Disturbing trends...

jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
Guys, it is possible that the recent change in weather has brought more of us kayakers offshore at the same time as some frustrated boaters, because the disturbing trend I feel like I am seeing now is boaters buzzing kayakers.

Case A:
11/18/17 (can't link video, since its on facebook) A friend was anchored on the first reef chumming and fishing when a boat approached at high speed veering off at the last moment to flip the bird at the kayak. The kayaker experienced wakes from the boat and exchanged pleasantries.

Case B:
11/26/17 Here you will see that another kayaker almost appears to be targeted by the boat operator. The kayaker stands up and blasts his airhorn several times only to be ignored by the oncoming vessel. This one was very close, see video:

Look, I am the first one to tell everyone to be safe and ensure that you have the required equipment, but lets review facts. In Case A, the kayaker was wearing an inflatable PFD and anchored on the reef. In Case B, the kayaker was stationary, had his PFD within reach, stood up to show his rather neon attire, and blared the airhorn. I cannot help but believe that in both cases, the boat operator took it upon themselves to target a kayaker and put their safety in jeopardy. Why?

This is a serious concern, and I simply cannot fathom why we are unable to share the open ocean without incident.
Hobie Kayak angler for life!
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Replies

  • krashkrash Posts: 543 Officer
    Good awareness post jc... its a shame kind of similar to bicycles on the road. Both have every right to be there.

    I saw that second linked post/video and can't believe what the dude in that boat did. Apparently that guy may even be a commercial guy and deserves a visit from the local water LEO.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • petedoggiedogpetedoggiedog Posts: 95 Greenhorn
    sorry you had to go through that. unfortunately, that kind of disregard and disrespect for others safety seems to be gone these days. you should definitely show that video to fwc. ill bet they would pay that guy a visit. you did all you could at the moment, and i am glad you survived. just another sign of the times we live in these days.
  • sparse greysparse grey Posts: 1,744 Captain
    Sorry for your experience. Cannot believe that if that was shown to authorities they would surely do something & possibly you could file charges. Again sorry it happened & glad it wasn't worse.
    Ron Conner Release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    Thankfully not me, but both are friends and fellow kayak anglers in Dade & Broward. I have seen all sorts of victim-blaming for not having flags, but in this case it seems as if visibility was not an issue.

    I emplore both sides to be careful on the water. Kayakers, ensure you have at least the minimum required safety gear (even if it wouldn't have prevented these cases, it would help cover your @ss if it became a legal battle). Boater's, please be vigilant in watching where you are going and avoid running over my brothers please.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 359 Deckhand
    FL3612RX, Double Up Charters LLC

    The boat has federal commercial permits for swordfish, tuna longlining, king mackerel and spanish mackerel; he should know better.

    Send the video to the FWC, NOAA enforcement and the coasties; if he didn't see you, then he is negligent. If he did see you, then he was deliberately endangering your life. Either way an official case needs to be opened, even if it's just to provide a history of behavior for when he finally kills someone.
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,189 Officer
    Find out who it is and post their personal information on here. Not cool at all. That type of behavior deserves a serious *** whooping.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    Hey guys, thank you for sharing my sense of outrage on this. The kayaker in the video told me he reported it and his story was recently on channel 7 news.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,219 Admiral
    Boat operator should be in jail. Hopefully he'll get a big fine from the CG and loses his commercial license but I doubt it.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,372 Admiral
    I don't agree with the bicycle analogy at all. You can avoid Kayaks easily, I've done it in Tampa Bay with no problem, you just go around them.

    Bicycles especially the ones in south lake that feel like they should be in major roads with no shoulder holding up traffic, especially when we paid for some 46 miles of railroad track to be converted to bike paths. And last Saturday when a group of them forced a cement tanker into oncoming traffic (i.e. ME!) and I had to take the ditch to avoid a head on with 80,000 pounds of cement, no. That is no even close to acceptable.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 21,990 AG
    I don't agree with the bicycle analogy at all. You can avoid Kayaks easily, I've done it in Tampa Bay with no problem, you just go around them.

    Bicycles especially the ones in south lake that feel like they should be in major roads with no shoulder holding up traffic, especially when we paid for some 46 miles of railroad track to be converted to bike paths. And last Saturday when a group of them forced a cement tanker into oncoming traffic (i.e. ME!) and I had to take the ditch to avoid a head on with 80,000 pounds of cement, no. That is no even close to acceptable.

