Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Be Careful Out There

The water is cold and unforgiving this time of year: Duck hunter drowns after boat flips
A Harford County man drowned in Eastern Bay Saturday morning, Dec. 20, after his boat overturned while he was waterfowl hunting with friends. Brian Durham, 57, of Belcamp was part of a three-man hunting trip to the area to shoot some ducks in the cold waters off McDaniel the week before Christmas.

Durham and his friends set out on the Miles River in two boats. Durham was alone in a 10-foot “sneak” boat, and the other two men were in a larger boat. They settled down about 150 yards apart to wait for ducks.

According to the other men, at about 10 a.m., a flock of ducks approached and shots were fired. They said Durham apparently missed and was talking to them by two-way radio. They said he reloaded and several minutes passed.

Another flock of ducks approached and Durham fired three rounds, according to his friends. He apparently missed again, they said.

They tried to call him on the radio, but there was no answer. The men told Department of Natural Resources officials that they thought Durham did not respond because he was angry at missing and was reloading.

After about five minutes, they tried to call him again, but had no response, so they got out binoculars and saw his boat had turned upside down.

Durham’s friends rushed to the scene, according to the DNR report. They told officials they found their friend floating face up, unconscious.

“He was not wearing a lifejacket,” DNR spokesperson Candy Thomson said.
Always wear a life jacket. If you're on the water a lot, get two; one for warm weather, and one for cold weather. I have an automatic inflation "SOSepnders" for warm weather, and a Stern "Float Coat" for cold weather. You may have seen pictures of them both here. Fortunately, I've never used either for the their flotation.  The float coat is great insulation in cold weather, though.

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