Run In With a Power Boat E-mail
Monday, 07 May 2012 23:16

 

On Sunday April 29, Michael Rischer had a run in with a power boat that he captured on video.  KFM caught up with Michael, owner and guide at KayakFishingOregon.com, and had a chat with him about his encounter.

Tell us what happened.

I had just decided to take a break from Salmon fishing and target Sturgeon for a while and headed across the Willamette River to some deeper water near the bank on the other side of the river. I set anchor within 30 feet of the bank so I was out of the channel, but casting out over my left shoulder into a 90 foot Sturgeon hole.. I had just settled into my seat after turning on my GoPro camera and feeling ready for Sturgeon action. Everything seemed normal so far as I was relaxing and waiting for the “tap, tap” from the river monsters below. I started noticing the sound of a boat motor approaching from behind, but the sound seemed to be way too centered behind me and sounded much louder than it should have been for having this much open water around me. As I looked behind me, I saw a powerboat moving fast and heading straight in my direction. The second that I saw him, I think he must have saw me too because he was able to turn enough during that split second that spared my life.

You stayed pretty cool throughout the whole incident. Can you describe the emotions going through your head?

I was in shock at first and also really pissed. Everyone asked me why I didn’t start screaming at these guys, but they were probably in there mid 80’s and I just didn’t feel like yelling and cursing at them would really solve anything. They were very apologetic and were almost as shocked as I was.

Lots of people have commented on the boat "taking off". Can you set the record straight on that?

In the video it looks like they’re trolling away, but they were actually going after my paddle and other personal belongings that hit the river. I wasn’t sure at first, so pulled out my phone to get a picture of them with the boat registration number. They returned with my paddle a few minutes later at which point we were able to discuss the situation and exchange names and numbers.

How did this all end up?

Luckily, there was no real damage, but the owner did offer to pay.

Any advice to others to avoid something similar happening to them? I know you were flying a flag, but that obviously wasn't enough.

Yes, I was pretty well marked with a bright orange Visipole flag, a 14” orange buoy and my bright yellow PFD, but its still wasn’t enough. I’ve picked up an air horn and will no longer anchor facing downstream when Sturgeon fishing alone.

Anything you'd like to add?

Be as visible a possible!! These guys admitted to me later that they were not paying attention and having a conversation while they were cruising to their next Salmon spot. Power boaters have got to pay extra close attention. Especially, these days with all the increase of kayaks on the water.


SturgeonGR1 In addition to owning Kayak Fishing Oregon Guide Service and Lessons, Michael Rischer is also sponsored by Hobie Kayaks, Next Adventure, Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor, GoPro Camera's, Korkers, and Coffman Cove Bunkhouse (Alaska).


 

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