Life on the line

Discussion in 'Boat Safety' started by Big Sam, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Big Sam

    Big Sam Well-Known Member

    Booneville AR
    I was asked to start this thread by a fellow Boc. Here is a relazation on safety equipment......

    Well we started off good..nice ,calm and the fish were so full of shad there bellie's looked like they were gonna bust:lol: There was a big shad kill on the lake due to the cold weather and the fish were gorging themselves,everthing was good till noon:smile2: I mean it rained in the morning but we had our giant patio umberella up so no biggie...back to noon..suddenly it hit wind 30-40mph with no warning at less than 5 minutes the waves were 4-5ft high...we were trapped and taking on water..trying to head for the nearest cove....a wave came over the front of the boat and filled us with water..we bailed with 2 buckets and the bilge going we made it to the cove safely{ thanks God} we were soaked and my partener {a small guy] had hypothermia bad and i was beggining to get i broke out my safety kit which has hats gloves beach towels and a sterno{ it's a can they use under the pans of a portable buffet line} we light the can and began piling brush on top of it..we had a bon fire in 20 miutes..the coast guard and lake patrol could not launch because of the high waves..we had our cell phones and was in contact with everyone ..we dried out the wind ...ate a little...drank some pop..and the wind started dying down the lake patrol said we should try for cowlington cove we got all the water out arranged all the stuff and headed back out we had about 1and 1/2 miles to go it looked ok..we got about half way it started sleeting and snowing hard coudn't see,,then came the wind again!! 30-40..we took another Big wave it filled the boat and soaked us again but this time another hit i looked back and the whole back of the boat was under:eek:oooh: i thought we were gonna sink..the water temp was 39..300 yards to make it to the next cove..i gave her all she had and we both bailed as fast as we could and i said a prayer....we made it around the corner to safety and the bank and soon as we hit the bank the 1st gas tank ran-out...we both had hypothermia this time...but we was 50 yards from the lake patrol..he drove down an old road and was parked on starr point..we got the water out again..switched tanks and headed for safety...he grabbed our rope and pulled us to shore:smile2: we sat in his suv and ate and drank and got warm ..our friends came with 4wheel drives and a man called wrecker and everyone pitched in and managed to get my boat loaded and out of the lake..I want to thank johnny{777] and his partner roger and kenny and roger dale the wrecker man cody and randy and the coast guard and everyone that was concerned and praying for us...i have true friends...and most of all was very traumatic for all...were safe and ready to fish again..i re-packed all my safety stuff yesterday and added 2 sterno's..everyone reading this please..if you fish in the winter pack safety stuff to actually survive don't blow my post can and will save your the way if we could have weighed in we would have gotten 4th place with 53 lbs..and cody set 2 personal bests that day..and i was apart of it...God bless you all. and one more thing ..if my boat didn't have metal gas tanks water woud have gotten in plastic ones because they have vents on the lids plus they would have let gas escape out when upside down in the compartment..Are we really prepared for an emergency life threating situation?
  2. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    After advice given on this board I switch both of my 500 GPH bilge pumps out to 1500 GPH pumps. I use smooth bilge pump hoses with no elbows or constriction fittings. Now I figure I can pump at least 2500 GPH and as long as the engine is running that can go on indefinitely.
    Last month We were fishing at a local lake where they have pleasure boaters, wake boarders etc. We were going up the lake staying fairly close to the end of points to avoid the bigger boats that were running up and down the lake. One of the points were were passing by apparently made a large under water plateau creating a huge hidden area of shallow water. As we were crossing this shallow in my 1648 Alumacraft a huge inboard cruiser came around a bend in the lake and almost ran us down. They must have been making 35 MPH within 100 yards of the bank!
    As they passed us the wake from this boat hit the shallow water and raised a series of waves 3 to 4 feet high! My boat is fairly stable and I have never doubted its ability to handle rough water. In this case we cut through the first wave easily. However, the second wave caught us with the square bow down, the rear end was raised by the first wave. It came over the bow and washed down the front deck soaking my son to the skin and floating everything that was not tied down down the deck to the rear of the boat. I switched on the pumps and I swear it looked like a NYC fire boat when they kicked in. The deck was clear in minutes and the boat was completely pump out in record time.
    Moral: 1. Install the biggest bilge pumps you can afford and fit in your boat.
    2. Install bilge pumps in pairs so if you have a bad connection or get
    trash in one you can still pump.

  3. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    I almost forgot to add.

    Over the years my canoe and kayak trips have taught me this.

    NEVER go on the water without a survival kit. You should be prepared to maintain your core body temperature if your are totally immersed in water and then exposed to the average air temperature for several hours.

    98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive
    Cody Lundin, Russ Miller

    Is an excellent text that boils down survival to the maintenance of body core temperature by heat, shelter, food, water ect.

