BowFishing Country banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Mike Siri, and I (along with the help of many others) host the “Slugfest” tournaments here in Northern Indiana. Earlier this year, I shot the Lake Patoka shoot down in Southern Indiana with a buddy of mine. And, as many of you know, it turned out to be a tragic experience for one particular team and an experience that every other team that attended will most likely never forget. We lost two bowfishermen that night. It has been several months now, and I can tell you that it still weighs heavy on a lot of our hearts. The two gentlemen that lost their lives that night were Matt Buroker and Ryan Dowdell. Almost immediately following that night, there was an incredible outpouring of support for their families in almost every possible way you could imagine. The bowfishing community really stepped up to the plate and showed why it is perhaps the greatest sport on the planet. Not because of the fact that so many individuals are able to participate and enjoy it, but because the individuals that do participate genuinely have amazing hearts, care about family, and are willing to put their bows down at any second to help one another.
I have spoken with the families of Matt and Ryan, some of them once, others on several occasions since the incident. I can tell you with all honesty that they are forever grateful for the support they have received from every single individual in the bowfishing community. I want you all to know that the experience of losing a loved one like they have is a completely different process for each individual family member involved. I will not speak any further regarding the families, but just know any and all of your support did not go unnoticed and is still needed in so many ways. I know in my heart that bowfishing is a sport that brings individuals from across the nation together and we will always be able to accomplish great things together when needed.
One family member that I have actually become good friends with, and I am so grateful for, is Scott Dowdell, Ryan’s uncle. Scott contacted me earlier this week and asked if I would help him in creating this thread. He mentioned that he had received several questions regarding the actual events that took place the night of the accident, and that he would like to be able to address some of those questions and let everyone know what he has been working on since then. Scott has been such a help with several of our tournaments this year and is working on several ideas to help the bowfishing community become safer and less likely to experience tragedy again while out enjoying the sport.
So, I asked Scott to just write down anything he would like to say. He sent me a couple emails with some of his thoughts. I have gone through them and have tried to compile them to the best of my ability. So, here they are:

“I don’t want this to get out of hand and most of all, I want everyone to know that no one was at fault for what happened that night... I just want folks to be aware that when they work on their boats, the things they do may affect how their boat handles and most likely and most importantly how it floats.
There were 4 guys in the boat that night. Water temperatures were about 35 – 45 degrees, and they were in about 35ft of water at the time of the accident… I think I’m correct when saying that the wind picked up due to rain showers moving in on the lake and the water was getting choppy.
They DID have life jackets in the boat but they were in a side tub on the boat.
I think there were 3 guys on the front deck and one driving the boat… They were running the big motor, not fast. Just slow, idle speed...
They, (the Conservation Officers), think that they were making a small turn on the lake and may have been backing down on the throttle at the same time. That, combined with rough water and the possibility that someone might have shifted their weight accidently in the boat, caused water to come over the stern (back) of the boat.
The boat filled up with water so rapidly that they did not have any time to get the life jackets out.
The boat did not go down from the back side first. It filled up with water and went down just like it was setting on top of the water… There were a few things in the boat that did not even leave the boat as it went down.

There are a few things that we can use from the entire incident to make our own boats safer!!! Several things were issues with the situation. Not issues that should create blame, but rather issues to help everyone learn from and better their own rigs and shooting situations as to not let this ever happen again:

#1: BOAT MOTOR WAS TOO BIG FOR BOAT ... in this case, it should have been a maximum 40 hp, and it was a 70 hp. Think that the hp may be an issue in itself, but most importantly the more hp, the more weight!
#2: Number of people on the boat for the weight and size of the boat. (Think that might be something we could all agree on. Certain boats fish a certain number of people comfortably and safely…Period. Look at your ratings for your boat!)
#3: Life jackets should have been on. (Yes, we all know they should be on, but the law only says you must have jackets on board and easily accessible.) Think!!! If they’re not on, make sure they are out in the open! Had this been the case that night, when the boat went down, they might have floated and allowed the guys to be able to grab a hold of them. Also, a lot of the guys, Mike included, are now wearing inflatable PFD’s. Some of them are kind of expensive, but please check them out. They are absolutely awesome and you can barely even tell you’re wearing them!!!
Also, on a side note, I know a lot of guys remove seats to allow for room to build decks and put barrels for fish… In most cases, that is all of your flotation for your boats if they were to capsize!!! I am thinking and working on different methods and materials that we can make available to allow guys to be able to add flotation back into their boats after customizations are done.
Also, I am getting the boat that the guys were using that night, and we are going to take a look at the things the Conservation Officers said caused the boat to go down… Once again, IN NO WAY WAS THIS ANYONE’S FAULT!.. We all just need to learn from what we find, and my hope is that we all can build a better boat to keep it from happening again.
We will give updates as the new build of this boat takes place… With some new ideas and materials with which I already know will help with some of these issues. Thanks, everyone!!!” – Scott Dowdell
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,781 Posts
:applause: More than one "kid",has been on here bragging about some of those exact issues.......
Yessir, and I keep seeing things that make me cringe. But at the same time this incident has opened a lot of eyes. Interested in what is learned from the work with the boat. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
Shooting the Tough Man and being part of this tradgedy has definatly influenced us and changed the way we look at safty. We have three auto inflate pfd's on board and wear them while outboard is under power and usually forget there on and never take them off. Lot of little boats out there with big motors and raised decks that shouldn't be, add 3-4 shooters and fish and she's gonna sink its just a matter of when. I know some people caint afford nice big boats but have a little common sence when adding weight, saftey is something that needs to be taken serisioly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,723 Posts
Thanks Mike for posting this, not learning from this tragic accident would be the worst thing we could do for the guys that lost their lives.
It's a fool that will not learn from others mistakes. I hope that this entire indecent will not have been in vain, and that it may save lives in the future.
The bowfishing community is full of great people and people with some wonderful skills in manufacturing, R&D, and development. If any group of people were going to improve the safety of their sport it will be us...

Let us never forget our lost ones...
The Bowfishing Brotherhood will never be the same again :pray:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
After reading this post,PFD's will be worn at all times in our boat when running the outboard.I will also add the float pods I've been wanting.So sad to hear about someone lose their life bowfishing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
After reading this post,PFD's will be worn at all times in our boat when running the outboard.I will also add the float pods I've been wanting.So sad to hear about someone lose their life bowfishing.
thanks Mike for helping me with this page ..
also thanks for all the feed back that we gotten that what this is all about awareness .. so we can all learn from what happen that night .
over next few week will have Mike help in posting some the pictures of the boat so you can see the before ..
to Rjohnson .. thanks for wearing
the PFD's that goes a long way. one thing what some to look at that probably lot better this than I am .. is your boat balance .
I think were going to find by just putting the Flotation pods will help in some cases .. how the decks are build and were you place all the battery , gear and generator . along with number people standing on your deck at one time going be some the key areas to look at ..

we will try and do this the correct way so can all learn from what happen ..
thanks

scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
This incident has been an eye opener for our team as well as many others. Restricting the number of shooters allowed on board as well as ordering inflatable PFD's for everyone to wear on the boat. We always have ours out & easy to get to, bit the inflatables makes it a no brainer.
Thanks Scott for what you're doing to make things safer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
one thing that we have found in working on another boat last week that I would like you all to take a look at ...
this person was using 5/8 ply wood for the flooring of his boat (1648) when we took the ply wood that had been in there for a while out ..

with all the water it had soaked in to the wood from the rain we had that week ... that piece of ply wood weight over 100 lbs.. size was may be 4x8 sheet ..