    You should blame the tanker and not the cyclists. They have every right so the law says. Course you may not think it very bright, but hey, the law is the law. Paved bike trails don't always go where you want to pedal. I think cyclist should have the right to shoot every driving texter they encounter using the "stand your ground" rules. :wink
    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,372 Admiral
    Cyclist wrote: »
    You should blame the tanker and not the cyclists. They have every right so the law says. Course you may not think it very bright, but hey, the law is the law. Paved bike trails don't always go where you want to pedal. I think cyclist should have the right to shoot every driving texter they encounter using the "stand your ground" rules. :wink

    They were bunched up in a pack and they jutted out, causing an 80k pound tanker to swerve suddenly. he wasn't texting, he was 5th in a line of vehicles. I was on my toes because i knew a bunch of cycles meant something stupid was about to happen and it did. choosing to cycle on a 55mph road, with no shoulder, is just stupid.. And my BIL who was a lake county sheriff would tell me stories of them scraping bikes off of hwy 19 constantly. If it comes down to me or someone who disregards his own safety enough to bike on a 55mph road I'm protecting myself every time.

    But this is running off topic. I would never swerve intentionally toward a kayak. or try to swamp another vessel on purpose. That's just as bad. There is more than enough ocean out there to avoid people if you are paying attention.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • paddlerXpaddlerX Posts: 67 Deckhand
    This needs to be in the boating forums. No one cares about lowly kayakers we are just "speed bumps" to them. Post there to spread awareness.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,372 Admiral
    paddlerX wrote: »
    This needs to be in the boating forums. No one cares about lowly kayakers we are just "speed bumps" to them. Post there to spread awareness.

    I don't think that's true. We all hate jet skiers far more than anything else. I don't mind Kayakers at all.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Android77Android77 Posts: 466 Deckhand
    I've looked at the marine shotguns more than once. I wonder how they would react if that was sticking up in my milkcrate. Just don't want to bring it up on the beach with the family's.
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 137 Deckhand
    I kayak all the time and have been for 10 years - I powerboat mainly in the summer, and have been for about 9 years.

    I recall being off Anna Maria on a cloudy day in a moderate chop - about 300-400 yards out I saw a kayaker, but as I got closer lost him. He completely blended into the background or bobbed below the visible line (so no silhouette). I actually stopped to find him and then took pics to post it on a kayak forum. Kayakers are practically invisible out there in the right conditions. In addition to that most powerboaters are not used to seeing kayakers offshore. From my perspective it's still a novelty and the last thing I expect to see a mile or so offshore is a kayaker - granted it is becoming more common. Mind you a mile is not that far for a kayaker/paddleboarder.

    Going to the video it took 30 seconds from seeing the boat to being on top of the kayaker. That's probably one good text or a good look at the weather on the phone, or he may have simply been on auto pilot and not looking carefully.

    That horn is useless - until you're on top of it.

    To me this isn't a function of targeting - this is simply a series of events that led to a close call. (aka the show "Seconds from Disaster" comes to mind).

    The solution (IMHO) is to make your profile as big as possible. Flags, bright colors, strobes, skip cloudy days...whatever it takes because at the end of the day if the guy runs you over it won't make much off a difference who's at fault if the kayaker is dead/mauled. I would liken it to riding a motorcycle - you know that the odds of getting hit are much higher than in a car. People just look for cars - not motorcycles. The mind is conditioned to it. Same for kayakers - the profile is not what you look for

    Now why he turned around and yelled at the kayaker...well I have first hand experience at that because I did the exact same thing. I was powerboating coming into Cockroach Bay around 9pm one night (no lights around there to illuminate anything) and I missed a kayaker by 5'. Never saw him - my buddy saw him as we passed. I was so shaken up by it I turned around an chewed his butt out. No lights in a channel. Last thing I want to do is have it on my conscience that I killed someone - regardless of whose fault it is. I said the exact same thing this guy did - "Get some friggin' lights or get off the water early." The kayaker (cracker) agreed - we shook hands at the ramp and went our ways, but I was more shaken up than he was.

    IMHO - it was simply a series of events that led up to this - in the video you can see that the homes are illuminated by the lights and are clearly visible. In this case the kayaker has a low profile, no lights, appears to be solo, and the powerboat is coming straight on never deviating from his path. Just a bad set of events that almost led to a bad day on the water for both.

    There's a reason that bikers are often found in big packs (a peloton) they are a ton easier to see.

    On a side note I have 3 of these...they have a strobe mode. Had them for about 5 years - still works great.



    More info here. I want to say I paid $27 for 3. It last forever and is solar powered. I use it with some frequency. I just velcro it to a rod - no extra poles or anything. I used to carry a q beam in the kayak, but have pretty much stopped fishing at night.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    paddlerX wrote: »
    This needs to be in the boating forums. No one cares about lowly kayakers we are just "speed bumps" to them. Post there to spread awareness.
    I see you've re-posted to the general forum, thank you.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    I have the earlier prototype to this light from BerleyPro:
    https://www.berleypro.com/product/berleypro-orb/
    I have wired the light to my 12v fishfinder battery and a cockpit switch. Once the sun is up, I turn off the light. I also have a flag on the light pole. I also have a whistle on my PFD, but I need an airhorn (even if it didn't help Ricky in this particular case).

