Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"In high winds and high tides, it's amazing the forces that are out there..."

Just found this video of the rescue of a kayaker in Puget Sound on Björn Thomasson's blog: click here for the video of the rescue, here for the story of the rescued kayaker.
Note: the kayaker had a paddlefloat attached to his paddle, but didn't manage to climb in the kayak. Actually the paddler didn't practice any self-rescues before... read the full story on West Seattle blog.


Tony said...

Interesting story Hans. I guess if you don't practice self rescues then when you need to do one it will be difficult. Also, it seems like he didn't have a spray-skirt either?

Tony :-)

Tom Steenbergen said...

Good comment Tony,
As a matter of fact this topic was discussed a while back on the QajaqUSA forum using the same incident as a starter.
Practice is key. ;-)

- Tom -

Anonymous said...

Hi Hans---
Wisdom comes out of surviving, reflecting on, and not repeating mistakes. A book or video will never teach how quick a mistake can turn into an obituary. I am glad he did not become a statistic.

More and more people are getting into kayaking with little respect for the water. It is odd but most of the people that come to me to learn about kayaking do so because of a dangerous mistake they did on the water. They all have thought that books, DVD's, and the web could teach them better than an instructor.

---Jeff Fabiszewski

Hans Heupink said...

Hi Tony, Tom and Jeff!
I had two thoughts with this story:
1.Like you said: Practicing rescues is essential. Alas, a lot of people don't do it, because they don't like to get wet... But (only) Practice makes perfect!
2. A paddlefloat rescue in rough conditions is hard stuff... I am no fan of the idea of self-rescues with a paddle with paddlefloat used as an outrigger. Last week in Spain I gave a workshop on self rescues. Some kayakers from France wanted to do the self rescues with the paddlefloat. They had done this before in a pool. I let them go. It was quit revealing: out at sea (in only mild conditions) all pupils failed! We had a good laugh, but the paddlefloat rescues didn't work out. The instructors later did demonstrate working rescues with the paddlefloat - but it's tricky...