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Old 09-06-2011, 06:19   #121
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

"Improve"? LoL yeah, I guess that'll be the intelligent design in action
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:56   #122
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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A 10ft tender with a 8.6ft bow spirit
yes, one that folds out. when you reach the dock, fold it back up.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:53   #123
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

IMO... The thing about "how many rules"... is just like "how much government". It is the WRONG QUESTION! The question is about the appropriate "intelligent" use of rules, and "where" the government intrusion into our lives is appropriately applied.

Given total freedom of action, you can look back in the history of all nations and see what that did for the victims... slavery, stealing countries, etc.

I would hate to live in a world where anarchy rules, so that the "bullies" of the world take over. On the other hand, many "social behavior" areas are best dealt with through education, rather than rules. It all depends...

I agree with mandatory seat belt and motorcycle helmet laws, as they are so common sense, and the smart thing to do. Also, OTHERS can get killed when a flying beetle hits a motorcyclist in the eye. (I was almost knocked off of my bike when a beetle hit me in the neck). More often than not, we ALL pay the medical bills for people who do stupid things. The posted "speed limit" is a good thing, but it's WHERE one sets it that requires good judgement.

When it comes to mandatory life jackets... It makes sense to me, only for jet skis and race boats, but certainly not when I'm out in my dinghy going from dive site to dive site. I spend most of my time IN the water, and a life jacket will not make me safer here.

It's not the presence or absence of rules in my book, it's their intelligent application. Sometimes history proves that they got it right, but in this "mandatory life jacket" case, I for one hope the rule does NOT go through.

WISDOM Grasshopper... WISDOM!

M.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:20   #124
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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I would hate to live in a world where anarchy rules, so that the "bullies" of the world take over. On the other hand, many "social behavior" areas are best dealt with through education, rather than rules. It all depends...
until the "bullies" are the Gov't!
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:47   #125
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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but certainly not when I'm out in my dinghy going from dive site to dive site. I spend most of my time IN the water, and a life jacket will not make me safer here.
lol scuba gear and a life jacket. can you take it off before going in, or does it need to be on under the tank? i immagine you will have to add more weight to dive, you will be like a mini sub there, you will be underwater but weight 2 tons! lol
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Old 09-06-2011, 14:13   #126
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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lol scuba gear and a life jacket. can you take it off before going in, or does it need to be on under the tank? i immagine you will have to add more weight to dive, you will be like a mini sub there, you will be underwater but weight 2 tons! lol
You've sure got me confused there. I have never put my life jacket on... I was talking about free diving for one thing, (which I have many thousands of hours of experience at, over 40 years), and at my age, I need a weight belt, NOT MORE buoyancy!

In no case do I consider this "Mandatory life jackets" a good thing! I just don't think that it's "because" they are overstepping their authority, as much as "discussing" making a REALLY STUPID law. The risk of NOT using a life jacket is to people who can't swim, doing stupid things, usually while drunk, in very cold water. These folks will kill themselves with life jackets on too!

To those of us who are long distance swimmers, sober, and paying attention, there is absolutely no advantage to wearing a life jacket in a dinghy that will stop immediately if you WERE to fall in.

When I carry them at all, it is just in developed countries, in order to comply with their laws, "IF" I have heard that they are currently enforcing them. Otherwise, it's just stuff in the way, to be stolen at the dinghy dock.

My personal take on this, is that when the drunk/non swimmers/doing stupid things, DO fall in and drown. Life jackets on the victim save a ton of federal money on body recovery! That's their motive.

I have rescued a drunk person in this category before, and a life jacket would've made it easier to get his unconscious body ashore, but it wouldn't have kept his face out of the water.

There are really good laws out there, and really bad laws. Neither one, (in the US at least), makes the Government good, bad, or out of line. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT! It is up to us to prevent the stupid laws like this one, from taking place.

Instead of just grousing on CF, we should all be writing our congressman. I know I will.

