Saturday, June 19, 2010

Safety Practice 2010

I like the annual safety practice. It is valuable to get the the group of people you paddle with together to practice rescues. It is also good to teach newer paddlers basic rescues.
One of the things I learned at the RWS is that when the poop hits the fan knowing how the people with you react is invaluable. It helps when deciding what options are open. It makes it easier to coordinate. It also helps your general confidence.
Paddlers who know how to do rescue and how to be rescued are generally calmer in emergency situations.
The one rescue I never liked was using a stirrup. I know it can help a swimmer get back in their boat, but it also leaves them encircled by a loop of rope. I'd much rather just use a scoop to stuff the swimmer in the cockpit or find some other way to get them to climb out of the water.
Speaking of the scoop... It is hard to manage with a heavier paddler. TM demoed the scoop using H as his rescue dummy and made it look easy. When I tried stuffing him back in his kayak I nearly busted a gut. It took a while to find that sweet spot on his hull where I could get the leverage I needed to right his kayak.
One nice trick TM showed us was leaving the paddler face down on the deck when doing the scoop. It makes keeping the swimmer low to their deck. It also means you don't have to risk damaging a possibly injured back as much.
You can always learn new tricks!

No comments:

Post a Comment