I've lost another friend to the ocean

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by Chasin' Dreams, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    This is my friend Jeff. We both took all the boat safety courses together recently so we could both charter our boats. He was a wonderful man. A great father loved by everyone so much. He worked for a logging company near where I work mining.
    We both shared all the same loves and passions of nature, fishing etc. He was so excited to start his charter company and to be able to spend more time out on the ocean around Bella Bella, Shearwater etc.

    Out of the 6 people on his boat he was the only one not wearing a life jacket. The other 5 were and were rescued.

    I hope this can be a lesson to others reading about this. The cold water WILL KILL you in only minutes. You will lose muscle function and drown. I have no idea why Jeff wasn't wearing one but it was obviously a fatal mistake. Please always wear one when out in your boat. It only takes seconds for things to go wrong and for people to be in the water. Might not be enough time to put one on so always make sure it's on at all times.

    RIP Jeff.

    wishiniwasfishin1 likes this.
  2. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    So sorry man.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  3. blindmonkey

    blindmonkey Active Member

    Very sad. Please folks wear your PFDs.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  4. John s

    John s Crew Member

    :( So sad. Sorry to hear about your buddy
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  5. high tide

    high tide Well-Known Member

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend ......... we play work and live in a beautiful place on our Coastlines. But as we all should know it can be an unforgiving place. Please wear your PFDs not only for your own life but for those that care so deeply about us. Very sad times for many.
    Chasin' Dreams and BCRingo like this.
  6. BCRingo

    BCRingo Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that. I read this on the news a few days ago. Didn’t know about no life jacket thing. May his soul Rest In Peace.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  7. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    He had just celebrated his 26th anniversary with his wife a few days ago. He took time off from the chartering to make the trip back up to Williams Lake from Bella Coola to be with his wife for their anniversary then went back. He had just became a grandfather. He had just taken his parents out for a fishing trip a week ago who made the trip out to be with him. His father has survived major heart surgery yet was around to lose his son much too early. He had a long time good job as a superintendent of a large logging company. He was the definition of a hard worker, good father, grandfather, son and friend.

    It takes so little time for things to go wrong and become unsafe out on the ocean. Weather conditions change very fast and are very often not predicted on reports in a lot of areas on our coast. In this case like so many others water came over the sides of the boat. It sunk. He was not wearing a PFD.
    Could he have done things differently? Yes of course but hind sight is always 20/20 and we humans have tenancies to think "it will never happen to us" and that our boats are suited for conditions that they are not, or that "we are more experienced than others so we will be ok fishing in those conditions" No, not true and no one should ever give advice for others to be in unsafe situations.

    Please folks, don't let our ego's get the best of us when we are just thinking about ourselves but when in reality we should be thinking of all the other loved ones we will be leaving behind if something like this happens to us.
    Lone_fisherman, ziggy, Dave H and 2 others like this.
  8. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    I'm honestly shocked here so maybe this is just my mind racing to understand the how but I have so many questions. Was the boat overloaded? Was he anchored? What were the conditions like? What kind of boat was it? God I just can't even imagine my life line sinking beneath my feet.
  9. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    26' Trophy. 6 people on board. Overloaded.... I'm not sure what the actual safety rating is on that boat but in my opinion yes. The weather turned bad fast, he was under power when they took waves over. He put out a mayday call. The others all survived. They were wearing PFD's. An American ferry rescued the others.

    Posting this link is faster than me getting my Canadian safety book out and taking pics of the chart in there. This will give you a basic idea of what our body's are dealing with when we are subjected to cold water immersion. Shock is a killer and so is drowning. Something else a lot of folks may not realize is that if a person has an underlying health condition with heart, blood circulation, just the shock alone is enough to cause heart attacks and aneurysms. In our safety courses we spent a lot of time on this stuff. If you have a bad heart/ blood circulation problems, your heart can actually explode from the sudden rise in blood pressure from cold water shock. It's a medical fact and is covered extensively in safety courses.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  10. My friend Charlie and two other guys were out shrimping one day. All three were wearing life jackets. When the wind picked up they decided they should pick up their gear, but they waited a little to long. As they started to pull the first pot, it caused the stern of the boat to turn into the wind. A wave came over the transom and killed the outboard engine, the second wave filled the cockpit and the boat started going down. The next thing he remembers is trying to swim out from under the canvas top, and then trying to figure out which way was up. All three were rescued. The boat was never found.
  11. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing this story. I think more of this information, close to home stories should be shared on this site because lately it has really been upsetting to me and my family who I share some of these posts with.
    I have held back on this forum from saying how I really feel about the horrible advice I read and hear others giving other fishermen/boaters on this forum regarding safety and fishing in bad weather/ocean conditions.

