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The Garibaldi disaster isn't the right place to post this question, but does raise the subject repeatedly.

Assuming, say, a mandatory lifejacket rule...maybe in saltwater or whatever...

What's everyone's pleasure or preference? Many are uncomfortable, some won't keep your head up if unconscious, some are too hot in warm weather and some not warm enough in cold.

On a drift trip the other day, I wore SOSpenders for the first time and was mightily impressed.
In fact, I'm going to stop by Cabela's in Kansas City on my way home and pick some up.

One thread, though...Mel's I think...says get the auto inflator that activates when it gets wet. Is that a problem in rainy Oregon? I also understand those devices are only legal if they're worn.

Anyway, if anyone has ideas, it seems like a good time to talk about it.

This is NOT a discussion about right or wrong on either the capsizing or a law requiring PFDs be worn. Remember, this is still a relatively isolated incident for the charter fleet.

Just wanna know preferences and tips...

thanks
 

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I've worn my auto-inflate Mustang vest for most of the last season. After losing a friend last fall in calm water on a sunny October day, I know too well that we can never anticipate the event that may take us. My greatest concern is that I want something both comfortable enough that I will always wear it and which will turn me face up if I'm unconscious. Manual inflate won't accomplish that.

The "pill" that dissolves to automatically inflate is well protected inside the vest and under my rain jacket when weather dictates. The instructions say to replace it annually. That provides a good opportunity to test - get the recharge kit, then go jump in the water and see what happens before drying and repacking the vest.

I really think the greater risk is hanging the manual pull tab in a crab trap or a fishing rod causing an undesired inflation. Or maybe a 3 year old grabbing the attractive yellow handle.
 

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i've got the standard stearns life vests. they're pretty comfy, lightweight, not too hot, not too cold. i think i paid $15 a piece for them. that's pretty cheap insurance. the only downside is that they're not designed to keep the head up if you're unconscious.

my only advice would be to put them on before you intend to get on the water. when you buy them, they're flat and that's what makes them uncomfortable. once they're broken in and conform to a human body you almost forget they're there. i think the reason most folks find them uncomfortable is because they never get worn and never really break in.
 

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Yeah, I have 4 of them that are at least 5 yrs old. They still look new, as they never come out from under the bow. Time to rethink that one!
 

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Is dead better than uncomfortable??? Most people who die in the water never intended to get wet... Just wear the damn things
 

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We have both the CO2 inflatable float-coats and the SOS suspenders. I was pleased to look back at the pics of the first halibut opener to see we were wearing one or the other at all times. That's a habit I want to make permanent.



Skein

[ 06-16-2003, 07:08 AM: Message edited by: skein ]
 

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I made a deal with my wife that I think is pretty fair on this subject. She promises to let me fish as much as I want as long as I promise her I will always come home...

Sounds pretty fair to me... so here is what it means to me. I wear my life jacket on any waterway when I moving at all (included trolling). I also wear my life jacket whenever I pull anchor, especially on the Columbia. I don't screw around on the water, and I make sure I am always aware of my surroundings plus she knows where I am and when I will return so she can notify enforcement if I don't return on-time which has never happened (I call if the fishing is good and I want to stay an extra hour)....

Do yourself (and family) a favor and go to Fisherman's and try on every life jacket until you find one you can live with. Both my dad and I wear our's religiously. I often get strange looks from people when they see me wearing one, but it is much better than having my wife/family having to come identify my body after not having one on when it could of saved my life...

Just my $.02..

Rip'N'Lips
 

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Should we propose an outline for a law, though... How would it read?

Any boat under way?

Or, if it is written for crossing bars, should it be a certain distance around the bar, or only in the ocean? Or???

How bout concerning guided trips?

I feel like we have the most dangerous bars in the world. Shall we set a precedence?

When you hire a trip with a charter, you think of the captain as your mentor. They set examples. I have often gone with charters that do encourage the use of life jackets. That is awesome!

I wonder how many folks go with charters and guides to learn the ropes. If they learned, on that trip, to always wear a life jacket, I couldn't see any negatives coming from that.
Jen

[ 06-16-2003, 07:40 AM: Message edited by: [email protected] ]
 

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Jennie,

It's a known fact that seatbelts save lives. So do pfd's. It took a seatbelt LAW to make people start wearing them. If the car is moving, the seatbelt must be on. It's a small step to "if the boat is moving...."

I'm not much of a "there oughta be a law" kind of guy, but I think this one is a no-brainer.

Hey, I thought you were on the Umpqua, catching my shad. What gives? Put the keyboard down and step away from the computer...

Skein

[ 06-16-2003, 08:01 AM: Message edited by: skein ]
 

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Leaving at 8. :smile:

However, this is a sad day. Stan's Mother in law may be leaving us, and he is tentative now, about our plans.

Still, we are leaving for Florence and will play it by ear. I don't really want to go without Stan, as most part of the fun will be finally fishing with him.

We may put it off... We may not. Still, going to visit with the folks at Outlaw Baits while I'm in town, and we will see what happens.

J
 

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Somehow each of the ideas on wearing a PFD should help all of us be a little more emphatic to form that habit. But, having a new law may make me feel good, but I am not sure it changes anyones behavior. If it changed enough behaviors we would not have drunk drivers, speeding, domestic violence etc.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for law enforcement officials, and do I want officers who are overworked now have one more task to take care of people who do not care enough to take care of themselves?

