Wear those PFDs! (Life Jackets)

I was sure glad I was wearing mine today when my conoe dumped when I was coming out of an eddy and didn’t handle entering the strong and fast current properly (I zigged when I should have zagged). I managed to hold on to the upside down canoe for the first hundred yards or so before it got teporarily stuck on a tree along the bank where I thought I was going to be able to turn it right side up, but the boat stopped and the current tore me away from it. Now I was floating quickly down stream away from the boat in water over my head with just my old orange horse collar coast guard type PFD and carbon bent shaft paddle.

The boat came free after I was about 50ft down stream and I couldn’t get back together with it until Chuck_IL reunited me with it a quarter mile or more downstream.

The PFD did it’s job and kept my head out of the water, but I was still pretty worn out from the swim. I don’t know if the PFD saved my life or not, but it sure made the swim and pursuit of the canoe much more manageable and safer. Without the PFD, I probably would have headed directly to shore after losing the canoe. But then again, I may have stayed in the middle of the river where I was less likely to get tangled up in strainers or submerged trees. I still bumped a few submerged trees while looking for an eddy along the shore so Chuck could get my canoe to me.

Summary: Wear your PFD.

Happy paddling.

Believers are made, not born…
I’ve been in two bad boating accidents… I am a believer.

Glad to hear you are OK


There are old paddlers. And there are bold paddlers. But there are no old bold paddlers.

Glad you’re okay, my orange PFDed friend.

It Rhymes…

– Last Updated: Jul-30-06 10:01 AM EST –

but it ain't true.

The coolest "old bold couple" I've met is on the Deerfield. They have got to be in their late 60s or early 70's. I was at the bottom of the Gap (class III drop) and watching others run through. While other younger folks were getting trashed, they both came down with ease. The kicker was listening to their banter. She: "That's fun, dear. Let's do it again." He: "Yes. That was!"


PS. Yes. I agree a PFD is a GOOD idea. You may be able to swim without one. But, can you hang on to the boat, paddle, gather equipment, etc with the same ease without one?

I was there when
JohnC98 had a massive heartattack and dropped dead in the middle of a race.Even though we had rescue boats and he was wearing his PFD( he was fanatical about allways wearing it) it was tough getting his body up onto the rescue boat. If he had not been wearing the PFD it would have been just about impossible to get his remains on board.

True, sing
I adapted that saying from its more apropo original intent: parachutists.

Glad you’re safe Yanoer

– Last Updated: Jul-30-06 11:11 AM EST –

If it weren't for Chuck saving all the Central Illinois paddlers, I would have to relocate to Pennsylvania, grow my beard longer, drink a lot of beer, and be a DUCKHEAD.

Oh, viscious, bruce.
I think it is great that Chuck_IL is such a proficient paddler. He is good tao have along. Sort of like one of those fancy Wenger Swiss knives that has a gadget for every condition: a lifesaver time and time again. If you can remember to bring it along that is.

One of these days, one of is Central IL paddler is going to have a mishaps when Chuck_IL isn’t along, and bada bing: “He enjoyed paddling and the outdoors. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that contribuitons be made to paddling.net and Chuck_ILs volleyball team for new uniforms”

Thanks for the well wishes for my safety
This was my first field test of a PFD and I’m sure glad I had it on and that it worked well. I’d rather not have another unexpected test of it.

You’d also have to gain a few pounds to
be a Duckhead - at least that’s how it looks from most of their pictures. It might be worth moving to PA just for the Yeungling’s (sp?) beer. I had some in Arlington, VA and it was quite good. It’s brewed in PA, but not available in IL.

Chuck_IL will always be with me on trips like that one because he’s the one that invites me. I probably wouldn’t do that type of paddling without him along.