If you have read the newspaper or Internet news sites this week, you may have caught the story of the two fishermen in Alaska who had quite an adventure. It seems that they were in their fishing boat miles offshore when they experienced hydraulic failure (I love boats but have a limited knowledge of some of their systems - I assume the hydraulics control the rudder and also the planing / pitch of the lower unit) and, were also dealing with eight-foot waves.
Well, they were twisted around and the bow of the boat nosed-into a wave as the stern of the boat began to flood. They grabbed what they could, one of the items being a four foot deep and wide plastic bin. The other man grabbed the lid and into the water they went as their boat sank. The fellow who was hanging onto the lid was able to grab a Survival Suit, and spent the next two hours fighting his way into it while staying afloat and hanging onto his floating plastic bin lid.
In the process of the one man working his way into the Survival Suit, the two Alaskan fishermen were soon separated by the wind and waves. The man in the plastic bin kept himself occupied by bailing the water out of the bin, and gave himself pep-talks and probably went through a thousand repetitions of everyone's favorite small-craft song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." The man in the survival suit made it to shore and flagged-down a passing boat that was coincidentally full of Law Enforcement officers who were going out to look for the overdue fishermen. The man in the boat was spotted and rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew.
I am sure everyone is happy for the rescue of the two Alaskan fishermen, as I know I am because I also know the potential outcome should have been opposite of the actual outcome. The fact is, these two men are very fortunate to be alive. They left for their Coho Salmon fishing trip without telling anyone of their plans, they did not have a working radio on board their craft, and they did not even have a mobile ("Cell") phone with them.
Call it what you will, but I believe sometimes Providence looks down with a sympathetic smile and allows a bad situation to have a pleasing outcome. It does not happen often, but once was enough for the two Alaskan fishermen. It is the quintessential example of "I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good" that we examined in a previous blog. I won't argue the point because the point is these two, in spite of their lack of preparation, survived what ninety eight out of one hundred other fishermen in the same situation might not have.
If you go out on fishing and / or hunting trips, if you go camping or hiking, if you walk cross-country ... if you do any activity that might place you in harm's way while doing it, PLEASE at least let a friend or family member know when you are leaving, where you are going, how long you should be gone, and when you should return. Take good and reliable communication gear with you. If you are going into the wilderness or out on the water and will have no mobile phone coverage, please consider one of these:
https://www.bestglide.com/spot-satellite-gps-messenger.html or, maybe a newer type of accessory that that enables you to use your Mobile Smart Phone as a GPS text messaging unit:
These two guys apparently had some sort of Survival equipment on-board - hence the Survival Suit. One does wonder though who would have ended up with the suit had one not been able to use the plastic bin as a boat. It is exactly this sort of situation that gives us pause to reflect on many things, and prompts us to check our own preparations and our own Survival equipment. Our mental preparations for such an event as these two fishermen went through are also worth meditating upon. If ever a time a positive attitude was needed - it was then.
The Survival Suit was on-board "just in case", and the plastic bin probably held their catch or bait. What they had was all they had. When the time comes will any of us have what we need to survive? It's worth thinking about.
Remember - " Fortuna favet præparaverat - Fortune Favors the Prepared!"