    I ensure that even my loaner kayak has these accessories to cover the minimum requirements of the law. I implore my fellow kayakers to do the same. Even if they would not have helped in the case of a negligent boat captain, one can never be too prepared.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,189 Officer
    I don't think that's true. We all hate jet skiers far more than anything else. I don't mind Kayakers at all.

    X's 2
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,461 Officer
    I had a long comment for this one, but the website logged me out, and it was lost. Oh well, I guess that is one of the reasons less people are using this forum and resorting to facebook and other forms of media.

    Take away for me is to be more vigilant. After reading comments on FB, will upgrade my spotlight to 1000+ lumens and use it more often than the horn.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    You know one thing I was thinking of John? I don't want to excuse the boater, but based on the time of day with the sun just rising above the horizon, would a flag/light have mattered at all if he wasn't being vigilant? I guess I question how vigilant he could have been if he didn't hear the airhorn or even swerve away at the last minute.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • Android77Android77 Posts: 466 Deckhand
    The same people that say were hard to see are heading out to go dolphin fishing and somehow they can see a floating pallet a half mile away. It's just negligent boat operation and that's it. What if were a floating object that upon impact it would slam all there passengers to the floor or into the console. If you can't see further than the time it takes you to stop you are operating your boat recklessly and that's it. Just like drivers texting and talking on there phones.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,461 Officer
    jcanracer wrote: »
    You know one thing I was thinking of John? I don't want to excuse the boater, but based on the time of day with the sun just rising above the horizon, would a flag/light have mattered at all if he wasn't being vigilant? I guess I question how vigilant he could have been if he didn't hear the airhorn or even swerve away at the last minute.

    Chris,
    The Flag light is just doing our part, so the boater( who in this case was displaying very dim navigation lights) can't use that as an excuse. If the boater is not paying attention, it is a problem, but from the feed back I read on FB, A bright spot light is going to be detected before an air horn will be heard over the wind and noise of the engines on the boat -- especially if it is one of those guys with his stereo blasting.

    So in hind sight Ricky may have had a more favorable outcome had he been beaming the guy with a bright spot light, which is along the lines of what the rules say we are required to have in hours of darkness for a non-motorized kayak.

    "A vessel under oars ..........................or she shall have ready at hand an
    electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be
    exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision."

    Since the kayak had an engine, but was less than 7kts, it technically would have fullfilled the rules for darkness with an white all around light for international waters.

    In the event that the horn is to be used the doubt or danger signal is 5 or more short blasts of the whistle.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,461 Officer
    Android77 wrote: »
    The same people that say were hard to see are heading out to go dolphin fishing and somehow they can see a floating pallet a half mile away. It's just negligent boat operation and that's it. What if were a floating object that upon impact it would slam all there passengers to the floor or into the console. If you can't see further than the time it takes you to stop you are operating your boat recklessly and that's it. Just like drivers texting and talking on there phones.

    Agree, that's the problem, they are not paying the same level of attention they are while out in the mahi zone.

    Rule 6 details safe speed:

    "Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can
    take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a
    distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
    In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those
    taken into account:
    (a) By all vessels:
    (i) the state of visibility;
    (ii) the traffic density including concentration of fishing vessels or any
    other vessels;
    (iii) the maneuverability of the vessel with special reference to stopping
    distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
    (iv) at night, the presence of background light such as from shore lights
    or from back scatter of her own lights;
    (v) the state of wind, sea, and current, and the proximity of navigational
    hazards;
    (vi) the draft in relation to the available depth of water.
    (b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:
    (i) the characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment;
    (ii) any constraints imposed by the radar range scale in use;
    (iii) the effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather, and other
    sources of interference;
    (iv) the possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may
    not be detected by radar at an adequate range;
    (v) the number, location, and movement of vessels detected by radar;
    and
    (vi) the more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible
    when radar is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects
    in the vicinity."


    The one thing I especially hate are the boaters that are zipping along at full cruising speed just outside the swim buoys..... Why can't they take a few more moments to transit in slightly deeper water ?
  • jbdba01jbdba01 Posts: 137 Deckhand
    In my opinion the best the kayaker could have done here is had a q beam and lit up the sky. Mine was a 1M candle light; first thing I would do is shoot it upwards, if the powerboater keeps approaching angle it down, if they keep coming I put it right on them. I had one guy light me up because I lit him up - sounds fair. Just make sure you see me. I turned mine off, he turned his off. All good.

    I little light like you see on those sticks is a good start, but just because it can be seen from 2 miles (like a spec) doesn't light you up. Biggie size it and carry a qbeam if you think you'll find yourself in dusk/dawn/night conditions.

    I've also stood up and fully extended my paddle and waved it like mad. That works in daytime - this situation not so sure.