This sounds stronger than I wanted, but---what ever we can do to change our behaviors, does not always start with a changed law?

Anyone else feel similar? :shrug:
 

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I'm opposed to mandantory safety laws except for children such as helmet laws and seatbelt laws.

That said, I would never ride a motorcycle without a helmet or drive without my seatbelt fastened. I'm beginning to feel that way about PFDs. In fact, the next item on my shopping list is a Mustang jacket for my ocean excursions...

I feel that commercial guiding operations should have a voluntary enforcement program for making their clients wear PFDs (with an attached whistle). Such is the case for many other sports. For instance, if you go rockclimbing with a guide, they make you wear a helmet or you don't get to climb. There is no law saying that climbing clients have to wear safety gear, but the guides won't take people out unless they do.
 

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Pete,

Have you actually tested the thing? How long does it take to inflate? A fellow at my folks' houseboat has a jacket that is auto inflate( not the Mustang) and he wears it in the rain all winter long. I doubt it inflates very quickly after immersion. Test before spending the money.

The coasties require guides to have life jackets that work very well. They are also hot, bulky, and uncomfortable.

Life jackets are like handguns- When you need one, you need one now. But the best unit for the applpication is no good to you if you left it somewhere because it is not comfortable to wear.( I would rather have a little gun in a gunfight and take my chances. Rather than hope I was not lazy about carrying my heavy uncomfortable .45).

A friend who spends as much time in the water as anyone wears one on his belt. You pull a cord to inflate it. He wears it all the time. Before he got it, I never saw him wear a life jacket of any sort.

Comfortable life jackets are not cheap. Neither are Loomis rods or Willie boats. I suppose I need to start looking at alternatives.

Mark and the dog.
 

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I'm not one to normally favor a 'new law' and giving the law enforcement even that much more control over personal decisions...but in this case, I would not have a problem with requiring life jackets be worn on bar crossings, or while underway for vessels under a reasonable specified size range.

A 20' boat is going to be subject to greater risk of rolling in 'average' seas than say a 30' boat for instance. Or, perhaps have the law read that under specified sea conditions, PFD's be worn at all times.
 

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Compared to a flak vest, a life vest is quite light and comfortable! :grin:

Like Ampersat I wear a Stearns and it is broken in to mold to my body. I hardly know it's there anymore.

And remember to water test your life jacket to see how it works on you.

[ 06-16-2003, 08:13 AM: Message edited by: Scaup ]
 

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I'm against a law on the subject. I wore seatbelts before there was a law. I wore motorcycle helmets when there wasn't a law. And I wear lifejackets in certain situations. But I don't want the government to be in the business of legislating common sense.
 

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I think lifejackets in the salt are a great thing I would always wear one, but to make it a law or to mandate it is a bad thing. People should have a choice, if they don't want to wear one and they die so be it. You can't just make laws to protect people from themselves, it is natural selection.
 

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Started wearing a Mustang float coat when crossing the Columbia Bar two summers ago. Was a bit bulky but kept you warm on the run out.

On a trip for chinooks last August Eric Linde turned me on to the Mustang Auto inflates which everyone in the boat wore. Super comfortable and fit over my coat.

I now have a couple in my boat and have gotten in the habit of wearing them whenever I'm in the big river or when anchoring. If nothing else it sets an example for my kids and driving home the fact that if you wear a pfd and an accident occurs you are 10 times as likely to survive. :cool:
 

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Just a comment regarding PFD's, not trying to sell anything. I'm 55, have played around water and small boats since I was 8. I consider myself a good swimmer, and never really felt much need for those sissy lifejackets; even after I submarined a boat on Nestucca Bay in March of '64. After all, I lived, right?

Then, about 8 years ago, I was chasing late fall chinook, alone. Stalking down a coastal tidewater stretch I was atop a cutbank when it caved in, dropping me about 6 feet. I managed to keep out of a 15 foot deep hole by grabbing a big blackberry vine with my left hand. I was wearing a vest with ten pounds of gear in it, raincoat, wool shirt, waders, the typical wet day outfit. Had I gone in my only hope would have been to hit the bottom and run for shore! There was no-one around to offer help. Except for a handy vine, I would have unquestionably drowned. Went home, bought a Stearns inflatable fishing vest. It is both CO2 cartridge and mouth inflatable. 8 years later, it still holds air, a couple of puffs inflates it slightly and helps insulate. The vests are comfortable, about a hundred bucks and look just like a normal fishing vest, except for the little ripcord.

Last year I had a several day canoe trip down the John Day scheduled, so I bought a Lotus PFD, a kayaker's model called the Rio Grande, also about a hundred bucks. These vests are designed to allow much freedom of movement, have deep-cut armholes, and do not ride up. (Trip didn't happen, couple of day before we were to leave I got stung and ended up in the hospital, Dr. said "No trip.") The jacket sat unused until fall crabbing season. I was pulling a trap when I suddenly got really faint and amost fell out of the boat. The vest was lying on the front seat, thought I would try it. Now I wear it whenever I am on water big enough for wind waves. Truthfully, three minutes after it's on, I forget it is there. Very comfortable.

Neither of these will necessarily float you face up, but then the only thing in the boat likely to hit me in the head is my fishing partner, so...


Just a comment.
 
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