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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Listening Point - General Discussion :: Wear your d—- PFD!!!
 
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justpaddlin
06/19/2024 05:20PM
 
I'd just like to add that swimming skills also save lives. Today is the anniversary of the death of a 45 year old that drowned trying to save an 8 year old in a local river.


And with the hot weather Lake Michigan is taking people too including a woman wearing a life jacket.


My understanding is that there are about 150 paddling deaths per year...out of 4000+ drownings. You always have your swimming skills with you.


It's hot here and I expect that if I check again on Monday there will be more incidents.


Latest Lake Michigan drownings
 
plmn
06/20/2024 02:36PM
 
ockycamper: "The common denominator in this thread is that those rescued were largely not wearing PFD's.


I know that some wear the inflatables. Our groups have had experience with these in capsizes and I have refused to let anyone bring one since. Two of our men capsized on some moving water. While the vests inflated, they were almost impossible to swim in, had lots of straps that got caught on things and generally were not much better then no PFD's.


We used to do category five rafting trips with the men. I never saw anyone on moving water wearing an inflatable PFD.


Spend the money on a quality traditional foam filled PFD that fits you and that you are comfortable wearing EVERY time you are on the water. . . and wear it snugged up, not lose or unstrapped.


Our groups number one rule is PFD's must be worn at all times on the water, secured and snugged up. And no inflatables are allowed ever. . .no exceptions."



It seems those inflatable PFDs are getting to be more popular, and I can see why, that would sure be nicer on a 90 degree day. Personally after years of experience I don't even trust CO2 to inflate a bike tire when I need it, so I sure wouldn't want to trust my life with it. Interesting to hear of how poorly they performed when working as designed.
 
jwettelrin89
06/20/2024 01:41PM
 
ockycamper: "The common denominator in this thread is that those rescued were largely not wearing PFD's.



I know that some wear the inflatables. Our groups have had experience with these in capsizes and I have refused to let anyone bring one since. Two of our men capsized on some moving water. While the vests inflated, they were almost impossible to swim in, had lots of straps that got caught on things and generally were not much better then no PFD's.



We used to do category five rafting trips with the men. I never saw anyone on moving water wearing an inflatable PFD.



Spend the money on a quality traditional foam filled PFD that fits you and that you are comfortable wearing EVERY time you are on the water. . . and wear it snugged up, not lose or unstrapped.



Our groups number one rule is PFD's must be worn at all times on the water, secured and snugged up. And no inflatables are allowed ever. . .no exceptions."



Pretty bold to admit you willingly go down class 5 rapids while criticizing others for taking unnecessary risks.


Hope everyone here wears their PFDs when they're swimming too. Can never be too careful!
 
justpaddlin
06/20/2024 04:05PM
 
plmn: "ockycamper: "The common denominator in this thread is that those rescued were largely not wearing PFD's.



I know that some wear the inflatables. Our groups have had experience with these in capsizes and I have refused to let anyone bring one since. Two of our men capsized on some moving water. While the vests inflated, they were almost impossible to swim in, had lots of straps that got caught on things and generally were not much better then no PFD's.



We used to do category five rafting trips with the men. I never saw anyone on moving water wearing an inflatable PFD.



Spend the money on a quality traditional foam filled PFD that fits you and that you are comfortable wearing EVERY time you are on the water. . . and wear it snugged up, not lose or unstrapped.



Our groups number one rule is PFD's must be worn at all times on the water, secured and snugged up. And no inflatables are allowed ever. . .no exceptions."




