Thursday, August 09, 2007
Lonely car - missing kayaker?
This morning I was contacted about a search-action concerning a good friend of mine. Locals have noticed a Dutch car parked on in a little village in the middle of nowhere (somewhere in northern Scandinavia) for more than two weeks and alarmed the police. The Norwegian authorities have identified my friend as the owner of the car by the licence plate. My friend and his partner make a multiple week (completely self supporting) hike in the most remote and inhabited parts of Scandinavia every summer. I know they left for Norway in the middle of July, but I am not familiar with their exact plans. The only thing we could do is give the police the cell-phone number of our friends, and hope the alarm is false!
More kayak-related was a nasty experience another friend of mine had last May. We made an appointment for the the NKB-Salzwasserunion-course at the German isle of Spiekeroog. I picked up the German and Dutch participants at Neuharlingersiel while she left a day earlier in Eemshaven (in the Netherlands) to paddle on her own to Spiekeroog. No problem so far. But as she arrived home after the course, she found out that the car (with a kayak-roof-rack) she left behind near the harbour of Eemshaven caused a search action and that she was reported as a missed kayaker. This gave a lot of trouble with the Dutch authorities. Months later the incident isn’t solved yet, and will probably end in a prosecution action…
So when you make a multiple day trip and have to leave your car some days behind: inform the harbour authorities or other locals about your plans! In the Netherlands it’s a good habit to contact the coastguard about your seakayak trip before you start (and to report your arrival afterwards). Long ago I learned in the German and Austrian Alps as a mountaineer also always to leave a message behind. So I was rather surprised that in the German seakayak-scene it’s promoted to carry a VHF-radio along, but it’s unusual to inform the coastguard about your seakayak-plans.
Geplaatst door Hans Heupink op 21:06