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Thread: Kenai Peninsula Drowning

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Unhappy Kenai Peninsula Drowning

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/418905.html

    On a side note, I heard a stat on the radio today that 90% of the drownings in Alaska are men who aren't wearing life jackets. I'm not sure if that figure is accurate, but the point remains - put that jacket on, fellas.
    Last edited by Brian M; 05-28-2008 at 15:24.

  2. #2
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default ???

    I got a dead link. Hadn't heard about this. Don't really plan on being constrained with a PFD most of the time, but I put it on when the wind comes up. or it is rough.

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    Default

    It was on Elephant (or "Spirit") lake.
    The article says two guys were paddling their canoe on the lake, hit something submerged, & the canoe capsized. One guy made shore, the other didn't.
    Appears conditions were great, but they got a surprise.
    When I'm in the canoe, I wear a life jacket. I get good fitting jackets that are cut right & don't hinder movement. My whole family follows this rule. When I take our church youth group on canoe trips the rule is "If the boat is in the water, & you are in the boat, you WILL have a PFD on."
    Penalty is becoming the group dishwasher.
    I read the same stats Brian did somewhere. I don't remember the #s, but drowning deaths in recreational settings in Alaska were close to 90% males between 20something & late 40s. You know, the guys that don't "need" life jackets.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Sayak - Here is the correct link. (They must have moved the article after I posted it last night.)

    Incidentally, Vance is correct. It wasn't wind or rough conditions that led to this death - it was just a quick accident that led to a death with no life jacket on. I've never worn one while canoeing on a calm lake, but those days are behind me. With my little on and a wife counting on me, it's just not worth the small yet real risk.

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    Default PFD

    when in a canoe always wear one, lets face it they are not that stable to start with, an can turn over in a heart beat my 2cts

    SID

  6. #6
    Mark
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    It was on Elephant (or "Spirit") lake.
    The article says two guys were paddling their canoe on the lake, hit something submerged, & the canoe capsized. One guy made shore, the other didn't.....
    Canoes. Deathtraps.

    I'm afraid of canoes, even though I own one (the best moose hunting rig around).

    I won't get into one without a PFD on.

  7. #7
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default SOSpenders option is good

    Thought I'd toss in an option, inflatable suspenders called SOSPenders found in any marine gear store. Used them while crab fishing Bering Sea for many years and loved them. Hard work environment, where any restricted movement or the additional heat while working was a big factor. Although the new lifejackets made for kayakers are excellent for a nonrestrictive fit and I recommend them highly. The suspenders that are very easy to get on and have a CO2 cartridge with pull cord activation work really well and much easier to stow around any boat (for extra lifevests action for the unexpected number of guests, etc.) are really good gear. Might not keep you floating as well as they inflate only in front and around neck versus the top of line kayaker full vest.

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    Default jackets

    Having a life jacket on during capsize event frees you up to maintain contact with your paddle and to secure any free floating gear or to render assistance to other boaters involved in the capsize. A full length life jacket helps preserve core temp in cold waters. In moving water the capsized boater is free to move to the uphill side of the boat without concern for securing or donning life jacket. In moving water or when falling from the canoe the full length life jacket offers some protection from rib cage impact damage. While I do not like to be told it is necessary to wear a life jacket, or PFD, to engage in moving water or cold water boating without a jacket is asking for troubles. The same can be said for canoe jousting. Even in the old days canoe jousters wore their PFD's. For Alaska a tight fitting high floatation full length jacket with outside pocket for spare knife and waterproof matches might just save your life.

    upstreamV

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default i know this is an old thread but

    years ago i used to teach Canoe safety to the local girls scout troop out on Ft Wainwright,

    the first rule is stay with the canoe, learning how to right a capsized canoe is an essential part of being in one.

    in a calm water, lake pond... etc.. as it turns hold on to it... there is air in side the up side down canoe.

    all parties should agree to meet inside the canoe or along side it if tipped.

    the over turned craft still retains its buoyancy and you can hold on to the cross bars while you tread water and breath to unlash any gear that may weigh it down,, at this point survival is more important then tackle..

    with two people if one goes to each end of the canoe it will turn over to the upright position, if one perosn lifts slightly, as the other rolls it. though it will be full of water it can be reentered and paddled back to shore safer then attempting to " swim for it" most people rarely swim fully clothed and are unaware the difficulty of it until it is too late. even with a PFD on.. swimming for shore should NOT be the first or even second option
    conserving energy in cold water is #1.

    if you are unable to right the craft by linking arms across the inverted bottom of it you can hold on to the canoe and side kick it toward safer water, shore or help,, thus increasing your chances of surviving and receiving help if need be.. you can even crawl up on top of it and make your self more visible from shore or other boaters.

    Leaving your craft should only be considered as a DEAD last resort.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  10. #10
    RMK
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    Lightbulb A stylish option

    If you are too vain to wear a life jacket, or you feel they are too cumbersome, there are some options out there.

    In addition to the aforementioned inflatable suspenders that are popular with seaplane pilots, there are a number of jackets with CO2 inflatable bladders.

    Stormy Seas makes a great line of coats. They aren't USCG approved PFDs, but they will save your bacon in a pinch, and are 100 times better than nothing at all.

    They are easy to wear while working or paddling. I've done both for years in my Stormy Seas pull-over jacket.

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    Default Boating safety gear info

    Here's a link to one of the best info resources for boating:

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/index.htm

    If you haven't had a chance to watch the Cold Water Boating DVD, I highly recommend it...and, it's FREE!

