Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fine tuning a rescue

This past winter some of us recognized that at Wednesday evening practices we were no longer doing much rescue practice.  Rather, we tended to just go on short paddles.  We resolved to get back to doing some rescue practices.

Last evening it was only Brian, Dean, Sue and myself.  It was warm and calm.  I wondered if I'd put on an extra layer for immersion.  Brian said he intended to get wet so that was incentive enough for me.

First we did a few self rescues - rolls and back deck scramble ons.

After that Brian and I did a few assisted rescues.

One of the challenges of doing a rescue in conditions is getting on the bow of the overturned kayak.  That is, getting  hold of it.  Brian proposed something to make that easier.  This is what he came up with:
  • the swimmer goes to the bow of the overturned kayak and holds on to the toggle.  That helps the incoming rescuer establish contact because the swimmer has two arm lengths of reach to grab on to the incoming kayak if necessary,
  • the swimmer can also help right the overturned boat so it can be pulled across the cockpit to empty,
  • from there the rescue can proceed as usual.
We both had a go rescuing each other with that refinement and it worked well.

 Over the years we've practiced rescues I haven't seen anyone doing a T-rescue so I proposed to Brian we do that one.

Two kayaks lined up side by side are very stable but two kayaks configured in a T shape offers more stability in my opinion.  The benefit of the T-rescue is that most kayakers already practice back deck scramble ons so they're familiar with getting on the back deck and plopping into the cockpit.

The other benefit is there's only one choice to make.  It saves time deciding whether to do a between the kayaks rescue or a heel hook etc, etc.

Then there's the fun of pumping the water out.

It was a productive evening and I'm glad to get back to basics and do some actual practice.  Its important so that it becomes instinctive between the people we paddle with.

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