It seems those inflatable PFDs are getting to be more popular, and I can see why, that would sure be nicer on a 90 degree day. Personally after years of experience I don't even trust CO2 to inflate a bike tire when I need it, so I sure wouldn't want to trust my life with it. Interesting to hear of how poorly they performed when working as designed. "



I have an inflatable that I've never worn. I often paddle upstream and back on rivers full of downfall and I also (usually) paddle 12 months a year in Michigan. It just seems to me that a conventional PFD is safer in that you won't go down as deep on the initial plunge, which means you might avoid getting skewered on a vertical tree limb and you have a much better chance at never dunking your head if you fall into cold water. The time I most needed my PFD was on a long solo day trip where I was on an unfamiliar section of river where I had to duck/squeeze under about 15 trees on the upstream paddle and coming back downstream I was high kneeling for comfort and misjudged (and misremembered) how much clearance I had under an upcoming tree and with current pushing me I did not have time to get back to a full kneel and duck so I sat up and gently slammed into the tree and came to a dead stop using my chest (and PFD) as a bumper. It knocked the wind out of me and I saw stars and wondered if I'd black out (as I'm holding the tree with the bow already on the other side and the current pushing me). I think the PFD actually provided valuable cushioning to reduce the impact shock from the tree trunk. The memory that stuck with me is that maybe you can't (or shouldn't) plan for a specific type of accident because accidents aren't necessarily predictable (duh) and I can think of scenarios where an inflatable won't protect me like a conventional PFD plus I don't want to be thinking about my **** PFD if I'm in the water and dealing with current and downfall.





 
scottiebaldwin
06/21/2024 05:21AM
 
Just my two cents here on inflatables. I had a four month old inflatable that failed to deploy when I fell overboard while fishing in White Bear Lake. I had to pull the cord manually to get it to inflate. Needless to say I threw that thing right in the trash bin and bought my first Stohlquist the next day. Haven’t looked back since. I’ve upgraded to the Stohlquist Fisherman and cannot emphasize enough how much more comfortable I am knowing that thing fits me like a glove and will keep my head above water in case I get knocked out. The Fisherman is great because of the two separate storage dens on the front. Can’t go wrong. Never trust an inflatable. Just too much to lose.
 
Coda1
07/13/2024 09:34PM
 
I'm going to get a lot of hate for this but I don't think everyone needs to wear a life jacket all the time. Like everything else I evaluate the risk and make my decision based on it. When I feel conditions warrant it I wear the PFD but most the time I don't. I have a old PFD from the 80's that isn't very comfortable and I'm a above average swimmer. As long as I'm conscious I trust my ability to swim to shore. I'm generally solo and my PFD isn't going to keep my head out of the water if I'm unconscious anyway. True it would help in recovering my body but that is about all. I've thought about buying something newer but everything I've seen is made oversees. I treat bicycling the same way. During the summer I don't wear a helmet riding on pavement but generally do when riding off road or in the winter. Everyone has different levels of risk tolerance. There are plenty of people that can't swim that really should be wearing them that don't. That I don't understand.
 
timatkn
05/30/2024 09:22PM
 
I think a lot of people don’t wear them because they think it only affects them.


I wasn’t always good about it when I was younger. Bringing kids though, I wanted to set a good example and if the canoe went over, I wanted to be in the best position to help them immediately.


As you start to think about it our actions can have a butterfly effect on others. If I tip and another group has to help me, it is possible my choice could cause them to drown as well. THat’s someone else’s Husband, Father, Wife, Mother etc…at best I disrupt their trip. Or if I drown as gravelroad mentioned now other people are missing time with their families maybe lost wages from work to get me out.


Not trying to preach, just think harder on it the next time you get in a boat or canoe.


T
 
brp
05/30/2024 05:19PM
 
I wear a PFD on my family’s huge pontoon. I’m the only adult with one on. I encourage everyone here to proudly wear one always, make it known why and spread the word. My kids, nieces and nephews all wear one to be like me.
 
gravelroad
05/30/2024 07:34PM
 
brp: "I wear a PFD on my family’s huge pontoon. I’m the only adult with one on. I encourage everyone here to proudly wear one always, make it known why and spread the word. My kids, nieces and nephews all wear one to be like me. "


I wear one to be like my father. Who showed me by his example EVERY time he got in a canoe.
 
bradcrc
07/10/2024 02:17PM
 
What people don't understand is that IT DOESNT MATTER IF YOU ARE THE BEST SWIMMER ON EARTH.


