When a storm turned into a calamity in open water, Stanford Stevens says his pocket StrykerX knife saved his life
. Despite his lifelong boating experience and all the equipment designed to keep him and his crew safe, "Had I not had a knife in my pocket, I would have died in the cabin of that boat," he insists. "There would have been no way to get out."
Sanford knew that to keep the boat from capsizing in a storm he needed to stay on top of the swells. Unfortunately, one of the ship's outboard motors seized up, failing catastrophically just when it was needed most. The boat lost speed, and was overtaken by a huge wave behind it. Sanford retells what happened next: "We didn't barrel roll, we kind of cornered to one side and then went motor over bow."
"Now, you're standing on the roof of the boat, and the boat immediately fills up with water and everybody goes against the floor, which is now the ceiling," explains Sanford. It was at this point that one of the most crucial pieces of safety equipment became a liability – the life jacket designed to keep him afloat outside the boat now trapped him against the floor of the cabin
Sanford was wearing an automatic life jacket, designed to inflate instantly when dunked in water. When the boat capsized it became a buoyant shackle around his neck, pinning him against the floor and away from the underwater exit. Luckily, the rest of the crew hadn't been wearing them and quickly escaped the now-submerged cabin. "There would have been no way to get out of the boat, if everyone had put on their life jackets," he said.