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Learning from a boating related tragedy.

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Old 06-15-2002, 08:37 PM
  #21
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the worst thing I can imagine is losing a child. Our prayers are with all involved
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Old 06-15-2002, 09:40 PM
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It's sad when things like that happen, but especially when a child is involved. My heart goes out to all those involved.

Les
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Old 06-15-2002, 10:59 PM
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Old 06-16-2002, 09:04 AM
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Catitude, Thanks for the post. It sure makes one think how tragic things can instantly become. It can be very easy for the driver to glance back and look to see how much fun those who are on the tube are having (or for whatever reason).

I do most of my boating on Lake Michigan and have encountered several jet skiers and wind surfers who like to dart straight out from the beach/shore as I am cruising perpendicular to the shoreline. It seems as if they have tunnel vision and only look straight ahead instead of checking their surroundings---especially the jet skies because they can turn those things on a dime. They just seem to be in their own little world out there innocently having fun. Wind surfers are more predictable because they are pretty much at the mercy of wind direction but can't always see with the sail in their way. But it's mostly the jet skiers that are extremely unpredictable and the scariest. I almost nailed a jet skier last year and he was probably about 30-35 years old. I had five people aboard that day and was crusing at about 40-45mph. The water was practically flat and we were following a steady course when I could see this jet skier heading straight out from shore coming way out towards us. He was way ahead of us but I could see that we were on a possible collision course----and I thought for sure that he could see my 32 foot boat especially with it being on the horizon skyline/waterline silouette. But he continued to come straight out for us and as he did I slowly continued to pull the throttles back. I was off plane but throwing a large wake(about 2000rpms). Then we thought he saw us because he turned in the SAME direction that we were heading (with his back to us) but then he cut port across our bow (about 50 feet in front of us) and I began to steer starboard away from him but then SUDDENLY without looking over his right shoulder he turned HARD starboard (almost 180*)---right back into the path of my boat. By that time he was within 10 feet of getting nailed by my hull. I pulled all the way back on the throttles and came to idle speeds and just missed him. The turn of events of this encounter was astonishing---it all happend so quickly. It seemed that no matter what measures I took to avoid the situation that I could NOT escape it! He did NOT see us until he swung right in front of us and had I not been paying close attention he would be a dead man or at least seriously injured.

Also, most people are going to drink no matter what. They usually think that the bad stuff always happens to others. There's nothing wrong with having a good time, but they will continue to drink out there and want to party and I see A LOT of people who're "sloshed" while driving their boat. Sad but true and that's why accidents/trageties continue to happen. As for the rest of us we've all got to really pay attention out there.

Sorry to hear about the tragic events.

Last edited by KAAMA; 06-16-2002 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-16-2002, 10:37 AM
  #25
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Hearing that bums me out. It also brings a distant memory to mind.

The kids were having a good time behind the boat and we were in our little low traffic spot to tube.
I was "Mr Know-it-all" with my first fastboat and was liking being watched by everyone on shore tearing the kids up...as much as I was liking to see the kids have fun.
They had enough and as we came in, I went to spin my daughter around on the inside of the sandbar.

Both kids loved the trick.
It would send them up on shore (beach) about 3 feet with the tube. The people on the sandbar would actually whistle and some would clap when the kids would pop off the tube right onto sand. My 9 year old daughter had it down to a science. She could hop off the tube running. I thought it was the coolest thing. I could put the tube EXACTLY where I wanted to!

After all, I was superman.

There was only one problem. I forgot about the new tow-rope we put on that weekend...........about 10 feet longer than the old one.

When stuff like this happens, it seems to get burned into your memory forever. I remember as she whipped towards the rocks and exposed tree roots. Her mother screaming "HANG ON!!!!" The sound of the rope whipping off the weeds in the water, the roots coming closer to her, (about 3" diameter) and the s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n that things seem to go into when you get REALLY scared.

When it was over, I could not bring myself to walk over to where she had just flown through at about 35 MPH in a full slingshot. But one of the people there did. She missed the roots by less than a foot. The water...hell...the puddle she flew through was less than 4 inches deep and full of exposed jagged rocks. All this happened after ice tea, not beer.

I remember shaking so bad I had a hard time shutting the key off. There were no whistles and claps happening on the beach. She certainly knew what had just happened.
We spoke about it this spring while she was away at college. She has not forgotten.

I know a little bit about BAL and the level posted here. I doubt that level had crap to do with the accident.

I know a few non-board members I am going to forward this post to. It may sound strange, but thank you for posting it. I think it is important to be reminded that the sport comes with risks and the risks can be great.

My near miss gave me nightmares and my child was not injured. I cannot imagine the guy driving the boat and his state of mind right now. I don't know that any of us can. My thoughts and a prayer will go to him today.
 
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Old 06-16-2002, 05:32 PM
  #26
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My prayers go out for the families.
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Old 06-16-2002, 11:11 PM
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Kenny,

We heard about it the day it happened. After I read your post it has put a whole new light on the incident for me. Having two daughters myself it just makes me cringe. Can't imagine how your friend feels.

We just happened to be tubing that weekend ourselves behind the Scarab. It was a guys day out, no alcohol. We generally take 4-5 tubes at a time so we can play king of the tube. A few of our friends knew that we were out that weekend tubing and thought it was us.

We camped at Prairie Creek this weekend with some friends. Took the kids tubing too. Pulled the wife skiing a little also. After hearing about the incident, I found myself a 1000 times more cautious then I had ever been with my kids. Sad that it takes something like this to open our eyes. I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

What part of the lake did it happen on Kenny?

Buck
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Old 06-16-2002, 11:28 PM
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The accident occured in the "large" part of Hogscauld- not in the no wake zone end obviously. I saw his brother yesterday, he said he was doing as well as could be expected through all this. I took my 8 yr old wakeboarding today- I'd have to say I was on my toes more too!

Nothing will erase this tragedy but hopefully many of us can learn from it and do our parts to avoid similar situations.
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Old 06-16-2002, 11:51 PM
  #29
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Hi Cattitude, please convey our condolensces to the family and friends of this family and tell them how sad we ALL are for their loss. It certainly doesn't pay to be too careful. Whether it be drinking or not paying attention, accidents are all over (or near misses) we've seen a few. We can't imagine losing any of our boys. Tragedy is all over this one.

Is there an address where a card can be sent for both families?
Keep us posted. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.

Secret Agent Man & Double D
 
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Old 06-17-2002, 08:31 AM
  #30
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Cattitude,
our best goes out to both familys! We are really sorry to hear of their tragdy.
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