That's what bugs me most when I see the same quote from friends and family of dead guys every single year. "But he was such a good swimmer, and he's been boating for decades and he never drowned before!"



Cold Shock Response. It can kill you almost instantly.



If the water is freezing, it's worse, but if you're up in the sun, and it's a hot day, even 60 degree water can do it.

When you fall overboard from the warm, into the cold water, a number of very bad things can happen. All are involuntary, so you can't control them, you can only prepare by wearing proper gear like PFD.

First and most common. if you suddenly fall into cold water, you gasp for breath. Again, involuntary. If someone hits you with a hot branding iron, same thing, you will gasp for breath. You don't control this, it just happens. If you are not wearing a PFD, so your head is under water when this gasp happens, your lungs are now full of water, and you're dead. Chance of survival is basically zero at that point. Doesn't matter if you can swim cause you will never get the chance to.

Will that happen every time you fall into the water? No, of course not. But if it does, and you're not wearing a PFD, you're just done. Just like wearing a seatbelt. You're most likely not going to crash, but if you do, and you're not wearing a seatbelt, you just made someone else's day much worse cause they are the one who has to hose you off the pavement and go tell your family.



it's not hard to wear a PFD. I have one that has lots of pockets, and I have a first aid kit, a headnet, a flashlight, various fishing tackle, some paracord, some sunscreen and bug spray. I wouldn't want to go without it because it's handy, even if it wouldn't save me. The fact that it could save my life is a big bonus on top of that.
 
Pinetree
07/09/2024 09:16AM
 
July 7th Conservation officer report:-No PFD on board


Lake Vermillion area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports anglers and boaters were insistent on partaking in the Fourth of July opportunities to be outdoors despite the less-than-ideal meteorological character in the area. A concerning trend observed this summer is the number of paddle craft (canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards) used on the bigger lakes without those paddlers having life jackets. Conditions change quickly, especially with weather patterns this summer, and paddlers can get into trouble quickly.
 
timatkn
07/09/2024 10:15PM
 
OMG…no life jackets on board their motor boat, another group on a canoe trip with no life jackets…


I’ve said it before, but I think we are just losing our common sense and decency towards each other.


Just more of this attitude of “It’s my Choice” “Government can’t tell me what to do” yet no understanding how their alleged “personal” choices might hurt other families.


T
 
YaMarVa
05/31/2024 11:28AM
 
In 2006 I dumped my canoe on Gun Lake while collecting water away from the shoreline, back then we still drank directly from the lake. My buddy was on the shore and watched me struggle to get the Grumman canoe tipped back over. I couldn’t do it. His father taught us to pack at least one life jacket, but not necessarily to wear it. Old school. After I was tiring, trying to collect floating gear, I lucked out when the pfd floated right by me. It saved my life and I’ve worn one ever since.
 
scottiebaldwin
05/31/2024 10:28PM
 
OMGitsKa: "Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it! "


Agreed. I’ve said it many times in different message boards; the Stohlquist Fisherman is the absolute best PFD I’ve worn. It’s so comfortable that I wear it during portages. The storage dens are super handy as well. Just treat yourself and buy one.


You (and possibly your family) can thank me later.

Stohlquist Fisherman
 
Argo
06/01/2024 08:11AM
 
Yes, if you're supplied with a run-of-the-mill non-paddling life jacket you may wonder what's everyone's talking about when they advise getting a good paddling life jacket like a Stohlquist or an NRS. A good paddling life jacket is a game changer for paddling comfort. It will not interfere with your stroke at all.


I have two: One that buckles from the side and one that zips up your chest. I recommend the latter as it's easier to put on and remove. Try each in the store and see what works for you.
 
okinaw55
05/31/2024 11:23PM
 
scottiebaldwin: "OMGitsKa: "Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it! "



Agreed. I’ve said it many times in different message boards; the Stohlquist Fisherman is the absolute best PFD I’ve worn. It’s so comfortable that I wear it during portages. The storage dens are super handy as well. Just treat yourself and buy one.



You (and possibly your family) can thank me later.


