I have been away from the BOC for quite awhile. The experience that I would like to share has a lot to do with that. I took my son, my friend and his son out on the Yadkin River last spring. We headed out just before sundown. We had just launched the boat (a 14' john boat) and headed up the river when we began taking on water over the bow. The boat sank in seconds and the 4 of us were being swept down river. Everyone made it to shore O.K. We lost all of our equipment, and spent a number of hours; cold and wet trying to get back to our vehicle. We were able to save the boat, which has since been sold. Safety had always been my first priority on the water. Everyone had life jackets, we had waterproof lights (3) , and a full tool box with our horn, flares, fire extinguisher, tools and a first aid kit all now gone. I had been boating since I was 12. We had a sailboat. I had had john boats, canoes, and small motor boats. All of my past experience hadn't prevented me from making a tragic mistake. No one was hurt, but they could have been. I had overloaded my small boat, especially in the front. I have since replaced the fishing tackle and will fish this year from shore. I may be in the market for a boat next year, but for now I'll revisit some boating fundamentals.