Safety device can stop boat if you fall out


Stuff happens. Usually bad stuff. Stuff like falling out of a boat.

It can happen — and does. Picture this: You are fishing alone and you have a really great trophy next to the boat. It’s been an epic battle. Big fish, lots of hard runs, a real fight. Too bad your buddies weren’t able to fish with you but maybe you can snap a selfie.

But it’s not quite over. You grab your landing net and jam a knee against the gunnel to brace an awkward one-handed netting operation. You lean out and miss once, then twice, then the wake of a passing boat smacks the off-side of your boat.

In an instant you are wet, gasping for air as you quickly come to grips with the realization of the situation. Heck with the rod, reel, net and fish; they are long gone. If you are wearing a life jacket, you can quit struggling and start thinking. If you aren’t wearing a life jacket, you are in trouble, big trouble if you are on big water, a fast current, or a long way from placing a foot on the bottom.

And worse, it takes just a minute or two for the boat to drift away.

Now multiply the problem by distance squared if the boat’s motor is running and in gear, a typical scenario when trolling off-shore. There is no way you’ll reach the boat and no way that it will miraculously turn around to return.

Hard to believe? It shouldn’t be because it happens every year and more than once and it’s a sure bet that it always happens to individuals who think it can’t happen to them.

Alas, there is a way to greatly lessen the threat. Just out and on the shelves of marine product retailers is a small device tagged the MOB+ by its creator and manufacturer, Fell Marine.

If you thought that the mouse trap or sliced bread was at the top of best-ever invention on the list, in my opinion, this gizmo is a number one.

The base of the MOB+ is a hockey puck-size unit that mounts on the boat and protrudes though the panel where the connections are made. The operator of the craft wears a silver dollar-size fob bracelet, lanyard, or pinned on.

Safety in mind

In the event that our angler does fall overboard with the MOB fob on, the motor will stop running immediately, increasing the opportunity for the unfortunate fisherman to reach the boat.

I visited Ravenna Marine to inquire and found that some boat brands can be equipped with the MOB+ as a factory-installed option.

I’m not in the market for a new boat and did find a packaged unit that can be purchased and installed by technician at a very affordable price.

I’ve fallen out of my boat and I fish alone quite often. I’ll have an MOB+ installed before spring.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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