Monday, July 23, 2007

What Ever It Takes
A year ago, on the day preceding the 2006 Grand Marais Symposium, John Martin held an all day, on the water, advanced rescue scenario clinic for instructors. It was an intense and highly educational day in no part due to John's expertise and teaching talents. This year, I was assigned to teach a similar class to students. I didn't know why John didn't get the assignment, and I told him so.

The class went well as Jerry (another instructor...but I digress) and I put the group into one situation after another. Then, with an hour left in the class, what appeared to be an ill-clad paddler wearing a red helmet paddled out from the shore. I pointed him out to the class indicating that he was a novice paddler, poorly clothed for the chilly water of Lake Superior and a constant source of concern for the staff. I called to the man to return to shore. While trying to hear what I had to say, he fell in. I said I was fed up with the guy and that the students in the class could deal with him.

The man was panicking in the water and, contrary to what I had taught them, one member of the class allowed the guy to make contact with her boat. The man promptly climbed aboard but did not tip her over. In fact, he actually stood up before falling into the water. When he turned around, his face was bloody. Then, he passed out and went limp.

I told the group to get serious and to get this guy out of the water and to shore....which they did.

And that's how John Martin continued to teach rescues to willing me. His only regret was that, while he had remembered the ketchup, he had forgotten the oat meal he uses to simulate vomit.

Paddle safe...

1 comment:

Alex said...

That's a great story! John's a hoot and I always have enjoyed watching him teach. We did similar scenarios with the victim standing up, etc. at the Inland Sea Symposium which was a lot of fun for both the instructors and the students. Of course we didn't think to bring ketchup or other condiments!