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View Poll Results: How often do you wear a PFD when using watercraft.
Never. 3 9.38%
Occasionally. 10 31.25%
All the time, every time. 15 46.88%
Only if it's mandatory. 4 12.50%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-11-2010, 01:29 PM
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Default Poll on PFD's.

Just curiosity folks, I'm not gonna scold you if you don't wear yours.

My wife and I have only worn ours occasionally, but with the two drownings on the South Fork this year we are making a commitment to each other to wear ours when we are floating from now on, they can always be removed when we stop to fish.

The last accident occured in an area that we have floated many times with no problems, not really even a rough stretch of river. The guide and his clients hit an exposed snag in the river and flipped the boat. None of them were wearing a PFD. The clients were very fortunate and made it to the shore safely, the guide was not so lucky.

Anyway, this incident has really hit me hard. If it can happen to a guide that fishes this water on a regular basis and knows where most every hazard is, then it can happen to ANYONE. All it takes is a split second and you have a potentially deadly problem, not only for yourself, but everyone aboard.
Even if you are a good swimmer, it may not matter if you hit your head on a rock going in, suck in a lungfull of water, or have a heart attack.

From now on PFD's are mandatory in our boat when moving.
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Last edited by fysh; 09-11-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

Fysh: That is indeed sad news. Sure makes you think twice about wearing a PFD. In the past I have only wore them wear it was mandatory, the Green River and the Colorado River (guided trips, but I wear mine while floating there also). The other day from shore I spotted a nasty looking snag sticking up on the SF that looked like it could really cause some problems if a boat accidently ran into it. PDF's really boil down to comfort, they can be kind of bulky and hot when wearing them in the middle of the summer. I think I'm going to look into getting a few of those inflatable models for my boat. Thanks for bring this to our attention, I think most of us get complacent about wearing PFD's when on the water.

Larry
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

I said all the time. That's not quite the whole truth but close enough.
In my kayak, I've never been out without my PFD on full time. In my canoe, I only wear it when the water is rough. The difference is that I normally only take the canoe on small ponds in calm weather. The kayak is mostly ocean going and I've been out in some pretty rough seas and know conditions can change quickly.

Back 25 or so years ago, my friend and roommate Bruce was out duck hunting on the eve of Christmas eve. Little tin boat, big stupid dog, out on Long Island Sound. Storm came up, dog came back but they didn't find my friend 'till spring.

My cousin Jon drown too back in the '60s. He was at a canoe summer camp in northern Quebec. They were on a river trip from Hudson Bay when his canoe flipped. He stayed with the boat as he was instructed and was never seen again
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

Hi Fysh,

Thanks for starting a very important thread. Safety while boating or wadding should be discussed more than it is.

The inflatable suspenders are a good choice because they will be worn more often. Down here in Florida if you don't wear your inflatable vest it can't be counted as a life preserver. So I have mine on all the time I am in the boat. Not just because I have to but because I need it. I am at an age that when walking around the deck dodging rods and tackle boxes I can end me up in the water. Since I fish alone most of the time that could be a real problem.

I think you are smart to be thinking about getting some inflatable vest for you and the wife.

Frank
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

I know, I know......... Honestly I don't even own one (other than the foam backrest that is in my fish cat tube).
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
I said all the time. That's not quite the whole truth but close enough.
In my kayak, I've never been out without my PFD on full time. In my canoe, I only wear it when the water is rough. The difference is that I normally only take the canoe on small ponds in calm weather. The kayak is mostly ocean going and I've been out in some pretty rough seas and know conditions can change quickly.
Rip Tide: Most of the kayak folks around here are pretty good about wearing PFD's, but then again they are looking for white water to have fun in. Last year when I was over at Bennett Peak campground fishing the North Platte, I was talking with a NF enforecement officer. He told me that he just got back from a search and rescue mission on the Colorado River in the Gore Canyon section (Class V/VI rapids). A week before, a group of kyakers floated down through that section, one guy in the group, instead of wearing the PFD, stuffed his down inside the kayak. He did a roll in a big section of rapids and they never found him until a week or so later.

Larry
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

Thanks for responding folks. All of us need an eye opener now and again.

We picked up a couple really nice PFD's from Cabellas two years ago when we bought our last boat, they have been comfortably tucked away in the bench seat since. Not very smart on our part, because if needed in an emergency more than likely we would not get to them in time or even be able to get em on if we did.

Now, I know that wearing a PFD can also be a hazard if you are to get pinned by the current against something like a rootball (snag), or even up under something, I've seen diving knives that come with the plastic sheath that can be attatched to the PFD, so I also plan on getting a couple of them in the off chance they would be needed to cut ourselves loose. At that point it may already be too late.

Larry, something to think about if you buy the inflatable PFD's. They are not a legal PFD on the Green below Flaming Gorge. We bought a couple and found out later on when we were there that they were not approved. Thankfully Cabellas took them back in exchange for the one's we have now.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

Fysh: Good point. I was only thinking that the main reason we tend not to wear them is that they are bulky and tend to be hot and that maybe the suspender/inflatable model might eliminate the drawbacks, but will keep that in mind. One other thing to note, when you get below Red Creek Rapids on the Green, the PFD's are no longer required (for what it is worth).

Larry
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

100% of the time in our canoe, and anytime our sailboat is underway. We keep over a dozen jackets of varying size on our sailboat, and anyone that wants to sail has to wear one. I don't need to tell someone's family that so and so drowned because I made an exception, so I don't make exceptions.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Poll on PFD's.

I have been wearing it more than I have in the past. When I'm in my float tube, it's 50/50. In a motorized boat, drift boat, kayak, or pontoon boat, it's 100%. I have a SOS-penders type horseshoe shaped PFD that is very comfortable.

MP
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