View Full Version : Another reminder to wear your life vests!!!!!!

04-19-2012, 11:40 AM
Just read a 14 year old boy was swimming in Lake Lanier a few weeks ago and went under in front of his family and a good many people. Father jumped in to save him and met the same fate.

I consider myself an EXCELLENT swimmer, but things like this really make you wonder if it is ever worth the risk to not wear a life jacket when out of the boat.

I read that they were swimming to a island or something similar. Article said it was about 60 yards away.

Don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but be careful folks!!

yz 2smoke
04-19-2012, 11:57 AM
I have a rule that you can not jump off my boat with out a life jacket on or in your hand. I do not allow swimming without something on or in your hand.

I did do a bone head move a few weeks ago camping. I anchor off shore and had to swim to go get my bow line. (No life jacket on) I got tired and could not swim anymore. I had to float on my back until I got my breath back. The entire time I'm thinking to myself how stupid I was for doing that.

A quick lack of judgment can cost you your life!!

04-19-2012, 02:19 PM
I really go by 2 schools of thought on this one:
if you are just jumping in to cool off or take a leak, I'm fine with no jacket on. that's your call as to whether or not you think you can float around for 5 minutes and not go under with a boatload of people around you.
if you are jumping in and plan on swimming around and venturing more than 10ft or so away, then I recommend you put on a jacket, but again, I leave that up to the individual.

we have docks at the lake I frequent and I spend hours in a day jumping in the water to cool off and don't ever wear a jacket, but the occasions that I have had to swim to another dock or across a small cove, I jacket it up.

I really leave it up to the individual person. I know my limits and think that others should know theirs.

04-19-2012, 02:29 PM
That's a terrible story. Spouse is bad enough but to lose a child and spouse in same incident is almost unthinkable. It's the time of year thou that these stories become much to frequent.

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yz 2smoke
04-19-2012, 03:11 PM
When I was a kid my my dad took my sister and i swimming. The place was called indian Lake, the name has changed many times over the years. As I was swimming I felt something brush up agains me. I told my dad and he felt around and pulled this guy out of the water. He called for a life gaurd and they got him on a board and brought him to shore. I will never forget what that guy looked like, he was swelled up and blue and puple. The water depth was only chest deep on an adult and that guy still died. I guss that is why I am so anal.

04-19-2012, 04:55 PM
yz2, honestly, I don't know how you ever got back in the water. That's beyond comprehension.

Lake Lanier is beautiful but can be a scary place. There were 17 deaths on that lake last year. It's claimed to be the busiest man-made lake in the Southeast and is frequented by many inexperienced people and has such a huge array of watercraft from kayaks to 40ft cabin cruisers to houseboats and many of the dreaded jet skis.

Thanks guys for the thoughts. Certainly has made me re-evaluate my rules.

04-19-2012, 05:22 PM
With the water temperatures still on the cool side, hypothermia can be experienced if you in the water long enough. Cold water can also affect your muscles and your motor skills.


04-19-2012, 05:39 PM
Sandm: I am on the same line of thinking you are. I think it is extremely important for everyone to be well aware of their limits. But its the children that we all need to be mindful of. Even us adults can overestimate ourselves. I remember two years ago swimming up on Lake Hartwell after I jumped off one of their cliffs maybe 50 yards. The water was kinda rough for some reason and while I didn't get into any trouble, it did make me tired. I thought at that point that this is how people drown and ever since then you will rarely see me swim any distance without at least a light ski vest on.

Zabooda: Interesting you bring that up, in one of the articles the Fire Chief in Hall County (Where Lake Lanier is located) said that a person can die of hypothermia within an hour in 50 degree water. Almost doesn't sound possible, but I think the point of being safe around water remains the same.

04-19-2012, 07:56 PM
I dont have kids on my boat but maybe twice a year. Every parent that has been on the boat has made their kid, irregardless if age and abilities wear a jacket, even when just cooling off.

One has to be aware of alcohol consumption as well and make recommendations as needed..

04-19-2012, 11:31 PM
from reading all this it seems im way to relaxed on this subject. i dont really have any rules for this and have never even given it thought. most of the time when we anchor and jump in to swim people want a jacket or something to float on without anyone having to tell them, it just makes it easier to handle your beer when you dont have to tread water the whole time.

when people jump in to cool off or pee thee usually never get too far from the boat or just hang off the swim platform.

hell i hung off the platform while we idled through a no wake zone to relieve myself...i know some of yall are thinking im an idiot right now haha

04-20-2012, 08:11 AM
we have the same rule YZ, you get in, you either be able to hang on to the swim deck, or you are jacket'ed up!

