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Thread: Helmets when jet boating?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Helmets when jet boating?

    Could this be a good trend to start in AK? Just consider how dangerous it actually is when you're blasting back down a river you had a hard time getting up in the first place. What about the young children on board.....maybe at least them? Some sort of low profile helmet like a mountaineering helmet would be a decent brain bucket. Sweepers, log jams, low hanging trees/branches, rocks, sharp turns,......all kinds of stuff there to send your wife, kids, or hunting buddy flying head first into at a pretty fast speed. I think when the time comes.....I'm going to require everyone on board my river runner to wear a helmet. What do you guys think of this idea?

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I think you have a lot higher chance of getting in an automobile accident than a boating accident in Alaska and they have yet to require helmets for that. Not only that but head injuries are not all that common while boating unlike drowning.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    how much river running have you done?...

    if you feel you need to require folks to wear a helmet, especially children, you should re-consider even being on the river at all...especially hauling kids around....untill you are confident you won't be hitting all of the above mentioned things...
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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    how much river running have you done?...

    if you feel you need to require folks to wear a helmet, especially children, you should re-consider even being on the river at all...especially hauling kids around....untill you are confident you won't be hitting all of the above mentioned things...

    Point taken.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    more likely head injury while jet boating is from people being up moving around getting knocked into part of the boat during a sudden turn to miss an obstacle or draft exceeding depth (AKA running aground)

    but, my boat doesn't really go fast enough for that to be a big issue

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    I would think hard about the type of helmet if you do. Just like a head weight if they are in the water trying to keep their head up. Or a current catcher. Some type of quick release (note quick release the kid can operate) seat belt would be more practical. Or don't take the kids where you are not comfortable.

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    I can see where your being safety concious and all but a little boating time will help clear things up. I dont think you'd get much volenteers with a rule like that . I can see that in a kayak but then it would most likely be one other passenger.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Most boaters are aware of whats in front of them and try to avoid the obsticals when they can. That said, I've been wacked a couple of good ones in the past.

    As far as helments are you kidding me? More rules?

    When I go out in the boat if I have anyone with me, I put there safety first. And I sure am not going to be in a place that they can crack there heads open. If I'm by myself, well thats another story. ( Been running boats for over 40 years and feel like I know what I'm doing, and know the dangers)

    I understand where a person can feel scared if he/she is with someone that wants to show off, but thats not the majority of the boaters out there.

    And even if you get to ride with the daredevils, they have probably have a certian set of rules and would let you know.

    2-cents for what its worth

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    I wore a full face helmet with visor going up river in October. My wife said I looked like a geek. Kept me warm though.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post
    how much river running have you done?...

    if you feel you need to require folks to wear a helmet, especially children, you should re-consider even being on the river at all...especially hauling kids around....untill you are confident you won't be hitting all of the above mentioned things...
    I'm really surprised to hear you feel this way tjm. Give me a call and we'll go out again.......I'll supply the helmets

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I'm really surprised to hear you feel this way tjm. Give me a call and we'll go out again.......I'll supply the helmets
    lol...funny you said that, I thought of you when I first read this thread......all is well that ends well....you can leave the helmets at home next trip, I have the 'duck and cover' maneuver down pretty well....
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I was an EMT on a call just downstream from the Talkeetna Canyon. A boat lost it's steering at a critical point and hit the wall on step. An adult passenger suffered a severe head injury and the two children on board some serious bumps and bruises. The adult got an AirNational Guard Blackhawk ride to Anchorage It happens, but it's pretty rare.

    If I were making it a habit of running boats in canyons and Class III whitewater I'd definately be wearing a PFD and kayaking helmet. Since I don't make it a habit to be in boats in that kind of water I don't worry about it too much.
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I have to ask Doug, was this guy a vetern boater, or a weekend warrior that did'nt check out his boat before he left? How does the sterring go out, unless he did'nt grease it, or piled something on the cables, ( or trying to go around a rock he should'nt have)

    I'm not getting down on the boater, and I hope all are going to be all right.

    But all I am saying is check out all your gear before you leave the yard. ( that includes grease fittings, the clips under the cover, your controls, etc.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I was an EMT on a call just downstream from the Talkeetna Canyon. A boat lost it's steering at a critical point and hit the wall on step. An adult passenger suffered a severe head injury and the two children on board some serious bumps and bruises. The adult got an AirNational Guard Blackhawk ride to Anchorage It happens, but it's pretty rare.

