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Birm

Really Scarry

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Birm

I had a really scarry, eye opening, potentially fatal event happen to me today on the Delta. :( I will preface what I am about to tell you by saying that 1. I was not drinking 2. I take full responsibility for what happened, 3. I will make sure that nothing like this happens again on my watch and 4. That all newcomers to my boat will be fully briefed on safety expectations in the boat and on the water. I am embarrassed and humbled by what happened but am sharing so that hopefully some of you can learn from this as well. Here goes:

I went out today with three other people...One of my normal crew, a guy who is a friend through work, and one of his buddies. We were boarding at the Northwest end of Bishop's cut on a slough that takes you towards Honkers Cut. The water is always really good on this particular stretch. It is not wide, but not too narrow either. On one side there was a tuely/reed island and the other side was delta levy rock. My normal crew member rode first, followed by me, my friend and then his buddy (The new Guy). The New Guy was an experienced water skiier, but had never boarded. This was his first time. He got up on his second try, and was actually cutting pretty well. Due to oncoming boat traffic, I was driving the bu to the right of center. This was pretty much how we had been riding all morning. What this meant was that if you cut hard enough right you could end up on the rocks. My normal crew mates and I know this, and never cut too close towards the rocks.....We stay 20+ feet away. This is how it is on some sections of the Delta. I was glancing at the rear view mirror every couple of seconds. The New Guy was to the left of the wake and then he cut pretty well across the wake and kept going towards the rock levy. He was getting closer than I would have liked, and I started to veer left to try and bring him back left. However, he kept going in towards the rocks! Shocking.gif The next thing you know, he comes into the rocks at a slight angle (maybe 15 degrees) and goes down hard...Part way in the water and part way on the rocks. Shocking.gifShocking.gifShocking.gif He did let go right before, and was probably going about 15 mph. We power turned and were back to him in probably less than 10 seconds. When we came up on him it looked like he was unconscious, face down in the water. I was really scared at this point. Then we realized he was moaning....He was actually in the water on the rocks holding his hand/arm. My friend jumped into the water and headed over to him. We quickly assesed his condition and were very grateful that he did not hit his head and did not appear to have any external cuts. He was coherent and confirmed that it was his wrist and that he did not hit his head or injure his neck/spine. We floated him to the back of the boat, took off the board and lifted him onto the platform and helped him into the boat. It looked like the lifejacked took much of the impact on the right upper and back sides. The board was chewed up a bit as well, but the New Guy was in the best condition we could have hoped for. We placed him in the spotters seat with his feet up and wrapped him in a towel to keep him warm. His wrist and thumb were really swollen. Apparantly he put his hand down to brace hiself when he fell....Luckily he did, because it probably kept him from hitting his head. We placed a bag of ice on his wrist and tried to stabalize the wrist from moving. Then we high tailed it back to the Marina. We asked him what he was doing, and he was so apologetic and sorry. He said he was just being a bit cocky and thought he could cut over towards the rocks and cut back sharp like he does on a ski. I told him not to worry and we would get him back soon. Once at the marina he was taken to the ER. It looks like the wrist is broken in multiple locations. This could have been much, much worse!

I really feel like I should have prevented this. :( In the future I will. From now on all people on my boat will be told not to venture closer than 30' from the rocks. If they do, I or the driver at the time will cut the power. Also I am going to make sure that everyone that boards my boat knows what is expected of them in the boat and in the water.....That yes we are here to have fun, but everyone needs to aware of how a little foolishness can have dire consequences.

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Steck

Scary when people ride over their heads when you are responsible.

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Greg_S

Thank goodness that he will be OK. As the owner/driver we really do have an immense amount of responsibility for the activities of our crew/guests.

I think it’s easy for boaters to get lulled into the peace and beauty of what we get to experience and then again into the routine of the process that our crew(s) abide by that allows us to assume reasonable safety. For something that is as enjoyable as what we do, there really are dangers and hazards in our sport/boating/enjoyment.

Thanks for sharing.

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Henken

Thank you for sharing, I believe its a little lesson we all can learn from.

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edwin

Thanks for sharing the story, sounds like it could have been much worse. I agree with Greg S...lots of peeps well-being is in your hands when they're out on your boat.

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Faceplant409

...cocky SOB..... Mad.gif

Yes, technically you are responsible for his actions behind your boat but c'mon... a first timer playing chicken with the rocks? Dumb-a$$!

