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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: How do i help someone who cannot self rescue?  (Read 1015 times)

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Ronaldo

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Hello kayak anglers,

I know a lot has been written on practicing self rescue.  But how would I help someone if they were not able to self rescue, either because they never practiced or because they are exhausted.  If I ever come up to someone who cannot get back on their kayak what should/could I do?  Do I hold their kayak to stabilize it?  Call the coast guard straight away?  What if I'm not on the ocean?  Let me know what you would do or if there is a standard practice that I don't know about.  Thanks.

Ronaldo
Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.


bmb

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Hello kayak anglers,

I know a lot has been written on practicing self rescue.  But how would I help someone if they were not able to self rescue, either because they never practiced or because they are exhausted.  If I ever come up to someone who cannot get back on their kayak what should/could I do?  Do I hold their kayak to stabilize it?  Call the coast guard straight away?  What if I'm not on the ocean?  Let me know what you would do or if there is a standard practice that I don't know about.  Thanks.

Ronaldo
I hold on to the kayak from the other side they are trying to enter.  it will keep it stable.  they can also try to enter from the tankwell.  if they're in danger and you can't help them get on board, stay with them and get on 16 to either wait for CG or another rescuer, or offer to tow them to shore if you can.  channel 16 will be the place to go in almost all situations unless you're like on a river or something, then local law enforcement will be faster response.

Whatever you do, do not let them panic and try to enter your kayak from the side. it will likely swamp you and put both of you in danger.  they can grab onto the tankwell or rear handle and it will be a lot safer and stable for you if you need to move them sans their watercraft.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 03:30:37 PM by bmb »


sandshred

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Excellent post BMB


crash

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I've dragged a person in while they held on to my rear handle before. It took almost 20 minutes to go about a quarter mile on a flat ocean. That's not ideal, I'd put it pretty far down on the list of preferred options.


traildad

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A dry bag can be filled with water and hung from the side of the kayak. It will act as a counter balance so more energy can be used to help the person get out of the water and less trying to stabilize the kayak.
http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=42846.msg470404#msg470404

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sandshred

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I've dragged a person in while they held on to my rear handle before. It took almost 20 minutes to go about a quarter mile on a flat ocean. That's not ideal, I'd put it pretty far down on the list of preferred options.

 What's at the top of the list?


ljparton

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I've only been in this situation once.

Brother In Law rented a kayak at Negro bar to paddle with me.

Long story short, he turtled and his 6'4 320lb self could not get back in. I coached him, but he was likely at or near the capacity of that little kayak.

I don't recommend this, but I entered the water, and acted as a counterweight/ballast on the side opposite he was trying to re-enter from.

He got back in, we kept paddling. I was confident in my re-entry skills and it was warm out, both had PFD's or I would not have entered the water.


Tote

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Depends on the rescue.
I did one on the American River above the Rainbow Bridge.
Guy was in a SIK and swamped.
I was eating blackberries and having a beer  sitting in my kayak when floated by. I casually asked if he needed help. He could barely get out the word yes as he was holding the submerged kayak; no PFD.
First order of business; YOU are in charge!
Speak very calmly.
I paddled next to him and explained what was going to happen.
While I hold onto your kayak you are going to hand me your paddle then hold onto the front my kayak. If you at all try to climb onto my kayak I will smash your head in with my paddle, without hesitation. Just hold on. Understood?
So we got to that point.
I am going to pull the front of your kayak onto my kayak and get a lot of the water out. Stay exactly where you are. If you don't, you're going to fuck everything up and I will bail on you. Understood?
I did the "T" rescue and got a fair amount of water out of the kayak.
I am going to push your kayak towards you while I hold on to it. I want you to get onto your kayak, then get into the cockpit. Do you know how to do that?
He nodded.
I told him not to grab my kayak as he he gets back on his. I will stabilize your kayak while you get back on. If you try to get on mine I let go of yours and you are on your own, understood?
I kind of had to coach him how to get back on, but he did fine.
Once in the kayak I told him it will be a little tippy because you still have some water in it, but it will be manageable. Paddle to the shore. I'll be right with you until you get there. Once onshore, empty all the water out and you'll be fine.
I would wait about 1/2 hour or so before getting back on the water. Make sure you are warmed up so you don't cramp up or anything.
If I see you back in the water in the next 20 minutes and you fall out again, I won't help. If you wait the full 30 and something happens, I'll help if I'm there.
He thanked me. I went back to my beer and blackberries. He did wait the 1/2 hour before he got back in. From there he made it back to the rental place at the dock safely; but he owed them for the PFD he lost.

