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The Sudden Storm

 A true story…….

survival4
On July 4, Doug Fehler, 56, was fishing with his wife and grandkids when a huge thunderstorm swamped his boat. As told to Kristyn Brady.

The boys, Carter, 9, and Charlie, who’s just 5, were casting for perch, while Kristye and I put out jug lines for catfish on Oklahoma’s Broken Bow Lake. We had made the trip up from Texas for a Fourth of July getaway. We’d been fishing for maybe 30 minutes when the sky rumbled. I looked around and saw a huge thunderhead, followed by a lightning flash. It had been a scorcher of an afternoon with a few scattered clouds, and the marina parking lot was packed less than an hour earlier when we launched my 15-foot bass boat, a restored 1980 Caddo, toward a series of small islands. But with the lightning, I thought it best to get off the water.

As we motored toward the edge of the cove, the storm cloud had grown and the sky darkened. The wind picked up, but we’d had more shelter than I realized before our boat cleared the last island, where we were spit out into some of the roughest open water I’ve ever seen. The wind howled and waves slammed into the side of the boat, spilling inside. Without notice, a 7-foot swell crashed over our heads. I struggled to turn us into the oncoming wind and waves, soaked but holding on. Fortunately, we were already wearing our life vests.

Wave after wave crashed over the bow, but I didn’t even notice the water rushing past my feet because I was so focused on keeping the boat straight and running. I heard Kristye yell from the rear, where she was sitting with Charlie. I looked back to see him sitting on the floor with water up to his armpits. He didn’t seem to understand the danger, and just looked back at me expectantly. I could tell Carter was scared, but he was quiet and clung to the rail next to me.

I started to panic. It had been less than 10 minutes, but it felt like we’d been battling the waves much longer. The gas tanks were floating. The cooler had escaped over the side. The battery was under-water. That’s when the engine died.

Without the engine, we were being pushed toward a rocky bluff. If the boat had turned broadside to the waves, the next one would have capsized us. I was just about to jump in to try and pull us to shore when I heard a ski boat speeding toward us. They were able to drag our craft—the transom end completely underwater—and beach it nearby. I stayed with my boat, bailing out, while the driver of the ski boat took Kristye and the boys to the marina. As they left, Charlie was crying in Kristye’s arms, and I couldn’t help but worry that splitting up was the wrong decision. They got some bumps and bruises on the rough ride back, but we were reunited an hour later on the dock, where we all shed a few tears.

My boat’s tri-hull design was not built for those conditions, but I knew that. I would never purposely steer into waves that size. We were blindsided. Carter still doesn’t like to talk about that afternoon, and he hasn’t been on a boat since. I’m hoping that will pass. The whole thing has kept me awake a few nights. I go over the experience in my head, thinking what was at stake. It still gives me chill-bumps.

Survival Analysis

survival5

Because one cannot fault Fehler’s actions once his boat was caught in heavy water—he made sure everyone was wearing a PFD, kept the bow pointed into the waves, and navigated toward safe harbor—the only question of right and wrong here concerns the decision to cross open water. The family probably could have weathered the storm in relative safety among the islands, and Fehler’s decision to leave is one I am sure he would like to have back.

This situation reminds me of an antelope hunting trip I made with my brother on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir, where we found ourselves separated from the dock by a mile-wide channel. Like Fehler, we didn’t have a boat seaworthy enough to meet the conditions once the storm broke. Unlike him, we were able to see how far conditions had deteriorated, so the decision to shelter on a spit of land was a no-brainer. We ended up being trapped by weather there for three days.

The survival lesson here is not so much to be prepared to brave the devil water, but to be prepared to stay, which makes a safe decision much easier. Always check the weather forecast ahead of time, and carry a radio, cellphone, distress flags, and signal flares, as well as a survival bag. Do not forget extra dry clothing, and make sure the book in your dry bag is a long one.

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Offered A Stray Dog A Meatball And Got The Surprise Of His Life!

1975118_1021038967921583_8467522232609010044_n-600x305Dogs are known for their incredible loyalty, so it’s no wonder that they make great teammates. Swedish extreme racing team, Peak Performance, learned this first-hand when they met Arthur, an incredibly strong dog who went from stray to world-wide sensation!

The athletes were competing in a 430-mile-race through Ecuador when they took a well deserved break from their grueling feat to eat lunch. Since the team was in the middle of the rain forest, they were wary of any animals who might approach. But the only one who did was a scraggly, mangy stray dog who they affectionately named Arthur.

Poor Arthur watched with eager, hungry eyes as the athletes unwrapped their food. The team needed all the calories they could eat, and (obviously) food was pretty hard to come by in the middle of the jungle, but team captain Mikael Lindlord offered Arthur a meatball.

What happened next is sure to warm your heart. Scroll down and see how a stray named Arthur went from being a scruffy loner to an INSPIRATIONAL team member who was so brave and so smart, he managed to find his fur-ever home.

Arthur was dirty, alone and starving in the harsh rainforest before he ran
into the team.  He was malnourished and weak from his months surviving alone.

1A single act of kindness bonded Arthur with his new pal. Lonely Arthur finally found “his pack.”

2 Mikael Lindnord says on the team website, “It all started with me giving Arthur a meatball when we we’re eating right before the long trekking. When we set off we did it with some other teams, and I didn’t understand that Arthur was following us until we were alone and he was still there. At one stage, we had to take a break and the dog was totally wrecked. We opened two cans of food and let him eat, because he could find no food at all in the jungle.”

