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Disturbing trends...



  • krashkrash Posts: 727 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.

    I understand what you are saying, but its just not true at all... the part about seeing stuff.
    I am both a paddler and a boater and have to say that in any wave action, rollers especially, kayaks and other small boaters easily become hard to see especially sitting still. Not to side with the boater at all in this case as it appears to to be pure negligence on the boat operator's part... even though the kayaker did everything he could short of using his white hand-held light to try and warn off the boater.

    I can't even tell you how many times we head out at first light and head SE out of PE fishing, or head S to go diving and see something bobbing up/down in the wave action and realize its a kayaker... unless the seas are calm they really are hard to see. We've never had a close encounter like this one ever, but boat operators, kayaker, and divers need to be on alert at all times, dead or mutilated ain't good.

    I also can attest there are way to many boat operators that are just oblivious to the surroundings. We are in a white 23' open fisherman with a 7' high blue t-top with a 6' pole on top of that with a 24x24" red/white dive flag, and a 4' round Yellow/Red Brownies dive pump with a 3' pole with red/white 20x20" dive flag beside or in front of the boat. We don't anchor, there is always 2 people in the boat one driving and one watching the divers in the same general area where the kayak fishermen are along that line parallel to shore between PE and Haulover. We typically continuously circle that dive pump and on pretty much every trip we have to ward off one or more boater who is on a potentially dangerous or deadly course directly at us.

    All I can say is be safe and ready for anything out there. Wear bright colors, a moving paddle with white blades is the easiest to see from a distance, camo and dark colors are not easy to see.
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • freddy4130freddy4130 Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    jbdba01 wrote: »
    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.

    Seems like every example of a boater claiming that kayaks are “practically invisible” starts off with “I saw him like 300-400 yards away.” Let me say this again. If you’re having a hard time seeing ANYTHING while running your boat offshore, you need to take a look at yourself, not at the things you’re having a hard time seeing. Slow down, pay attention and stop diddling with things while you’re running. You don’t need to look at the weather at 40 mph. You need to look at the water.
  • freddy4130freddy4130 Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    jbdba01 wrote: »
    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.

    When you almost ran over the kayaker did you go back and curse him out? This guy did. I wish we all lived in a world where everything was popcorn and cheesecakes. Reality is that some people are jerks. This dude buzzed Ricky intentionally. We have all heard it before. These guys think it’s their jobs to teach us a lesson so they put us in dangerous situations to prove that it’s dangerous for us to be out there in kayaks.
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