Couldn't Happen to Me.
Lake of the Ozarks is home to many fishermen and women. Many are semi professional, and professional. but the majority are hobbyist, vacationers, with a mix that enter local tournaments such as the Big Bash Bass, Surkdyke Yamaha Go Fish Crappie and many others.
Lake of the Ozarks, Table Rock Lake and other lakes in Missouri have fishing tournaments year round, day and night.
Recently, myself and two friends were fishing in one of many tournaments, the weather conditions was partly cloudy, winds were starting to increase 5 -15 miles per hour. coupled with other boats in the area. our boat was being rocked. The boat it self has a wide beam and is very stable. One of my friends was up and moving back to the bow seat. At the given moment a wake broadsided the boat, and the wind picked up. He took a headed, almost fell overboard,, but was able to catch himself on the gunraill and fall in the boat. knocked the wind out of him and broke a index finger. Over all very lucky.
Although we were trolling less than 1 mile per hour, we were all wearing lifejackets, and using a cutoff switch. and had proper safety equipment. Goes to show, you can take all the precautions. be an experienced boater with skills. It can happen to anyone.
In 2019, the Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
Where the cause of death was known, 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
So how do we protect ourselves
1. Wear life Jackets
2. Use a engine cut off switch.
3. Keep the deck free of clutter.
4. Watch for other boat wakes / or rollers
5. Have the proper safety equipment on board. https://www.uscgboating.org/images/420.PDF
Fall and winter is near. Dress for the weather, make a float plan, go out with someone, fishing is more fun with others and safer to. Tight lines and be around to tell fish tails.