By Elaine KeaseyFour longtime members of Everett Sail & Power Squadron/16 took a journey to northern British Columbia in summer 2016 to go fishing. Linda and Mike Martin drove their RV with their new tricked-out 12-foot skiff on top, and my husband, Ray Keasey, and I drove our RV two days to Tachick Lake, an hour west of Prince George. The sun came out, and the rain stayed away, but the winds weren’t too cooperative. The guys fished to their heart’s content, and we all had a good time, but that’s not the story here.
A life jacket is your best insurance for going overboard
By Anthony PozunSteve Denniston, I and three other non-experienced adult sailors were aboard Capt. Ken Graf’s boat at a mooring in Northport, New York. The mainsail was up, luffing violently, and the boom was moving. Steve went forward to release the mooring lines, but the boat was sailing back and forth, making it difficult. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
Ken engaged the engine to push the boat forward to make it easier to release the lines. Despite the boat’s violent motion, Steve managed to release the lines. As he returned to the cockpit, the boat jibbed violently downwind; the boom swung across, striking him in the head and throwing him into the water.
“If I fall into cold water, someone will throw me a life jacket, and I can put it on. I’m a good swimmer.”
These words aren’t valid in cold water. U.S. Coast Guard research reveals that when a boater falls into frigid water, the following is likely to happen: