Near miss with a Kayak - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-24-2015, 02:43 AM   #1
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Default Near miss with a Kayak

I am not posting to bash Kayak users.. This is simply a post to possibly avoid potential injury for someone new to Kayak use or some really dumb seasoned Kayak users.

I was heading back to Bay View park boat ramp around 2300 hours Saturday night as I approached the Cervantes street bridge in my 19 foot center console.
Idle speed, I steered the boat towards the center of the bridge to pass under it.
The area is well lit including the street lights on the bridge, not so good for my night vision. The bridge itself provides a shadow from the lights and makes directly underneath it a dark place. I could easily see the bridge pylons and have navigating this area many times.

For some reason I decided to light up the marked bridge channel with my spot light and glad I did. There was a person fishing in a dark green Kayak directly under the bridge. His white tee-shirt was about all that I saw.

I shut down the boat and drifted beside him to speak with him about the dangerous situation against my girlfriends request. I was not pissed, nor had a bad attitude.
He said it was his first night on the water in a new kayak and he was just fishing and thought under the bridge in the channel was a good spot. I tactfully explained I could not see him and he was fishing in a channel boats use.
He said he had a flashlight with him and when I asked why he didn't use it to alert me, he said he thought 'Boats could see him on their Radar"
I just smiled, told him to be careful and hope he landed some fish.

I don't understand why some Kayaker's and stand up paddle boarders think they should be in the marked channels boats use. The boat lanes under the 3 mile bridge is another favorite spot... In the dark..

Maybe I don't understand not personally owning one, these things require several feet of draft like a fixed keel sail boat or something..

Anyway, you guys and gals using them be careful and the powerboat operators look out for them... If you are lucky enough to see them.

Again, I am sure this only represents a small amount of users..
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:48 AM   #2
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I have never had such an incident with a kayaker but I can see this being an issue that I never considered. Thanks for bringing my awareness up. Also by you stopping by and talking to this guy you may have saved him some issue in the future. And sounds like you handled it with class. Nice job.
Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:43 AM   #3
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Well, why didn't you have your radar on? *jk
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:00 AM   #4
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Sounds to me like this dude is just a dummy. I hate when dummies hop in kayaks (especially at night). Gives us a bad name.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:10 AM   #5
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boats, bikes, kayaks, Darwin's Law is always out there. Glad you did what you did though, maybe it will help him in the future
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #6
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Good Post Sho-Nuff. Handled well and needed to be posted.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #7
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That's not how you handled it. You cussed me up and down and told me I was an idiot. And you talked bad about my dog and my momma.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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Yakkers will also pile up in the Mulat Bayou/ Escambia Bay channel.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:23 AM   #9
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Glad it turned out well and I think you did the right thing. Heck, you might have saved that guys life. You could have left without saying anything and the next boat coming through could have hit him.

He was in violation of having a white light that can be seen from 360 degrees. I do everything in my power when I hear boats coming to let them know I'm there, above and beyond the regs. If it is night, I have a flashlight I'll shine at them to let them know as well.

Power boaters need to be aware as well. A few weeks ago, I was fishing and had a boat drive by about 100 yards away in the daylight going near full throttle for its size. Mind you, I'm on a Freedom Hawk which allows you to stand on thee kayak. So, I'm standing on my kayak in a white shirt and bright red shorts. As they drove by and came perpendicular to me, I could hear BS'ing then one guy say, "S***, I didn't even see that guy!" The first thought in my head was, "are you even looking at where you are going?" Rule of the road are if you are under power, it is your responsibility to avoid non-powered vessels.

Rules of the road. Everyone needs to follow then and assume that your track is not without obstacles.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:38 AM   #10
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Probably not dumb, just young - or maybe that's the same thing
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