Thursday, August 10, 2017

Be Prepared: Sh-t Can & Does Happen!

I while ago I wrote several posts about how vital it was to be physically fit enough so you could save yourself and others. The importance of this was driven home to me yesterday!

It was a beautiful day temp in the high 70's - low 80's. Not a cloud in the sky & calm. The lake was smooth as glass as my buddy & I launched our boat. The boat is a small 12 ft long aluminum boat with a small electric motor. Nothing fancy about 30 yrs old but it floats and gets us where we want to go. There are two pedestal mounted seat fore and aft. My friend was sitting in the aft seat operating the motor. I was in the bow.

We had just stopped about 10' from shore. I was facing forward getting ready to cast when I heard a yell and felt the boat shake. Turning around I saw my buddy, all 255 pounds of him, laying on his back in the bottom of the boat. Of course my first reaction was asking if he was okay. He said he was and that the screws holding the seat to the steel pedestal had popped out and he fell backwards.

I asked if he could get up and he said no. He was wedged between a tackle box and a cooler. His legs were on either side of the pedestal. Now as I mentioned my buddy is a big guy: 254 lbs and six foot. He's also not in the best of shape, a poor swimmer and 68 yrs old. Yeah I know he does read my blog posts or listen to his wife/doctor telling him to lose weight and get in shape.

I made my way to him and was able to get my arms under his and helped him get up. He was unharmed a little shaken, but we continued fishing. If he had fallen out of the boat the outcome could of been different. I can swim well enough to save myself & possibly to help him. The boat is equipped with life jackets and floating seat cushions so the chances of drowning were slim, plus we're only in about 6 feet of water.

The lessons learned was we need to check, repair and reinforce our seats. We had gone over the boat prior to putting it in the water, but failed to check the bolts that held the seat to the pedestal. Secondly, I was glad that I was able to help him. If he was alone we're not sure if he could of gotten up without capsizing the boat. He would probably have to wait for a boat to come by and help him.

Thirdly, you never know when an accident might occur. It was a perfect day, we're both experience boaters, the water was calm, but still the unexpected can happen. The one ting we can all do is to prepare ourselves. Being fit and strong enough to save yourself & family/friend is a critical fator in determining whether a minor accident turns into a serious life threaten emergency.

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