There is a new law that took effect on July 1 that bans “Teak Surfing.” We didn’t give this legislation much thought until we read a description of this latest technique to suffer catastrophic injury and possible death.
Apparently teak surfing is the act of hanging onto the stern swim platform of a moving speedboat. At some point, the swimmer lets go of the platform and body-surf’s the boat’s wake. The term originated from the fact that many swim platforms are made of teak wood.
Let’s stop and consider the practicalities of this sport. During teak surfing, the swimmer will suspend his body (we are making a wild guess that this primarily involves males, likely fueled by beer) two or three feet above a whirling steel blade, all while being bathed in the exhaust fumes from the engine.
Call us wimps but this doesn’t seem like the smartest way to spend a hot summer afternoon.
While teak surfing is undoubtedly a thrill, there are other good, and safer, ways to get your kicks. For example, try taunting grizzly bears while carrying a large ham in your backpack or spend a few hours being Casey Anthony’s bodyguard.
You are much more likely to survive with all your digits intact.
According to a story from WIBC.com, with a bit more than half of 2011 passed, Indiana has already passed the total number of drownings for all of 2010.
We here at WildIndiana had guessed as much when we finally decided early in the summer that we wouldn’t post any further new stories of drownings (unless noteworthy to a state-wide audience) simply because there were too many to cover this year. It became obvious that we would get nothing done during the summer except post notices of drownings from around the state.
Such news is significant and important but would not be especially entertaining on a website devoted primarily to sharing the joy of the outdoors.
So, if you are an angler, someone who likes to swim in rivers or lakes, a boater, paddler or just someone who is contemplating venturing onto our wild waters, please heed the usual safety advice. First and foremost, wear your Personal Floatation Device, even if you think it is hot and dorky.
After all, we don’t have that many readers here at WildIndiana.com; we can’t afford to lose too many more.
This weekend will see waterways throughout the state and nation clogged with swimmers, scuba divers, anglers, boaters, waterskiers, paddlers, personal watercraft riders and every other manner of outdoor enthusiast. It also means that the alcohol will flow and there will undoubtedly be a boating-related tragedy somewhere in the state during the holiday weekend. Sadly, there probably will be more than one if past experience holds true.
So, as we head out this weekend to celebrate the greatest country in the world, let’s take an extra effort to be safe out there. Our goal should be to arrive safely at work, sunburned, bloated from bratwurst and all tired out from a great- and safe- weekend.
Here is a good story highlighting the problems from Lafayette television station WLFI:
MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) – Thousands of Indiana boaters are expected to hit the water this holiday weekend, which is always one of the busiest boating weekends of the summer.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources reminded boaters to play it safe on lakes like Freeman and Shafer.
Conservation Officer Matt Tholen said Freeman and Shafer are relatively narrow bodies of water, increasing the risk for boating accidents when hundreds of boats are running in the same area…
Earlier this month two men were injured, one critically, after their 33-foot boat hit a breakwater near the Port of Indiana in Lake Michigan around 3 a.m. According to investigators, the boat was traveling around 30-35 miles per hour though the speed limit for night-time boating in Indiana is 10 m.p.h.
One of the men was airlifted to the hospital. An joint Coast Guard/Department of Natural Resources investigation is ongoing.
A new route that developers hope will be the “Appalachian Trail” of paddling was officially opened last week.
The Lake Michigan Water Trail was celebrated with ceremonies at Indiana Dune National Lakeshore. Paddling enthusiasts and Park System planners hope the trail, designated as a National Recreation trail, will eventually offer a 1600-circle loop of Lake Michigan.
The current open segment runs 75-miles from the Chicago lakefront to New Buffalo, Michigan.