next week is boater safety week

That is all.

I like the ones with no foam in back
so that I can sleep in bed more comfortably.

Should mention that they had tragic
loss on the Tyne in the UK recently. Three guys got on the river in SOTs, to paddle a section that is normally pretty easy. But the Tyne was near flood level. All three wore PFDs, but they all got separated from their boats and drowned. My speculation was that one or more got turned over, the others tried to help him reboard, and soon all were struggling. With strong current, it would not have been easy to get to and up the banks. But it’s still puzzling why all three died.

I’d guess…

– Last Updated: May-17-14 1:29 AM EST –

I'd guess that the lack of skills necessary to deal with the river conditions, and having had a few "pints" before the adventure may have been contributing factors.

Also wonder about air/water temp, and whether or not they had proper protection for cold water immersion?

Lots of debris/strainers on rivers coming up into flood stage too.


There’s no indication they would have
been stupid enough to preload with alcohol. I think they just misjudged conditions, thinking that they could recover if they spilled. The more knowledgeable of the UK paddling community are quite clear about the fact that a big river near flood is more dangerous than a smaller river with some rapids.

So please -No one go boating…
for the entire week, and then we’ll have a 100 percent safety record!

Jack L

I think it’s well-intended
It just bothers me that so much focus goes to wearing one’s PFD when there are other important boater safety issues. Knowing the regulations that apply to your waterbody, for example. Watching for other boat traffic. Things like that. It reminds me of seatbelt campaigns.

probably the lawyers fault then

Also NOAA lightning campaign, where
they never discuss lightning and the other thunderstorm related risks like wind, waves, falling trees, flash flooding, etc.

You can make a government career out of a tunnel vision campaign against one spectacular risk factor. But it takes real skill and coordination to educate the public against the full spectrum of risks.

Checked on this
and it seems 3 men tried to go through a weir rather than portage around it. All were capsized and unable to reach shore in the turbulence. There is video footage of the location at this site:

At around the 2:25 mark you can see one of the kayaks and the weir in the same shot. There are weirs like this in a lot of England (Dowd covered their risks extensively in his book) since they claim so many lives. It would have been a fairly short portage to avoid this risk, but, it seems, they either were ignorant of the risks or opted to ignore them.

Sad turn of events.