Rant-off

Very glad it was only a wrist. (not that that won't have complications...) But it could have been MUCH worse.

Pat

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BlastRlxi

This story shows how easy it is to forget that we all know the hazards with our local lakes as well as our boats, but our guests don't necessarily do. It is a good reminder that a quick safety talk for new riders/skiers is a good idea to make them aware of what to do and what not to do. It is also a good idea that everyone on the boat knows what to do in an emergency and also has a basic understanding of how to operate the boat in case the normal operator is incapacitated.

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ilovetrains

your story is a good reminder for all. Two weeks ago one of the guys who goes out regularly with me was driving, I was riding. He was making a slow turn on one end of the lake where it is fairly deep, however he was venturing toward a point I know gets shallow in a hurry. I was waving to let him know to tighten his turn, too late, saw a could of mud come up. Fortunatley no damage and no one hurt. He had driven my boat before, had been on the lake probably 10-12 times, but I had never told him how shallow that area was.

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Big Dubya

good idea

back when i owned a sailboat (yes, bring on the heckling)

i would do a "captain overboard drill"

i'd toss-out a floating seat cushion and say "i just fell overboard, whatcha gonna do?"

then sit back and watch for 15 minutes as people fumbled around with the rigging, tiller, and outboard

eventually, they would figure it out - sometimes with coaching... it was pretty funny for me to watch, but always put the point home with everyone on-board.

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Malibudude

Glad things turned out better than it could have. All good points to learn from to keep it fun and safe.

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SacRiverRat

Brim,

This is a perfect example of why I don't ride on the delta.. it is much too dangerous

Everyone should stay away from the delta, between the nasty water, ill tempered fish, and pesky shore line... it just isn't worth it No.gif

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lxirod

good to hear the guy is ok, the delta is definatley not a place for rookies. do not feel guilty for this though. it is plain common sense to stay away from rocks.

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Faceplant409
Brim,

This is a perfect example of why I don't ride on the delta.. it is much too dangerous

Everyone should stay away from the delta, between the nasty water, ill tempered fish, and pesky shore line... it just isn't worth it No.gif

(covering mouth like a 2nd grader...)

HeHeHe!!! Biggrin.gif

P

Edited by Faceplant409

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SacRiverRat
good to hear the guy is ok, the delta is definatley not a place for rookies. do not feel guilty for this though. it is plain common sense to stay away from rocks.

Totally agree. Brim, I think it is great that you're taking responsibility for this, but I'd be pissed about it - the dude screwing up your day on the water, for his lack of judgement.

Accidents happen, but this was sorta dumb (on his part).

And personally, if I was making a bad judgment, riding behind your boat, too close to the shore (in the drivers opinion) and the driver cut the throttle, causing me to drop in next to the rocks... I'd be pissed (as the rider) about that... so you were in a no-win situation.

Sounds like you guys took good care of him

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stewart

Birm,

I wouldn't beat yourself up about this. The rider was at fault here. You guys had been boarding in the same spot all day so he knew the dangers...... Who would have known Dontknow.gif

I am glad to hear that the injuries weren't that seriuos as well.

I know something like this can put a damper on the "boating" experience, but I wouldn't let it get to you. I would however, find a different riding spot though. That is just to tight of an area. We use to go to the twin sloughs by Kings but have stayed away for awhile. If you do a big cut there on a 70` line, get out in the flats and lose control the rocky shoreline is right there Shocking.gif

I think another valuable lesson can be learned here as well: Friends should not let waterskiiers ride wakeboards behind wakeboard boats Fingerwag.gif

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88Skier

Glad it wasn't worse. Consider yourself lucky. While everyone knew the rocks were there, ultimately, the responsibility falls on the driver.

We open water ski and try to stay in coves or near shore where the water is calmest. I have really backed off trying to stay close this year as the skier at times has to be aware of moored boats and other obstacles. There's too much potential for an accident if the skier is concentrating on skiing and not on where he is going.

Earlier this year BarefootOz had a buddy that got critically injured when he hit a boat. I never heard about blame but, it had to have been driver error. The barefooter was skiing backwards.

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Birm

Thanks for all of the replies everyone. We probably will look for other spots to ride. Also as a result of this I will probably be looking for a new board (Unless I can repair the dings and cuts).....Bummer, this one was only 2 months old. Boy thats going to make the CFO happy. But, as I mentioned before I am very grateful that this wasn't much worse.

