In a post he titled, “It’s Getting Cold Outside. Don’t Die,” kayak fishing blogger Chris Payne shared some sobering statistics from a 2011 Coast Guard report on boating deaths and the use of life jackets, or more precisely, the non-use of life jackets. He produced this short video, which made me pause and think about my own recent commitment to be more cautious on the water.
I’ve tried hard to get into the habit of always wearing my PFD while on the water, and I even invested in a low-profile, auto-inflating PFD that uses CO2 cylinders to automatically inflate the preserver upon hitting the water. It’s so lightweight and comfortable that you could, in theory, forget you’re wearing it and inadvertently dive into the water inflate the preserver. Not saying I did that; only that its possible.
All kidding aside, even I know that come wintertime here in North Texas, every precaution that can be taken, must be taken. Cold water does voodoo like things to your body and makes it betray you just when you need it most, which reminds me of another useful reason for wearing your flotation device–to make it easier to find your body.
Payne’s Paddle Fish: Safety by the Numbers:
PS: Thanks to Chris for letting us share his work here. To check out more of his work, click here: Payne’s Paddle Fish.
PSS: To read more about the affects of cold water on the body, read my write up of the near cold-water drowning of a North Texas angler: LSC: Brandon Pope’s Story.