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Thread: What if something happened to you?

  1. #1
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Default What if something happened to you?

    So my wife keeps up on some of the forum threads and in conversation about unprepared boaters she posed the question 'I wonder how many spouses have been taught and are comfortable to run the boat if something happened to the other person'.

    So I pose the question, how many of us have taken the time to try and teach our spouses how to operate and run the boat?

    I know for us, when my wife is on the boat, I don't spend a lot of time in the seat. She doesn't like driving in sloppy water but she is taking the imitative to try. She drove back Saturday night in that 3 foot choppy slop we were in and handled it well with some coaching. I have been trying to have her run the electronics and understand what all the switches etc do. She has gotten pretty comfortable with the chart plotter and has been studying the Atlas charts of PWS so she knows where all the land marks are.

    I would take it one step further and ask how many of us have taught our kids how to operate the VHF and what channels they need to use. Two of mine know that 16 is the '911' channel if they need help. I need to spend some more time with them to make sure they know how to get it back to 16 if they hit the wrong button.

    Just curious what other people are doing.
    Last edited by Brian M; 07-09-2013 at 15:11.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    While I don't own a boat, we raft. Over the weekend we ran into a very real situation. I was ejected into a class3 water column from a bad sweeper and tangled up in a bank full of fell trees and debri. I managed to get out.

    Immediately after recovery the conversation of preparedness became a very real topic for us.

    I explained that If something ever happened to me, you need to recover as much gear as possible. Target #1 is the red watershed bag with satphone.
    Not me.

    Certainly not a feel good subject but the thought of not knowing what to do is even worse.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  3. #3

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    I go over the radio operation with the kids and let them talk on it for radio checks also they use the handheld on the dinghy. My boy (15), is starting to feel more confident running the boat. I let him run the boat out in the open a lot and now have gotten him to run it in the harbor a few times when its not to busy. I like to have him dock it at the fuel dock if it isn't busy. We try to go over different responses to situations that may happen such as falling overboard whether at anchor, in current or not, time it takes to pull anchor to recover person in water, etc. I keep trying to add something every time we go out, the life I save might be my own LOL.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    A bunch of years ago on a Fathers Day outing with the family in Res Bay, I made an unplanned exit from the boat while trying to pull the anchor onto the bow. I managed to grab the rail as I went over, and there I hung in the water, the rail in one hand and the anchor in the other. Incidentally, I wasn't wearing my PFD. I tried to instruct my wife to tie off the anchor so I could simply stand on the flukes and get back in the boat...but she was panicing and her knot kept slipping as soon as I stood on the anchor. She helped my put on a PFD, and we discussed a couple different options: call for help on the radio; or start the motor and idle towards Hive island (less than a mile away). In a moment of clarity (I was pretty amped up at first, and not necessarily thinking as clearly as I could have been), I decided to work my way to the stern of the boat and use my kicker mount as a ladder to get back on board.

    Until that trip, it had never even occured to me to have a plan to get myself back in the boat unassisted. Ever since, I cant even imagine the number of hours I've spent thinking about the countless different situations that I could run into while on the water and contingencies to get back home safely.

    It's pretty easy to fall into the mindset that we have everything under control, right up to the point where we no longer do.

  5. #5
    Member jaydog's Avatar
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    As new boat owners it's something that my wife and I are both very aware of and she is making a concerted effort to learn about everything from boat handling to the operation of the electronics and even wants to understand things like the plumbing and wiring. I think she thought I was going overboard on the safety gear at first - but getting out in the middle of things when you haven't seen another boat for several hours quickly brought that into perspective. Going over different scenarios is a good practice - drill, drill, and drill some more - until it's engrained. Bad stuff can happen - even when we do everything right. A heart attack, broken leg or arm, etc - and suddenly you're out of the game - but the game doesn't stop.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My wife and all three of my kids can run the boat, and I have one of those handy dandy USCG stickers next to the radio so anyone who needs to use the radio in an emergency will know what to do. It's nice, now at the end of a days fishing I can clean the fish while the kids run us back to port so all the fish are filleted and carcusses fed to the crabs and shrimp. That and if the ramp is crowded I can run and get the truck while they are tying up at the dock.

