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It is a sad and tremendous loss.

I would venture to say that the inpact did not injure them, but the 4 hours spent in 50 dergree water was too much for Strickland.
I think it is a good idea to plan for such situations and have the ability to beacon (call) for help from your person in the water.
This could be accomplished by several methods that we should discuss in this thread.
 

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with all the advancements in gps these days you would think they could come up with a small device that clips to your vest.

it could work something like this:

clipped to the bottom of the vest and water activated. once the device is "waterlogged" it sends out a distress signal.

now whomever is receiving the signal, whether it be the tournament officials, or the local authority, could know there is a problem.

if the boaters are safe and able to get back on the boat they could simply call and let whomever know everything is ok. or maybe there could be a shut off switch on the device itself.

but if they do not respond, they could be located via gps by the tournament officials, local authority, or whomever.

just an idea.

reminds me of the whole on star thing. believe it or not, i invented on star. or something very similar to it. but it was 3 years before on star was introduced.

the idea came to me while working night shift in troy and making the long drive back to highland. i took 1-75 very late at night. actually, very early in the morning. i was usually 3:00 am. i would see cars flipped on the side of the road, or in the median. and there was literally no one around. i would stop and check it out and most of the time i would find an empty car. but one time there was a man upside down, still strapped in and bleeding from the head and mouth and unconcious.

i ran back to my truck and called 911. police were there first and an ambulance shortly after. after about 20 minutes they pulled his lifeless body from the car and put him into a body bag.

i had to stay for a while and give a report on exactly what i saw and did upon arriving to the scene. the cop told me that the man had been there for a while because his engine was cold.

one of the perimedics said nothing is certain until they do an autopsy but he believed that the man died because he suffered a blow to the head which would cause his brain to swell but being upside down and having so much blood rushing to his head put too much pressure on his brain.

whether or not this is true, i dont know. but he did say that if that was the case it probably wouldnt have been a fatality had soemone got to him sooner.

i got to thinking as i sometimes do. there are sensors in automobiles that tell airbags to go off. why couldnt the same sensor go off and alert 911 dispatch. then the 911 dispatch could pinpoit the location of the vehicle using gps.

what if a woman crashed her car in the winter time, flipped it several time and broke out the windows? what if the woman was unconcious? what if the temperatures were below freezing? what if she also had an infant in a child seat? what if all this happened late at night on a remote road?

seems to me there is something we could come up with. we put so much into technology to help us find fish, or find our way back to the launch. shouldnt we be taking steps to ensure our own safety?

madman himself
 

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I know one tournament angler who has a portable EPIRB on his person in case he falls in. It's a slight hassle because you can set it on inadvertantly and make the Coast Guard unhappy. I think you can be fined. They're expensive. I don't know where all this would work as far as coverage.

Human life is way too valuable to risk for any amount of tournament money, yet I see guys doing things in weekend tournaments that are just insane. Bad things can happen to anyone. I sometimes say I'm unlucky because I've had two motors come off, but I actually feel real lucky because the worse that has happened has been some water splashed on me and some inconvenience.

I know from now on I will be checking my VHF radio every evening. It worked all summer, but the day I needed last September, it wouldn't work. Maybe the motor coming off damaged something, but maybe if I had checked it the night before, I could have fixed a fuse or something simple. I hadn't checked it in about a week.

Luckily, my cell phone just worked enough to make things happen, but you can't count on those (you can't completely count on a VHF either, but it's better on the Great Lakes). I was reading about the anglers on Toledo Bend who's cell phones wouldn't work. They came closed to spending the night in rough weather.

I remember hearing some 'horror' stories from last fall's state championship were guys ran long distances completely unprepared for big water. There's nothing in that tournament (all the way to the final potential payout) worth being sloppy or unprepared and unknowledgeable to the point where you risk your own life and health, or worse, someone else's who is counting on you to be smart, safe, and prepared.
 

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EPIRB (Emergency Personal Indicator Radio Beacon) is an essential piece of equiptment for guides and captians on waters like ours. It may even be required now.

Not cheap and definately not one to "test". It will automatically send an emergency response request to the coast guard.

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