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Thought I'd toss in an option, inflatable suspenders called SOSPenders found in any marine gear store. Used them while crab fishing Bering Sea for many years and loved them. Hard work environment, where any restricted movement or the additional heat while working was a big factor. Although the new lifejackets made for kayakers are excellent for a nonrestrictive fit and I recommend them highly. The suspenders that are very easy to get on and have a CO2 cartridge with pull cord activation work really well and much easier to stow around any boat (for extra lifevests action for the unexpected number of guests, etc.) are really good gear. Might not keep you floating as well as they inflate only in front and around neck versus the top of line kayaker full vest.
    I love my inflateable FPD! I thing anyone out on cold water should wear one. I even put mine on when fishing on the Kenai with waders. I swim like a fish, Scuba dive and grew up in the water in MN. I never wore life jackets as they are bulky and in the way. My inflateable is the best thing to come along. It does not get in the way and its like you are not wearing one untill you need it. If i knew when i was going to need it i would put it on right before i needed it but being i dont i wear it any time i am on big or cold water. Mine has 35lbs of flotation thats more than regular life jackets by a long shot.

  13. #13
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default thanks Coast Guard

    we appreciate your input and advice.
    happy and safe boating
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  14. #14
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    Default

    You cant always count on there being air inside a canoe upside down in the water. It's a false sense of security to rely on this. They oftentimes get so swamped that you will not be able to turn it upright no matter how hard you try.......if and when you do....the canoe will still be completely submerged with water and at some sort of neutral bouyancy still fully swamped with water and not safely cabable to provide a stable place to stay afloat.....believe it....because it's the truth.

  15. #15
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    Default then fill it

    If your canoe is full of water, then you can (sort of) fill it by taking a breath, dipping under the canoe, and exhaling. Eventually, you and/or your other party members can get enough air in it to make it more stable. I have never done this, btw, but have been told it is what you do to have a platform to hang with, and eventually right it. Anyone have any actual experience doing this? I assume that this is predicated on the fact that you are wearing flotation, the cold water will not kill you in 4 minutes, you are not going downstream hell-bent-for leather in white water, etc. At the very minimum, a good flotation device gives someone a body to recover, and at the most can allow you to fish another day. I was dunked in the Gulkana years ago, and had on a flotation vest and a good wet suit. By the time I pushed the canoe to shore so we could rescue it (just several minutes), my feet were so cold I could not tell I was hitting the bottom w/ them until I realized my legs were bending for some reason. Without that warmth & flotation of each, I'd surely have bit it or at least had to kiss the canoe goodbye.

  16. #16
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Cold Water Boating DVD

    Quote Originally Posted by CG Boating Safety View Post
    Here's a link to one of the best info resources for boating:

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/index.htm

    If you haven't had a chance to watch the Cold Water Boating DVD, I highly recommend it...and, it's FREE!
    We have the Cold Water Boating DVD in our store for free; you have to pay shipping though...

    -Mike
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    Smile Drowning

    #1 any one that gets into a canoe with out a flotation div. on them is
    nuts, a canoe is a tippy canoe, an some time you bail out of it so it won't go over, an when it happends some times you are not thinking very fast as lots of things are going at that minute, so all wear a flotation DIV in a canoe get a good one it will fit you a lot better, an won't be in the way as much
    just remember all canoes are tippy canoes if you don't beleave me, get in 2 ft of water an stand up an tell it is stable I know people will say don't stand up in a canoe but it proves a point not stable so be careful an wear the floatation divice don't sit on it like the FRIEND I HAD a couple of years ago in the upper Keni river, Have ben in canoes a lot also out of a canoes a couple of times, the larger the canoe the better you feel but don't take a chance be safe MY 2 CTS

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    Default PFDs are like seat belts

    You don't need either one, ever, until you do and then its too late.

    Both are good areas for a zero tolerance level on neglecting them. And almost guaranteed, both will never hurt ya.

  19. #19
    RMK
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    Default Good Article in the ADN on 01-18-10

    There was an article in the ADN yesterday about life jackets. Of the roughly 90 commercial fishing drownings from "man overboard" incidents in the last decade, not ONE was wearing a pfd. That's a pretty telling statistic.

  20. #20
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    Default ...more than just equipment and skills...

    Thanks for the link, RMK! NIOSH briefed us last week, so the article was timely (and I missed Saturday's paper...) Good stuff, with commercial fishermen willing to wear PFD's; one of the Deadliest Catch stars did a video for the Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety also.

    It's interesting that equipment and the skills to operate equipment are the highest priorities for boaters when/where safety is concerned. A second 'component' of safety is (of course) Risk Management. Unfortunately, most boaters don't (necessarily) recognize that they have anything to gain by learning more about Risk Management; in fact, we all think we are being safe (it's the other guy, right??)...and to the other guy, YOU are the other guy!

    The Coast Guard has mandatory Risk Management (RM) training for boat/cutter crews, Command Center personnel and other supervisory people called TCT or Team Coordination Training. The class gets into the "warm fuzzy" part of RM with seven modules; Communications, Decision-Making, Adaptability & Flexibility, Assertiveness, Mission Analysis, Leadership and Situational Awareness. I've been working with AMSEA (Alaska Marine Safety Education Association) to 'civilianize' this cirriculum for the public, focused on three boater groups; Families, Buddies and Solo boaters as we believe the RM processes vary depending on the peer group you boat with. We think this course will be internet ready either late this year or early next year (and free to the public!).

    If there is enough public interest in a classroom version, I would be happy to travel to Anchorage (or other location) to offer a facilitated version. Normally, when I visit a boat show/sportsmans show and offer something labeled "boating safety", I just can't compete with "How to catch giant salmon" or similar classes. Safety just isn't something that 'sells' well (kind of like encyclopedias or life insurance!)....but, those that 'get it' are the most educated boaters out there! Boat Safe! Mike

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