Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It Could Happen To You

Sometimes fatal boating accidents happen to people who may not be very experienced boaters and who, because of their inexperience perhaps, make some bad judgments... like driving a motor boat fast in the dark in unfamiliar waters that have low rocky islands. That appears to be the case in the accident that I reported a couple of days ago.

But you are not like that, are you? You are an experienced sailor. You know what you are doing. It couldn't happen to you, could it?


It could happen to you.

It happened to Marty Stevenson, a friend of Carol Anne and Pat Byrnes who wrote about Marty and his tragic accident here and here.

Don't assume it couldn't happen to you. Play safe. Always wear your PFD. Wear a drysuit or a wetsuit if the water is cold. Accidents happen. People fall into the water for all sorts of unpredictable and unexpected, and sometimes unknown, reasons. Nature does not respect your years of experience. You had better respect nature.

Don't let it happen to you.

Sorry to sound such a dark note. But I don't want to read any more posts about fatal boating accidents to people I "know" through blogging. And especially not one about you.


Joe said...

Spot on! Whenever I think I'm a hotshot, I get whacked. So it's always good to be vigilant, especially when sailing in an area where a lot of people on larger boats are eating cheese and drinking wine.

Tillerman said...

Good point Joe. I always think that when it comes to safety on the road in my car that it's not so much about me; it's about what the other idiots on the road might do. The same is true on the water.

Baydog said...

I have peed off the stern many times, and a couple of them found me teetering slightly. One wrong move and............ With experience often comes a false sense
of security , which doesn't help when the unexpected shift happens and Baydog no longer has control of his reliable balance, and into the drink he goes. Food for thought, Tillerman. Life jackets are now, embarrassingly, usually stowed down below and way forward, so as not to impede traffic to the head or cooler. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Your last paragraph hit home

Pat said...

Many thanks for the safety shout-out.
Speaking of the stern rail, I've been told that a huge percentage of recovered bodies of drowned men are found with their zipper flies unzipped.

I usually wear an inflatable pfd for comfort in warm weather and a "float coat" jacket in cold. It's a good system.

But, as has been recently mentioned, the best life jacket of all is the one that's worn.

Eric said...

I am planning on a Laser sail this evening on our local lake, air temp about 75-80, water temp about 55-60. I was debating about wearing my shorty wetsuit (in addition to a PFD, of course). I think I'll wear the wetsuit.

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