I am sure by now most everyone has heard of the NFL'ers and former USF football players that were capsized and lost at sea (except the one that was rescued of course). I followed this very
closely for multiple reasons.
Tampa is my hometown and those are my offshore waters. I spend most spring/summer/fall fishing the same waters and more than likely the same area's those guys were in/heading.
I have a 23' cc, and I am a USF grad and follow the football program religiously (season ticket holder since inception).
While I haven't been traumatized by what happened, it has re-ignited my overall boating and safety awareness.
What happened to them was just a series of mistakes. No Epirb, not leaving an fairly exact fishing location, not checking any of the numerous weather and sea sites for updates, even considering taking a single engine 21' cc in fairly sloppy conditions 10 miles out in the spring/winter is risky but 30-50 miles, etc etc.
Just so many things added up to one big tragedy, and perhaps changing just one could have saved their lives.
While I cannot say I do the correct thing 100% of the time when I go offshore, I do however do all of the above mentioned. I have encountered some nasty stuff, and headed offshore in some nasty stuff, but I have (IMHO) never risked myself or my friends all to catch a fish. We have in fact turned back and fished nearshore a few times.
With all this being said, I can assure you I will be even more vigilant. In fact I plan on purchasing personal Epirbs for my kids (can be used by my friends if the kids are not there), purchasing the suspender, self-inflating life vest, a life raft, and a sattelite phone. Next spring if all goes well I will also install radar.
It saddens me to lose them, but hopefully many many people out there will take something from this and do whatever to protect themselves from a similar scenario.
Here is a link to the latest update; how strong he must have been to hold his friend til the end...amazing