Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paddle Fest
A Rescue

Sometime on Saturday, I looked across the river to see a gaggle of boats against the far wall. Not all the boats were occupied. Paddling over, I noticed a woman hanging on to the bow of one of the rescuers.It seems that she and her husband had dumped a tandem, plastic recreational kayak which didn't really have flotation or effective bulk heads. The beast had taken on tons of water, and Doug--thankfully one of our strongest guys--was on site attempting a T-rescue.Nydia quickly came along side to add her muscle to the effort. Some how, and by time I got across the river, they had the man back in the boat. I was concerned, however, at how tired the woman appeared. Although she said she wasn't chilled, we knew the water couldn't have been warmer than 50 F, and she was not dressed for it.

Because she did not have the Strength to pull herself onto a deck, I had her reach across and simply grab my opposite deck line. She now had two kayak bows under her arm. We had the now-righted tandem come in the opposite direction and slowly make a space between the two boats while another kayak was positioned so she could get her feet up out of the water. This pulled her from the water and gave her a three-boat platform on which to rest. Finally, we had her put her feet into the cockpit and completed the rescue.

After delivering her safely to shore, we asked that that boat not be put back onto the water.

Paddle safe...



derrick said...

Yikes! Compliments to everyone who worked the rescue. Good job.

Russ said...

I was REALLY glad not to be the only rescue boater on the water for that one! After they returned to the dock, the husband swimmer continued test paddling other boats while the wife swimmer went into the store and bought an entire new wardrobe. Maybe it was all part of a bigger plan?

DaveO said...

Nice job! I noticed they both had the bad life jackets that tend to ride up over your head. Was it a demo or something? Had to point out to my neighbor that she needed float bags or something or her 9' rec boat might sink like a rock!

Silbs said...

Thanks for all the good comments. We especially had trouble fitting pfd's on the small folks.

D Winter said...

Props to Russ (who is much stronger than me) as he was the first on site. Both paddlers were calm and looking to get less embarrassed. He reassured them that they would be on land and warming-up in no time.

A big thank you to Nydia. She was the second one to see the problem and was very instrumental in emptying, righting the boat and inserting the paddlers. As illustrated in the photo, Nydia lowered the bow to allow the water to flush from the rear cockpit. Without her, that kayak wouldn’t have emptied.

The initial capsize:
The paddlers were blown into the west sea wall. The bow paddler reached out and pushed the boat away from the wall with hand rather than a paddle. The boat moved faster than expected and the paddler lost balance and hit the water moving the rear paddler off-center and they went over.

All's well that ends well.