Author Topic: Life Vests  (Read 6226 times)

Online andrewlamberson

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Life Vests
« on: 08/10/14 11:29 UTC »
I was pleased to see all the fisherpersons where wearing life vests in Marc's recent post of his fishing trip to northern Wisconsin. It's a practice that we all should be doing!

http://www.today.com/health/more-half-americans-cant-swim-well-enough-save-themselves-says-2D79689254

While is has always been a rule in my boat that you must be wearing a zipped up life vest when the motor is running, I have to admit I haven't been as strict about wearing one while fishing. We all know the reasons....to hot...uncomfortable....c an't cast or set the hook as well. But....

After a couple very bad years of drownings on the Mississippi river here in Winona I pledged to my wife that I would always wear a life vest when fishing by myself. I had a good foam one...but for the reasons above I wasn't wearing it while fishing...especially in the summer.

After a lot of research into self inflatable vests I invested in a Mustang Survival inflatable vest. It was billed as "Quite simply, the most comfortable vest"....and it is!

http://www.mustangsurvival.com/recreational/md3085?division=recreation&country=25

I am NOT a fan of the heat (for me...that's anything above 80) and I've been able to wear the vest all day up into the mid 80's with little issue. You really do forget that you are wearing it.

I would like to encourage any Forum Member who doesn't wear a life vest to reconsider and give a good inflatable vest a try.

By the way...I am an excellent swimmer. Former Life Guard, trained up to the the Instructor level. I can easily pass all of the 5 tests mentioned in the article above (except I cannot get back into my V hull boat..I need to put a board latter on it!) which is one of the reasons I felt the need for wearing the vest. It's not so much that you can't swim...it's that you get tired before you make it to shore.

I'm not preaching...just hoping I ...and you...can avoid needing one prematurely!
" You can't buy happiness...But you can buy fishing gear...and that's kind of the same thing"

Online Muskygary

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/14 11:33 UTC »
I also wear a lifevest when Im ice fishing!

Offline 2XL

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/14 14:00 UTC »
This is an issue I struggle with all the time. It's really a no brainer to wear a life vest but I seldom do. It's either too hot or I am bundled up because it's so cold and my life vest won't fit over my clothes. If I am fishing with a kid or two I do wear one and make them wear one too. That is non negotiable but when I am by myself, I rarely wear one.
I have hemmed and hawed about the Mustangs and other inflatable life vests for a few years now. My main concerns are accidental inflation and long term maintenance. I think the accidental inflation issue is almost a non issue but I thought I read you have to rearm the vests every couple years or so even if they have not been inflated ?

Seems ( for me any way) there are plenty of excuses not to wear one but no good ones when I really think about it. 

Online DobynsTriton

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #3 on: 08/10/14 14:39 UTC »
I have auto inflatable ones for me & my passenger.Theres a indicator on mine that shows me if its still good or not.as far as rearming the kits are relatively inexpensive & it ensures you your vest will fire off if & when you do ever have to pull the tab.You cant put a price on saftey
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Offline 2XL

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #4 on: 08/10/14 15:19 UTC »
 - putting a price on safety -  That about sums it up for me right there = a pretty lame excuse on my part.

Offline efishnc

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #5 on: 08/10/14 18:56 UTC »
This is an issue I struggle with all the time. It's really a no brainer to wear a life vest but I seldom do. 

I'm not  in any way advocating going without, but the only time I'm serious about wearing one is for early spring walleye fishing at night.


One of my fishing buddies has a son that works for the Wisconsin DNR, and he says about 90% of the male drowning victims have their fly down - for real, no joke.  They surmise that some men just lose their balance trying to pee over the side and keep it off the boat, and some may be cracking a few too many, which leads to peeing, but with impaired balance.  (I don't think I have ever heard a blood-alcohol stat related to drownings from him.)  Also, the Coast Guard data shows that 20% of drowning victims ARE wearing a life vest.  (http://www.usps.org/education/files/other_20_handout.pdf)

For those of us that don't wear life vests regularly in the summer (I'm one of them), having this bit of DNR trivia in the back of your mind may provide the needed extra caution in the aforementioned situations.  And, for those of us that trust in the sovereignty of God (I'm one of them as well), Psalm 139:16 tells us we're not going to juke our destiny.

Offline Lamar

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/14 06:05 UTC »
  When my boat is on plane I always wear a lifejacket and so do you. Just a rule I have. I always take it off when at idle or fishing and that is bad practice especially when the water is cold. The only problem I have with the inflatable type is they offer no neck or chest protection if you fall out at a high speed. I fish a tournament back in 2003 in Canada and they didn't allow us to use them because of that. I think their rules have changed now. I think it was in 08 I was fishing by myself back in a channel and I dropped a pole over board. I stripped my shirt and pants off and dove after it. I grabbed it and swam to the boat. The water was warm but when I tried to get in the boat the sides turned so slippery I simply could not pull myself up. I am in very good shape and it was wearing me down just trying to get into the boat. I finally bear hugged the motor and used the trim to help me in. My new boat has an on board ladder. Every boat is built a little different but if you have one of those that have those big round side rails like my old Champion 198 then you need a ladder.
I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Online basskat

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #7 on: 08/12/14 13:44 UTC »
I wear a live vest anytime the big motor is running. I no longer wear the inflatable type. In 2005 we hit a floater just under the surface and barrell rolled my 521 Ranger three times. My son was thrown thirty yards and I rolled with the boat and came out under water. The vest inflated but was around my waist. My son had the same type on and it inflated as well but was torn off him while sliding across the water. Both of us had these vests on correctly and tight! I now only wear one that zips and buckles. I do wear the inflatable in cold weather while fishing.



Offline 2XL

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #8 on: 08/12/14 15:58 UTC »
HOLY SMOKES MAN! You're lucky to be alive. No major injuries I assume? WOW!

Online Denny Welch

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #9 on: 08/12/14 18:32 UTC »
Now that is scary.  Good post, Kat.  It may save someone's life.

Offline Justin9j

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #10 on: 08/12/14 18:48 UTC »
Wow thanks kat. I'm going back to my buckle vest

Offline BareKnuckleJigs

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #11 on: 08/12/14 19:06 UTC »
Ay, if Bass Fishin' was easy, everybody'd be doin' it.  Even the Saltiest of Dawgs have a Fresh Side...
.El Gnaw.

"Drizzle Spoon ROCKS!"  Jerry V
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".o.v.e.r.p.o.p.u.l.a.t.i .o.n."  Earth
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Offline Lamar

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #12 on: 08/13/14 07:34 UTC »
 Wow you are lucky. Another thing on inflatables isn't it the law in order for them to be legal that you have to be wearing them all the time ? Unless you have other regular life vests in your boat.
I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Online basskat

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #13 on: 08/13/14 17:08 UTC »
Banged up a few ribs was about it. Good Lord was watching over me.

 Don't ever think "it's not going to happen to me" because it can happen. The lake we were on has no standing timber and we were in 40 feet of water. Where the log came from s anybody's guess. Most everyone thought it probably was brought throgh the lock hung under a barge.

Inflatables are great for fishing in rough or cold water.

Offline kymer

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Re: Life Vests
« Reply #14 on: 08/13/14 21:13 UTC »
Yikes. That is a really scary thing ti have home thru. Glad everyone was ok.

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