Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Autumn Death

A shooting friend of mine has recently lost his friend who was salmon fishing in a fast running, Scottish river. He was swept away by the swift water, having lost his footing.

He was wearing chest-waders. The big problem with chest-waders is that, if the harsh felt soles do not grip the slimy rocks and you fall in, the water goes half way down to your legs, then stops in an air-lock.

The air-lock forms a couple of balloons on both feet, and your feet rise to the surface of the river, leaving your head below the water. The pressure of the water (along with the other pressures) means that you have no way of releasing the waders, and you simply drown. This is what happened to my friend's friend.

There is a little vest you can buy, which automatically inflates as soon as you hit the water. It costs about £150, and is designed for fishermen. A small price to pay, under these circumstances. All you have to do is make sure it is worn in conjunction with short waders, so the air at the top is not competing with the air at the bottom.

If this public service announcement saves but one life, then that is one more salmon which will end up on the plate of the family at home, waiting for the angler's return.


  1. I learn something new all the time from you Tom. This is very sad that this man lost his life enjoying a quiet pleasure.

  2. So incredibly sad. Thanks for the info on the vest.

  3. Sorry about your friend Tom. How very sad.

  4. Thanks, but he wasn't my friend, he was a friend of a friend. It just made up my mind to get one of those vests if I'm ever on the water, and think twice about chest-waders!

  5. I don't like waders anyway, guess they may be useful in cooler climes though. Excellent for birth control.

  6. Excellent for birth-control, AND incontinence, Sarah. Not so good for flatulence, though.