<=>


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pmmpete

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If the swimmer is near a shore or riverbank, as is typically the case in river rescues, and will sometimes be the case in lake or ocean rescues, the best rescue option may be to haul the swimmer to shore, get their kayak to shore, and deal with the situation on shore.  This is particularly the case if the swimmer has filled a sit-inside kayak with water.

A swimmer who is hanging vertically in the water is like a big sea anchor, and is difficult to move.  Tell the swimmer to hang on to the stern of your kayak and kick their feet so they are lying horizontally on the surface of the water. This will make them easier to tow to shore, and may even provide a little forward propulsion.  On some kayaks, particularly whitewater kayaks, the swimmer may be able to pull their chest up on the stern of the rescuer's kayak, which will reduce their drag.  But towing a swimmer is a lot of work in a kayak, even if the swimmer cooperates in the manner described above.

To get an empty kayak to shore, turn it upright, and put the paddle on or in it.  If the empty kayak is a swamped sit-inside kayak, turn it on edge with the cockpit towards you and slowly lift the kayak out of the water.  A lot of water will flow out of the cockpit as you lift the kayak, which will make the kayak easier to move.  If you can, pull one end of the sit-inside kayak up onto your lap or front deck, flip the kayak upside down, and drain out more water.  You can push an empty kayak with the nose of your kayak, but a more effective way to move an empty kayak is to paddle up next to the stern of the kayak and give it a big push in the direction you want it to go.  Then catch up to it and repeat the process.

On a river, you don't want to try to tow a swimmer through a rocky rapid.  If you get swept into a rapid while towing a swimmer, tell them to let go of the kayak and float through the rapid with their feet pointing downstream.  After you get through the rapid, you can rejoin them and resume hauling them towards shore.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2017, 06:55:53 PM by pmmpete »


Mr.Matt

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 Tote rescue 101.
Great response. Gotta keep the person being rescued calm.


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Matt


Mojo Jojo

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I have done this in the ocean for a feller that was having a hard time re boarding his revo damn thing kept trying to flip back on top of him.

Get his boat next to yours on the opposite side he has all his shiza

Hold his gunwale with the hand closest to his boat.

Put your foot in the middle of his cockpit (not that one) kick him there later.

Have him grab your foot and pull himself back into his boat, using your opposite hand to keep yourself balanced.

Be sure you stay centered on your boat and you should have no problems with keeping yourself upright and his boat stable enough to allow him to re board.   


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Bushy

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I have done this in the ocean for a feller that was having a hard time re boarding his revo damn thing kept trying to flip back on top of him.

Get his boat next to yours on the opposite side he has all his shiza

Hold his gunwale with the hand closest to his boat.

Put your foot in the middle of his cockpit (not that one) kick him there later.

Have him grab your foot and pull himself back into his boat, using your opposite hand to keep yourself balanced.

Be sure you stay centered on your boat and you should have no problems with keeping yourself upright and his boat stable enough to allow him to re board.   
I did a rescue last week.  Stabilized the boat opposite of the side he was hanging from.  Predator was too wide for him to reach the outside gunnel (closest to me) so I gave him my hand to grab.  One of my feet in his boat stabilizing.  the other foot outside my boat on the other side for my own stability.  Porky and uot f shape but young, he made it. 

Like Tote says stay calm, talk calm, explain exactly what you are going to do and what he has to do (DO NOT grab my kayak!!..

Good job.

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stay calm, talk calm, explain exactly what you are going to do and what he has to do (DO NOT grab my kayak!!..

This!

Reassure them that everything is going to be OK
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LoletaEric

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Good responses - good learning for all.

I'd add:  once you have a handle on the situation, give them at least a mild ration of shit for having gotten in trouble where they obviously were not prepared.

If you are someone who does this sport and you do not dive out of your yak in the ocean or swim out of your yak in rivers and lakes, then you really NEED to go do dedicated practice in self rescue.  This is imperative. 
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