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FLW Angler Missing, Day 2 Canceled

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17 minutes ago, Flysmallie said:

A lot of that damage could be from it sitting out there banging against those rocks all night. 

Yeah I saw the video of it when the boat was found.   Light pole was still in, light switch was in the ON position, and passengers rods still sitting next to the passenger seat....so it didn't flip.    It appears that it happened early, probably in the fog, soon after take-off.  

It was 38° at take-off.

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Boats can drift really long distances when the waves are crashing & you’ve got all day. There’s no telling where they went overboard. I would hate to be the boater, he’s gonna have survivors guilt. Terrible situation 

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Copied from another website of what was suppose to happen.

Its not good. The lady in room next to us visited bill (angler) at hospital. They speared a wave and Nik went out. By the time he stopped he tried to go back and get him, engine would not fire. He went to try trolling motor and another wave knocked him off boat, co angler was last seen waving at him. He had to tie his self to the troll motor cable to stay with boat. He was able to get away from boat and to land before it crashed on rocks. It was 30degrees and windy as hell, water temps were low 50's where we were. I would imagine by the time he stopped he was already a long ways from him. Then the wind pushing boat did not help when it was dead in water. I dont know all the details yet but this was from someone who actually saw him and asked right b4 we left today. Its probably the most accurate thing we have heard so far from a reliable source. I pray they find him alive.

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Sounds like at least two things could possibly have prevented this:

1. Perhaps FLW should have considered cancelling competition that day if the waves were high enough to cause an accident.

2. Perhaps the boat driver was going too fast for conditions. It happens all the time in tournaments. Guys get over-amped about getting to their spot and take unnecessary chances.

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1 hour ago, Champ188 said:

Sounds like at least two things could possibly have prevented this:

1. Perhaps FLW should have considered cancelling competition that day if the waves were high enough to cause an accident.

2. Perhaps the boat driver was going too fast for conditions. It happens all the time in tournaments. Guys get over-amped about getting to their spot and take unnecessary chances.

As for #1..... Tournament fishing isn't just about the fishing, it's also MAINLY about dealing with the elements.

#2 seems pretty obvious, the guy made a bad choice and headed out over water that was above his skill level, or he overestimated the ability of his boat.  He gambled and lost.  

I've wanted to fish "over there" plenty of times, and have had to make the choice not to because of the conditions.   The decision gets harder to make when your career or livelihood depends on it.    The big O looks and acts like an ocean when you come out of those protected canals, I've witnessed it.  She's not a friendly pond by any means.

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In retrospect, I hope my previous post didn't seem insensitive. It certainly was not intended that way. But like many of you, I've been in and around this tournament game a lot of years ... about 40 of them. 

One thing I am certain of is this ... there needs to be some serious talk about safety. FLW and their Costa series in particular has had numerous accidents, including a two-boat collision just a few months ago on Grand that turned out a lot better than it might have. 

Wrench is right ... there is the factor that a lot of these guys depend on their earnings/sponsorship contracts for their living. So no doubt they want/need to get to their best locations.

But there is another and way more important factor for these boaters ... they are responsible for the lives of their co-anglers. Before you set out across rough water that may or may not be more than you/your boat can handle, you have to stop and think that the guy sitting beside you is someone's son, husband and/or dad. You are taking the chance of bringing tragedy into a lot of lives and you cannot afford to make a snap decision with that much on the line.

I'm not saying this is definitely what happened at Okeechobee. I don't know what happened. But I know there are a LOT of times practically every weekend when someone in a tournament makes a decision that could potentially turn out very, very badly. It doesn't have to be a pro tournament ... it can happen in a club derby. It doesn't even have to be a tournament ... it can happen during a day of purely recreational fishing with a buddy.

Bottom line is safety isn't something to be tossed aside for the sake of catching a few more fish. Even if it's your livelihood, catching a boatload of 5-pounders does you no good if you don't make it back to the weigh-in with them.

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I know nothing about these boats or the tournaments, but I wonder are the boat drivers licensed like auto drivers? Any training required?

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