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I recently connected with a cousin on facebook over the Thanksgiving holiday of 2014.. We talked a few moments about family and I could tell that by the way she sounded something was terribly wrong... I asked her how her husband was doing and there was a short pause, she then stated in a really sad tone that he had passed away.... I really didnt know what to say other than the obvious, I asked her if it was ok for her to share and she did. He was an avid fisherman and owned a lakeside property on Carolina Lake in Columbia S.C he fished often with his family on his Jon boat, I understand he was a good swimmer, but on this day which was in 2013 several days after thanksgiving he decided to go fishing.. The water temp I'm told was 45 degree's and when they found his body he was not wearing a PFD!! the pain that he has left behind is immense. It will take years for his family and friends to heal, and never completely, for his this loss. I enjoy all of the photo's I see, but to those of you who are NOT wearing your PFD should consider what kind of pain you are leaving behind should something as catastrophic as this should happen to you... YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!
 

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I got to the lake the other week and realized I forgot my PFD. Had a limited time to fish, so I took the risk and went fishing anyhow. I'm guilty of the "superman" complex - I can swim really well, I won't go fast, etc. If the water was 45 degrees I definitely would have turned around.

Sorry about your family's loss.
 

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I always wear mine no matter what. As a kayaker I face more danger and risks than a motorized angler. In fact I appreciate events such as CKA that make PFD wearing mandatory.
 

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My dad wore one all his life. When he was in the boat, PFD on. I had one event that made me glad I had mine on. I was netting shad along the shoreline. Still pretty dark out and I hit my head on an overhanging limb I didn't see & was ejected from the boat. I landed half conscious in the only rock formation in the cove, a pile of jagged shale. When I got my wits about me I realized what had happened looked at my life vest and it was literally torn to shreds by the shale..me not a scratch. It's not a matter of if you're going over the side, just when. Give yourself a chance.
 

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I require them in my boat when running on plane, I dont care who you are or how good you can swim. I always wear my inflatable PFD in the colder months when I am wearing alot of clothes from the time I launch to the time my boat is on the trailer.

I took an unexpected swim in High Rock lake in March of 2013 in 45 degree water fully clothed for fishing on a 40 degree day. I pulled into the dock going a little faster than I should have and stepped off the boat a little further than I should have, about the time both feet were on the dock, the dock line I had in my hand got yanked by the boat and pulled me backwards into the lake. Lucky for me I was at the ramp and it was after a tournament so there were people around to help me get to the bank and retrieve my boat. That was an eye opening event for me that may save my life some day. Though I had worn my life vest on the run from Tamarac to Southmont, I took it off and layed it on the seat before I docked the boat.
 

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Pro tip: A PFD is one fishing accessory you'll usually have no problem convincing a friend or loved one to buy for you.
Even if you don't want to buy one or think you won't need it, there are people out there who want to see you come home safely. Get one you like and enjoy wearing, it won't do a lot of good if it's not on.

My parents bought me a nice one that breathable and has plenty of pockets for gear. Nothing too fancy, but it's comfortable and I enjoy wearing it. I haven't gone without it since I received it as a gift.
 

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I was in Oriental to take a mechanic for a test ride, as he was hooking up the laptop in the boat my son was holding the launch rope from the pier. The wind was blowing about 20 kts, as I attempted to step on the bow of the boat the boat suddenly moved out from under my feet. My legs hit the rope and I went into the 50 degree water head first , disoriented I found my self under the floating dock in darkness not knowing which way to go. Luckily I picked the shortest route and saw light, surfaced out of breath and swam to shore. This was a close call as I had only a small bit of my heart working at this time and was lucky to get the call for a transplant only a week later. My son and I now put on our PFD's before we board the boat!
 

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I always wear pfd when running. I do take it off when fishing, as much as my wife hates it. So sad that folks choose to not wear them, and then we hear stories like this. Sorry for your loss, but appreciate your sharing the details.
 
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