Posted by: wavetamer on Mar-24-10 1:43 PM (EST)
I am glad to hear you warn of attaching a whistle to your zipper pull. This has been a warning of mine for many years. My personal experience came from attempting a paddle float rescue during a demo. As I swam up onto my deck I felt some resistance. I kicked harder and managed to overshoot the balance point and "waved the big yellow flag" as we used to call tumbling over the deck and flipping back into the water as the paddle and float swung up and over, too. It's loud, harsh slap on the water sounded painful even if it missed you. I noticed my PFD up over my ears, nearly floating clear of me. The whistle had caught on a deck line and completely unzipped my life jacket almost instantly.
The whistle is a great survival tool, despite its limitation in stronger winds. Every person, landlubbers alike, should carry one; give one to their kids, too. It does last longer than your voice and be heard in most other climatic conditions. Thanks for bringing this to light again.
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