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Old    D C (dirwoody)      Join Date: Apr 2003       09-12-2011, 10:09 PM Reply   
I have to share what happened to me Saturday, for hopes it may educate someone, anyone, to not do what happened to me on Saturday. Although everything turned out OK, I'm still having nightmares about it.

To start, I consider myself to be an experienced boater. I may only be 27, but I've been on the water since I can remember, am the only one many of my friends let drive their boat, have worked on boats, set up ballast systems and stereo's - the works.

A friend of mine with an 04 X2 asked me to come out with him for a saturday morning session. He was considering (and now has gotten started on) an upgraded ballast system, and asked me to bring my sac's with me to load it down to what he was thinking. I am out with an injury right now, so for me, this was a morning on the lake, driving the boat and coaching - Works for me!

Anyway, we got the boat loaded down with the sacs I brought and had to throw 3 people in the bow to get it down (horseshoe sac is in the mail). All 3 were adults, with one of which being the owner of the boat.

Here is where things went wrong.

The rider fell, and as I released off the throttle, apparently the person sitting on his knees in the very front of the bow was not paying attention, off balance, and not holding onto anything all at the same time. As a well weighted boat does when it comes off plane (a little too quick, had more people weight than I had accounted for) it felt like we hit the breaks. He fell across the bow, and went into the water directly in the middle of the boat.

I immediately dropped the boat to neutral, and in hindsight, should have shut it off, but didn't. The nose took on who knows how much water, and the owner and I went into panic. We were looking everywhere around the boat, no bubbles, no blood, nothing. About 10 seconds after we came to a full stop, he popped out of the water about 30 feet behind the boat - Laughing.

The amount of relief I had is immeasurable. I was positive I had just killed this kid I had just met, but here he came, without a scratch on him. I can't thank god enough. He said it was his fault for not paying attention or holding on, and when he hit the water he was smart enough to swim straight down. I still can't imagine we missed him by much.

It still bothers me how I could have let this happen. Like I said above, I consider myself an experienced boater, and yet, I nearly killed someone. I'm not proud of it, just thankful the big man was looking out for us all this weekend. Please, everyone, if you've got riders in the bow. Be the prick who yells at them, makes sure they're holding on, or in a position they're not going to move when you come off plane. Learn from my mistake and near tragedy.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-12-2011, 10:17 PM Reply   
props to you for being responsible and taking responsibility, knowing you were in charge and liable. Sounds very similar to what happened in the lawsuit that MC just lost, as the driver and crew did the opposite of what you are doing now.
Old    Nauti 210 (brett33)      Join Date: Apr 2011       09-12-2011, 10:23 PM Reply   
props for a useful post and keeping everyone aware that experienced or not, things can and will go wrong!
Old    Benjamin Oates (Bolo)      Join Date: May 2011       09-12-2011, 10:42 PM Reply   
Thanks for the post. My boat sits real low in the water when weighted and I'm sure I haven't been careful enough, so it's nice to get a reminder like this to keep me on my toes. Glad your friend came out ok.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-12-2011, 11:37 PM Reply   
also, it should be noted that you as the driver took/take responsibility for all in the boat, whether you have to be a jerk or not to them. This is something that should always happen, and a lot of passengers don't ever understand when they hop on a boat. Respect!
Old    Ryan P (waketx05)      Join Date: Feb 2008       09-13-2011, 12:49 AM Reply   
A friend of mine actually got his bicep and bone cut in half on his boat by the prop... the only thing holding his arm on was part of his tricep muscle.. also.. very experienced boater... closed bow nautique.. really windy day so had a friend in driver seat with boat in gear to keep from drifting. trying to fix lights on front of boat. slipped off and was throwing his arm wildly to get out from under it... they reattatched everything and he still rides.. just no strength and grip in his back hand.... so glad nothing like this happened to yal!!
Old    Dan (texastbird)      Join Date: May 2003       09-13-2011, 2:24 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by dirwoody View Post
Please, everyone, if you've got riders in the bow. Be the prick who yells at them, makes sure they're holding on, or in a position they're not going to move when you come off plane. Learn from my mistake and near tragedy.
Haha, I AM that prick~!
Old    WakeViolater (wakeviolater)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-13-2011, 4:29 PM Reply   
i have done this to my dog, TWICE! both times he was stretched out over the bow and then the rider fell. as i came off throttle, SPLASH! Both times I instantly turned to swing the prop and rudder away from him. any both times he came popping up behind the boat scared ****less. I keep telling him that he is not a cat, but a dog, and he doesn't have 9 lives.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-14-2011, 7:39 AM Reply   
Thanks for sharing the story. My 4 year old loves to ride in the bow knees on seat and holding the rails. I began to stop that with the fear of something like hitting a log in the river or a bump bouncing him out. I'm not an overprotective rubber suit person but I can see how easy it could happen. With someone else behind the wheel I'm even more nervous.
Old    Andy Nintzel-NautiCurl Wake Shaper (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-14-2011, 9:13 AM Reply   
GOOD LORD that sounds so scary. Glad everyone is okay~!
Old    Steven Pederson (sppeders)      Join Date: Jul 2011       09-14-2011, 1:43 PM Reply   
Similar thing happened to me except on the other side of the boat. My buddy (an inexperienced driver) was pulling me. I fell; he drove around to feed me the rope. Once I had the handle in hand and was directly behind the boat, I noticed that he was in reverse backing over the rope. I told him to put the boat in neutral, and all I see is him looking around trying to find neutral???? I then yelled, “you know what, just kill the engine shut it off” not sure what he did next but he gunned it in reverse, and I bet the boat went 10mph backwards. Luckily it pulls to the starboard so it went by me, but only missed me by about 5 feet. It took me awhile to get over that, seeing that boat bare down on me, being helpless. Needless to say I’m never getting in the water with him driving again.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-14-2011, 2:01 PM Reply   
In respect to above ^^ I always instruct to pass on the drivers side so you can see the rider...and the rope. If talking to the driver as they come past and your disappearing voice does not enforce the point a friendly bang on the side of the boat when they pass you on the passengers side is a good reminder that they are blind to your location.

