I would like to express my gratitude to all those who assisted me and my fellow fisherman on July 22, after our boat was swamped by a series of large wakes. My friends and I had been on the river for about six hours when we were hit on both sides and the bow by wakes. I was near the bow of the boat when the wake hit me in the middle of my back, which was quite the shock, as I am 6 feet, 2 inches tall. The boat went under in less than a second. What perplexed me most about the situation was other boats did not slow down, but continued to speed by, bombarding us with more large wakes. As we were being rescued, our rescuers had to shout at other boat captains so we could be towed to the dock.
I have fished the Kenai for 11 years with this boat and never had a problem until last year. Last year, my friends were using my boat, and one of them was thrown overboard by a wake. This year (July 18), my boat was partially swamped twice, and both times I had to go to the dock to pump the water out. Something needs to be done about overpowered boats (inboard-outboard jet boats and boats with large engines over 50hp). They should not be allowed to participate in the fishery. A few years ago, the horsepower on the Kenai was placed at 50hp from the previous 35hp. Even with a 50hp restriction, some boats throw a large wake. The captain is responsible for wakes made by his boat. Some of those who participate in the fishery appear to think netting a fish is more important than safety.