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KAYAKERS - DON'T BE [email protected]$KING STUPID


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Hit one of the Finger Lakes this morning on the Hobie kayak and there was another kayaker at the launch when I got there.  Wind was out of the sourh, so there was a decent chop to the water.

 

He had an off-brand sit on top kayak with an iPilot unit bolted to some 2 by lumber strapped to the bow.  He was also wearing Frogg Togg waders.  We chatted for a few minutes before I headed out.

 

Was a few hundred yards from the launch and heard a splash and commotion behind me.  The other guy had stood up trying to deploy the trolling motor and get sideways to the waves and went for a swim.

 

I turned about to help out, and by the time I got to him, he was barely able to hold on to his yak.  He was hanging on to his PFD vest with 1 hand, and trying to use the other to run the iPilot remote to drive himself back to the launch, but the cold water made it impossible. 

 

There was no way in hell I was going to let him anywhere near my yak, because the last thing we needed was 2 people in the water, but I  did end up getting close enough to him and cut  the shoulder straps on his waders as they were acting like a drift sock, and get the PFD on over both arms, but did get the straps cinched up.

 

I then pulled his yak back to the launch with him holding onto it, using a length of paracord as a tow rope. 

 

So many lessons to be learned here, if I hadn't been there, this dude most likely would have died in less than 10 feet of water.  Water that was 38 degrees.  He was so not prepared in a number of ways.

 

To my fellow kaykers. :  Don't be stupid !!

 

Dress for immersion.  Waders won't protect you in cold water.  Invest in a quality dry suit.   

 

Wear your PFD.  Even when the water is 75-80 degrees, I have mine on.

 

Practice how to re-enter your yak, it's not an easy thing to do, but if you've never tried it, your first dunking  is not the time to learn.

 

If you're going to customize your ride, think about safety and have things easily within reach. Don't do it half assed - ratchet straps, bungee cords and zip ties are just asking for trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my SM-G981U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

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Good for you for helping him out. Special stuff. 
Gotta love the guy for trying to stand up to deploy the motor on a yak. Hmmmmmm

Edited by whaler1
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Great job. Sounds like you saved his life. 38 degrees with waders on. Would not have lasted long. You are a well prepared quick thinker. He was lucky you were there.

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It doesn't take much to remind us we're not immortal. Critical safety equipment in every kayaker's go bag should include a tow rope, a whistle (by law), and a hand pump. 

 

And I agree that everyone should swamp their kayak at least once to see whether they're capable of recovery from in the water. Inflation bags bow and stern can help sit-in models. Most importantly, have a plan.

 

You were smart with your rescue approach. He's lucky you were there. 

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22 minutes ago, camper4lyfe said:

I’m pretty sure it’s state law that you have to wear a PFD in the spring. I can’t recall the exact dates, but they’re definitely required right now, for this very reason. 

 

I believe it's required by law Nov. 1st thru April 30th.

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People don't realize the effect of near freezing water on the body.  Two years ago I was perch fishing on the SLR just after ice out.  I was in a small aluminum row boat.  I was cold and dropped an expensive pole.  As I tried to save it the boat tipped and I went for a swim.  I had a PFD on but the shock of the cold water and weight of my soaked clothes made it impossible to climb back in.  Luckily a father and son saw it happen, they were in a boat perhaps 1/4 mile away.  They got to me in about 5 minutes and dragged me into their boat.  I was hypothermic and it was a close call, I don't think I would have lasted another 5 minutes in the water.  Sadly, I never got a chance to personally thank my rescuers.  Cold water is no joke, especially for us old farts.

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12 hours ago, jperch said:

People don't realize the effect of near freezing water on the body.  Two years ago I was perch fishing on the SLR just after ice out.  I was in a small aluminum row boat.  I was cold and dropped an expensive pole.  As I tried to save it the boat tipped and I went for a swim.  I had a PFD on but the shock of the cold water and weight of my soaked clothes made it impossible to climb back in.  Luckily a father and son saw it happen, they were in a boat perhaps 1/4 mile away.  They got to me in about 5 minutes and dragged me into their boat.  I was hypothermic and it was a close call, I don't think I would have lasted another 5 minutes in the water.  Sadly, I never got a chance to personally thank my rescuers.  Cold water is no joke, especially for us old farts.

 

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Thanks for posting this. 
I yak fish a lot in cold water. 
always wear your life vest, fish with a buddy, and have a safety plan. 
March is not the time to become acquainted with a new kayak by any means. 
a little common sense goes a long way. 

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There isn't a fish worth losing your life over. He should be thankful you were there and were smart enough to access and react as quickly as you did! Thanks for your courage, you were a hero.

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