat. My friend watched this happen and it only took him 3 or 4 minutes to get to the guy. In that short period of time the guy was wild eyed and talking incoherent. It was warm that day so all he had on was a sweatshirt---NO LIFE JACKET. I have only been thrown out once in my time but, let me tell you, a boat wide open in six inches of water in a lot of places is a accident waiting to happen. To get to the point, when the water is that cold it would not matter if you were in a glass boat,jet boat or a canoe. You might trip, or flip over in the rapids or whatever, but, falling into that cold of water will shut you down quick. If my friend had not  seen this accident happen I feel the man would have died right there. Hold your arm in water that cold up to your elbow and tell me how long you can keep in in there. You can complain about life jackets but, if you are in my boat this time of year you will wear them, period. I do not like them either but, I wear them. In the summer I take mine off but, when the gas motor is running I put one on. This time of year, everyone should put one on and keep it on until the end of the day. Sorry for the ramble but, I just do not want to see anyone get hurt and it is nice to get reminded once in awhile. Thanks---Jim

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Great point Jim. If I may add to that.

What good is a life jacket if you can't get back into the boat.

Have a plan on how you are going to get back into the boat. For example: a short rope ladder or something like that. If you fall into water that cold you will lose much of your strength in a matter of a couple of seconds. So don't plan on haveing the muscle to pull yourself back into the boat.

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FYI, just to qualify myself before I continue. I work in emergency medicine and I was a medic in the army.

More things to think about.

You should have a complete change of clothes and a towel or two in a water proof bag on the boat. The most important thing after getting back into the boat is to getting dry. Then worry about getting warmed up. If you feel lightheaded, have blurred vision or numbness, excessive shivering, confusion, or sleepiness. You should call 911 and get back to a boat ramp where they can pick you up. These are the early stages of hypothermia and you need to be treated quickly.

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Also if your wearing a lot of heavy winter cloths while fishing wear one. I had to fish out a tournament partner one year that fell in and the water soaked up in his winter cloths and he sank like a rock. Dragging the guy in the boat was a chore in a half because of the extra weight of the water logged cloths.

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Small world, I work in the ER here at the local hospital. You have made another good point. I started bringing along a change of cloths and a towel for that reason. When I was thrown out the water was not that cold, probably about in the 55-60 degree range and the water was only knee deep but, the ramp was six miles down river and it was a cold ride. My dog was thrown out as well that day. I swear I heard him call me a idiot, lol. I don't think people understand how fast you can get hypothermia and just how dangerous it is. Not just for the elderly man I spoke of but, for anyone in a cold water situation. Here are a couple of good first aid sites along with some info.

www.mayoclinic.com/health/first-aid-hypothermia/FA00017

     

 www.boat-ed.com/pa/course/p5-3_personalinjuries.htm#Hypothermia

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As of July 1st R.I. adopted a new age for children who are required to have a PFD (personal flotation device). The age was 10 and under and is NOW 12 AND UNDER for boats under 65 feet. The law further states they must wear a PFD while the boat is underway. R.I. DEM Enforcement has defined that as not being tied, docked or anchored. ANY MOVEMENT including trolling motors and drifting requires a child 12 and under to be wearing one.

While DEM has opted to warn and enlighten violators for the remainder of the year. A ticket may be issued.

"Children who are 12 or younger must wear life jackets on boats shorter than 65 feet while the boat is moving, unless they are below decks or inside a closed cabin. The new rule replaces one requiring kids younger than 10 to wear life jackets on boats shorter than 26 feet.

"The purpose of this law," said Michael Scanlon, the state's boating safety coordinator, "is to protect our children when they are on our waterways, and to also instill safe boating habits at a very early age that will be carried on into adulthood."

Department of Environmental Management police officers are using the rest of the boating season to educate boaters of the change in the law, and will be enforcing the old statute in the meantime.

"However," says Stephen Hall, chief of the DEM's Division of Law Enforcement, "although the law applies only to youngsters, and only topside when the boat is under way, it's just common sense for people of all ages on all sizes of boats to wear life jackets. Life jackets are the most effective way to save boaters' lives, and we encourage everyone to wear them any time they are in a boat.

"Nationwide in 2004, 676 people died in recreational boating accidents. More than four hundred of those boaters could have been saved if they had been wearing life jackets."

For further information contact.

Michael J. Scanlon

Program Services Officer

RI DEM Division of Law Enforcement

235 Promenade Street

Providence RI 02908

michael.scanlon@dem.ri.gov

(401) 222 2986

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I always wear a life jacket because back last January I fell into water that cold and didn't have a life jacket on but luckily I was fishing docks and was able to climb on one of the docks.That experience keeps me wearin one.

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Guys, everyone should wear a life jacket when running on plane.  I used to water ski barefoot in my younger days and have hit the water at speeds in excess of 40 mph on many occasions.  At that speed you skip either skip like a rock or tumble head over heels.  I'm not sure what it would be like at 60 mph.  We always wore a jump jacket to protect our back when skiing barefoot and it did, many times.  A life jacket is not as rigid as our jump jackets, but if fastened snugly around your torso it would at least help protect you from a back injury as well as keep you afloat if unable to swim.  Take my word, if it isnt buckled it will likely come off some time before you settle in the water.  

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As an older fisherman I would like to add some of my thoughts that may help others in the event of being thrown overboard. 1. Consider the purchase of auto inflate Suspenders type life jackets. Follow the proper storage directions and check and replace all components as required. If you are thrown or fall overboard and strike your head, the auto inflate feature could be a life saver. Also, you can wear them all day and be fairly cool and comfortable. 2. Add a boarding ladder to the stern of your boat. If you are older, imagine how hard it would be to pull yourself back into your boat from 40 degree water. We aren't quite the studs we used to be!! During last summer's heat, I zapped all my energy trying pull myself back in my boat after taking a cool down dip. I ended up using my motor's lower unit for help. 3. For God's sake, PLEASE hook up your kill switch lanyard and make sure it works! I lost a friend several years ago when he was thrown overboard and the boat circled back and ran him over.