04-20-2012, 10:34 AM
i know some of yall are thinking im an idiot right now haha

Kids and personal experience put a different perspective on things. I'm betting that you'll find out soon enough. :)

04-20-2012, 10:58 AM
Know your guests and their abilities before you go out on the boat swimming. give them a quick swim or tread water test if unsure, you will see what kind of a swimmer you have quickly

We have rules as well as activities. we have taken six plus kids 8 to 13 at the time and swam across the lake one mile across with the boat as a chaperone. life jackets were on and off ( kids want to do it unassisted of course)and we had multiple adults supervising, it was actually nerve racking to monitor the heads as well as the mild traffic on the lake.

If the adults are hanging and socializing not lifeguarding then all kids in the water wear Pdfs, if not then and adult is responsible to be on guard duty and all heads are at one end of the boat.

If you all remember a few summers back , i had a friend who lost a co -worker off his boat, albiet alcohol was involved and he drown and sank within three feet of his friend after he jump in to save him , found him two days later in 90ft of water.

know your situation and always be on the safe side.

04-20-2012, 11:09 AM
Kids and personal experience put a different perspective on things. I'm betting that you'll find out soon enough. :)

I thought the same thing when I read it..

04-20-2012, 12:10 PM
My rules are all kids under 12 must have lifevests on at all times, in the boat or out of it. Nobody tubes, skis, etc. w/o a vest, even though I used to LOVE wakebaording w/o one when I was a teen...(wasn't req'd to be worn in MI, only in the boat). After 12 it goes by their abilities as-to whether they need one in the water. After the kids have been in the water a while we'll make them get one sometimes when we can see they're getting tired. Most people I've taken out are very aware of their abilities, and we don't do alcohol on our boat. The scary thing is that most of the time we're in 50-300' of water, so if somebody goes down you're NOT going to find them. We always make sure we can see all heads at all times. Having grown up on a lake, i'm definitly more comfortable around the water and more relaxed than my wife.

As for body surfing, we used to do it all the time when we were kids. Dad would set the speed on his Nautique a little above idle and we'd hold onto the platform. You'd have to work pretty hard to get your foot moved forward enough to kick the prop, esp as a kid and with the boat moving forward over an idle. I have let my kids do it a couple of times, but the fumes from my Moomba seem worse than my dad's old inboards used to be...Not sure why... I dont' let them do it anymore though.

Another safety point that we need be mindful of is the boat running while people are getting on and off the platform. I'll shut it off when somebody's getting back on the boat if they want, but I don't have a habbit of it. Growing up on inboards, we never shut it off, and I guess I picked that habit up from my dad... It never goes back into gear unless I can see all of their body up on the platform though.

04-20-2012, 03:03 PM
We don't ever shut off either because it seems I'm the only person who knows how to set moomba cruise. Of we had PP I would probably shut off more often

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KG's Supra24
04-20-2012, 03:09 PM
I have the same rules as Sandm pretty much. However, my wife is usually all over the life jacket situation. If she sees you jump off without one, you better cover your head because you are going to have one coming right at you shortly.

04-20-2012, 08:03 PM
It's always a tough call but I'm a firm believer in "MY BOAT MY RULES" don't lik eit then enjoy the view from shore! Little kids must ALWAYS wear life jackets. I made my daughter(s) take swimming lessons from the time they were young. Oldest is life guard trained and p*sses me off as she could work making lots of money at the local pool but chooses to work for minimum wage!
Piont being I'm very comfortable with my girls in/around water. They also know to respect it and what can happen FAST? We spend lots of time in the middle of the lake and the kids like to swim out there. Always watched as they are usually brining friends? It's their friends that scare me only because if they are new to the boat we really don't know how well they swim? The funny thing is how often the kids will ask us to toss them a life jacket when they're playing in the water?
No matter your opinion it's personal but I still remain steadfast in my personal rule stated above. And if I was to go on your boat..................I'd follow your rules no matter what they are?
Stay safe everyone and have a WONDERFUL boating season!

04-22-2012, 09:02 AM
My wife will not go near the boat unless everyone is wearing them while we're in the boat. This was the rule since the kids were little. Doesn't bother me, but the kids don't agree (22 and 24 now). However they comply and tell their friends about the rule. Just as well, because they have some friends that can't swim. She has the same phobia about walking/driving on ice in the winter. The water police love us. They've done safety spot checks on us and commented about the life jackets.

