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post #18 of Old 04-25-2012
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Re: Bryan Chong's first hand recount of the Low Speed Chase tragedy

Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Agreed. Staying far off a lee shore should be plain common sense, rogue wave or not. From the looks of the boat, staying attached may have saved some of those missing if they were not crushed or held under too long. My question is, where are the lifejackets? If they were wearing them, and I assume they probably were, it can only be surmised that they punctured, whether still attached to people or stripped away by water. If still inflated, they surely would have been spotted, either on or off. Solid jackets take a hell of a beating and bring you to the surface eventually, even when held under for a long time. They do feel like they are being pulled off when being tossed around but they do stay on. I have always questioned the wisdom of trusting anyone's life to a fragile bag of air. There are just too many sharp or hot things that can render these useless. Inflatables are more comfortable and allow better movement but are they really safe when the going gets rough? Did they actually activate? Plenty of questions still need to come to light.
An important point Bryan made in his story regarding the pfds was that most of that racing crowd had a habit of tucking in (hiding) their inflate pull-tabs to avoid accidental inflation. Many people, including me, wear manual inflate pfds - for perfectly good reasons. But, if you can't find your tab when you're under, you're screwed. That very well could have been the case here.
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