Safety Flags ???

Did anyone catch Capt. Bouncer Smiths radio show ?
My neighbor was telling me Bouncer was talking about kayak fishermen & kayakers oceanside, or perhaps in general. Pushing for some sort of a 3 sided safety flag/sign type device requirement.

I did not hear the show, but I understand where this would be coming from. I've experienced it myself as a boater it is very hard to see kayaks out there in anything other than flat calm seas. If its rolling ofr the seas are up at all its nearly impossible until very close, and in the rain its basically impossible.
We dive out in the same areas where kayakers paddle and fish and I can tell you horror stories of boaters not paying attention coming close enough to throw something at before noticing us and we are in a 23' white center console boat with an 8' high blue T-top, an 8' pole and 24"x24" dive flag waving on top of that, a 4' yellow and red floating brownies 3rd lung with an 18"x18" dive flag floating with it.. and more than once been nearly run down.

I've also had the same one-way conversation with other paddlers about who is right or wrong, who has the right of way.... and generally the boater is responsible, unfortunately you could be the one dead or severly injured and your nexy of kin dealing with the legal issues after the fact.

I'm a paddler myself also.... and not sure how I feel about yet another regulation, but it is a real safety conern. Be safe out there.
Old Fugger who just likes to fish

Replies

  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,341 Moderator
    I get annoyed with people who paddle with me and DON'T have a safety flag or lights if we're launching predawn.
    It's really not that hard guys: just like wearing your PFD, a safety flag is a simple method to improve your odds of safety on the water. Oh, and don't use a dive flag, that is not appropriate.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • WhelanWhelan Posts: 193 Deckhand
    I fish 99.9% of the time offshore in a kayak. It always makes me smile when people ask if I'm worried about sharks. Sharks never cross my mind - getting hit by a boat is a real threat. Wear safety orange - yellow, keep a large flag flying in rough seas, and keep your head on a swivel. Whose fault it is or whether it's a law is irrelevant to me. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I get back to shore in one piece.
    2014 Ocean Kayak Trident 4.7 Urban Camo
  • quatinquatin Posts: 598 Officer
    Some people like to multi-task while driving a boat and it doesn't matter if you're in a kayak or a boat, you're getting run over. It's like the people who text and drive. They know they can hurt someone, they just don't care. So no matter what safety gear you got, you still need to watch out for boats. Sport fishers are especially notorious. The captain is usually looking back at his spread and directing the 1st mate on deck.

    I've been boating more than kayaking this year and I can confirm what other boaters have been telling me over the years. You need surface area. Clothing is the most visible component, followed by kayak color and lastly a flag. Those little bicycle flags a lot of people use, including the YakAttack safety flags are useless. They're useful for your fishing buddy to spot you, but unless you're looking for a small flag, you won't see it. When we're running at 30 knots, I always see the upper torso or a paddle blade first. Those little flags aren't really noticeable until we're 30 yards away and that's late to be avoiding a collision. My advice is wear a bright hat and a bright shirt/pfd. Don't fly a small orange flag and wear a blue shirt like I did for years.
  • Android77Android77 Posts: 488 Deckhand
    The same people that say they can't see you can spot a pallet in the water a quarter mile away because that's where the dolphin are. It's just careless boat operators that are the problem and that's it. They go out looking for weeds and submerged debri but can't see a 14 foot long yellow piece of plastic with a human being sitting on it. They also think that if they want to troll where I'm fishing I should move out of there way. Yes I know there's a rip there that's why I'm fishing there and I must have seen it before you did that's why you think I'm in your way. Go find your own spot where I'm not.
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 538 Officer
    I don't rely on/trust anybody. It's no different than riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Bigger wins regardless of laws/regulations. Trust nobody.
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
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  • crackedconchcrackedconch Posts: 380 Deckhand
    I don't rely on/trust anybody. It's no different than riding a motorcycle or bicycle. Bigger wins regardless of laws/regulations. Trust nobody.

    :Agree
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!!

    Pioneer 197 Sportfish
    Suzuki DF150
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,193 Officer
    Flags are worthless. Common sense is the only way to protect yourself. The only two instances I know of with boat/kayak colisions both kayaks had a flag but no common sense. If you aren't in front of a boat it cant hit you.
  • Cat n Tat's DuskyCat n Tat's Dusky Posts: 35 Deckhand
    Android77 wrote: »
    The same people that say they can't see you can spot a pallet in the water a quarter mile away because that's where the dolphin are. It's just careless boat operators that are the problem and that's it. They go out looking for weeds and submerged debri but can't see a 14 foot long yellow piece of plastic with a human being sitting on it. They also think that if they want to troll where I'm fishing I should move out of there way. Yes I know there's a rip there that's why I'm fishing there and I must have seen it before you did that's why you think I'm in your way. Go find your own spot where I'm not.

    I totally agree! It's all about being a responsible boater, and paying attention. I've watched twin engine center console fishing boats go blazing over my head while I was diving. Boat captain yells at the morons, and they either shrug him off and keep going, or give him the finger, and keep going. I'd venture to guess 90% of the yahoo's out there in their boats haven't got a clue about the rules and regulations.
  • DfreedomDfreedom Posts: 106 Deckhand
    I have safety flags on 4' fiberglass rods on all my yaks and, when I see a boat approaching, I wave my paddle back in forth as high as I can hold it. Not taking any chances on "distracted" boaters.
  • inshore daveinshore dave Posts: 556 Officer
    ............and what about carrying a portable air horn??
    2014 Hobie PA14-Dune
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 5,123 Admiral
    Android77 wrote: »
    The same people that say they can't see you can spot a pallet in the water a quarter mile away because that's where the dolphin are. It's just careless boat operators that are the problem and that's it. They go out looking for weeds and submerged debri but can't see a 14 foot long yellow piece of plastic with a human being sitting on it. They also think that if they want to troll where I'm fishing I should move out of there way. Yes I know there's a rip there that's why I'm fishing there and I must have seen it before you did that's why you think I'm in your way. Go find your own spot where I'm not.

    Yes and no, while in calm seas yaks are easy to see, sometimes in rougher conditions, you don't see them until you are too close. Especially if they are not brightly colored or have visual displays flying. I respect what you guys do but it is not as easy as you think it is sometimes to spot you. Maybe not all of you but some of you do not have the visual displays required for safety. When I run the "yak" zone, I always keep a extra eye out just like running during mini season. I am sure that many pallets have been missed even by the best.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

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