Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hero Saves Sailors

Off-duty cop jumps into action, saves two souls from sinking Sunfish

This news story is only worth sharing because there are valuable boating safety lessons in the end, and to praise Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Trinca, Jr., for saving the lives of two men. Sure, the two men who were rescued over the weekend could have been eligible for a Darwin award, but in the end they learned some valuable lessons.

Photo: Yankee Boating
It’s easy to think these two grown men should have been okay going for a short sail. One of them was an avid swimmer, they had life jackets with them in the boat – right at their feet, and Sunfish boats are easy to handle. (Editor’s note: I speak from experience, having spent much of my childhood on a Sunfish in Long Island Sound.)

But cold water is hard to move around in – especially when you fall into it unexpectedly. If you’re not already wearing your life jacket when you go into the water, you can almost forget about trying to put it on once the boat flips and the waves are hitting you in the face; especially the four-footers that unexpectedly swelled up and caused these men to capsize. Incidents like this one are the reason New York recently instituted a cold water life jacket law.

One of the survivors, apparently learning a lesson from the experience, said it best, according to WHEC.com: "Being on the lake quite frequently, we have a habit of not using life-saving devices. I wanted to encourage all boaters to heed the warnings of Lake Ontario and any lake. Please wear your life preservers."

Story compiled from various news reports.

More on boating safety:
- FirstBoat boating safety page
- Daily Boater articles about boating safety