    I personally have been involved with rescues of others in other boats both in fresh and salt water. I've have had friends, family members been involved with horrific loss of life boating accidents. I have been present when a person sunk out of sight and drowned when fishing next to him on the Fraser River.
    Several of us and boats tried saving that man and others almost lost their lives while doing so. We couldn't even recover his body. He was found days later way down the river. I have had friends who have died on the Pitt River while boating/fishing. I've had commercial fishing family members have to be medi vac'd off their boats and rushed to hospitals by helicopter. I have had one of my best friends of 30 years be washed overboard and my other friend and I rescued him.
    I have put my own life in harms way several times over the years while trying to help others that were in situations they shouldn't have been in. Just last spring I responded to a mayday call north of Sechelt of an unconscious kite surfer who was playing around in a storm alone. Witnesses saw him come down hard and hit the waves like concrete. I was on my way back from a trip to Lund. I was taking shelter in a bay off of Texada when the storm had gotten worse and worse. I responded to the call and ended up having happen to me like what happened to @russellclifton 's friends, waves came up and over and stalled my motors out. Now I was in jeopardy from trying to get to the unconscious man. Thankfully that situation ended up ok but it goes to show how things happen so fast on the water whether you're in a boat or not we are at the mercy of mother nature. She doesn't change her plans cause we aren't being safe. She does whatever she's gonna do and some times she doesn't give anyone the heads up, not even the best weather predicting stations in the world know what she's gonna do sometimes.

    I'm so F'ing sad and pissed off this kind of needless thing happens all the time when in a lot of situations it doesn't have to and is avoidable. So much of it from unsafe boating practices. But people think they are safe and that they are tougher and smarter than mother nature. NO WE AREN'T. She doesn't give a F how cocky we are and how overconfident we are.
    Tinny, islandboy, BCRingo and 3 others like this.
  12. walleyes

    walleyes Crew Member

    Tough news for you Chasin Dreams my condolences to you and his family. This man sounds like one heck of a guy and a contributor to our society he will be missed by all. None of us are invincible and we can see here how we can be taken even during our peak years. He sounds like a very experienced mariner and an all around intelligent man and having the experiences and work experience he had was no new comer to stressful incidents or crisis situations. Very tragic man is all I can say.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  13. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Thank you for saying that. He was someone so many people looked up to and adored. An infectious huge smile, a prankster that was always trying to make others laugh, be happy and comfortable.
  14. Sentinel

    Sentinel Active Member

    Sad to hear and condolences to all that knew him. I have a lifetime of experience on the water including formal training but incidents like this make me question some of my safety protocols and what I could do better as I hope it does for others. RIP.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  15. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member

    with all the latest upgrades to PFD's in the industry available to everyone, its surprising to see how many still just dont get it! Buy a mustang self inflateable PFD if you dont like a bulky look itll pay for itself in no time aka saving your life if needed! couple hundred bucks isnt worth a death of a person imo! sorry for the sad news @Chasin' Dreams
    BCRingo and Chasin' Dreams like this.
  16. ILHG

    ILHG Crew Member

    Thanks for sharing this. I know how hard iot would ber to share. I can truly say it effected me enough that everyone will be wearing a pdf in my boat going forward.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  17. Admin

    Admin Admin Staff Member

    Sorry for your loss @Chasin' Dreams. It is a terrible story to have to share but a sobering reminder to all how vulnerable we are to nature's forces.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  18. The Jackel

    The Jackel Guest

    Sad to hear this news, we must always pay attention out there and i am as guilty as others for sometimes not doing this, also we must always help out someone in distress, you never know when it may be you needing help.
    Kildonan and Chasin' Dreams like this.
  19. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    So great to hear and thank you. I hope so too.

    Thank you and yes, I totally agree. I know the main reason people don't like them is that the solid ones can be uncomfortable/cumbersome while some just think it's "not cool" to have to wear one. So I have more than enough auto inflating Mustangs on board which are very comfortable to wear. So know one can wine about it on board. They are pricey but worth it. So long as people also know they do not count as a PFD on board to the coast guard unless we are wearing them. Where as the old school type do count as safety items even if they aren't worn. That is no excuse to not be wearing one though. Yes the Mustangs are pricey but it's a one time cost and so worth it IMO.

    So wonderful to hear ILHG thank you for sharing your thoughts about it.

    Thank you. Yes we are so vulnerable and I get it that as time goes on without hearing about instances like this a lot of us get complacent and can sometimes not pay enough attention to safety concerns they should be. We are all guilty of this for certain. When I have anyone get on my boat I now go over full safety equipment list of what's on board and where it is so that everyone knows in case I become incapacitated they will know where things are and know what's available. I also go over with them how to use the VHF in case I am not able to. It's part of my normal procedure now before leaving any dock at any time. Even my close friends that fish with me regularly I still go over things with them so it's always fresh in our minds. I think this helps a lot and also can make customers/friends/family etc feel how important these things are and not to take anything for granted while out on the water.

    So very true. We must always help others if we can without further jeopardizing more people while doing so. Not sure if everyone knows this but it's actually illegal to not respond to a mayday/distress call if we are in the area and available to help.
  20. Sharphooks

    Sharphooks Well-Known Member

    Really sorry to hear about your fishing buddy Jeff, Chasin’.... those stories make us all stop in our tracks and review how we’ve been conducting ourselves on the water and what we might do differently in the future. I spent all summer yelling at myself to keep the PFD on. I told myself to shut-up a few times, but I put it on and kept it on.
    ILHG and Chasin' Dreams like this.

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