Getting dry

Posted by Ken Campbell October 1, 2011 0 Comment 747 views

A few thoughts on this brief story about a 40 year-old paddler who floundered down in Henderson Inlet yesterday evening:
1. Hats off to the rescuer, Teal Russell. Thanks for making a bad situation better and for giving the gift of life.
2. The story doesn’t mention whether the victim was wearing a life jacket. I hope that this means that he was.
3. The best kind of kayak rescue is to stand up and walk to shore. I don’t know what kind of “kayak” the victim was paddling, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a recreational paddle boat rather than an actual kayak. In which case, it isn’t designed to be used in water that’s deeper than you are tall.
4. If, on the other hand, the victim was in something that could reliably be called a “kayak,” he should have been familiar with simple rescue procedures. (Note: Yelling for help is not a legitimate rescue skill.)
5. If you have a piece of equipment, whether it’s a kayak, a car or a riding lawn mower, it is incumbent on you to know how to use it. Don’t think that because you’re good at some other thing, you’ll just naturally be good at this as well. Take a class. Learn something.
Enough of the soapbox… I’m off to Docktoberfest to do a SUP demo this afternoon. (The paddleboard rescue class is a remarkably short one, I might add.)

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