    Personally I wear a small fanny pack that has the basics. A small pocket survival kit, stout folding knife, storm proof lighter, Swedish fire steel, waterproof container of tinder, energy bars and a space blanket. This gives you a chance if you go overboard and end up on the bank with nothing else.
    In these situations the difference between water temps 70 or above and air temps in the 80's or above and when water temps are near freezing and the air temp is even lower is the difference between life and death in less than one hour without training and proper gear.
    We carry a kit in the dry storage of our boat that contains compressed sleeping bags, space blankets, a large nylon tarp, hatchet, fire starting equipment, commercial fire starting bricks made of compressed sawdust and wax, a strobe beacon light and a cell phone, ect. This type of kit is easy to assemble and can be stored in a waterproof bag designed for canoe cargo.

    Finally if you spend a lot of time out on really cold water consider a Cold Water Immersion Suit. These suits sell for less than the most of us have invested in our depth finder and are an excellent investment for the cold weather duck hunter or cat fisherman. Recent studies indicate that in cold water immersion accidents death usually occurs much faster than it takes for hypothermia to set in. As the core body temperature and extremities begin to cool down it becomes nearly impossible to climb back into a boat, swim or hold on to a capsized boat or anything else. The airway slips below water level and drowning follows quickly.

    I was with a friend duck hunting once and we turned over a canoe in near freezing water. Even though the water was not very deep and we made it to the shore quickly by the time we got up on the bank we we almost to clumsy to start a fire. If it hand not been for a film can filled with Vasoline soaked cotton balls we might have frozen to death or suffered frost bite there on that river bank.
    The lesson here is that in really cold weather we all hope our boats will keep us high and dry but it only takes seconds to turn a winter's hunt or fishing trip into a survival test and there is no prize for second place.

  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Definately go with the big obscene looking bilge pumps.
    It'll be the best money you've spent on your boat from a property and safety standpoint. If you are swamped you cant take another wave like the one that swamped you. That water has got to be well on its way to getting out of the boat. You dont have time for a dribbling 750 GPH or even a 1000 GPH pump.
    Swamped is bad enough but way too many boats built and sold these days aren't designed to always remain upright when full of water.
    Your chance of death greatly increases if that boat goes over because there is a good chance you'll lose contact with the only thing floating. Your boat.
    So your best protection is big pumps that hopefully can keep up with the onslaught enough to keep it righted. The boat is your ticket to dry land.

    Big Sam, I've been in some rough water situations in bass boats.
    Without the big bilge pumps there is no doubt I would have sunk, swamped, and flipped on the pamlico sound.
    A handful of high dollar bass boats did that day and none had the pumping capacity half of what mine did and I barely made it. Another 1/2 mile or so and my pumps would have fell too far behind.
    I had the longest run of anyone to make it in that day. I ran a good 12 miles in that crap. I probally wouldn't be here if the factory setup had still been on the boat.
  5. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Well it was a tough day on the water to say the least. Thanks to big Sam keeping a cool head and being prepared and with a lot help from God he was able to make it to safety not once but twice. That was the quickest I'd seen that lake get bad and also the worst I'd seen. After the lake patrol brought Sam and his partner Cody back around to the ramp we were able to use my cousins 4x4 truck to load the boat where it was. It was a close call but everyone ended up O.K. and Big Sam and Cody went through an experience they will not soon forget. Fishing was pretty much over at noon. It rained off and on up until then but when the wind hit that was the end of the fishing. Then the snow and sleet started and just kept getting worse. Folks me and my cousin was in my 24 ft. pontoon boat and we couldn't even get back across the lake in it to get to where Sam and Cody was. You talking about a helpless feeling knowing someone is in danger and there is no way to get to them. The lake patrol / coast gauard didn't even have a boat that would make it to where they were. And as Sam stated above anyone that reads his post don't blow it off. If you are fishing or are going to be out on the water especially this time of year be prepaired.
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Four Oaks, NC
    Alot of folks dont realize that shallow water can get real rough.
    The Pamlico sound is shallow and it gets rough enough to shut down the ferry system.

    Me and the wife both like to fish the famed Mattamuskeet Lake in eastern NC that is most known for duck hunting.
    The lake is about 6 miles wide and you can walk all the way across it and keep your chest hair dry. Most of it is 18 inches in depth.
    Me and the wife honeymooned there. Keep in mind that the nearest Walmart back then was a 100 miles away. If the general store didnt have it, it was atleast a 100 miles away.

    Our first day we dumped the boat in east lake motored 2 miles and I got hot. Took off my shirt and was wading while flyfishing. This was in April.
    In a matter of 30 minutes the temperature dropped 20 degrees and we went from no wind to 30 MPH winds and whitecaps.
    I had a 14 foot semi V fiberglass skiff.
    A wave would come over the side, the boat would rise up on a swell and then sit flat on the bottom of the lake, rock once and back up again.
    The wife was terrified. We're going to sink she was yelling.
    I was laughing and yelling back that the boat might fill up with water but it cant sink, the water is only 18 inches deep.
    Motors were useless so I just jumped out , took the rope and pulled it the last mile to the ramp:lol: The water was still kinda cool plus the Noreaster that just blew in was chilly too.
    My point is that shallow water can get real rough . If we had carried the boat I usually carried we would have had to hole up for the night among the cypress trees and the snakes without any foul weather gear, wearing shorts and t-shirts.
    Doom on me for thinking the weather Gods knew it was my honeymoon.
  7. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Not to second guess anyone, but get a good weather forecast before you launch. Some days, it just ain't worth the risk.