Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Death of a Shore Fisherman

Tragedy struck once again today along our shores as a shore fisherman got swept off the rocks at Beavertail in Jamestown and drowned.  It seems like this is almost a yearly occurrence along our rocky shores.  It reminds us just how dangerous this game can be especially when the water is rough like it was today. I've seen a lot of crazy stuff in my days along the shores.  A couple of years ago I saw a young person (college age) go down close to the water at the East Wall to retrieve a plug.  When he hit the wet rocks he slid right into the water.  Luckily it was not rough and he was able to get out with some help.  On an other night I saw an older guys walk off a bar at Narrow River in Narragansett in complete darkness.  He was quickly over his head and in serious trouble as his waders were filling with water, but a fishermen nearby was able to grab the guy and pull him to shore. On still another occasion I saw a fisherman leaving the rocks of the West Wall completely covered in blood.  He had fallen on the rocks and was badly injured. 
In addition, a couple of years ago a fisherman drowned at Matunuck when he fell into the water.  And, we all know about the dangerous rocks along Narragansett where over a dozen people have drowned over the years after being swept into the water there,  Many of those were fishermen. I was actually fishing one year along Gansett as a double drowning occurred.
So, proceed with caution if you are going to fish a dangerous, rocky spot.  When fishing these spots, I don't like to wear waders.  It only adds to the danger if you fall in.  I also like to fish high perches where the rocks are dry beneath my feet.  Wet rocks can be as slick as ice.  While I know most of these rocky areas like the back of my hand, I still proceed with extreme caution at night.  I know most people will not venture in these spots at night, probably a good idea if you are not familiar with the area.  Finally, it is always a good idea to fish these dangerous spots with a partner.  I am often fishing with my sons along these dangerous areas at night.
No fish is worth losing your life.  If you fish these dangerous spots, do it  with a lot of caution and common sense.