We ran across this note from Day 4 of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Chevy Open on the Detroit River in the www.flwoutdoors.com tournament notes and thought it was worth passing along. FLW Outdoors writer Patrick Baker gets the credit for letting everyone know of Vic Vatalaro’s good deed:
It’s often stated that the pros fishing the FLW Tour are more than just some of the finest bass fishermen in the world – they’re plain good people, too. After the humanitarian effort put forth by Chevy Open runner-up Vic Vatalaro on the water today, it’s doubtful a finer ambassador for the sport could be found.
After securing yet another fine limit of smallmouths from his honey hole on Lake St. Clair, the Pringles pro from Kent, Ohio, left his spot early at 1:05 p.m. to make sure he got back to check-in in plenty of time due to the incredibly strong winds that were whipping the water into a frenzy of waves. On his way back, he saw “a rescue helicopter hovering over a capsized boat. in the middle of the lake,” he said. He added, “At first when I was looking at it, I thought it was a sailboard or something like that . until I saw a propeller sticking up out of the water.”
What Vatalaro found when he approached was a man and two children, wearing life jackets, on top of the overturned vessel.
“The scariest part was – I looked down in the water, and I could see something floating about 10 feet down . it looked like a person,” Vatalaro said, adding that he was quite shaken by the sight until the man assured him it was his rain suit that had gone overboard. “So we stopped to make sure they could all make it back safe.”
Vatalaro told the operator of the camera boat that had been following him for TV to pick them up and return them to shore, which he did. Vatalaro ultimately placed second, only 3 ounces back from a $200,000 win; had he passed up the party in distress, it’s possible he would have had time to make a few extra casts on the Detroit River before ending his day.
But true to form for an FLW Tour pro, Vatalaro had no regrets about his decision to do the right thing.
Great job Vic!