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Recovery from a capsize practice

Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
Some of us do it in calm water. But I bet none of us does it in conditions that are likely to cause a capsize.. WOW is it hard!
Many lessons learned. We should have discussed procedures and done a dry land drill BEFORE we set out on the paddle. But of course we were so preoccupied with actually getting on the water we didn't.

Its not easy in rough water and screaming wind..to explain to the swamped what you plan to do to help them, have them make sense of your words and actually accomplish the rescue successfully.

Hubby tried to get aligned with the over boat to right and stabilize it so the victim could do a heel hook back in his boat. All boats were loaded with camping gear. With high winds this simply didn't work.. You ask why I was hanging back to take a picture? Cause the only other possibility was making the victim a capsize sandwich. I didn't want to mash him between boats in waves.

Things that went right
1. no gear was lost as it was all secured to the boat.
2.The wind was blowing onshore..eventually the rescuee would get blown on the rocks.
3. The rescuee was dressed for success and immersion.

The rescuee is going back to practice self rescues in the pool. He totally forgot how to do a paddle float rescue. After five minutes of us all joint floundering he made the discovery he could STAND! So he WALKED to shore

Now we as canoeists never see as much water.. so we probably practice way less than KKKKAyakers..

This little dopeslap brought to you by..the devil Complacency.. Rude and abrupt awakening for us and our friend.

Glenn MacGrady

Staff member
Oct 24, 2012
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I have one and like it a for kayaking, which I haven't done in 10 years now. The Coastal is an interesting take on a GP. I had Mitchell shorten mine after several years so I could use a higher angle stroke--as I was returning through New Hampshire from a kayak trip on Cobscook Bay and environs, as a matter of fact.
Jan 8, 2014
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Minden, NV
This is an important concept. People need to have some perspective about taking a swim. I like to have people stand in the river during the safety talk before a trip to get an idea of the temperature. Capsizing on purpose is a great idea. People are then less tempted to cut corners and paddle across exposed water a long way from shore once they realize how difficult rescues are in rough conditions. It is also useful for all paddlers to capsize boats on purpose to test the limits of secondary stability. Rescues are not practiced enough. I threw a rope to a guy in August that never grapped it. He was too intent on holding onto the swamped canoe in the current.