Boating Safety

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Diminishing Returns – Why Smaller Isn’t Always Better

By |November 21st, 2012|

UPDATE: The fine people at Datrex sent me a Rescue PLB1 to try for myself.   I loved it.  It handled well – even in some pretty chilly water.  Full report up soon; but in this case, I consider smaller – very, very good. Ocean Signal and Datrex recently introduced the world’s smallest Personal Locator Beacon, the rescueME PLB1.  Almost immediately, reviews of the product have been positive.  How could smaller not be better? The miniaturization of electronics has made lots of safety equipment easier to carry and use.  However, this particular product is making me think about the diminishing returns of “small.” […]

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Deadliest Catch?

By |August 23rd, 2012|

This is a post where I feel compelled to put the disclaimer right up front:  The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the Department of Homeland Security or the [...]

Ο πνιγμός δε μοιάζει με πνιγμό

By |July 22nd, 2012|

Translations: - Norsk 汉语 - tiếng Việt - Español - Italiano -  Français - Magyar -  Português - română - Deutsch - Suomi - Svenska -  Čeština - Русско -Íslenska - Nederlands - Audio Version Ο καινούριος καπετάνιος πήδηξε από το κατάστρωμα με τα ρούχα και άρχισε να κολυμπάει με ταχύτητα. Πρώην ναυαγοσώστης, κρατούσε τα μάτια του πάνω στο θύμα καθώς κατευθυνόταν προς το ζευγάρι που [...]

Is Parasailing Safe?

By |May 25th, 2012|

I’ve never done it, but it was on my list.  Parasailing; it just looks like fun, doesn’t it?  After spending most of my life evaluating what is safe or going after people who weren’t, hanging from a parachute high above the water seemed like a great way to have fun. The view has to be awesome; they make you wear a life jacket so that is covered; and you’re in a parachute for goodness sake.  If anything happens, you just float down to the water and wait for them to pick you up, right?  Well, maybe…but that depends…on a lot. Since 2006, in the U.S. alone, there have been 8 deaths and 38 injuries associated with para-sailing. Personally, I blame the name; “Parasailing” – it even sounds soft…sailing and parachuting, gliding through the air, adrift.  But that is not what is happening. At the most basic level, parasailing is strapping yourself to a massive object (the chute) that harnesses the power of the wind to pull you in one direction, while an engine with hundreds of horsepower tries to pull you in the opposite direction.  Now – being the”Pivot-point-in-a-high-intesnity-high-altitude-tug-of-war” doesn’t sound as nice as going parasailing, so they don’t call it that; but that is what it is.  There is an engine trying to pull you one way while mother nature fights to pull you the other way while tied together with a relatively thin line. Most cases of injury or death associated with parasailing occur when the towline breaks.  In a Marine Safety Alert released last year, the U.S. Coast Guard stated “Failures occur significantly below the rated towline strengths due to a variety of reasons that may include cyclic loading, long term exposure to environmental elements, the presence of knots, and overloading.”  As wind speeds double, the load on the line can quadruple and these lines are exposed to saltwater and sunlight which weaken them a little with every use. […]

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Top Ten Coast Guard Rescue Videos

By |January 28th, 2012|

Thinking About It All Wrong

By |December 11th, 2011|

The image above is from a YouTube video posted in 2009 - a sort of warning to boaters about the benefits of safety gear like life jackets and kill switches. I'm posting it here as [...]

Self Rescue – Falling Through Ice

By |December 10th, 2011|

In 2002, my friend and mentor (and maniac) Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht fell - on purpose - through the ice on a frozen lake. He wanted to demonstrate just how those who fall through the ice [...]

This Much

By |November 29th, 2011|

I simply thought this quick video on drowning prevention out of Sydney Australia was worth sharing. Please like it, share it, email - or just plain remember it yourself when caring for small children. ~ [...]

All Available Boats – Mariners on 9-11-2001

By |September 12th, 2011|

Video of Instinctive Drowning Response

By |July 28th, 2011|