The photo at the left has probably got you thinking “TJ has lost his mind.” Please bear with me a few minutes.
Over the 28 years my dad’s tackle shop was in business; we lost seven customers to drowning. However, we don’t know how many of those seven really died of exposure. But four of those those seven souls were found with their zippers down!
They simply fell off their boat while making water.
Getting back in a boat from the water is tough, especially as hypothermia begins its death grip.
Assuming the best; there’s the cold-wet ride back to the boat-ramp ahead of you. The combination of evaporation, speed and cold would freeze you, to death.
A five-dollar urinal is as an important a safety device as my PFD.
There are several other safety tips you may have not thought of before. Most anglers wear their cell-phones on their hip or in their pocket. It’s useless if you fall in so why not keep it in a zip-lock bag?
Speaking of storage; keep essentials like first-aid items, energy bars, flashlight and your wallet, in a watertight Plano, boat box. I never stow this box so if the boat goes down, the box floats up. Visit: http://www.planomolding.com/tackle/products.asp to see the boat box.
Wet hands get cold fast, so I use the gloves you see in the above photo. Seal Skinz are waterproof and available at better tackle shops across the country. Visit: http://www.danalco.com/htmls/products/products.shtml. These are really great if you’re using live-bait too.
One of the easiest safety tips is to file a float-plan. I know one angler that NEVER does this. His wife has no idea which of the four bodies of water he may be on. This means the sheriff will have to search every boat ramp in the area before the real search can begin. Time is important when it comes to a rescue situation.
A float-plan is as simple as; “Float plan: Alabama River, between Gold Star Park and the third bend, downstream.
My ETA home is 3:00 pm”. I put it on the refridgerator as I tell my wife where it is. More safety information is avalible at the BoatUS Foundation.BoatUS also offers boat insurance and many other services. http://www.boatus.com/foundation/.
BTW- Real Magic reduces icing and cold-water memory. I hope you get a bottle in your stocking this Christmas.