You can barely tell a person is wearing a floatation device anymore anyhow.

04-23-2012, 12:06 PM
...I'm a firm believer in "MY BOAT MY RULES" don't like it then enjoy the view from shore!...
Exactly! ;)

05-06-2012, 10:19 PM
Terrible story from today. I'll be following this story closely as I also have a water trampoline. Kiddo was wearing life vest but something tragic occurred


http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/Child_Pulled_From_Lake_Taken_To_Local_Hospital_150 359835.html - A 4 year-old dies at the hospital after being pulled from Lake Waco.

05-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Dang. Hate these stories, but I think it's better we hear them third hand than experience them. My three year old was complaining this past weekend about wanting to take her life vest off so she could nap. She was so pitiful I almost gave in, but it was remembering stories like these that makes me stick to my guns.

06-02-2012, 06:10 PM
Captain Kraig, you got your ears on? Some kid on Allatoona being pulled on a tube never resurfaced. They are using sonar to try and find the body now. This would be the second death on Allatoona in 5 days I believe.

Sounds like he possibly may have taken a hard fall and been knocked out??

06-02-2012, 10:44 PM
Was the kiddo wearing a vest WBD or is it to soon for those details?

Sent from my home phone..

06-02-2012, 10:56 PM
Haven't heard yet. Just saw it on the news with a live report that they were looking for him. Very strange to say the least. It's not easy to just disappear like that. My bet is that he was not wearing a vest.

06-02-2012, 11:00 PM
Nope; no vest and said he was on a raft.


06-02-2012, 11:14 PM
So easily avoided to by something simple as wearing a vest. I think if the parents were charged criminally then maybe this type of thing wouldn't happen so often? Thoughts..

Sent from my home phone..

06-02-2012, 11:24 PM
They said they were between 26 and 30 yrs old, so I dont think holding their parents accountable would be appropriate.

Dang, Petty! Did you even read the story?!?! Or, you been drinking?

06-02-2012, 11:49 PM
Baseball fields all day watching my lil guy making some money so no booze but yes read the story. Don't mean criminal charges in this specific incident but the ones like we had locally a month ago where the victim was 12 and no life vest. On a happier note here's a pic of my dude doing what he does best
Game 1 starting catcher
Game 2 and he starts 3rd base
Then takes the mound to close the game

Sorry for the baseball pics and bit of the thread hijack but needed some good vibes after hearing/reading stories like this

06-02-2012, 11:53 PM
That boy looks good, Petty! Might be good enough to get a scholarship to The OSU. Free tats included.

06-02-2012, 11:55 PM
I'll wear the colors of whatever school pays him to play ball. Tech and ATM included!

06-03-2012, 09:56 PM
Dam, the kid's a talent! Let him know we're all cheering for him!

06-03-2012, 11:15 PM
Thanks Kane, I'll let him know. Maybe I'll get lucky and he'll land a scholarship in FL and my boating days can be had down yonder!

06-04-2012, 08:41 AM
Captain Kraig, you got your ears on? Some kid on Allatoona being pulled on a tube never resurfaced. They are using sonar to try and find the body now. This would be the second death on Allatoona in 5 days I believe.

Sounds like he possibly may have taken a hard fall and been knocked out??

Yeah, bad news but IMHO entirely preventable. What is wrong with these knuckleheads that won't wear life jackets? Heck you can borrow life jackets at the boat lauches... I just don't get it. Anyway, it is 5 I think, a bad start to the year...

06-04-2012, 01:03 PM
I just don't understand why people take the risk and go out without a vest on. I mean do they think they are too cool for the life jacket?? So many different things can happen once you fall off a tube, a wakeboard, a surfboard...

06-04-2012, 10:09 PM
It really doesn't make sense. I have definitely taken falls before where I was very glad to have my vest on to be able to float on my back to get my senses back.

06-04-2012, 10:37 PM
It really doesn't make sense. I have definitely taken falls before where I was very glad to have my vest on to be able to float on my back to get my senses back.ever since i was little my father would make me wear a PFD (personal flotation device) if i touched a dock or a boat, and to this day i still wear a PFD if im tubing or wakeboarding..theres plenty in the boat for other people..and like stated above..theres pics of me landing on my head and back in the "may picture thread" and i was damn glad i wore my PFD because i had to just lay there for a sec and get my sight back together and get the air back in me..i wont tube or wake without a vest on..and ill be damned if i let someone tube or wake behind my boat without a PFD on