I got a good reminder on trying to be prepared and why some thins should not be done on boats. Was out on Ochoco Saturday. Weather was low 50s, breezy, but really nice. Water was 34-36˚ Water currently is just touching the bottom end of the ramp but is enough to launch.
Had our day on the lake. Then we back towards the dock. we're about halfway, about half mile there I see a guy in an old fiberglass boat.
We were about a hundred yards away. I look over and there's a guy standing in his boat. I look forward for about 10 seconds and then looked back and the boat is there but there is nobody in it. I then saw him holding on to the side near the stern. The motor still going dragging him in a lazy circle.
I managed to use up next to the boat and get in and shut it off. Go over to try to get the guy up into the boat. Only it turns out he's about six foot six and according to him weighs about 330 lb. Couldn't budge him. A couple in a nearby boat come over and ask if we need help and I say most definitely. With a father son duo in another boat coming over to see if they could help.
He's able to get in the boat with me. Turns out he's a retired Whitewater River guide who has pulled many people into his rafts over the years. So we were able to get him in. He then asks his wife the hand him his hypothermia kit.
He had a waterproof bag filled with a fleece sweatshirt, sweatpants, those instant hand heaters, a cap and a couple other things. We were able to get the guy out of his wet stuff and sort of into the other things. I will say it was amazing how fast it took for the hypothermia to start setting in.
I secured his boat next to mine and we headed back to the dock. The other boat went ahead of us. Turns out they had a camper on their truck. They got the heater going been warmed up some liquids. We got the guy back and into the camper. While we waited we were able to get his boat trailered.
He was grateful and thanked us. Most all his thing should have gone to the other guy as he was prepared. While I could have managed to get the fellow to shore and then ultimately back to the dock it would have been a chore.
That the guy was fishing by himself in a boat wasn't an issue. I do that, many of us do it.
That he decided to wear shorts any lightweight sweatshirt, was drunk, and wasn't wearing his life jacket were the issues.
I do know that I will me making my own hypothermia kit to stow in my little boat. Got to talk into the guy's wife and she says she's always teasing him because he likes to be prepared. They normally go to a different Lake and decided at the last minute to try this one they had never been to before. and she said at the last minute he threw a few things in the boat cuz "you never know".
Just be careful on the water. It really can go south in no time at all.