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About lights: If you haven’t done so, it is a good idea to see how your boat looks to others at night. Check the visibility of the bow lights. Last year I discovered that mine were very visible when the trolling motor was stowed, but when it was deployed the trolling motor obscured the starboard light. I discovered this after growing completely frustrated trying to figure what other boats were doing at night… I could see their stern light but only an occasional faint flicker of red. I began to wonder how my boat looked to others. Got strips of red and green LED lights and put them on the bow. Only $18. Cheap safety.
 

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Friend nearly ran over a fishing boat east of Kelleys some years back, but someone in fishing boat lit a cigarette and that's all he saw at the last second and swerved and missed them. I have almost hit couple sailboats over the years as the lights were so dim you could barely make them out.
TURN YOUR RUNNING LIGHTS ON !!!!!!!!!
 

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I hate these guys who think lights are the reason they are not catching fish I mean a stern light does not give off much light !!!it is because you suck at fishing not the lights sorry for the people of this accident but we should all learn light up your boat correctly light your boards up and play by the rules people if you are using the brawl or slam for a retirement plan your an idiot go out have fun and be safe!!!


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Amen Kenny!


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Found this article seems to have most complete information. We are not likely to get more from any public source.

I saw an interview with the Tow Boat US operator that towed the boats and the submerged boat was the one with the lights on as they were still on under water when they found it and hooked up to it. So sad this had to happen.
 

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We were trolling that area finished up about 830 got all the poles and boards put away had to be when we were heading back to Huron that it happened.. the way I figured was probably a boat was coming in and didn’t see the other boat trolling…. When we got to the plantation the rescue helicopter was out and we were totally surprised when we heard of the accident… from now on at night my spot light will be in arms reach and everyone in the boat all be wearing a life jacket…. Extra extra caution at night lots of debris and boats that are hard to see .. Prayers and thoughts to all the family…
 

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Here's the official version, the 3 men in the back row are the life savers or their 2 friends in front.
Mansfield fishermen recount tragic boat crash; 1 man killed, other missing
Mark Caudill
Mansfield News Journal


Matt Mooney and Matt Baker, front row, along with John Allen, Bob Blanton and Phil May, back row, were involved in a harrowing boating incident on Lake Erie on Tuesday night. One person was killed, and another remains missing.



HURON — The buddy system saved the lives of two Mansfield fishermen who were involved in a harrowing boat crash on Lake Erie.

Phil May, John Allen and Bob Blanton were in one boat, while Matt Mooney and Matt Baker were in the other.

The friends were competing Tuesday night in the Walleye Fall Brawl, a fishing derby on Lake Erie. The incident happened west of the Cranberry Creek Marina, in open water.

A night of fishing and friendship took a tragic turn when another boat collided with Mooney and Baker. A man in the other boat died at the scene. The other has not been found. Their names had not been released as of Friday.

The Mansfield friends worked together to make sure there weren't more casualties.
Mansfield fishermen were enjoying contest
All five men are avid fishermen. May, Allen and Blanton weren't having much luck.

"We got one big one and two small ones," Allen said.

The trio was fishing in only seven feet of water. May communicated with Mooney in the other boat. He and Baker were faring much better in deeper water.

"We started our course back to where we thought those guys were at," May said.

That later proved to be crucial in helping the people involved in the crash. May was able to get there in time. The men agreed there wouldn't have been time if they had remained at their initial location.

As May was piloting his boat closer, he received a call from Mooney.

"He said they'd been hit. They were going down," May said.

May told Allen and Blanton to pull in their fishing reels.

"I was screaming and hollering," May said.

Mooney cried out for help.

"I just took off for that sound," May said. "Bob came to the front of the boat. I wanted an extra set of eyes. I didn't want to run over anybody in the water."

May and company came across Mooney's boat. The other boat had already sunk.

By that time, Mooney had made it back to his boat from the other boat. He was standing in about two feet of water as his vessel sank. Blanton pulled him to safety.

Local man thought he was going to die
While Mooney made it back to his boat to await rescue, Baker was in trouble. He was in the water.

"I jumped about the same time he did," Baker said of Mooney. "I missed the back of his boat."

Even though Baker was wearing a life jacket, he was struggling. He said he was prepared to die.

"I couldn't catch my breath," Baker said. "I had decided I was done."

His friends had other ideas.

Allen tried to reach Baker with a net but was unsuccessful. Blanton gave it a shot and managed to bring Baker back to the boat.

May said he didn't think Baker could have lasted much longer in the cold water.

"It was colder than a mother-in-law's kiss," May said.

Mansfield men try to save other crash victims
After rescuing the two men who were closer to the boat, the friends tried to find the other two men.

