I Almost Died While Kayaking Near Baldwin, Michigan Saturday
Very cold water, a fast current and people who shouldn't be in kayaks nearly drown me this weekend.
I was really enjoying a beautiful day out on the water about 3 hours North of Kalamazoo before it took an awful turn. We were in the Pere Marquette River in or near Baldwin, Michigan when I found out just how cold that water really was.
A group of other boaters were coming up beside me as I noticed a branch hanging over the river in my path. It was too late too maneuver around it without hitting of the boats to my side. I decided to slow down and grab the branch, then wait for them to go by before a pulled myself around the fallen tree. Piece of cake, right? Well, then I got nailed at a pretty rapid speed by a stranger in a kayak followed by getting hit by a second kayak. That caused my boat to roll over. I don't know how deep the water was, but I know it was over 6 foot deep.
I held on the branch while my boat and the people that hit me floated away.
I was in the cold water for around 30 minutes total. My arms and legs were turning white and were very numb. With the temperature of the water and the speed of the current, I would have almost certainly died if I wasn't wearing my life jacket.
My fiance's family jumped into action quickly to make sure I was ok. Unlike the people that caused the accident. One of them came back for their cooler that fell out of their boat after hitting me. Didn't say sorry. Didn't ask if I was OK. Just grabbed their cooler and took off.
Above is a picture of me before the accident in the life jacket that no doubt saved my life.
I will NEVER kayak without my life jacket on. You shouldn't either.