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Re: Safety on the water.

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Re: Safety on the water. In reply to
MLBob Furia wrote:
On another site, Willy just reposted a video a guy made after falling out of his boat while picking up decoys without a PDF on. The shock of the cold water almost did him in and he was lucky to finally get back into the boat.... completely exhausted. All this happened with his son watching from their shore blind while he struggled. Really hit close to home for me, because oftentimes (most times) I'm guilty of picking-up sans PDF before getting underway. I rationalize that it gives me more freedom of movement, that I'm in shallow water close to the bank, and that I always put it on as soon as I get underway to run back to the ramp.
Made me realize wouldn't take long for me to get in trouble regardless of the water depth, especially since I'm LONG past ten foot tall & bulletproof. Wear 'em!!


One other point to add, as we age fundamental changes occur in our inner ear, impacting balance adversely...for all folks "of a certain age". You can offset this to a degree via exercise.

Willy is likely quite familiar with cold water drowning and hypothermia issues due to his close friendship with Jim Wicks who lost his good friend and hunting companion in a cold water drowning incident on South Manistieque Lake. Weldon had Jim hunted out of a pontoon boat blind that had been completely converted into a floating island via Jim's artistry work on the metal frame and extensive brushing. Jim would tow his marsh boat out behind the john boat to set decoys and retrieve birds, hiding the power boat on the other side of the point he preferred to hunt after repositioning the pontoon boat to sit up against the shore timber on the lee side of the point. Weldon paddled the Hoefgen out to retrieve a bird and fell over the side while reaching for it. The reason cold water immersion is so dangerous is that your vasculature, specifically your arterioles which contain a layer of smooth muscle immediately contract which causes a massive increase in what is termed pre-load on your heart, requiring a marked increase in pumping force, oxygen demand, and huge increase in catecholemine release. For folks without marked Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) issues this is physically taxing since the body is essentially shutting down blood flow to extremeties in an effort hold core temperature up. As time of immersion progresses, diminished oxygenated blood flow increases lactic acid release in skeletal muscles climbs as the cells switch over to anaerobic restoration to continue to make ATP. The increased lactic acid levels begin inteferring with muscle contraction rates and scope, as well as impacting heart muscle and brain function negatively. Heart muscle can't function much past five minutes at sites downstream of clot formation during an MI, dying. Part of this process is driven by increased tissue lactic acid levels.

In Jim's case, he could not revive Weldon when he got him once he dragged him onshore. He was too heavy to get into the jon boat, forcing him to tie him to the outside gunnel to motor back to the waiting ambulance-not an experience anyone would handle well. Jim quit duck hunting, based on that incident. and stopped carving duck decoys. Some time later I spoke briefly with Willy after he accompanied Jim down to the last ODCCA show at Westlake once he was back home. He thought Jim had a good time, but he also admitted that the experience had markedly changed him. Another common friend had been hunting with me prior leaving to hunt with them the following day. He videotaped their hunt, sending Jim a copy prior flying out of Kalamazoo to go back to Alaska. He checked his phone upon arrival in Anchorage, to be notified by his mom that Weldon had died via cold water immersion. Seelig was pretty heart sick to learn that he had sent Jim the video, which essentially was a record of the last day he was alive..
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ThreadSticky: Safety on the water. JC Cross 59239 Jan 7, 2018, 7:46 PM
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