Larry's Fishing Hole

By: John D. Long

With all the reports of water related fatalities this last summer, I think there should be more of an effort to stress the importance of wearing a life jacket. Life jackets are technically known as Personal Floatation Devices, or PFDís. Life jackets are called ďlife jacketĒ for a reason, to save a life. I have been guilty of not wearing a PFD myself for many years. With all of the PFDís to choose from these days there is no excuse not to wear one.
All you have to do is look around you for a few good reasons to wear one. All I have to do is think about what position my family would be in without me around.
Anyone that is in contact with water, especially if you are out by yourself and you never wear a PFD, is flirting with a possible life changing or life loosing situation.
Due to the fact of getting older and recent circumstances, Iím not as sure footed as I used to be. Iím sure many people can relate to this and have either fell out of a boat or came really close. I have had the unfortunate experience to fall in the water once by trying to get my boat on a trailer in low water conditions. Then another time while fishing in my boat my foot hit the continuous button on my trolling motor while I was leaning the opposite direction the trolling motor was heading, and plop over the side I went. Both times I was with someone and nothing bad came from these accidents. But (doesnít there always seem to be a BUT) if I was alone during either of these accidents, and if I would of hit my head the outcome could of easily been disastrous.

A gift I received recently on Fathers day of an automatic/manual inflatable PFD (pictured upper left) has changed how safe I am on the water. I have worn it every time I have been on the water because it is comfortable and unobtrusive. It is the best gift anyone could receive, the gift of life or at least a fighting chance to survive.
Now Iím not saying this is a 100% guarantee but it sure will increase my percentage of survival even if unconscious. With this automatic/manual PFD if you fall into the water; 1: you pull the manual pull chord instantly to inflate or 2: as a backup the unit is designed to after 5 seconds inflate automatically by dissolving a tab that will trigger the CO2 to inflate and keep your head in an upright position(pictured to the right). The automatic models come with a spare/replacement CO2 so if it is activated on the water you can re-pack it and still be protected manually or if you purchase replacement tabís you can re-arm the automatic feature. There are other models, including a belt pack style that is manually inflated. All the models can be inflated manually by mouth and are USCG certified also. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take the extra precaution. Remember the best PFD is the one you will wear.

--Great article and Advice -- THANKS John --

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