    If I were making it a habit of running boats in canyons and Class III whitewater I'd definately be wearing a PFD and kayaking helmet. Since I don't make it a habit to be in boats in that kind of water I don't worry about it too much.

    My point exactly. My lil baby girl (5) hit her head on a low hanging limb once @ 5 mph and I almost had a heart attack. I felt like a terrible parent to see her crying and in pain with a bump on her beautiful lil noggin the size of an egg......i got a little teary eyed myself.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Might be a good idea for the little co-pilot's to have a brain bucket on there melon. I have thought about it, my concern was more for how would it effect the PFD. Being only 5 and a little lady her self would she have the strength to "right" her self in fast moving current. So i passed on it. I run up to Dissapoinment on the Talkeetna all the time and if that is the canyon Doug mentioned they are lucky to still around.
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    I run up to Dissapoinment on the Talkeetna all the time and if that is the canyon Doug mentioned they are lucky to still around.
    That's the one. Fairly experienced boater. Broke a steering cable or had it come loose..I don't remember which. Even with a thorough pre-check things happen, especiall since this was quite a ways up river.
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    I actually carry the liner from a tank helmet in my boat for skinny water...I also use it as a snowboarding helmet. I use it when there is a good probability of overhanging sweepers, running aground or, maybe the point lots 'o folk may be missing, when there is the probability of meeting oncoming traffic...don't matter how well I can drive if the other guy sucks or is drunk...quite a few narrow, blind corners out there...lot 'o idiots, too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    I have to ask Doug, was this guy a vetern boater, or a weekend warrior that did'nt check out his boat before he left? How does the sterring go out, unless he did'nt grease it, or piled something on the cables, ( or trying to go around a rock he should'nt have)

    I'm not getting down on the boater, and I hope all are going to be all right.

    But all I am saying is check out all your gear before you leave the yard. ( that includes grease fittings, the clips under the cover, your controls, etc.)
    Sometimes things just happen, no matter how well you take care of your stuff. I've been boating my entire life, take care of my stuff, and still almost smoked a sweeper, when my distributor died this spring. The motor quit running, as I was comin down river in a tight spot. A few more inches, it would have been a very bad situation. I lost power, and as we all know, no propulsion = very little control. You can check everything, sometimes things just break, or fail. I know a lot of vetern boaters that don't go through everything before they head out (not smart). Seems you're being a little critical with out the facts.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    You are right Hoyt, I was being a little critical, sometimes things do just happen. Lord knows I have had my share of mishaps.

    Was'nt trying to be someone that knows it all, just trying to bring the point that all should take a little more time checking out our gear before taking it out.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    I have to ask Doug, was this guy a vetern boater, or a weekend warrior that did'nt check out his boat before he left? How does the sterring go out, unless he did'nt grease it, or piled something on the cables, ( or trying to go around a rock he should'nt have)

    I'm not getting down on the boater, and I hope all are going to be all right.

    But all I am saying is check out all your gear before you leave the yard. ( that includes grease fittings, the clips under the cover, your controls, etc.)
    I've heard numerous renditions of the tale of Dissappointment Creek, I'm not sure the grease fittings, clips under the cover, or controls checks would have helped to avoid that situation. Its a bit of a stretch to think a guy could make it up past Dissappointment without his steering working well, so a pre-check was clearly completed on the water, if not at the launch.

    I've helmeted my kid up with hockey helmet and face mask on a few occasions where I took him with when we were rallying with potential for boulder bashing. When we are running stuff I and my equipment are readily competent for, I relax the rules somewhat (though they always wear PFD's) For the most part, if we inadvertently put our kids in the water, they are going to be completely dependant upon us to get them back, most wont possess the instincts and skills to swim to safety themselves until their teen years anyway.

    Sometimes it comes down to a safety trade off, PFD for an infant, or car seat with floatation? Tether a kid off to you, or count on your ability to get to them if they go in the drink? (either way, with very young kids I believe the only way your going to get them back is to go get them yourself)

    I like floating some of the warmer rivers like the Gulkana, where we suited the kids up and had them floating down the river in their PFD's, they thought it was for fun, I KNEW it was valuable practice.

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