At around 12:30PM on Thursday March 18th, one of our customers at the camera store was doing some shooting at Starved Rock. He was taking photos of those waterfalls everyone has pictures of. He had his backpack loaded up with all his gear, about 30lbs worth. Had his Canon 50D with battery grip and 24 – 105 around his neck with it’s camera strap. At one point, he was standing along the waters edge, and went to crouch down (like a baseball catcher), and suddenly one of his feet slipped, and he slid right into the water. He was in over his head immediately! Yet he knew he had to keep his camera above water so he kept his hands up over his head, keeping his camera dry for a few seconds. But this customer couldn’t swim, so he had to drop his hands and let the camera strap do it’s job so he could try to paddle himself above water. He had the current pulling him, and he doesn’t know how to swim, and that 30lb pack on his back! After struggling for quite some time, he managed to get to the top of the water, and roll himself onto his back. Now here’s the amazing part. He said that suddenly he was floating on his back, so he’s convinced it’s because his large Tamrac backpack was keeping him afloat. All the foam padding in it was keeping him afloat, because he sure as heck didn’t know how to float on his back. So now he’s floating, but he’s still struggling to get back to shore because the current is pulling him away from shore. It’s been a 2 to 3 minutes now in ice cold water. Then a family walking by noticed him, and the husband/father ran down and jumped in after him. The husband/father dragged him back to shore, and they both survived the ordeal.
Is that a story or what?! I heard this story around 5PM when the customer arrived at our store with his camera gear, so he could send it in for repair. Shit. I think I’d have waited until tomorrow! Anyway, so he’s telling us the whole story of why his camera bag and all his equipment is soaked right there in the store. And check this out, . . . when he bought the camera and lenses from us, he bought the “no fault” warranty, so it will all be repaired or replaced for free. Sweeeeeeeet. One of my photographer friends was at the store picking up some equipment, and he suggested to the guy that he should tell his story to Tamrac and see if they do anything for him since the bag probably saved his life. I’ll let you know in a future blog if I hear of anything happening on that front.
So the moral of the story is to always buy Tamrac backpacks, and always buy the no-fault warranty! 🙂 Now ya know, and knowing is half the battle.