Mark
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Old 09-06-2011, 14:22   #127
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
To those of us who are long distance swimmers, sober, and paying attention, there is absolutely no advantage to wearing a life jacket in a dinghy that will stop immediately if you WERE to fall in.
Well, of course there is. Many people end up overboard due to an injury or slip & fall incident. You slip and hit your head and go in the water unconscious. It doesn't matter how good a swimmer you are if you are unconscious. Furthermore, you dinghy could be hit by a passing boat, and you end up in the water with two broken legs and unconscious.

There are plenty of advantages to wearing a PFD even if you are a skilled swimmer.
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Old 09-06-2011, 14:27   #128
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
until the "bullies" are the Gov't!
I lived in Key West for years, (70s & 80s) and you'll notice I don't any more! From what I read in Southwinds, they have gone from bad to worse since I lived there.

It is clearly a place where law enforcement ARE the bullies, at least in their treatment of liveaboard boaters. If this is your "stompin grounds", I understand what you're saying all to well! They have lost all sense of balance.

Keep a low profile,

Mark
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Old 09-06-2011, 14:54   #129
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Originally Posted by Safari38LH

I disagree. I don't know anyone who wears a PDF in their dink. Yes in a kayak, yes in a 420 etc. But not in a dink on the way to their boat. What a PITA that would be.
Yes you are right... Never thought about a dink.... And we have all met the personality type that would write that ticket!
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Old 09-06-2011, 14:54   #130
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Well, of course there is. Many people end up overboard due to an injury or slip & fall incident. You slip and hit your head and go in the water unconscious. It doesn't matter how good a swimmer you are if you are unconscious. Furthermore, you dinghy could be hit by a passing boat, and you end up in the water with two broken legs and unconscious.

There are plenty of advantages to wearing a PFD even if you are a skilled swimmer.
This true for sure, depends entirely on the circumstances...

I just want to be the judge of when & where. In my dinghy, the motor will turn to starboard immediately if I fall in, while alone. It will then be locked in a tight circle and try to run me down. I want the option to swim FAST, and dive under it.

On our trimaran, if I fell over the bow in putting up the spinnaker, I would dive "deep" as fast as possible, in hopes that the centerboard wouldn't cut me in half. THEN call for help!

In the same vane, if we were caught in the ultimate storm and capsized, the boat would be awash, but bobbing around upside down like a cork! It would be the ability to NOT be pinned against the deck by a life jacket, that would allow us to get into the cabin, with it's air lock and supplies.

On the other hand... When I go out in my kayak in the winter, I DO wear my inflatable life jacket. I learned first hand from a lifeguard certification tests, that swimming "fully" clothed, WITH shoes, is a 1 minute or so proposition. In cold water it can be certain death if you don't get help.

Likewise... when I went out to adjust lines on our boat in a hurricane, (by doing the sidestroke in a 13' storm surge), I had on my inflatable life vest. I didn't deploy it, but had it in case.

They certainly have their place. I just want to decide when & where.

Since circumstances vary so much from boat to boat, and person to person, as well as with the time of year... I just feel that this is the place for education, rather than a "one size fits all" law.

One size just doesn't fit all.

Mark

BTW... ONLY a HUGE old fashioned "May West" style life vest will actually turn an unconscious person face up in rough water. ALL of the options that most people would be willing to wear, are mostly useful in cold water "fell overboard" situations where they can assist with their hands a bit.
IF they are actually knocked unconscious on a windy choppy day, they will still drown if not rescued within minutes. If their neck goes limp, they drown.
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Old 09-06-2011, 15:14   #131
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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I just want to be the judge of when & where.
Yes, of course. But.. but... (there's always a but) what happens when your personal judgment was incorrect that day? Isn't that the entire point of wearing a PFD? The point of a PFD is to be there to save your ass when things somehow didn't go as you thought, or as you "judged" that they would.

Here is the issue. Once your judgment is wrong, the scenario suddenly includes more than just you. Your families, your fellow crew, those who hope to rescue you, and of course the taxpayers who are footing the bill for the search & rescue; don't these folks have some judgment too? Suddenly, you are not in this debate all by yourself. You are surrounded by people who love you, people who care about you, and folks who never met you but might be risking their lives to look for you. The rescue guys don't have this luxury of "when & where" that you find so precious. They are in fact at your mercy, and may become the victims of your poor judgement.