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VAbacklash,

          Thanks for reminding my feeble mind. The KILL SWITHCH is certainly something to remember. It is a most important component and is very important to the guys whom run Jet Drives with stick steering and sit up front. I always hook my lanyard to my seat from my control box so I don't forget it. I knew everyone in here would remember some things that my old brain would forget, thanks.

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I put on an auto-inflatable PFD as soon as I get on the water, and it never comes off until I get off of the water at the end of the trip.

The VERY cool thing about auto-inlatable PFD's is, they are so light and comfortable, you forget you have one on. Half the time I'll be walking up to the parking lot to get the truck, and "Doh" ! Forgot to take off my PFD :-) Better than forgetting to put it on I guess.

Peace,

Fish

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Guest zardon
I put on an auto-inflatable PFD as soon as I get on the water, and it never comes off until I get off of the water at the end of the trip.

What brand do you have? And where did you purchase it, if I may ask. I have been looking for a godd one of these for awhile now.

Thanks,

Tommy

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Mine is a Cabelas brand, and it's even camo'd :-) I think it cost about $109 plus S+H.

IMPO, everybody who spends any time on the water, should have / wear an auto inflating PFD.... unless they can stand to wear one of those bulky, old-school PFD's (all day) instead.

Peace,

Fish

PS, Their might be a few anglers on the planet, of whom I wouldn't care if they dropped a deep cycle battery on their foot, but I don't want ANYBODY to drowned !!!

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If you fall into the water you can always crawl up on the back of the motor and use the motor to lift you up high enough to crawl into the boat.

Yes always wear a life jacket when the big motor is going.  I do also in big waves.

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Jim,

  The guy that fell into the water wouldn't happen to be the greatest fisherman to ever come out of Washington County Larry Shank would it?

Allen

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Hey, how you doing there Allen, errr I mean, Munkin. How did you come up with Munkin?,lol. No, I was only thrown out once----Taylors Landing, surprise,surprise!!! Larry is a frequent flyer!!!,lol. Yep, he is the best in Washington County and I am the 5,233rd best here,lol. We have been rockin them----you? Current breaks, chunk rock, residual grass is the magic formula. Strange though, we have been getting some real good green bass right along with the brown ones in the same areas. I have not run into that before, at least not as much as we have lately. Good fishin. Glad to here from ya and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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Hey Jim,

I was out last weekend on the Potomac in Washington county. Saturday, the water temps reached a high of barely over 40. The guy you said that was throw obviously didn't know that boating laws for MD or at least disregarded them. From the end of November until the end March (I believe) it is mandatory to wear a lifejacket at all times. Anytime I run my outboard, no matter what time of year, everyone in my boat must have a life jacket on or I don't fire up the motor. Obviously, when the law requires me to wear it, I wear it then too.

The only action my partner and I had was seeing a school of walleyes that took us by surprise (we were making a run to our next spot when we ran right through a nice sized school before we even realized they were there). Do you fish the Washington county section alot? We may have crossed paths a time or two.

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That incident happened on the Susquehanna in PA. The life jacket laws here are, from Nov.5 to May 15, you have to have one on at all times. Yes, I fish here some. Mostly at Four locks lately because of my schedule. Its close to home. I only live a stones throw from the Potomac. I like Little Orleans the best up on this part of the river as well as from Hancock up to Little Orleans. Other than that I like Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry. We had a great day at Four Locks last Sunday. Some real good fish. I ran into Zack, I know you know that nut,  I say that in a good way. He is a good guy. Awesome on those smallies at the Susky. Don't tell him I said that. I also ran into Jim Root that day, another great guy whom does a lot for the Junior Bassmasters in this area.  I have a bad leg that is ready to get cut again and we have been fishing out of my buddies boat lately, Skeeter 90/65 Yamaha Jet that is beige. If you see us come over and BS. It would be great to meet you. If we are in my boat I have a grey Xpress with a 70/55 Evinrude Jet. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hey, how you doing there Allen, errr I mean, Munkin. How did you come up with Munkin?,lol. No, I was only thrown out once----Taylors Landing, surprise,surprise!!! Larry is a frequent flyer!!!,lol. Yep, he is the best in Washington County and I am the 5,233rd best here,lol. We have been rockin them----you? Current breaks, chunk rock, residual grass is the magic formula. Strange though, we have been getting some real good green bass right along with the brown ones in the same areas. I have not run into that before, at least not as much as we have lately. Good fishin. Glad to here from ya and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Munkin is the nickname I was given by my father when I was a child and it is what most of my fathers side of the family still call me.

Larry is THE EXPERT on fishing and everything else but you do not have to ask him because he is going to tell you anyway. ::) How can you rank yourself so close to him? You must be a decent fishermen I think I am somewhere about 12,234.

Allen

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OK, you will always be Munkin to me then. Yes, ol' Larry certainly will tell you how good he is,lol. I am not a decent fisherman, I just have tenacity and will not let up on them!!! We are leaving in a few to go to Four Locks. George has never gotten a big smallie here and I am going to try to put him on one this morning. They have been in the long point below the ramp past the culverts. It seems the big ones have been hanging deep in the grass  about half way out on that point in about 8-15' deep. Flukes in white and dark tubes have been the ticket there. Hope that helps. Go get them and good luck.

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According to U.S. Coast Guard studies, 87% of the victims of boating accidents who drowned were not wearing their PFDs.  Does anything more need to be said?

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