Arthur followed the team through over 400 miles of brutal elements. At one
point the team was told they’d have to leave Arthur behind…

3 When the team approached a river, they had to use a kayak to cross.
The team were advised by organizers that Arthur was not well enough to cross the river.

4The team left Arthur ashore, but he jumped into the water and
started paddling behind them, not wanting to leave his pack.

5The water was freezing so the team pulled him back into the kayak.  Lindlord recalled Arthur’s bravery:”We could hear the people cheer on the shore as we set off. But he was kind of in the way during the whole paddle and we had to find different paddling techniques to not kick him off board. A few times he jumped into the water and took a swim, and then he crawled back up again and was freezing so he got to wear our jackets. One time we got quite close to land and he jumped off and swam to the shore, and we thought that was the last we were gonna see from him. But he ran on the road for a bit and then he swam back to us.”

At the first opportunity, the team took Arthur to a vet.

6Arthur was suffering from a 6-month-old bloody wound on the back of his neck. Still, Arthur persevered.  He was not about to leave his newfound pack.

Arthur never left his team’s side – even when his much healthier teammates said
the conditions were so tough that even they were losing energy.

7 While the pack didn’t finish the extreme race in first place…
they did finish as HEROES.

8Arthur is now an official member of the Peak Performance team. They raised
money to have him flown to Sweden for medical attention.

9 Arthur was greeted with a hero’s welcome, and even better than that:
a forever home with Mikael Lindnord.

9a Talk about a rags-to-riches story.
Sometimes a single meatball can change your life.

9b
Please SHARE if you love uplifting stories about inspirational dogs like Arthur!

By Giovanna Boldrini

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The Sudden Storm

survival4
On July 4, Doug Fehler, 56, was fishing with his wife and grandkids when a huge thunderstorm swamped his boat. As told to Kristyn Brady.

The boys, Carter, 9, and Charlie, who’s just 5, were casting for perch, while Kristye and I put out jug lines for catfish on Oklahoma’s Broken Bow Lake. We had made the trip up from Texas for a Fourth of July getaway. We’d been fishing for maybe 30 minutes when the sky rumbled. I looked around and saw a huge thunderhead, followed by a lightning flash. It had been a scorcher of an afternoon with a few scattered clouds, and the marina parking lot was packed less than an hour earlier when we launched my 15-foot bass boat, a restored 1980 Caddo, toward a series of small islands. But with the lightning, I thought it best to get off the water.

As we motored toward the edge of the cove, the storm cloud had grown and the sky darkened. The wind picked up, but we’d had more shelter than I realized before our boat cleared the last island, where we were spit out into some of the roughest open water I’ve ever seen. The wind howled and waves slammed into the side of the boat, spilling inside. Without notice, a 7-foot swell crashed over our heads. I struggled to turn us into the oncoming wind and waves, soaked but holding on. Fortunately, we were already wearing our life vests.

Wave after wave crashed over the bow, but I didn’t even notice the water rushing past my feet because I was so focused on keeping the boat straight and running. I heard Kristye yell from the rear, where she was sitting with Charlie. I looked back to see him sitting on the floor with water up to his armpits. He didn’t seem to understand the danger, and just looked back at me expectantly. I could tell Carter was scared, but he was quiet and clung to the rail next to me.

I started to panic. It had been less than 10 minutes, but it felt like we’d been battling the waves much longer. The gas tanks were floating. The cooler had escaped over the side. The battery was under-water. That’s when the engine died.

Without the engine, we were being pushed toward a rocky bluff. If the boat had turned broadside to the waves, the next one would have capsized us. I was just about to jump in to try and pull us to shore when I heard a ski boat speeding toward us. They were able to drag our craft—the transom end completely underwater—and beach it nearby. I stayed with my boat, bailing out, while the driver of the ski boat took Kristye and the boys to the marina. As they left, Charlie was crying in Kristye’s arms, and I couldn’t help but worry that splitting up was the wrong decision. They got some bumps and bruises on the rough ride back, but we were reunited an hour later on the dock, where we all shed a few tears.

My boat’s tri-hull design was not built for those conditions, but I knew that. I would never purposely steer into waves that size. We were blindsided. Carter still doesn’t like to talk about that afternoon, and he hasn’t been on a boat since. I’m hoping that will pass. The whole thing has kept me awake a few nights. I go over the experience in my head, thinking what was at stake. It still gives me chill-bumps.

Survival Analysis

survival5

Because one cannot fault Fehler’s actions once his boat was caught in heavy water—he made sure everyone was wearing a PFD, kept the bow pointed into the waves, and navigated toward safe harbor—the only question of right and wrong here concerns the decision to cross open water. The family probably could have weathered the storm in relative safety among the islands, and Fehler’s decision to leave is one I am sure he would like to have back.

This situation reminds me of an antelope hunting trip I made with my brother on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir, where we found ourselves separated from the dock by a mile-wide channel. Like Fehler, we didn’t have a boat seaworthy enough to meet the conditions once the storm broke. Unlike him, we were able to see how far conditions had deteriorated, so the decision to shelter on a spit of land was a no-brainer. We ended up being trapped by weather there for three days.

The survival lesson here is not so much to be prepared to brave the devil water, but to be prepared to stay, which makes a safe decision much easier. Always check the weather forecast ahead of time, and carry a radio, cellphone, distress flags, and signal flares, as well as a survival bag. Do not forget extra dry clothing, and make sure the book in your dry bag is a long one.

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