Stohlquist Fisherman "



My wife and I really like our Stohlquest Drifters. Sometimes on land I forget to take it off.
 
nctry
06/01/2024 11:45AM
 
Back in the day (70’s)… you didn’t have good options… (ones you could afford that is. Now, it’s a no brainer… I think someone said it best when you forget on shore you have it on. The old horse collar ones were rather limiting… and the early stearns were not a lot better. Now, the excuses are few and far between to not wear one.
 
Canoearoo
06/01/2024 12:44PM
 
Life jackets float; you don't



I used to never wear my life jacket because I'm a great swimmer. Then a great swimmer I know drowned on a clear, calm, warm day.


Life jackets save lives just like seat belts. Wear them both!
 
pleflar
06/01/2024 09:03PM
 
gravelroad: "brp: "I wear a PFD on my family’s huge pontoon. I’m the only adult with one on. I encourage everyone here to proudly wear one always, make it known why and spread the word. My kids, nieces and nephews all wear one to be like me. "



I wear one to be like my father. Who showed me by his example EVERY time he got in a canoe."



This is why I also wear a PFD. Because it was what the responsible adults did when I was a kid. They wore them so they could help other people in an emergency and that's good leadership.
 
Stumpy
06/02/2024 05:49AM
 
I always do.
I'll never forget working at Canadian Border Outfitters, and having to go on tow boat to Ensign Lake, and pick up the 18 year old boys from a school trip that ended with their buddy at the bottom of the lake.
It was so sad.
Early 1980's
 
Pinetree
07/09/2024 09:27AM
 
7 Day canoe trip-NO PFD's ON BOARD
July7th
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled area lakes within and outside of the BWCAW over the busy Fourth of July week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended line, cans in the BWCAW, no PFDs on motorboats and on canoes, and expired watercraft registration. One pair from Indiana was encountered on a seven-day trip in the BWCAW with no life jackets at all.
 
x2jmorris
06/10/2024 10:29AM
 
If it isn't law then people can do what they want ;)
 
NEIowapaddler
06/03/2024 02:03PM
 
I can't swim, so I always wear a life jacket when paddling. Won't get in a canoe or kayak without it. I wear an Astral, can't remember the model at the moment. It's very comfortable when paddling, but I do take it off when portaging a pack.
 
Pinetree
05/30/2024 02:38PM
 
Thanks for posting-this week another person drowned without a PFD on White Iron lake. Get a PFD you like and will wear.
 
woodsandwater
06/10/2024 01:27PM
 
okinaw55: "scottiebaldwin: "OMGitsKa: "Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it! "




Agreed. I’ve said it many times in different message boards; the Stohlquist Fisherman is the absolute best PFD I’ve worn. It’s so comfortable that I wear it during portages. The storage dens are super handy as well. Just treat yourself and buy one.




You (and possibly your family) can thank me later.



Stohlquist Fisherman "




My wife and I really like our Stohlquest Drifters. Sometimes on land I forget to take it off."



Thank you for recommendation. Just ordered my new Stohlquist Drifter from Amazon replacing my old lifejacket of 25+ years.
 
analyzer
06/10/2024 06:49PM
 
That would be a cool name... Gravel Road. I'm a little old now, but if I were younger, I could definitely see naming my son Gravel. "Rough and Tough", but needs a little grooming once in a while. "The road less traveled". I like the name.
 
gravelroad
05/30/2024 01:10PM
 
In a previous life I spent some time helping to recover drowning victims.

These folks have better things to do with their time. There is absolutely nothing “manly” about a corpse in the water. Wear your PFD!

“CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling activity and ATV activity. Larson spent time in the BWCAW with CO Bermel checking anglers and campers. Violations were related primarily to angling licenses. Several groups we had contacted had capsized their canoes. A reminder to avoid paddling during extreme conditions.

“CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. He responded to a search and rescue call in the BWCAW with area officers. All parties and gear were located and transported safely back to shore.

“CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais 2) reports that many folks hit the woods and water for the holiday weekend. The fish were biting, but so were the bugs. Ledeen assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a rescue in the BWCAW, where six people had capsized their canoes and became stranded. Luckily, all six people were wearing their life jackets.

“CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked with CO Larson in the BWCAW for several days. … Some angling success was noted in the BWCAW despite high winds making for difficult canoeing. Numerous groups had capsized canoes and lost gear. An abnormally high number of water-related incidents in the area lately provide a stark reminder of the importance of using safety gear and not taking unnecessary risks.”

DNR Report: High winds make for difficult canoeing in Boundary Waters
 
pearl62
05/31/2024 06:55AM
 
Thanks for your reminder gravelroad. As a public safety diver I can tell you wearing a pfd is the easiest way to prevent disaster on the water. Of course accidents happen, but why stack the odds against yourself in the wilderness?
 
yogi59weedr
05/31/2024 11:09AM
 
Sister just bought me inflating vest. Everytime I put it on I send her a picture.
 
Pinetree
05/31/2024 07:15PM
 
OMGitsKa: "Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it! "
Yes there are so many models and quality varies so much. Yes and at least for kids get one that will turn them right side up. There are ratings on PFD on what they do. I heard how they rate them might have changed.
I was lucky in my younger years to be able to take a two-day Coast Guard water safety program. We covered so many issues. Even methods how to float with waders on and we attempted to swim in them in the water.


Coast Guard PFD
 
Argo
05/31/2024 07:17AM
 
timatkn: "I think a lot of people don’t wear them because they think it only affects them.



I wasn’t always good about it when I was younger. Bringing kids though, I wanted to set a good example and if the canoe went over, I wanted to be in the best position to help them immediately.



As you start to think about it our actions can have a butterfly effect on others. If I tip and another group has to help me, it is possible my choice could cause them to drown as well. THat’s someone else’s Husband, Father, Wife, Mother etc…at best I disrupt their trip. Or if I drown as gravelroad mentioned now other people are missing time with their families maybe lost wages from work to get me out.



Not trying to preach, just think harder on it the next time you get in a boat or canoe.



T"

 
WinstonRumfoord
05/31/2024 08:37AM
 
Too true. When you distill it to a list of pros vs cons, it's quite the "no-brainer". Plus, I like having the extra pockets while fishing to keep tools etc handy.
 
Findian
05/31/2024 08:48AM
 
I also have survival gear in my PFD, inreach,etc... Anything in the boat is lost camping gear. Most of my boat time is in Lake Superior in a larger boat.
 
OMGitsKa
05/31/2024 03:28PM
 
Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it!
 
Captn Tony
05/31/2024 09:40AM
 
I wore one off and on for years. Then is some rougher water in the middle of Seagull I dropped my paddle and when I noticed how fast it moved away from the boat I decided a I might not be able to catch up to a lj floating away. I never have it off unless I'm near shore swimming.
 
Captn Tony
05/31/2024 09:40AM
 
I wore one off and on for years. Then is some rougher water in the middle of Seagull I dropped my paddle and when I noticed how fast it moved away from the boat I decided a I might not be able to catch up to a lj floating away. I never have it off unless I'm near shore swimming.
 
BWPaddler
05/31/2024 10:37PM
 
Yup! +1
 
Pinetree
06/01/2024 09:46AM
 
Old PFD thread-still relevant
 
WinstonRumfoord
06/01/2024 12:59PM
 
scottiebaldwin: "OMGitsKa: "Buy a super nice life jacket and you will always want to wear it! "



Agreed. I’ve said it many times in different message boards; the Stohlquist Fisherman is the absolute best PFD I’ve worn. It’s so comfortable that I wear it during portages. The storage dens are super handy as well. Just treat yourself and buy one.



You (and possibly your family) can thank me later.


