wader danger

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 10:22
ThreadID: 89436 Views:2717 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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While night fishing from Waddy Point on Fraser Island this week I began trembling after hearing death defying screams for "HELP' ... it was a man in waders who had fallen into a deep hole and couldn't get out, instantaneously fellow fishermen ran and pulled him out. Initially I thought a shark had got him as they were seen swimming close by earlier.
Upon return home I related the story to a friend who then sadly told me her father had died in front of them in NZ when she was 4yrs old drowning in waders while duck shooting on a lake.
Please be aware how dangerous these simple fishing outfits can become.
I also want to acknowledge how quick and courageous these blokes fishing nearby where who dropped their rods and ran to his aid unaware of what they were racing into. Aussie fishing blokes can seem a bit rough on the outside but I saw the ANZAC spirit reemerge that night. Good on ya guys.

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Reply By: Gnomey - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:01

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:01
G'day Rossy
Not to deny your concerns, now or on the night, but the nub of your post seems to be that "waders are dangerous" because they can become dangerous if you fall into the water. As someone who has worn all different types of waders over a 25 year span, and taken his fair share of dunkings in them, I have to say your concerns need a bit of qualification.

* What type of waders are we talking about?
* In what situation?
* How come he fell in?
* Why couldn't he get out?
* Were there any alternatives to being pulled out?

For example if your waders fill, and I mean fill, with water and you need to swim for it, there is virtually no difference to swimming in clothes. Buoyancy is as equally distributed. If you insist on wearing a tight belt as many think is a good idea, you might save discomfort from the cold with a slight dunking but you put yourself in danger if you have strong current around you in a full emergency. The air trapped in the legs can tip you upside down.

PVC and gortex waders are a different proposition to neoprene waders, the latter of which I would be happy to wear as a life preserver in most situations.

I could go on.

Hate to join the grump brigade but if we had to take every shock/horror alarm seriously we'd never get out of bed.


AnswerID: 467087

Follow Up By: snapper49 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:46

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:46
You summed it perfectly
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Follow Up By: rossy - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:07

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:07
Sorry I didn't get to read the brand on his waders mate, it was not a priority in that moment.
What I can confirm was that when his waders filled with water they were like concrete boots. It took several strong blokes to pull him from the deep gutter.
To provide further clarification to your comment, he was fishing in knee deep water on a sand bar, hooked a big tailor, walked backwards, fell into the deep gutter and couldn't get out due to the waders filling up with water. Not rocket science, It can and does happen. People can drown in 3 minutes.

FollowupID: 741180

Follow Up By: Gnomey - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 13:12

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 13:12
Ok Rossy. I can appreciate it was a scary situation for you and the poor guy who went down as I indicated in my reply. Not looking to score points or get into a longwinded argument. On reflection, an edit function would have allowed me to say "at face value" or "to heart" instead of "seriously" when referring to warnings. It would have been a gentler choice of words.

I wasn't there. Little point would be served by going over all the possible permutations and contributing factors. FWIW I can think of several possible solutions for self help, to say nothing of the imperatives of night fishing and avoiding the step into the deep water.

Finally,(and I do mean "finally" :^) ) based on your account I'd suggest that getting out of the hole might have been a different problem from staying afloat while in it.

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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:23

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:23
I have been knocked A O T in the surf many times while wearing waders.
I have learnt not to wear heavy Water Proof Jackets with them.
If you wear Light Weight gear you have more chance of getting out of trouble.
Also wear a Waist Belt that stops water getting down inside your waders making extra weight.

AnswerID: 467093

Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:56

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 12:56
No qualification needed. Waders can be dangerous.
Just be aware of this fact and mindful of your surroundings like anything else.
People have drowned because of them and it will happen again.
AnswerID: 467095

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 14:57

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 14:57
Spot on Bigfish....and oh so true. I have had the unpleasant experience of assisting with the recovery of a deceased fisherman who drowned when his pvc waders fill will water. I continue to fish and wear my waders but I must say that I'm more cautious these days following that experience.
FollowupID: 741191

Reply By: shanegu6 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 18:29

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 18:29
I'll add a bit of Humour to this. The only story I have with waders is i can remember when I was a about 10 or 11 and prawning in The Entrance channel with me old man. The channel can be full of people at night during the prawning season. An Asian fellow nearby in waders fell into a hole and started yelling for help and all I can remember hearing was someone yelling out, "can someone please shut him the f--k up here's scaring the prawns. True story!! I can remember like it was yesterday. Was 25 years ago.
AnswerID: 467127

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