From The Front Deck – Don’t Be #3
Sept. 30, 2016
What a rough weekend last weekend was.
They say “bad” things happen in 3’s.
#1, The golfing world lost Arnold Palmer, 87 Years old, a golfing pioneer, a great person and a heck of a golfer.
#2, The baseball world lost 24 year old, Jose Fernandez. a Pitcher for the Miami Marlins in just his third year in the Bigs.
24 freaking years old.
Wasn’t Cancer, wasn’t sickness, wasn’t drugs or anything of that nature. Fernandez died in a boating accident……
By now I am sure you have read about this tragic loss of life. You already know it wasn’t a fresh water boating accident and so most of you immediaitely dismissed it I’m sure.
I did for a second, I admit it. Until I read more about where and when it happened.
In a former life, I sold LED Lighting within the Marine Industry to both Fresh and Salt Water baot manufacturers. I have been on several boats in and out of that same port in Miami where the Fernandez Boat wreck occurred. Done it during the day, done it at night. It’s not a fun place to be when the sun falls into the ocean I assure you. Experienced or not.
So why do I bring up a salt water boating accident in a freshwater bass fishing opinion blog? Because I can and because I am concerned.
Now, I don’t know any more details than any of you. I know the wreck happened at night, I know there were NO drugs or alcohol involved in the crash, but I do know there was a high-rate of speed involved in the crash. I also know no-one on board was found wearing a life jacket.
This time of year when the weather and the water starts to cool off, we find ourselves back on the water enjoying that early morning fog and topwater action. As the days start getting shorter, we find ourselves still out there still as the sun starts to goes down.
Sure, there is a lot less boat traffic this time of year as the pleasure boaters and skiers are most likely done for for the season, and that smooth open water allows us to “Trim it up and push our foot to the floor just a little harder than we have been lately…..”
That smooth, open water also allows us to possibly be a little more careless as well, paying more attention to our electronics, birds in the air or making sure we get that selfie with the rooster tail behind us…..
Why am I preaching this morning? Because accidents happen. Bad Accidents.
Now I’m not trying to be your mother, but I have witnessed a ton of boats in the past few weeks getting too close to other boats while running, cutting points too close, too many boaters not wearing their PFD’s and you know the rest, no kill switches.
All across Social Media we see daily, videos of our buddies catching big fish on their GoPro Cameras and then screaming across the lake with their hair on fire and no life jacket. Winter time drawdowns make areas of the lake we are used to running too dangerous to navigate but we don’t care, we do it anyway on a wing a prayer.
Do me a favor. Put the life jacket on, and hook up your kill switch.
Now , none of these things listed above would have saved Jose Fernandez or either of his buddies. They were running at night, at a high rate of speed and my speculation is the driver that night forgot which bouys or marker lights he was looking for and then it was too late. Carelessness and a tragic loss of life.
Do me a bigger favor… Pay attention please, watch where you are going, watch out of other idiots on the water, watch out for those last remaining pleasure boaters and just stay safe.
In other words, Don’t be #3.
Thanks for reading and God Bless, Rest in Peace Jose, you will be missed by many.