Stohlquist Fisherman "



I did try that one (and quite liked almost everything about it!) but ended up with an Astral E-Ronny: https://astraldesigns.com/products/e-ronny


I liked the full length - but "flat" back as opposed to the Fisherman's denser back concentrated toward the top. The Astral feels more like wearing a vest in the sense of an article of clothing; a snug fleece vest or well-fitted suit vest. The Stohlquist still felt like a PFD, to me at least.
 
scottiebaldwin
06/01/2024 07:07PM
 
One advantage of the Stohlquist Fisherman upper rear is that it is designed to keep your head above water in the event you get knocked unconscious.
 
justpaddlin
06/02/2024 07:26AM
 
I've never considered myself a safety zealot but as a paddler, engineer, and lifeguard that paddles on rivers it blows my mind how often people underestimate the power and danger of river currents. 2 folks lost last year within 5 miles of my house including the woman that bought these tubes for her kids. Matt was lost in 2020. Both adults were trying to save kids.


Even the reporter that interviewed me said the current "didn't look too bad". Ironically I live close to some of the deadliest Lake Michigan beaches where most folks would be terrified of a 3-4 mph rip current but the same current on a river is perceived as safe.


I found one (and only one) reference to this danger where one professor calls it a Drowning Trap since a river may look "normal" when currents are far stronger than any swimmer. I have trouble linking files but you can find a great PowerPoint if you Google Drowning Trap (Kauffman, Frostburg Edu).



 
MN_Lindsey
06/02/2024 06:39PM
 
I just read a news story of a 35 y/o woman who drowned last week in Prior Lake ? falling off a Stand Up Paddleboard! I always wear mine in the canoe or SUP, and on my SUP I also put on my ankle strap.


I fell off my SUP on Kelso River a few years ago (right after I saw a bear cross the river) and all the way under the water I went. Granted I touched the bottom, but what if it were deeper....


You just never know, and I'd rather be safe than sorry.
 
straighthairedcurly
06/03/2024 12:15AM
 
To me, a PFD is like a seatbelt in a car. I feel naked without. Got in the habit when doing whitewater and now I always wear it. It has my ditch kit in the pocket and my SPOT tracker attached in case I ever get separated from my boat in a high wind situation.
 
bottomtothetap
06/02/2024 12:40PM
 
Pinetree: " Old PFD thread-still relevant "


I think we are all mostly "preaching to the choir" on this forum about wearing a PFD but this information is SO IMPORTANT!


Thank you, Pinetree, for posting the link to this old thread. I went to it and re-read something I had posted then and was reminded of possible tragedy that was avoided for me and my family because PFD's were worn. Also thought of the tragedy others experienced because PFD's were not worn. This literally brought me to tears.


Lifejacket use is always reviewed as part of our planning but that post will now be included along with the Forest Service videos as a required part of our up-coming planning meeting with seven newbies who are coming with me to the BWCA in July.


Wishing everyone safe travels to the BWCA this season and that you find enjoyment and fulfillment on your trip to this special wilderness.
 
straighthairedcurly
06/03/2024 05:37PM
 
NEIowapaddler: "I can't swim, so I always wear a life jacket when paddling. Won't get in a canoe or kayak without it. I wear an Astral, can't remember the model at the moment. It's very comfortable when paddling, but I do take it off when portaging a pack. "


Once rescued a guy who had jumped out of a raft on a class 4 river without a PFD...a "watch this" moment (fueled by some alcohol and 20-something bravado). Turned out he didn't know how to swim. When I dragged him to shore, I found out he was a parachutist in the military. I asked him if he would ever jump out of a plane without a parachute. "Of course not! That would be stupid!" he retorted. "That's what you just did," I told him. He was one lucky SOB that day as we were the only kayakers at the bottom of that drop and my husband just happened to notice his limp hand on the surface of the water.


Glad to hear you are wise.
 
