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Went out this morning with Marq. Water was very coloured & weedy. Conditions were a tad rougher than what we thought they would be, but they were still fishable, just about.

Anyhow this thread aint about catching fish, unfortunately. Its about a lesson learnt for myself. Yep at 38 I'm still learning things that looking back I should really have known better.

A largish wave came in, not one that caused me concern as I was standing a reasonable height above the water. However it took my plug & line & ended up wrapping the line around a clump of mussels about 10 yards to my left, in front of me. Plug stuck, it was not coming out of its own accord.

This was a brand new plug, a sinking Jackson Athlete one just purchased from Ben at AoF. Hence I was quite keen to keep hold of it. The plug was snagged at around water level but when the waves came in it became submerged. I could see it dangling just yards waay from me. 'I know what' I though to myself, 'Marq can hold my rod, I'll run down to the plug in between waves, free the plug & Marq will retrieve the line'

That was the plan put into action. I waited for a big set of waves to go through & made my way down to the plug. The leader was wrapped around the mussels good & proper. It took a lot longer to free than I thought. Trying to free the plug took me longer than I thought. Larger waves were coming in & one took me off the rock upon which I was lying. Into the water I went :-o

Thankfully I was wearing my Snowbee Auto Inflate Jacket & within a second or so of going into the water that went off. I had the plug in my hands but at my first attempt could not get onto the rocks. Luckily I got back on with my second attempt.

A bit shaken, I climbed back up away from the water & it dawned on me that I'd just done something really stupid. I had my plug yes but I'd put my life in danger for the sake of £20. It was not until taking off my jacket & cag that I then realised I'd actually lost another plug from one of my pockets. The plug's treble hooks were impaled on my cag sleeve. That could have been my hand. I also found on a bit later that the pocket that my phone was in in my lifejacket (that I thought was waterproof) is not waterproof. One soaked phone.

Net result one lost plug at £20, 1 recharge CO2 cartridge for my life jacket at £20, 1 new phone at say £60, life put in danger - priceless.

Was it worth it? That's a big NO!! It was a new plug I didn't want to lose it. However I'm now £100 down & I put my life at risk. Sitting here in my kitchen looking at my 8 month old daughter crawling around on the kitchen floor really brings it home. I should have just pulled for a break & hoped for the best.

Mark - thanks for being on hand in my moment of need :-D

Thankfully all is OK. I'm safe & well. It could have easily have been different though. A lesson well & truly learnt
 

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Hi Toby it just goes to show how careful we have to be around the sea it has a mind of its own. Will it only be a matter of time before we have really bad news here on the forum ( i hope not ) so to all who read this PLEASE be aware of the dangers we put oureslves in espicially at this time of year with the weather so changeable.
 

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Toby, im glad you are ok and feeling on second thoughts in regard to your own safety. You are 100% right on the risk, its not worth putting things on the line.
 

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We all think the same in that situation not worth it at all is good to hear your all right
 

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A good post a reminder for anyone how quickly a trip could turn into a disaster. I get ribbed by some for always having my life jacket on people never think it is going to happen to them. A number of people have been lost around Jersey over the years including a friends brother who was swept off rocks and never found
 

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Thanks for sharing that experience on here, I am sure it will do some good.

Some people might have been too proud to mention it.
 

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Interesting thread and one with a happy outcome thankfully.

I spend alot of time in the water around rocks and it is NOT to be toyed with.

In my strong opinion, everyone should carry some kind of buoyancy but preferrably, one that keeps you upright if you were to smack your head (highly likely).
This is one area where wader make the issue far worse as your natural balance and centre of gravity is knackered.

I can tell you, in tests, (yes, I've tested it for insurance etc), kicking with your legs doesn't work. It just isn't effective.

If anyone goes in, reagrdless of where, relax first, you are wet but not gone just yet. Spread your limbs and observe.
I would also suggest, NOT trying to get out, where you were washed in. There are reasons to rock structure etc as to why you were washed in, in the first place.

If you have a m8 with you, SHOUT !!

Use a rod, anything but, until you have a game plan, stay OUT, away from the rocks. IF you are being pulled OUT, do NOT try to swim against it, you WILL lose.

