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Thread: WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET PLEASE.......this could happen to anyone.

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    Default WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET PLEASE.......this could happen to anyone.

    My wife and I fished a couple of teenagers out of the lake north of DLG on Monday night. Luckily both were unharmed but were WITHOUT lifejackets.

    They apparently were trading drivers on a small Lund with WOT when one slipped and fell into the other and they were both thrown from the boat. My wife and I noticed from a distance that the boat was doing spins but at first figured it was just two young guys having fun (as they are wont to do)....after 30 seconds it was clear this was serious and we cranked up and ripped over there with a heavy heart at what we might find. To everyone's great luck, we found two rather rattled but otherwise ok young men treading water as their boat was doing the death spin at one heck of a clip just twenty yards away.

    It was 11 pm, the water was 50 degrees, air temp slipping to 45 by nightfall, and they were more than a half mile offshore, and they were 12 miles from the landing and several miles from any campers etc. (if the campers had been awake or had bino's to know what was going on). My wife and I were the last boaters on the lake.

    It was beautiful night, the fish were biting, these guys were just fishin, wearing shorts and having fun, but things could have been very very bad for them, and I am just thankful we were within the area when it happened, These are some pretty decent young men, weren't drinking, and are generally savvy from commercial fishing and everything else bush dwellers do for fun and work....but they were still almost snuffed out by one single decision not to have a lifejacket on them...that, and to grab *** at full speed. One of them was confident he could have swam to shore....but I reminded him that the four mile walk to any kind of shelter would have likely left him hypothermic, and there was no telling if his buddy could have made it, or when someone would have found them on a weekday.

    I've been remisc on this topic myself over the years and have done lots of solo stuff in the middle of nowhere in the Dillingham area, but have been wearing a stormy seas jacket because I will actually WEAR one of those and my odds of making it become exponentially better with it on. Coming up on those guys the other night reminded me exactly why I always have one on (in the past 5 years), we live in an unforgiving place and we could have lost some good young men the other night. It could happen to anyone.

    So please, instill proper boating safety for not only yourselves but your younguns. Get them a flotation device that is actually comfortable so that they will have it on, we're fortunate up here that float coats are a comfort for about 90 percent of the boating we do, due to air temps.

    The other night was a cheap lesson for everyone involved, their friends even recovered the boat the next morning (which was still spinning at speed at midnight when we left for the long cold ride back to the landing) . (THEY had our stormy seas on by that point), I still can't believe how these boys came out unscathed, but I'm thankful for it and I'd hope they are making better decisions in the future.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Excellent story. Thank God that you were there. Good job!
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Member Waterlover's Avatar
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    Good stuff and good reminder for us ALL...no matter how experienced we may be.

    Thank you.

    FF
    "The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.
    In memory of our troops...defenders of our freedom."

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    Member Steve Springer's Avatar
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    Good on ya sir for saving some lives.

    Steve

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    Wow, good on you for responding as you did. I hope those to fellows realize the gravity of the event and take proper steps in the future to prevent something like from happening again.


    Rep to you Sir

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    just out of curiosity how is a life jacket gonna help you a half mile offshore with a runaway boat? I'm all for life jackets, but I think life jacket or not if you hadn't come around those folk would have been screwed. Way to help out
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    just out of curiosity how is a life jacket gonna help you a half mile offshore with a runaway boat? I'm all for life jackets, but I think life jacket or not if you hadn't come around those folk would have been screwed. Way to help out
    Ok, I'll bite. First, I'm gonna throw you out of a boat with a life jacket on....and watch you doggy paddle to shore and try to figure out what next. THEN, the next day I'm gonna do the same without....and watch the bubbles. With life jackets, they could have bobbed for hours until somone got them, without, they had precious little time before someone responded.

    The point is, you at least have a chance of saving yourself with a lifejacket on. Without it in this situation, you are praying for a miracle.

    Don't be silly.

    Thanks for all comments, my wife and I really didn't do much (and what any of us would do) I'm just thankful we weren't dealing with injuries....or worse.

    I saw one of them just the other night at the landing, and dog gone it if he didn't have a float coat on. I gave him a smile and told I was glad to see he was drier than the last time I saw him

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    Good advice but have one question. Why didn't they have the kill switch attached? That would have shut the boat down and they could have made it back on board. Learned my lesson the hard way on the kill switch. By myself, on my flats boat, lost my hat, circled around to pick it up, throttled back to just in gear, slid over to the side of the seat and leaned over-hand still on the wheel-to fish it out. Leaned a little too far and went over the side...backwards...a complete roll. Managed to get a hand on the transom as it went by and then got the other hand on the poling platform. Steered my body away from the still turning prop and climbed back aboard. Can't believe how lucky I was but that kill switch is attached to me now.

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    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    just out of curiosity how is a life jacket gonna help you a half mile offshore with a runaway boat? I'm all for life jackets, but I think life jacket or not if you hadn't come around those folk would have been screwed. Way to help out
    How would a life jacket not help? You can paddle to shore then have someone give you a lift to rescue your boat. How would they have been screwed?

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    I believe if your will to live is strong enough with a life jacket one might make it. For most it makes for nice closer for the family.
    Good on you for helping these guys out of their bad spot to be in.

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