Portage99
06/03/2024 10:03PM
 
I know I said this before. I was lucky to learn from a very old-school Girl Scout Camp Director when I was a counselor. It was a hard-core amazing training ( covered in bruises from those aluminum canoes). and they really don’t teach that anymore. We had to practice rescues in the pool, and flipping a water filled canoe, getting back in a flipped canoe and how to stabilize for the next person in deep water, etc. She was really a bad ass and she didn’t tolerate any talk of not wearing a life jacket. Her primary message was counselors dont wear a lifejacket for themselves, they wear a life jacket to help other people, especially kids. She did have us try things without a lifejacket to show us that we are basically worthless as helpers. I feel fortunate to have learned from her. A wealth of knowledge!
 
prettypaddle
06/04/2024 06:05AM
 
We've been taking our kids canoeing since they were babies and our rule is that everyone in the boat wears a PFD. When my son was about three my folks took him to the zoo where he absolutely refused to go on the "safari" boat ride around a shallow little concrete pond. My parents said there was no convincing him it was ok -- he was emphatic that you can only go on a boat if wear your PFD and refused to get on without his.


The constant repetition when kids are little can be exhausting, but I sure was proud when I heard how well this lesson stuck. (And, yes, he obviously didn't need a PFD in that situation but he didn't know that and my parents weren't going to force him to do something his mom and dad said not to do. For a kid who never seemed to listen I took it as a major win.)
 
Pinetree
06/04/2024 08:56AM
 
Drowning numbers-a reminder

yearly
 
BWPaddler
06/05/2024 07:51AM
 
prettypaddle: "We've been taking our kids canoeing since they were babies and our rule is that everyone in the boat wears a PFD. When my son was about three my folks took him to the zoo where he absolutely refused to go on the "safari" boat ride around a shallow little concrete pond. My parents said there was no convincing him it was ok -- he was emphatic that you can only go on a boat if wear your PFD and refused to get on without his.



The constant repetition when kids are little can be exhausting, but I sure was proud when I heard how well this lesson stuck. (And, yes, he obviously didn't need a PFD in that situation but he didn't know that and my parents weren't going to force him to do something his mom and dad said not to do. For a kid who never seemed to listen I took it as a major win.)"



Love it! Well done.
 
bottomtothetap
06/05/2024 01:13PM
 
As naturally as my now-adult boys put on a seatbelt when they get in a vehicle because mandatory use is all they've ever known, they put on a lifejacket as well because that too is all they've ever known. When they were little we called it their "fishing jacket" and to them wearing one--even from a pier or shore--was just part of the fun of fishing.
 
gravelroad
06/10/2024 07:55PM
 
x2jmorris: "If it isn't law then people can do what they want ;)"


Does that include the option to disclaim in advance any rescue or body recovery made necessary by not wearing one? Does it include making that choice binding on any family member who would otherwise call 9-1-1?


Nah, I didn’t think so.
 
sns
06/11/2024 09:59AM
 
I am beginning to get pissed off about this topic.


If I understand it correctly, of the four deaths this season (so far) in the BWCA/Q, none were wearing a PFD.


The first one sounds like an on-shore accident and a PFD would likely not have helped.


Who knows about the others? Sure wish they could have had the chance to find out if their situation would have been survivable with a PFD vs certainly not w/out one.


It's just so damn selfish, and the selfishness impacts dozens or hundreds: the families, all the SAR personnel, etc.
 
NEIowapaddler
06/11/2024 01:15PM
 
gravelroad: "x2jmorris: "If it isn't law then people can do what they want ;)"



Does that include the option to disclaim in advance any rescue or body recovery made necessary by not wearing one? Does it include making that choice binding on any family member who would otherwise call 9-1-1?



Nah, I didn’t think so."



+1. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean that it's smart to do it.
 
x2jmorris
06/12/2024 08:06AM
 
gravelroad: "x2jmorris: "If it isn't law then people can do what they want ;)"



Does that include the option to disclaim in advance any rescue or body recovery made necessary by not wearing one? Does it include making that choice binding on any family member who would otherwise call 9-1-1?



Nah, I didn’t think so."



Still get to do what you want either way :)
 
Pinetree
06/21/2024 07:59AM
 
I was told this years ago cold weather use inflatable.



I often wondered also about fishing tackle puctures, abuse like throwing it around camp or even next to camp fires. Also, if you have to pull the cord maybe cold hands or getting older and arthritic may affect your ability.


