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Safety First

The first photo in the sequence on The Triton’s website shows Capt. Henry’s boat riding in through Jupiter Inlet, as it had done many times.

© 2010 Stuart Browning

The Triton website reports that on September 3, experienced fishing charter skipper Tom Henry was entering Florida’s Jupiter Inlet when his 51-ft powerboat broached. Sadly, Henry, who was not wearing a PFD, died as a result of the broach — he lost his footing, hit the deck hard, and fell overboard — all of which is graphically portrayed in the disturbing sequence of shots taken by Stuart Browning.

A few frames later, the boat has broached and the skipper has lost his footing. Continuing on down the sequence, Henry can be seen falling from the bridge.

© 2010 Stuart Browning

Closer to home, a small fishing boat with four men aboard ran into the Richmond Marina breakwater in the wee hours yesterday morning, sending 71-year-old Roland Reed and 62-year-old Ralph Dankin overboard. The two other passengers were able to retrieve Dankin and Reed, but they were unable to revive Reed. No one aboard was wearing PFDs.

If anything can be taken away from these tragedies, it’s that even experienced seamen can make small errors that escalate quickly and uncontrollably. Wearing a PFD from the get-go is your safest bet.

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