Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Stonefish, May 21, 2013.

  1. Jerry - thanks for the shout out.

    Jonny - you definitely did the right thing. And as you wisely said you learned from it.

    One of my take-a-ways from your footage, and something that everyone can learn from, is that in a rescue situation the dialogue between the rescuer and the rescuee (We never refer to them as a victim, because your best chances of survival is as a self-rescue. Once others are involved the clock has often been ticking for a while, and as the clock ticks survival rates go down) is not a negotiation. Provided that the rescuer has the tools (skill, hand-on training, equipment, ability to make prudent judgement calls..) the rescuer takes charge. This is not to say that assessing he rescuee's condition shouldn't happen, but the rescuee shouldn't be allowed to determine the process or execution. In a Military situation you are trained to physically subdue the rescuee, because in addition to threats that the environment poses, you might have bad guys who want to do you harm as well.

    In your case that person in the water was going hypodermic. And we should all be aware of what happens to cognitive ability when hypothermia sets in. Once he really needed to get out of he water he did not have the motor skills to make the task easier for you. Fortunately, this was a benign situation on a protected lake. If the conditions were more challenging you could have jeopardized your own life.

    Regarding a lose fitting PFD... a tight fitting PDF will not only allow you to ride higher in the water it provides a great way of managing a semiconscious or incapacitated person. I used to be in a position where all of the river rescue and death reports came across my desk. A few people have perished because their PFD was fitted loosely and the rescuer was left with the PFD in their hands while the rescuee went to a very dark & cold place.

    In my personal experience I have had to deal with managing people who had loose fitting PFDs, and if I am ever in that situation I don't want my rescuer to spend an extra second assessing how to best move me - I want that PFD tightly secured to my body to they can just heave me and get me out of harm's way.
  2. Jonny, thank you for your efforts to get that guy to safety! You helped while others did not and undoubtedly, he is alive because you helped. I am sure that you are a huge hero to him and his family! Hopefully, he learned some valuable lessons and I hope your video encourages everyone to rethink (and improve) how prepared they are to rescue themselves or others on the water.

    We can all learn from Marty and Jerry's comments as well. As a teen, I learned the hard way that a loose PFD can be a hazard. Luckily, I survived a nasty swim and ever since, I wear my PFD tightly enough that I can be picked up by it. If you think that you can tighten it once you are in the water, think again. It is virtually impossible to do in real-life, in-the-water, trying-to save-your-own-life situations. If you are wearing waders, you have an even bigger incentive to wear your PDF tightly as if your waders fill with water, it is highly unlikely that you will get back in/on your boat by yourself or with assistance due to the weight as you try to exit the water.

    A good preparedness self-test before you head out on the water is to ask yourself: am I willing to go jump in and float around in the lake/sea/river for at least 10 minutes dressed as I am? Am I willing to row/paddle out from shore and flip over on purpose (knowing it will be no big deal because I have the proper clothing, equipment and skills for the conditions)? I ask myself these questions every time I head out on the water and trust me, even on a 2 acre pond, the answers help me strap on my PDF tightly, bring appropriate safety gear, lash everything down - and keep a safety knife handy.
  3. It should be added that if you're wearing waders in a boat (or in the water) you'd best have a waist belt on and cinched, you won't sink....but the waist belt will slow down the entry of water, as well as aid your ability to exit the water by minimizing weight.
  4. John,
    Thanks for replying and I hope you didn't mind me posting your video. My thought was your video might helped people realize the importance of pfd's.
    Again, great job on helping save a fellow angler and sorry about the skepticism.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  5. All good.. I edited the video together to also just show the ordeal and hope people see it and learn as well.. I didn't know it would get so widely spread..

    I recently started fly fishing too.. a little.. :D
  6. I used to race small sailboats some years ago. I know first hand how fast things can go wrong. There are many things that were wrong. Wrong boat. The kayak appeared to be one of those short white water boats that are an unstable platform to fish out of. I don't like the type of PFD the kayaker was using. It had turned around and would have floated him face down if he had lost consciousness. He was already to cold by the time help could get to him. It is hard to get someone that is already to cold and not thinking right to leave their boat and get them out of the water. I don't even want to mention how I feel about the people fishing from the dock that could see there was a problem and wouldn't take their lines out of the water. A PFD is only able to do its job if it is worn "properly". I don't care for the inflatable types of PFDs, but they are better than nothing. Some automatically inflate when they get wet. The gas cartridges can be expensive to replace. I prefer the Stearns type of PFD. I have been using the for more than 40 years.
  7. My question is, how in the heck would one man be able to get, what it appears as an overweight person, over the gunwale of a 12 foot aluminum boat all by himself? Maybe it would have been possible, maybe, when he first arrived, but the guy looked and sounded somewhat weak in the first place. I've never rescued anyone, but I can't imagine 400 pounds (those two fellas) on the gunwale trying to get in the boat with the other helping. What amazes me is no one else coming out to help!! Also, I only saw the camera adjusted once. He's a photographer, he knows his wide angle lens is taking most of it in.

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