Please wear your PFD

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by Andy 315, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    A bit early I know but we had a young person drown last night. Was fishing out of kayak and it overturned. Was treading water for a bit before he went under.
     
  2. scottmm2012

    scottmm2012 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Ugh, yes. Had two die very early last year. One wasn't wearing a pfd and one wasn't wearing it properly. Getting that time of year...So, Please wear your pfd's and wear them correctly. If not for yourself, then for those who care about you.
     
  3. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Might I add; a properly maintained and serviceable one at that.

    Somethings make great hand me downs, PFD's don't.
     
  4. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Scout

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    Yes please. Everyone alive I pulled out of the water was wearing a PFD. Everyone dead I pulled out of the water wasn't.
     
  5. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Keeper of the T.Darrah Tenkara Pass-Around Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    Good advice in the OP and here as well. Same goes for bicycle helmets.
     
  6. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    Also don't forget to know the area you're fishing, be a decent swimmer and as mentioned, make sure it fits correctly (keeps your head out of the water). You don't wa t the PFD becoming a BRD.
     
  7. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I 100% Agree Wear Your P.F.D
     
  8. Prairiewolf

    Prairiewolf Supporter Supporter

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    That sums it up very effectively. A lot of people don't realize that the water takes quite a while to warm up in the spring even though it might be 75 degrees outside. I know of several guys that were said to be "strong swimmers" who got in the water without PFD's and just disappeared underwater pretty quickly.
     
  9. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Scout

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    My counters to the "I'm a strong swimmer" argument were 1) most people swim poorly when they are unconscious from being thrown from a boat and/or 2) What's the longest you've every swum or treaded water snowflake? It might take us 12 hours (or more) to find you.

    I got in trouble for "If you won't do it for yourself, do it for me, so I don't have to fish your pale, bloated, rotten, disintegrating body out of the water after it's been in the water for a week and then go home to my wife and kid and act like everything is fine."
     
  10. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Guide

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    I've no experience in this area, but I have a feeling that drowning is a lousy way to die. It's slow enough that you know it's happening, and in the case of not wearing a life preserver while boating, you know it's your own darn fault. I don't want my last thought to be how stupid I am.
     
  11. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've been laughed at but I put on my PFD before I leave the land and don't take it off until I'm back on land. It may be close but when things go wrong on the water, they go wrong very quickly and there isn't time to locate your PFD.
     
  12. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Cold water quickly incapacitates even the best swimmers. This is often reported as the most popular time of year to drown, for that very reason.

    I've mentioned it before - waiting until you are in the water to put on the PFD is a very bad idea. If you think not - try it some time while treading water in wind waves or river current.
     
  13. Scotchmon

    Scotchmon Supporter Supporter

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    And so it begins... sad way to start the season, but it happens every year...
    My prayers to surviving families and loved ones.
     
  14. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    I love my PFD, I put it on before I carry my boat to the water, if I want to explore off shore or scout ahead I keep it on, its one of the last items I pack back into the truck or set down for lunch. I have experienced near drowning, it is no fun. I have spent way too long in cold water with a life jacket and, being a poor swimmer have been caught too far from the bottom while swimming and having full on panic set in, when for just a quick dip in the lake in the summer. I have since learned to swim but still consider myself a lousy swimmer. Fear, fear.
     
  15. Zunga

    Zunga Supporter Supporter

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    Very good advice. I knew a guy who was on a live aboard sailboat. He went over the side and was in the water almost an hour. Luckily in summer, winter he wouldn't have made it. Only reason he was able to tell the story was a pfd.
    Cheers Jim
     
  16. snapper

    snapper Guide

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    Years ago I had a student on a college trip who told me he didn't need to wear his PFD because we were down south and it was warm; we were going to paddle a section of the Edisto River in SC that day. I told him we weren't getting on the water until everyone's PFD was properly on their bodies. He tried to fight me and the other staff person for a bit but when he saw we weren't going to budge, and that he was keeping everyone from getting on the water, he stopped his yapping and put it on.

    As you can guess, not long into the trip he flipped over. The cold water shock he felt was quite surprising; as he admitted later. The funniest part of it all was when he came up sputtering and unable to speak. Eventually the first words out of his mouth were (and I'm not making this up)..."I'm really glad I was wearing my PFD!"

    Bottom line, you can still die while wearing one but your odds are a whole lot better for survival if you do.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper
     
  17. Terasec

    Terasec Guide

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    if anyone is still getting by with cheap rental orange floaties
    highly recommend investing in good PFD's for yourself and your family,
    a good comfortable PFD is more likely to be worn than cheap orange rental type
     
  18. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    For anyone reading here who hasn't already figured it out...