    The horn is good for low sound situations - idle speed, stop, or "come rescue me". Otherwise it's useless. The wind and engines will practically make it impossible to hear until on top of him.

    Reality is stuff is going to happen...I've been out on my skiff and almost plowed over by a 35' vessel. I had my lights on - he did not. It was night - I didn't see him until he was about 200' away. I had right of way, but who cares - I didn't want to hit that beast. I believe he was on autopilot. Close call - maybe....depends on what side of the equation you're on. I thought it was and was PO'ed.

    Water is no diff than roads - there are plenty of people out there that are distracted by text, radio, calls, alcohol...just do the best you can to stay safe. Every time you go on the water there's a possibility you won't come back - same is true for when you get in a car.

    My beef isn't with the guys just outside the swim buoys - it's the guys inside the slow zone doing 20-30. I see it every weekend...

    It would be interesting to get a LEO opinion on what transpired. I suspect that had he hit him criminally there may have been some wiggle room, in a civil court the powerboater would have been toast.

    I guess my final thought is that there's no way this guy meant to come that close to the kayaker...it's a sickening feeling when you come that close to hitting/killing someone. I know my hands were visibly shaking after I almost plowed over the kayaker without lights. I guarantee you the powerboater in the clip was rattled by what happened too (course he would have been on the winning side of the collision). That was about as close as you can get without actual hitting him. "Lived to fight another day." Learn from it and move forward.
  • quatinquatin Posts: 592 Officer
    End of the day, you gotta look out for number one. No plan is bullet proof. We just witnessed 2 Navy boats collide with freighter ships this year. That's 100,000+ tons of boat that dozens of people apparently didn't see.

    I'm always ready to haul *** out of the way. IMO, the bigger the boat, the bigger the problem. I have more problems with sport fishers and yachts than anyone else. They turn on autopilot and expect everyone else to get out of the way.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    quatin wrote: »
    End of the day, you gotta look out for number one. No plan is bullet proof. We just witnessed 2 Navy boats collide with freighter ships this year. That's 100,000+ tons of boat that dozens of people apparently didn't see.

    I'm always ready to haul *** out of the way. IMO, the bigger the boat, the bigger the problem. I have more problems with sport fishers and yachts than anyone else. They turn on autopilot and expect everyone else to get out of the way.

    Hey Bro, Happy Birthday!
    Yeah, at the end of the day you have to cover all your legal bases and just keep your head on a swivel.
    In my original post I noted that Case A (Fred) was actually anchored on the reef, so he could not have gotten out of the way. However in Case B (Ricky) he probably could have moved since he saw that the boat was not deviating from its path. It just shouldn't have come to that.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • quatinquatin Posts: 592 Officer
    jcanracer wrote: »
    Hey Bro, Happy Birthday!
    Yeah, at the end of the day you have to cover all your legal bases and just keep your head on a swivel.
    In my original post I noted that Case A (Fred) was actually anchored on the reef, so he could not have gotten out of the way. However in Case B (Ricky) he probably could have moved since he saw that the boat was not deviating from its path. It just shouldn't have come to that.

    Thanks. There are quick release methods for anchor lines. Thread a small float on the line with a carabiner on the end would let you unhook and come back.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,238 Moderator
    And this is why we need to cover ourselves to the letter of the law, the boat operator is filing suit against Ricky :mad
    I actually know who this is, and the boat is from my area.

    It was not nearly as light out as the video suggests. The boater (Not the yaker) has file a complaint with the USCG over lack of lighting on the Kayak and hired a lawyer for defamation of character complaint .

    These idiots need to realize that any size ocean vessel in early light cannot see a dark kayak without lights, and in any kind of sea you cannot see them without a large flag similar to what we use on airboats.

    I can tell you second hand that the boater did not see the kayak in the conditions that existed and felt if he swerved hard he would have swamped the kayak.

    its only a matter of time before it happens off the SE coast!


    Oh, He DID NOT hear the horn!

    I am betting that the guys here who support the kayak have never run a decent size vessel in the dark in rough seas. You cannot see those dam kayaks in 3-4 foot seas!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 1,461 Officer
    jcanracer wrote: »
    And this is why we need to cover ourselves to the letter of the law, the boat operator is filing suit against Ricky :mad

    Just texted Ricky, and he has talked to the guy by phone, and as of now, above is false information.

    I do agree with 38 special regarding kayaks being hard to see in darkness in any kind of bumpy weather, so we must all be cautious, and suggest going beyond the requirements to increase visibility and prevent accidents.
  • oarknotoarknot Posts: 243 Officer
    Android77 wrote: »
    The same people that say were hard to see are heading out to go dolphin fishing and somehow they can see a floating pallet a half mile away. It's just negligent boat operation and that's it.

    Lol that is so freaking true!
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