This is not all so simple as the cries of "Nanny State"! make it out to be.
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Old 09-06-2011, 15:55   #132
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
Yes, of course. But.. but... (there's always a but) what happens when your personal judgment was incorrect that day? Isn't that the entire point of wearing a PFD? The point of a PFD is to be there to save your ass when things somehow didn't go as you thought, or as you "judged" that they would.

Here is the issue. Once your judgment is wrong, the scenario suddenly includes more than just you. Your families, your fellow crew, those who hope to rescue you, and of course the taxpayers who are footing the bill for the search & rescue; don't these folks have some judgment too? Suddenly, you are not in this debate all by yourself. You are surrounded by people who love you, people who care about you, and folks who never met you but might be risking their lives to look for you. The rescue guys don't have this luxury of "when & where" that you find so precious. They are in fact at your mercy, and may become the victims of your poor judgement.

This is not all so simple as the cries of "Nanny State"! make it out to be.
If you look back you'll see that I disagreed with the "Nanny State" cries, and in some cases think that mandatory laws like the ones regarding seat belts and motorcycle helmets, do SO much good, and SO little harm, that they are good laws. I also agreed to mandatory life jacket use for racing boats & jet skis.

I have no problem with the current laws that require I have a life jacket WITH me in my dinghy should conditions get that bad, but if I am free diving, I go from one spot to another, and get into the dinghy from the water perhaps 20 times in a few hours. A law that would require me to "put on" a life jacket every time that I was in the dinghy, and then remove it three minutes later to dive again... over and over, is a dumb law.

IF they pass a law that made life jackets mandatory for:


People going REALLY fast or doing dangerous things, (skiing, jet skis, stunts, etc)...

Non swimmers, or people out of top swimming condition..

fully clothed boaters, in the dead of winter with freezing temperatures...

OR, if consuming alcohol...

THEN I'd have no objection. The thing is that for a really good swimmer/diver with a lifetime of experience, the odds of being knocked unconscious or having a heart attack are relatively low, and so are the odds of a life jacket saving them in those circumstances. (With FACE IN THE WATER)! In the world that I boat in, I voluntarily wear what ever safety equipment that I feel improves my odds of survival, like a harness. I resent being told that I have to wear something that actually decreases my odds of survival, (Like in the examples I made in a previous post).

I feel that it's MY call when and where regarding this particular issue. I have an unusual set of circumstances, and it makes me the best judge. I am already the most responsible, safety conscious person I know, that still goes "out there". In my case, it's not an excuse, it's a fact... I AM the best judge.

Now, I need to ride my motorcycle to the marina and close hatches. Think I'll put on my armored jacket and full coverage helmet. (40 fractures in my youth taught me well!)

M.
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Old 09-06-2011, 17:36   #133
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Well, of course there is. Many people end up overboard due to an injury or slip & fall incident. You slip and hit your head and go in the water unconscious. It doesn't matter how good a swimmer you are if you are unconscious. Furthermore, you dinghy could be hit by a passing boat, and you end up in the water with two broken legs and unconscious.

There are plenty of advantages to wearing a PFD even if you are a skilled swimmer.
Doug,

If you are sincere in your comments (and I think you are), it seems you see the value in this law. I see the value in seatbelts, and have worn them well over 99% of the time for over 30 years, regardless of laws.

So my question to you, as one who thinks this is not a terrible idea -- do you currently, voluntarily, wear a PFD over 95% of the time when using small rowboats, dingys, etc, regardless of circumstances like weather, particular boating activity (swimming, for instance), distance to travel, vessel traffic, etc? And, a follow up (only if you answered yes to the above), you don't find it to be overly inconvenient or awkward? Bonus points if you require it of all your guests.

