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Ode to the Fisherman

(PRWEB) September 15, 2005

Ode to the Fisherman

By Wayne Spivak

National Press Corps

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Ode to the Fisherman

Lo, the fisherman,

Mighty are his preparations.

He riseth early and goes forth,

Full of great expectations.

He returneth late,

Smelling of strong drink,

And the truth is not in him.


Oh, if the third line of the poem were only accurate, our Ode to the Fisherman would ring with truth and safety.

But, our mighty fishing-person, especially those who fish and boat, usually don’t prepare well enough. In 2003, the Coast Guard lists fishing as the activity with the second highest accident rate. In 2003, 543 people who were fishing on boats were in accidents, and unfortunately 187 died.

Of all the groups listed, those who were fishing were the highest group of deaths in this particular statistic. Think about it, 34% of those fishing, who were also boating, died due to the accidents they were involved with.

The most dangerous activity according to the Coast Guard statistics is Waterskiing/Tubing. 711 people were involved in accidents, but only 19 died, in 2003. That’s a mere 2.4%.

So who are those boaters who also fish?

Let’s examine those 2003 statistics and piece together the demographic. Once we paint the picture, I think you find yourself a part of some of the other high risk groups, as outlined in the 2003 Boating Statistics, COMDTPUB P16754.17 (available at http://www.uscgboating.org/statistics/Boating_Statistics_2003.pdf ). Once you know that you are a member of a high risk group, you can then determine if a change in your behavior is warranted.

Now the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary ARE NOT proposing you stop fishing! On the contrary, fishing is one of the great American pastimes. What we in the Coast Guard and Auxiliary want you to do, is boat safely, whether you are fishing, waterskiing or tubing, or just plain cruising!

So, what is the profile you ask? If you are between ages of 36 and 55, and have between 100 and 500 hours of experience, you fit the profile.

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