This article in the Connecticut Post gives some good safety advice for anglers who wade. Reading it made us dig up this photo of one of our long time fishing buddies (identity shielded to protect the guilty and our friendship) taken shortly after his pontoon flipped and he took a dunk in the frigid waters of the Watauga River tail water. He has a long swim back to the bank and got completely soaked in the process. It was a cold day and we were lucky to have a spare jacket or two in our boat bags so we were able to avoid a serious case of the shivers.
From the text of the article:
"If you do take a swim, forget trying to save the rod or other gear. Save yourself first. If you are swept away in the current, do what our reef friend did, tighten the belt, pull up your knees, float and shout like crazy.
FYI - This angler's first words when we hastily paddled over to him were, "don't worry about me, catch my fly rod."