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Flotation devices rant

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  • Flotation devices rant

    Why is it that in too many of the posts lately people have been shown fishing and crabbing without any sight of PFDs? Whenever I go on the water the number 1 rule is - no PFD on you, no "on deck" for you! Especially seeing someone leaning over the side to pull a pot in without a vest on is disturbing to me. We have sooooo many great people on this site and they would be sorely missed if something happened to them that could be prevented! Not to mention how many people new to the water get the wrong idea of boating safety from watching "boating veterans" using unsafe practices?


    This is JMO and take it for just that.

  • #2
    I have to admit that I am one of those people that leaves their PFD in the storage locker. To tell you the truth I don't even wear it when I'm rowing my cat down the Kenai. But, I plan to change that this year when I buy one of those inflatable jobs. I find most vests uncomfortable and get in the way especially when rowing so I'm hoping the inflatable will be the way to go.
    sigpic
    www.arcticangler.ca
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_7mPiqoqw&t=11s

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    • #3
      I wear the inflatable kind. Doesn't get in the way. If it's rainy or cold, I'll wear my float coat for warmth instead. Wearing anything is a personal decision (unless you're under a certain age and on deck), but going from having a nice day to being dead can happen with little or no warning. It bothers me, too, when I see professional fishing programs on TV and no one is wearing a PFD. Sets a bad example for kids who might not know any better.

      Just a note to anyone using an inflatable PFD. If the coast guard counts the number of PFDs on your boat (you have to have one for each person on the boat), the inflatable type does not count as a PFD unless it is being worn at the time.

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      • #4
        usefull info

        Skydiver, thanks for the info on the coastguards view of the inflatable vests. we always have "regular" vests for all on board and I take a couple iflatable ones for when using the raft to go to shore. They are great for rowing.

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        • #5
          I wear my PFD 100% of the time while in a skiff on the ocean, often I wear it under my rain coat there. I also wear it 100% of the time while underway guiding. Its probably the #1 reason I switched from vests. I suggest everyone wear their PFD in an open boat on the ocean, while retrieving gear (crab pots, nets etc). I wear them about half the time when rafting especially where there is big water or I can't walk across the river.

          I love life vests they are warm and comfy
          I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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          • #6
            Life Jackets

            I spend over 20 years of my life rescuing people from Alaskan waters, the number of dead bodies could of been much lower if a PFD was worn. First off a PFD will not protect you from hypothermia, than can be addressed by not falling in the water. Assuming you fall in you need something to help you survive till your buddies pull you out, that is were a good quality PFD comes into play. Too many people buy the cheapest PFD they can find, just to comply with Coast Guard (CG) regulations, what a shame. If there is one time you do not buy the cheapest quality, but the best you can get, is that time is when you are relying on apiece of equipment to save your life in the worst situations, i.e. PFD, flares, air horns...
            So the secret is not to buy CG approved, but spend the few extra dollars and try to buy a S.O.L.A.S (Safety of Life at Sea) approved PFD or any water equipment. S.O.L.A.S. is the international version of the CG , there requirements are much higher and stricter than the CG and a much better device, period. As an example the CG PFD is build to meet a minimum requirement, say X amount of floatation is needed to keep you afloat in still water, that number is used, but in fast water you sink with the same amount of floatation, what good is it doing you? A S.O.L.A.S. approved PFD will have enough floatation to keep you afloat.

            Todays PFD are very comfortable and there is no excuse not to wear one. Besides, if you are out in the water with your family and you all go in they are going to look to you for help. What good can you do them if you don't wear one? Big macho men drown just as easily as kids.

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            • #7
              Should be state law...

              requiering everyone to wear a SOLAS immersion suit...

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              • #8
                A few years ago I purchased one of the inflatables that looks just like a regular fishing vest. Plenty of pockets, comfortable to wear, never feels as like a regular floation jacket/vest. One of my best purchases because I actually wear it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AlaskaM5 View Post
                  A few years ago I purchased one of the inflatables that looks just like a regular fishing vest. Plenty of pockets, comfortable to wear, never feels as like a regular floation jacket/vest. One of my best purchases because I actually wear it.

                  My wife and I use those. We dont even know they are on and love them
                  Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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                  • #10
                    the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
                    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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                    • #11
                      What brand is your vest? I need to buy a couple for this season and need something comfy for rowing on the pontoon boats.

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                      • #12
                        I'm assuming that my recent pictures of crabbing are part of the discussion. I wear a pfd when rafting, kayaking, and when in my packraft, but that's about it. Is that a wise choice? Probably not, to be honest. I grew up commercial fishing in the summers and grew to be very comfortable on a boat. That isn't to say that mistakes can't happen - obviously they can and do with a saddening frequency - but when working on a boat most vests are just too bulky to work. PFDs have come a long ways, though, and there are some that I've got my eye on that might work for working. I might change my ways at some point...

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                        • #13
                          BRIAN!!!

                          Your honesty does you credit, but shame! lol

                          It is an uphill battle to get everyone to wear PFDs. Still the majority got it right! I haven't been perfect either. I did once fall in off Kodiak on a calm day though.......water is very, very cold. Learned my lesson.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
                            the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
                            don't they have some that fire when submersed?....
                            ------------------------------------------------
                            pull my finger....

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
                              the problem with inflatebles is that they do nothing to stop sudden coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water
                              So are you saying that you wear a survival suit ALL the time you are on the water??? I infer from your post, no kind of vest will stop the dreaded "coldwater emersion death where you fall in and faint from the cold water". I think most of the people here are talking about auto-inflaitable vests. They are slim and easy to wear but inflate IF you end up in the water so you have chance to get back onboard. If you have any additional info on some other kind of vest that doesn't expose us to the sudden coldwater immersion death, please post any info. Thanks

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