    Just going over how to use things isn't enough, you need to put them behind the helm. Once they have some miles behind the wheel they'll be much more comfortable as the conditions become less comfortable.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    Wife and 13 year old son both know how to run the boat, use the electronics and have good understanding of most systems onboard.
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    Member killer instinct's Avatar
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    I (as the wife) made it a point to learn as much as I can about our boat so I can get back to port - WITH HIM (if he accidently did something wrong) or WITHOUT HIM (if he did something really, really stupid or really, really pissed me off )

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    Member killer instinct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    ...... and I have one of those handy dandy USCG stickers next to the radio so anyone who needs to use the radio in an emergency will know what to do.
    We have one of these stickers also next to the radio - HIGHLY recommend! DSC_0102.jpg

  10. #10
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    the wife can run the boat, read river water (not well but good enough) she has been versered on radio usage, all though not much use on the river. First aid kit and flair's, check, she can even back up a trailer i think a lot of people over look that one....
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  11. #11

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    My wife is competent at running the boat and all, but our unresolved question is how to get me back onboard if I go over and can't do much to help myself back in. She's not strong enough by a mile.

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    at least twice a year, after I pull anchor, without any notice toss a buoy overboard and make her run a man over board drill to make sure she can come get me. She must simulate a call to the coast guard and read the GPS Coordinates.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gokorn1 View Post
    at least twice a year, after I pull anchor, without any notice toss a buoy overboard and make her run a man over board drill to make sure she can come get me. She must simulate a call to the coast guard and read the GPS Coordinates.
    good idea, we will have to start doing that.

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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Also a PLB. If the perfect MURPHY storm hit, power failure, no radios, someone in the water, use your imagination. I've used my rescue beacon and have since purchased a second one. I keep one in my life vest and now my wife will have one also. Remember a few years ago the NFL players who died in the Gulf of Mexico when the weather changed on them and they swamped their boat. I think there were 4 of them and only one survived clinging to the hull after 4 days at sea. If the crap hits the fan, at least you know someone will be coming, might be a recovery but they will come. The beacons are pretty cheap when you figure what your or someone elses life is worth...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanly View Post
    Also a PLB. If the perfect MURPHY storm hit, power failure, no radios, someone in the water, use your imagination. I've used my rescue beacon and have since purchased a second one. I keep one in my life vest and now my wife will have one also. Remember a few years ago the NFL players who died in the Gulf of Mexico when the weather changed on them and they swamped their boat. I think there were 4 of them and only one survived clinging to the hull after 4 days at sea. If the crap hits the fan, at least you know someone will be coming, might be a recovery but they will come. The beacons are pretty cheap when you figure what your or someone elses life is worth...
    What make and model do you have?
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    What make and model do you have?
    Dman: I sold my boat years ago but here is the link to the ACR website and the PLB i will be getting for hiking and off roading n the SW deserts, etc. Im looking at the ResQlink+ but for boaters i would probably look at one of the AquaLink Units. From what I read and searches i have done the ACR seem to be top notch.

    http://www.acrartex.com/products/cat...cator-beacons/

  17. #17
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Same here. I have the ACR ResQLink and just got a newer unit that displays your GPS coords. As many of you know, when the crap hits the fan, it usually happens in a nanosecond and the next thing you know your life is in the balance. I know having the beacon is a HUGE piece of mind. Hard lesson learned for me is the beacon has to be on your person, not stored away. Remember the movie of the guy who got his arm trapped and had to cut it off with a pocket knife, at the beginning of the movie his beacon is on top of a cabinet and was just out of his reach so he said, paraphrasing, "ah, I'm good, won't need it". You aren't thinking about money in any shape, manner or form when you think you're going to die. Kodiakrain on here also used his, he spent several hours in the water and a beacon saved his life as well. Don't leave home without it!!
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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    For those who have outboards with power trim and tilt, one method to extract a person or yourself from the water is to simply climb on the lower unit and power up. Often it gives you just enough lift to drag yourself over the transom or on the back deck. It works remarkably well and is a trick to share with those you boat with.

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    I am only sixty one years old and everything still works.... beyond that ... I am making my son of 24 years, assume more and more of the responsibility out on the big water. I have not relinquishing my role as the captain but when you go out for the weekend and cross serious water in the North Pacific Ocean we all need to work together.

    I believe in redundancy ... Yes we do wear modern life vests that do not get in the way. I usually take the airplane GPS for backup. I have a great tender up top that is easy to launch and I have a ditch bag with an ACR EPRIB, lots of fresh water and other survival & first aid gear. Also the Honda 9.9 kicker can take you a long ways at about 5 mph when the big engine fails.

    Other thing is situational awareness is key to survival, weather mechanical condition of the boat and how that changes on a hour to hour basis. We have lots of fun but the responsible guy is always thinking and working it out, some call it worrying.



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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    I wonder how the service from these compare to the Spot. I have a spot I keep in my ditch bag.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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