when using wood in your boat keep that in mind you need keep water out the wood as much as you can..
we are looking at different material we used. that night what we used to replace his ply wood that same size only weight 40 lbs
with the new material .. let hope the test keep going that way
were hoping to get some the legal issue cleared up that could be another more light weight material that can be used .. to help out some

thanks again for every one support
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
The flooring sounds interesting ..... anything I can do to keep the weight down in our boat is done. We were going to try to put in an aluminum platform & flooring, but I'm always looking for something easier / cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
one the thing that we will doing also before putting the flooring down.. is putting strips are pouring urethane foam that is of a closed cell material in all the places we can ... to put more floatation back in the boat ... just need to make sure closed cell foam so it don't take on water ...

and put a block of foam up under the deck to keep water out and even more floatation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
just a little bit of update ... hope every one been had safe fun summer out on the water .
as like most of us now getting cooler weather most are heading in to the woods this fall ... still safety is the number one .
and hope every one gets the game of there dreams what ever there chasing this fall

I think were about to go in to production with the material for the floor and deck.. looking at this time to sell it in 5' x10' sheets it is fiberglass on both sides with nitacore in the middle.. very light weight and will last for long time ..

found at this time due to cost were not going be able to put the diamond tread down at this time .. but you can order same type of product from backwater outdoors and put it down your self are even ... going try some other item like the truck bed liner to see how it works ..

looking at a cost at this time of about $ 7.00 per sq ft

more up date as the build begins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
I am not an expert, and things may have changed in the last 20 years, but in my experience that closed cell foam that you spray in is more like a sponge than you would want. I would not spray it anywhere that is not already completely sealed from water already,because it slowly takes on water and becomes extremely heavy. I had to take the floor out of a Baymaster in Texas and open up the normally-sealed flotation compartments which had a few hairline cracks and some incompletely sealed holes from installing a t-top, and had taken on water through the years. Probably pulled nearly a thousand pounds of wet "closed cell" foam out of that boat, and she floated 4 inches higher afterward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I am not an expert, and things may have changed in the last 20 years, but in my experience that closed cell foam that you spray in is more like a sponge than you would want. I would not spray it anywhere that is not already completely sealed from water already,because it slowly takes on water and becomes extremely heavy. I had to take the floor out of a Baymaster in Texas and open up the normally-sealed flotation compartments which had a few hairline cracks and some incompletely sealed holes from installing a t-top, and had taken on water through the years. Probably pulled nearly a thousand pounds of wet "closed cell" foam out of that boat, and she floated 4 inches higher afterward.
carptracker
urethane foam has come a long way in the past 20 years ... my self been working in the business for about 30 year ... and you are correct you do not want to just the type you spray in the walls of your home ..

we have product line were we make boat transoms , dashes for boats and have even use are product in dock slips..as well as the sign market
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
too all
I know been a while since I posted . been long an trying year for me and my family. Just hopping 2014 is a much better year ..
just want thank you all again for what you have done for me and my family this past year ..
one thing that has came from all this ... I got to meet a great bunch of people that I normal would never had meet ..
as we reflect on this past year reliving the good and bad times we all had in are life's
let not forget as some of you put your boats away for the year. are if some you are still out on the water ( I seen the pictures some of you are down right not wired up correct LOL ... Tim)

let not forget what brought us all together .. that safety should always be number one goal every day..



and I'm looking forward to getting the boat done in memory of RYAN and try and carry on what he loved . benign out there on the water with you all

hope you all have a safe and happy holidays and hope too see you all real soon.

Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Scott I know very well about what happened that night. Ryan was a good friend of mine, I watched him grow up through baseball and good friends with his parents, had Matt as a FB friend but never met him, seemed like a great guy. The owner of that boat just became my son inlaw a couple weeks. He still struggles with that night. We talk about it now and then and I got him on the water for the first time since the accident last week. He said it did help, I was hoping it would. Ill never forget that call to my Daughter who he was dating at the time and being at the hospital when the authorities told Ryans parents he hadn't been found. very tough seeing a parent go through that!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top