This question is being asked sincerely. We (all humans) tend to react very negatively to new rules, even when they are clearly to our benefit (just ask those who smoke cigarettes!). I am trying to gauge if we are overreacting, and if the impact is lower than we are making it out to be. However, since I don't currently wear a lifejacket every single time I get in a 8' Avon to go ashore, I only assume it will be a terrible PITA. As in the seatbelt, most folks came around when it became mandatory and I find my "visual survey" shows an astonishing level of compliance.

So, I'm not looking for those who say "stop bitchin', it'll be OK" -- I'm looking for those who say "been that way for me and all my guests for years -- won't be a change around here."

Harry



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Old 09-06-2011, 18:05   #134
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

Some bad ideas just won't die. Check out this 2004 Boat/US paper:
http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/symp_pfd/...is_BOAT_US.pdf

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Old 09-06-2011, 18:36   #135
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Re: USCG Considers Mandatory PFD Use !

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Doug,

If you are sincere in your comments (and I think you are), it seems you see the value in this law. I see the value in seatbelts, and have worn them well over 99% of the time for over 30 years, regardless of laws.

So my question to you, as one who thinks this is not a terrible idea -- do you currently, voluntarily, wear a PFD over 95% of the time when using small rowboats, dingys, etc, regardless of circumstances like weather, particular boating activity (swimming, for instance), distance to travel, vessel traffic, etc? And, a follow up (only if you answered yes to the above), you don't find it to be overly inconvenient or awkward? Bonus points if you require it of all your guests.

This question is being asked sincerely. We (all humans) tend to react very negatively to new rules, even when they are clearly to our benefit (just ask those who smoke cigarettes!). I am trying to gauge if we are overreacting, and if the impact is lower than we are making it out to be. However, since I don't currently wear a lifejacket every single time I get in a 8' Avon to go ashore, I only assume it will be a terrible PITA. As in the seatbelt, most folks came around when it became mandatory and I find my "visual survey" shows an astonishing level of compliance.

So, I'm not looking for those who say "stop bitchin', it'll be OK" -- I'm looking for those who say "been that way for me and all my guests for years -- won't be a change around here."

Harry
Harry, I don't "value" this proposed law, but rather I wanted to point out that the issue is more complicated than "I should be free to do what ever I want in my own boat. Period!"

As to how I act; I wear a Mustang Suspenders style, USCG approved for work, and I admit it took a season to get used to it, but now I hardly even know it's there. We are not required my law to wear them, but we choose to do so both for our safety and to set an example for our customers.

I rarely wear it when on my private dinghy, but I would not find it any big deal to do so. One valid point someone made was that these things are expensive, and what the heck do you do with it when you get to shore? Surely this isn't an insurmountable issue though.

I also have a "FloatTech" float coat with approved inflatable vest when ever the weather gets lousy. I have worn that jacket many times on the dinghy in the rain. I have an extra approved suspender style for the rare guest that I would have on my dinghy. Having to wear them all the time in the dinghy would be a pain in the ass, but I believe having it on can save my life.

Note to all the thread participants: this new regulation is just in the proposal stages. It is not the law, nor is it written in stone. Now is the time to participate and get your opinion heard. There will compromises and adjustments to the final rule. The USCG will have a "comment period" where you can send comments by mail or on the web.

For instance, I think an exemption for travel to/from a mother ship in an inflatable tender would be considered, as would other exemptions for divers etc. Also, there are the small inflatable devices that can be worn on a belt, or even strapped to your wrist, and I think a case could be made for those to be mandatory on dinghies in trade for the the required PFDs in your dink now. The only difference is that you would have it attached to you in some way.

The modern inflatable PFDs are really not so bad. And, contrary to someone's post, many type V PFDs will turn an unconscious person face up.

I too got a seatbelt ticket years ago, and it really pissed me off. In hindsight though, it was that ticket that got me into the habit of buckling up, which I always do now. I was furious when the law was imposed, but I know now that I would not have worn my seat belt had it not been for that law and my getting the ticket. So I see how a rule can and does change people's behavior, even if we all hate the rule when it comes around.

I'm not saying this proposed rule is great, but I am not using it as an example of our gov't run amok either.
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