A friend's experience drives home importance of PFDs
Recently an acquaintance of mine had an unfortunate experience out on the big water of Lake Michigan. Through a series of blunders, his boat sank 5 miles from shore. All of its occupants were forced into the water and their only hope was any type of flotation device they could grab.
Fortunately, after 3 1/2 hours in the water, all of the people were pulled to safety. A huge lesson was learned. Only one of the occupants was actually wearing their PFD and the others clung to seat cushions or floating coolers. Had the water been any colder or the waves a bit rougher, the lack of PFDs being worn could certainly have resulted in fatalities.
I am a firm believer in wearing a PFD in the boat at all times and often encourage others to do the same. There are so many different ratings, styles, and uses that it can be a bit confusing. In an article in the next issue of Illinois Outdoor News, I will discuss a bit more in depth about the subject of PFD's and their ratings as well as what are some ways to be safe while on the big water.
The story of the boat sinking certainly struck a cord with me and I hope that after reading my column you will be more aware and conscious about wearing a PFD in the boat, or even on shore.