From Minnesocold, Bass Fishing Blog Capitol of the World!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fog, Safety, Radar, and the 2011 Bassmaster Classic

Pete Robbins at the blog Pete Weighs In has written a thoughtful post on angler safety titled Do Not Try This At Home in the wake of the fog plagued 2011 Bassmaster Classic.

Pete questions the wisdom of angler behavior in this years Classic and asks these questions:
In a nutshell, I think it boils down to two main questions, specifically: (1) Should BASS have banned the use of radar by the anglers? and (2) What obligation do the anglers have to promote safe behavior?

...The boats, wellheads, navigational buoys or whatever else might’ve been in the water showed up as blips on the screen, and they didn’t hit anything, but it still brings me back to more questions: What about the blip you don’t notice at high speeds, or what about the spectator boat that suddenly decides to move into your path?

Will it take someone dying for us to resolve this issue?

Is technology outstripping common sense?

Or, might it legitimately be worth it for some of these guys to risk their lives for a chance at a Classic victory?
Pete ends with this:
Can you imagine what would have happened had an observer been injured – critically, mortally or otherwise – in a radar-equipped boat this past weekend in New Orleans? It would have been an absolute disaster in more ways than one, destroying the goodwill of what was otherwise a great event.

If the new owners – Jerry McKinnis, Don Logan and Jim Copeland – aren’t relieved that no such tragedy occurred this past weekend or scared half to death by the chance that such an accident could occur in the future, they should be – the possibility is crystal clear, no radar required.

I encourage everyone considering these questions to go and read the whole thing.

I'll give my answers to the questions asked in order they are asked.

Should BASS have banned the use of radar by the anglers?
My gut says No, but I am not really in an informed position to know the capabilities and limitations of the radar used. I will have to defer to the experience of the pro's who said it made the long run to Venice significantly safer.

What obligation do the anglers have to promote safe behavior?
I would say both the Professional Anglers and B.A.S.S. have a very high obligation to promote safe behavior. I think this, however, begs the real question which is whether or not the angler and B.A.S.S. conduct in the 2011 Bassmaster promoted unsafe behavior. The fact is when it comes to the operation of high horsepowered, high performance bass boats I am a bit of a wuss. I don't think running one of those rocket ships down the lake faster than 40MPH is a particularly "safe" undertaking. That said driving a car at any speed, riding a bike, and even walking across the street all present various degrees of hazard. I guess my last word on this one is there is always an element that you proceed at your own risk and each individual angler and the B.A.S.S. officials made the call they thought was best. I don't think I'm in a position to second guess their choices.

What about the blip you don’t notice at high speeds, or what about the spectator boat that suddenly decides to move into your path?

Will it take someone dying for us to resolve this issue?

Is technology outstripping common sense?

Or, might it legitimately be worth it for some of these guys to risk their lives for a chance at a Classic victory?

These questions choose to go where I just didn't, which is to suggest that the behavior promoted at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic was indeed unsafe/unwise. Once again I will defer to the judgement of the participants and not second guess it.

Can you imagine what would have happened had an observer been injured – critically, mortally or otherwise – in a radar-equipped boat this past weekend in New Orleans?

Obviously if that would have happened it would have been an epic tragedy and very bad for the sport.

Let me end with this thought. The Daytona 500 was also held this past weekend. I think for those involved in the race from pit crew to drivers there was more unsafe behavior on display there than at this years Bassmaster Classic.

More Bass Bloggers Weigh In:
Chris McDonald Fishing with Was the Classic unsafe?...
T Brinks Fishing with A Foggy Situation...

Update: Chris McDonald interviewed Dave Wolak and added more to the discussion with the post Follow up to "Was the Classic Unsafe" and Dave Wolak's Take

Update: CLASSIC DAY 2 A RIDE WITH SKEET This is an article from Futurebass.com written by Skeet's Day 2 Marshal. It doesn't sound like the passenger thought what Skeet did running with the radar was particularly prudent behavior. Skeet's reaction to the run once it was over isn't particularly reassuring.

3 comments:

Chris McDonald Fishing said...

I wrote a follow up to this. I talked with Dave Wolak today. I would be interested to know what you think. Make sure you read the comment left by Rob. Love the blog keep it up.

T Brinks said...

Great points (as always) BP

Carp Fishing said...
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