"I heard one noise. That was it," Blanton said.

The crew reached one of the men from the other boat, but the situation looked dire.

"Once we got to him, he was face-down in the water," Allen said. "This muscleman (Blanton) pulled him over the back of the boat."


Blanton next called his daughter, who is a nurse, and put her on speakerphone as he attempted CPR on the man.

He performed CPR — 20 chest compressions followed by two breaths — for the next 30 minutes.

"To be honest, I thought we had him back," Blanton said. "He started to breathe. He did open his eyes.

"Then he was gone again."

The man had died.

"I don't know what else we could have done," Blanton said.

Despite possibly being in shock, Mooney helped with the chest compressions.

"I don't know how you did it," Blanton said.

As for the other man, the Mansfield fishermen never saw him. Authorities searched for him overnight Tuesday, calling off the search late Wednesday morning.

"We used a boat and a helicopter, as well as a fire boat from Huron Fire," said Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard's Sector Detroit. "When we search, it's the assumption that the missing person is on the surface of the water."

Boat captain offers his account of incident
Mooney disputes some media reports saying there were no lights on his boat. He said he has captained this same boat for 20 years and that it was well-lit Tuesday night.

The other men corroborated his account.

Mooney is still processing what happened, the strain clearly showing on him.

"I can see this boat coming down on us," he said. "We might have had 10 to 15 seconds."

Mooney said he did not have enough time to get his boat, which was going only 1.5 mph, out of the way of the other vessel, which he estimated was going 20 mph.

Baker was prepared to jump out of their boat, but Mooney yelled for him to stay put.

Contrary to previous reports, Mooney said none of the four people involved in the crash were thrown into the water.

"Their boat's on top of us," Mooney said. "I immediately called Phil. We're taking on water."

Mooney and Baker put on their life jackets and climbed onto the other boat. Mooney told the other boaters to put on their life jackets. He said they did not appear to be injured.

"They were bound and determined to get their boat off of our boat," Mooney said. "I don't understand it. They never did put their life vests on."

Mooney said the entire incident happened in a matter of minutes.

"It was insanity," he said.

He laments not being able to save the other two men.

"They didn't put them (life jackets) on. They would have lived," Mooney said.

Incident a reminder of importance of boater safety
Schiessel urged people to be careful on the water.

"We stress that boating safety is a serious thing," the Coast Guard spokesman said, adding people need to be aware of their surroundings.

"One of these boats did not see the other, and it turned tragic," Schiessel said.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is handling the investigation.

As for the Mansfield friends, they will have a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. They planned to get together this weekend for a celebratory dinner.

"I call Phil and Bob the heroes," Allen said. "Phil's the brains, and Bob's the brawn."

May corrected him.

"The team was a hero," he said.

[email protected]

419-521-7219

Twitter: @MNJCaudill
 

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About lights: If you haven’t done so, it is a good idea to see how your boat looks to others at night. Check the visibility of the bow lights. Last year I discovered that mine were very visible when the trolling motor was stowed, but when it was deployed the trolling motor obscured the starboard light. I discovered this after growing completely frustrated trying to figure what other boats were doing at night… I could see their stern light but only an occasional faint flicker of red. I began to wonder how my boat looked to others. Got strips of red and green LED lights and put them on the bow. Only $18. Cheap safety.
That is all well and good that you added lights to your bow, but bow lights are only supposed to visible from center line to 112.5 degrees to each side of center so you can tell exactly what direction the boat is heading in the dark. Lighting it very specific in the rules of the road.

reelylivinsportfishing.com
 

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have to put in my 2 cents here...
i was fishing from shore last night and there was a ton of boats out of 72nd boats everywhere
one boat pretty far out in the lake pops a flare up...so i watched about 5-10 minutes and not one boat went to assist
he pops a second flare up....same thing not ONE freaking boat went out to him...so i called the coast guard ...gave them directions to the boat...he pops a third flare ....about this time i see the coast guard heading that way and FINALLY a boat comes out from the MARINA area and goes out to assist the boat...
i mean really guys is it worth THAT much that you cant go help another boater at night thats popping flares up?????
coast guard arrived about the time the other boat was towing them in....
i couldnt believe it tho...all those boats out there and not one of them went in his direction even to help
im a boater, but mine is down right now , but when i see a flare or a flag for that matter i stop everything im doing and go try and help, could be me out there one time and i would hope someone would return the favor but im starting to wonder now...
 

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A trucker I know heading out of Baltimore last year had guy on side of road step in front of his truck to commit suicide. People were stopping to take pictures of the bloody body on the side of the road and then driving off.
So your boat story does not surprise me at all.
 
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