BassWestUSA - Summer, 2013, Page 33

Photo courtesy of the Lakeside Post


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a beautiful spring morning and the bite has been outstanding. You and your team partner have pulled a dozen good fish off a stretch of bank and have a solid 16 pounds in the live well. Time to swing for the fences so you and your buddy head out to a spot you know contains some real lunkers. The boat’s motor is humming right along and your attention is on your gauges as you trim it out to glide on plane. Suddenly, from around the point, a large white object appears upon you and the last thing you remember seeing is the nose of a day runner coming straight across your bow. You have just been involved in a serious boating accident. Most anglers think this will never happen to them, but the reality of the situation is that with increased traffic on many of our waterways and little to no training required to operate watercraft, every day you spend on the water can be an aquatic form of Russian roulette for the less than cautious. Boating accidents are a more common occurrence than you may like to think. Even big name tournament anglers like Mike Iaconelli and Shinichi Fukae have experienced incidents over the past few seasons, further proving that no one is immune. Many recreational boaters may not realize the various dangers of the waters because accidents – and safety tips – are not well publicized in the media, giv- ing many people a false sense of security. The Coast Guard reports that in 2011 alone, there were 4,588 accidents that resulted in 758 fatalities, 3,081 injuries and a reported $52 million in property damage as a result of recreational boat-

Summer 2013