I find new boat drivers very receptive to a few tips, except my wife who needs spoon feeding. Execution is another thing.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       09-14-2011, 2:01 PM Reply   
Good thinking Al, with turning to swing the stern around your dog. There's no substitute for experience. It can save lives.
Old    D C (dirwoody)      Join Date: Apr 2003       09-14-2011, 7:43 PM Reply   
I never thought about swinging the stern of the boat like that, but will from now on - I just hope I never have to use it!
Thanks for the positive comments guys
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-15-2011, 7:58 AM Reply   
Yea you have to remember to turn toward the object you want to avoid. Not what a novice would think of doing.

I was wakeskating at a friends house on the intracoastal in Jacksonville. I fell and when I popped my head up I heard yelling and in the same instant and before I could even put together what was happening a boat skimmed past about 10 feet from me. Through the spray I saw a rope then the tube full of kids a fraction of a second later. It happened so fast there was no reaction time on my part; like a sucker punch. I absolutely hate people who follow in other boats. They just don't get it.
Old    Hey, You scratched my anchor! (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       09-16-2011, 2:58 PM Reply   
The lesson to learn is not to put yourself (boat owner/driver) in a situation where someone or an animal can fall out of your open bow boat.

Avoiding them by steering is just luck mostly because it happens too fast.

Even out of gear the prop is still spinning, there are tracking fins and rudder.

I have a friend who has a big S shaped scar on his head from a couple hundred stitches from going out the front and under the boat.(not mine!)
Old    WakeViolater (wakeviolater)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-16-2011, 8:19 PM Reply   
" not to put yourself (boat owner/driver) in a situation where someone or an animal can fall out of your open bow boat"

Hey bftskir, poop happens. i cant drive, control volume, pass things to people, drink beer AND keep control of everyone/animal in my boat.

There is an inherent risk of harm doing ANYTHING in this world. if your stupid (my dog is in the stupid group) then you would be giggling like DeCaprio on the bow of a boat and put yourself in the situation.

Yes, as a boat owner you should warn of danger. "hey man, i got a ton of weight in the boat and the bow might sink with you up there", but if some guy is still being silly...all bets are off.

I am not saying your buddy is stupid, but let's all think more, and have less "accidents".
Old    D.F.T.R. Josh (downfortheride)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-16-2011, 9:29 PM Reply   
Same story here... Driving my line and didn't notice a dude off balance when the rider fell. Pulled to N and all I seen was the bottom of his feet. Grabbed the key turned the boat off and yelled some choice words. Nothing for a few seconds (felt like 5 min) and this dude pops up by the rider laughing. Still to this day I don't think this guy knows how close he came to being put back together like Mr. Potato Head. He kept talking about how cool it was for about an hour and and hearing his buddies laugh and high five. I drove the boat to the shore and left... I was an invite and only knew one person, never again rode with that crew. One of them memories that you will NEVER forget!
Old    Thad Roberts (skatethewake)      Join Date: Dec 2010       09-16-2011, 9:39 PM Reply   
one thing i dont think i saw mentioned in posts about this was the topic or question of was this a picklefork bow? i know x 2s are so i figure yes?


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