Scrambling around, pointless swimming etc leads to panic which can be deadly.

Even in a wetsuit, whilst wading, if you go just that little bit deeper than you should, you float off. It is 'unerving' to say the least until you get used to it.
Most newbies to this scramble to get thier legs back on the bottom....(I Know), it is wrong.

Lie on your back, ditch the gear and use your arms to propel you.

We've tried lots of methods but this works. Sorry for the shoolteacher attitude guys but it is something no-one is immune too.

Thanks for posting, many wouldn't.
 

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Good advice Keith.

One thing I have done in the past when going to a new venue (like Weymouth) is to take a rope. Modern ropes don't take up much space and mine lives in the back of my car ready to be grabbed if I head anywhere gnarly (not often). Most people think its for a drop net, well it's useful for that as well. It is not for climbing down with, I'll leave that to the human spiders (!), just for assisting someone.

Oh, and a lifejacket whistle is useful to attract attention, in case you can't shout loud enough!
 

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Brave post Toby and one we could all learn from whatever our experience. I think all of us have been in that situation and probabaly all got away with it but you can 'win' 100 times but you only need to 'lose' once and its game over. Keiths advice makes a lot of sense and I know from many years diving that whatever goes wrong, for you or someone else, panic is the fastest route to disaster. Easy to say but tough to remember in the heat of the moment.

The sad fact of life is that sooner or later (and lets hope for years later) a serious accident will occur. Just do your best to ensure its not you.
 

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Toby , really glad your ok! Hold your daugther just five minutes longer every day.

Know the situation, worst when you can see your plug!

Have a nice second Birthdaydate now!
Thomas
 

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If you enter the water unexpectedly as Toby did, or fall off your kayak etc, the first thing your body does involuntarily is gasp because of the shock of the cold water. Summer or winter, salt water or fresh etc. You physically cannot stop that happening. If you are unlucky enough for your body to go through this muscle reaction whilst still submerged you automatically fill your lungs with an amount of water.
If you have a self inflating life jacket or PFD on you will come to the surface & cough most of the water out of your lungs (if you are lucky) & you will then draw a breathe. If you haven't got a life jacket or PFD on you will more than likely drown because of this involuntary muscle reaction.
Be safe & carry a high decibel safety whistle they are around £5 to £10 from Millets & the likes. I carried one with me & that whistle saved my life a few years ago after I spent two hours in the sea half a mile off shore. Accidents do happen as Toby found out, just be prepared for them.
 

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Like Keith said, the key is def to stay calm & try to form a viable plan.
A good friend of mine & I were surfing when we got caught in a rip and were being dragged out away fom the beach. It was late evening, getting dark & no life guards about.
We stayed together, discussed the best plan of action & made sure we kept each other calm.
We both made it out, but that was about as hairy as I'd ever want get. The mile & half walk back to the car seemed like a very small price to pay.
 

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well you had a lucky escape i had one earlier this year s well and i had no jacket on ,but as much as i hate losing gear it can be replaced if a plug gets caught on me now i just try my best from where i am ,i will never go into the water unless i know im safe which is a rare ,snap the line set up again ,you can waste valuable fishing time trying to get it
 

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Toby,
Really glad to hear your safe, And a huge thank you for being man enough to own up to your mistake. REALLY hope those that read this will bear it mind should the same situation arise while they are fishing. We all learn sooner or later just how powerful and dangerous the sea can be if you take chances-I made the error of thinking I could handle some rough surf on a shingle beach earlier this year, an extra large wave rolled in a slammed me into the shingle. Got away with it, but got the breath knocked out of me. Would have been scary on the rocks.
Glad your smart enough to have a lifejacket on-worth every penny when things go wrong aren't they!!
 

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Toby,

so pleased all turned out OK. Obviously I agree with all of the above.

Luckily Marq was there with you. Fishing alone is really not recommended.

As with Kayaking, " never paddle alone".

"Never fish alone".
 

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I saw the conditions at Whitsands today mate, pretty hairy! Lucky you had that vest on and Mark with you. The Japs have the right idea alright, always wearing a life jacket of some sort.

Glad you're still with us mate!
 
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