    You should love your PFD. Anyone who is going to spend significant time in small boats should consider it part of the deal to seek out and buy a PFD that is designed for the sport (in this case, paddling) and fits them well. Your PFD should be comfortable while paddling and support you in the water without riding up. If you will be in moving water, it should be secure, yet easy to remove quickly if necessary. There are too many really good options available today to not find one that you don't mind wearing all the time on the water. Some people might initially balk at the price of a good one, but it will last for years and years with a minimum of care, and is really cheap insurance.

    Even some of the better rental PFDs are not so good. The orange "horse-collar" type alluded to above are obviously not comfortable at all, but will work if worn correctly. I see some rentals and loaners (vest types) that look like they should be better, and they are definitely more comfortable than the horse collar - but they aren't secure enough to stay on and do the job when the wearer ends up in the water. Some people even buy these vests for themselves (usually not knowing any better), and probably feel fine in them - until they put them to the test. A proper fitting paddling PFD is a very personal thing, like hiking shoes or underwear, and should be at the top of one's gear list, even if renting the boat.
     
  19. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    One thing I'll add on water. When I was in scouts we took a trip to the Keys to snorkel the reefs. They were giving me a hard time for bringing a wetsuit. It was January and I expected cooler water temps. The boat guide was giving us the run down before we sat out and stated that the water temp was 64*. I remindd everyone that the average spring water temp in NE FL where we were from was 72*. The rental shop made some money that day. So even in warm climates, cool/cold water is a possibility.
     
  20. Elliott Sauerwald

    Elliott Sauerwald BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    That's very tragic. Probably 20 years ago, I was 7 or 8, my dad took us to visit his parents and sister's family and for some reason we went river rafting. We had no experience but somehow ended up on a pretty intense river with lots of rapids that we didn't really know how to handle. Dad, Grandpa and Uncle made darn sure the women and children had PFDs on, but were too tough and manly to wear one themselves. Anyway, we got in over our heads and each of them got out into the river to help guide it along or something, and I kid you not, all three of them took turns giving the poor women and children a terrible fright, as each one of them simply disappeared under water at some point. It was horrifying. We thought they'd drowned each time, somehow they made it back up. We still kid my dad about it but in reality it was very stupid and not funny at all. We narrowly missed a tragedy, or three. It's not manly when you've died a terrible death in front of your family.

    No disrespect meant towards my dad, he knows it was stupid too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  21. ManyHammers

    ManyHammers Supporter Supporter Banned

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    We are buying real PFD’s before we register the canoe.

    Wear it dirt to dirt!
     
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  22. southron

    southron Guide

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    Lotta water on the impoundments in the Tenn Valley, and every year someone who probably shouldn't have been on the water ends up drowned.

    My kids used to fuss at me about making em take tons of swimming lessons.

    My son asks me, Dad, what is good enough for you about swimming.

    I said, when you can kill a pint of jack daniels, run half a mile at top speed, then jump off a bridge into a blue hole, pass out and come up treading water, then you will start to be safe enough in the water IMHO.

    Don't know if any of em are near that point, but a float vest sure makes it a lot easier.

    And yep, when I was in marines, I was pretty much able to come up and stay up and get to shore. when I was where I couldn't do that, I had a vest on. We even got some of those inflatable ones that fill up if you pull the cord on that CO2 thing. When your wearing a hunnered pounds of gear and toting a rifle and ammo and other stuff, it can mean the difference between having to dump your gear of being able to drive on and accomplish what the SGT told ya to do, and ya had better do what he told ya to do. Unless he gave you permission, failing or drowning wasn't allowed. (kinda joking, but I'm serious about water needing respect.
     
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  23. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Supporter

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    Any moving body of water deeper than my waist we wear PFD's. We don't wear them on the pond in our property, unless we are practicing bail and recovery. The little one gets his own PFD for all boating outside of our pond.

    You folks are putting out sound advice. Makes me think of all the thousands of hours spent in motorboats with all the PFDs stuffed in the dry box. A lot of good that does someone. The few times we got close to damns I've always gotten mine out and put it on.

    We are planning to take our Kayaks up to Montana this year, and I've got to be honest. I do worry about our safety in cold waters. We will be wearing our own new PFD's , wet suits, and will have water pumps, but I still worry. We will continue to practice self and assisted recovery with our gear on.

    Thanks for the reminder.
     
    CivilizationDropout likes this.
  24. Yknpdlr

    Yknpdlr Tracker

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    For many years I have been on instructor staff for a BSA adult leader high adventure trek guide training program in the Adirondacks. Of course BSA requires wearing of a PFD whenever anyone (scout and adult) associated with BSA is on the water at all times. I often role play either a know-it-all scoutmaster, or a belligerent/incompetent young scout during training. Either way, sometimes I begin paddling without wearing my PFD, to see the reaction of the designated student trek leader at the time. I use all the arguments for not wearing to see how they respond before I eventually relent and don my PFD with a group discussion of what just happened and how it was handled.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018

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