I do see them having a place in boating tho. Certainly better if its your own alternative decision especially in hot weather is wearing none
 
ockycamper
06/21/2024 01:25PM
 
Better yet, bring a PFD that requires only fitting, no maintenance. I have had an NRS Chinook for years. It is worn in the canoe, sat on in camp and basically tossed around. As I stated earlier we have had guys that capsized with inflatables and both of the guys had to be pulled out by others as they were unable to swim with the inflatables. After the second capsize, they also had no more CO2 capsules and as such they were grounded.
 
ockycamper
06/20/2024 01:44PM
 
I think you misuderstood me.


15 years ago our men did the rapids in West Virgiania, the "Gauntlet" of the Gaulery River. But we did them with highly trained guides, rafts support personnel and full Class 5 PFD's and wet suits.


My point is that among those that are trained to handle swift water, they are not in inflatable PFD's
 
jwettelrin89
06/20/2024 02:04PM
 
Sounds like a very unnecessary risk to take regardless. Potentially putting search and rescue in a dangerous situation.


I have no problem with what you did. Just seems a bit ironic to admit that while you and others criticize others for taking unnecessary risks.




 
ockycamper
06/20/2024 12:35PM
 
The common denominator in this thread is that those rescued were largely not wearing PFD's.


I know that some wear the inflatables. Our groups have had experience with these in capsizes and I have refused to let anyone bring one since. Two of our men capsized on some moving water. While the vests inflated, they were almost impossible to swim in, had lots of straps that got caught on things and generally were not much better then no PFD's.


We used to do category five rafting trips with the men. I never saw anyone on moving water wearing an inflatable PFD.


Spend the money on a quality traditional foam filled PFD that fits you and that you are comfortable wearing EVERY time you are on the water. . . and wear it snugged up, not lose or unstrapped.


Our groups number one rule is PFD's must be worn at all times on the water, secured and snugged up. And no inflatables are allowed ever. . .no exceptions.
 
ockycamper
06/20/2024 02:11PM
 
I will make one more stab at this. We took part in an event that has people coming from all over the world to raft the Gauley each fall. There is one guide for ever 6 men in a raft, and SAR teams all up and down the river. NONE of them are voluteers but all highly paid through the fees paid to the outfitters.


This is not even in the same world as a group of guys fishing in a canoe without PFD's on near a waterfall in flood stage.
 
gsfisher13
06/21/2024 01:20PM
 
The automatic inflatables to my knowledge all have a small piece in them that needs to be checked and replaced when they go bad. On the Mustang model they call it a bobbin.
Mustang Re-Arm kit
If you have an inflatable it's also essential that you read the instructions and know how to use it and how to maintain it.
In my cynical experience though nobody reads instructions and they rely on things to "just work" without actual knowledge. Therefore I would suggest we emphasize not only wearing your inflatable PFD but also knowing how to use and maintain them.
 
Savage Voyageur
07/12/2024 01:51PM
 
Just to clear up some things here. I like wearing my inflatable PFD every time I am on the water in the BWCA. I’m not talking white water rafting in class 5 rapids, or fast rivers with branches that snag straps, I’m talking about the flat water canoeing in the BWCA. My Onyx A/M 24 gets tested every year by me when I jump in the water off my dock. So this way I always have a fresh cartridge and inflation button in it. It has always inflated in about a second to two after it hits the water. It also preforms great in the buoyancy department at 22.5 pounds of lift, which is better than most PFD’s. The Onyx 24 has the same type 3 rating as most of the PFD’s I see people wearing. When inflated the Onyx 24 keeps your head out of the water. Keeping you afloat and keeping your head out of the water is the number 1 thing a PFD is designed to do. I CAN swim with it on with my head out of the water. But again a PFD main job it needs to do is keep you afloat and your head out of the water until you get rescued or get to shore. People with any life jacket should test it out by jumping in the water and see if your head is actually held out of the water. This comes into play when you go into the water and hit you head and are unconscious with you face down in the water.