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I was inspected by the Coast Guard last year while fishing off Cleveland. I had always kept my Life Jackets and Throwable in a side compartment, out of the way. My flares and distress signal items were in a front locker, easily and quickly accessible.
It took me about two to three munutes to get out all the items for the inspection and the CG suggested I keep them more readily available. I thought about it and it made sense so I decided to keep the Life Jackets under my console, readily available, as well as the Throwable which is on top of the Jackets.
I am truly glad I made the changes I did after seeing how quickly the boat off Turtle Creek went down and none of the occupants had time to get into a Life Preserver but were fortunate that they were fishing in a pack of boats thaty were able to render quick assistance.
I hope I never have to experience the sinking of my boat but I can at least know that my safety equipment is available quickly.
 

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As that boat was sinking off of turtle, wild wings, it dawned on me that my fishing partner (wife) had no idea where our safety gear was located or how to use it if it was ever needed.
So, I gave her the lessons needed right there on the water.
Got her home and let her light off a couple hand held flares as well as load the flare gun and launch a round into the field behind the house.
Not olny do I feel better about her knowing what to do incase it is needed, she is more confindent now also.
I always have the life jackets out and easy to grab at all times. I take them out of the locker before we pull away from the dock.
 

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I always keep out as many PFDs as people on board and make sure they know where throwable, fire ext., first aid, and saftey kit (flares) is located. I never thought about making sure they knew how to put on PFD though......GOOD THOUGHT!!:)
 

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Saturday morning before we put in the water, I showed my buddy Joe who was going out with me for the first time where the throwable was. I keep it in the compartment behind the starboard side back seat. He understood and was comfortable with everything. We all (3 kids and 2 adults) had our pfd's on, but upon getting on the scene with the boat sinking do you think he could remember where the throwable was. Everything just happens to fast, it was probably less than 2 hrs before that I showed him where it was. Just the shock of what is going on around you. He did find it, but probably about 30 seconds after he would have liked to. I didn't know he had not thrown in yet in trying to maneuver the boat in.
 

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Yea after that incident I think it makes us all more aware how quick things can happen and will we be ready. There's not always going to be a boat close by,I know it made me think more about safety and where everything is.
 
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