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SacRiverRat
Glad it wasn't worse. Consider yourself lucky. While everyone knew the rocks were there, ultimately, the responsibility falls on the driver.

In this case, Brim was moving over for an oncomming boat - what should he done differently if he was at fault?

I agree that the driver has a responsibility to not put the rider in poor situations, but this is pretty common for the delta - It isn't like this was a rookie behind the boat that wouldn't know what to watch for. The rider has some responsibility to pay attention.

Like for example - this weekend we had to stay out of the way of a few barges coming through the river - they take up 1/2 the river, and obviously travel up the middle. We check to make sure the rider knows it is coming, and then trust that they don't do something stupid like pull out in front of the barge and attempt a trick. Shocking.gif

The driver can only do so much, and after that, it is up to the rider to pay attention to their surroundings as well

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BlastRlxi

I hate to say this, but unless you are fully confident that your friend's friend won't contact an attorney, you might want to call your insurance company.

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88Skier

Glad it wasn't worse. Consider yourself lucky. While everyone knew the rocks were there, ultimately, the responsibility falls on the driver.

In this case, Brim was moving over for an oncomming boat - what should he done differently if he was at fault?

I agree that the driver has a responsibility to not put the rider in poor situations, but this is pretty common for the delta - It isn't like this was a rookie behind the boat that wouldn't know what to watch for. The rider has some responsibility to pay attention.

Like for example - this weekend we had to stay out of the way of a few barges coming through the river - they take up 1/2 the river, and obviously travel up the middle. We check to make sure the rider knows it is coming, and then trust that they don't do something stupid like pull out in front of the barge and attempt a trick. Shocking.gif

The driver can only do so much, and after that, it is up to the rider to pay attention to their surroundings as well

I understand what you're saying. I've driven for a skier on a river and it is far more intense than skiing or driving on a lake but, when someone gets hurt behind your boat, the driver and owner are the first ones blamed. In tight situations, I want people to stay behind the boat.

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RogerQ

I hope he's OK-let us know. A good reminder to all of us who ride on the Delta.

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relentless

you would think that he would see the rocks and decide it would probably not be such a good idea to hit them Crazy.gif

ya it what was on your watch but there is only so much you can do, and you cant stop pure stupidity except for ust getting rid of it and you didnt know him or his dumd stupidity

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D-GOOSE

Glad he's going to be ok and Birm you can only do so much for peoples safety. The one thing that people haven't said is that in some of the area's there is concrete with rebar, pipe and what not pointing up. Hitting this is not a good thing. I know for me some time's I will point to my driver and say move over one way or the other so that I can cut out to the side with out coming to close to the rocks.

One other point, when turning around tell the boarder not to do the sling shot because if your not doing a power turn you will swing him right into the rocks.

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jklein

Glad it wasn't worse. Consider yourself lucky. While everyone knew the rocks were there, ultimately, the responsibility falls on the driver.

In this case, Brim was moving over for an oncomming boat - what should he done differently if he was at fault?

I agree that the driver has a responsibility to not put the rider in poor situations, but this is pretty common for the delta - It isn't like this was a rookie behind the boat that wouldn't know what to watch for. The rider has some responsibility to pay attention.

Like for example - this weekend we had to stay out of the way of a few barges coming through the river - they take up 1/2 the river, and obviously travel up the middle. We check to make sure the rider knows it is coming, and then trust that they don't do something stupid like pull out in front of the barge and attempt a trick. Shocking.gif

The driver can only do so much, and after that, it is up to the rider to pay attention to their surroundings as well

Barges... sounds like a slider opportunity! :lol:

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obski

I can understand much better how this could happen in the Delta.

One incident that stills burns me up happened a few days ago in one of the waterways. We were out wakesurfing and getting ready to change riders when a Nautique pulling a guy on a Sky Ski came up behind us. The boat came closer to us than I felt comfortable with, but then the guy on the foil started heading right for our rider in the water and the back of our boat. He came within 10 to 15 feet and then popped up and did a flip over our rider. What an idiot. I don't care how good you are. It only takes a small error and we would have had a foil blade cutting through our crew. I'm still pissed at the danger he put us in.

Fortunately, we had a positive experience in the Delta. We mostly just saw bass boats running around.

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