CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Make a checklist and go over it mentally before pushing off each time you canoe.
1. Canoes should be equipped with at least two paddles.
2. Every canoe should have two lines, a bow line and stern line.
3. An extra throw rope (for emergencies) should be stored safely in each craft.
4. Store any loose ropes safely. Loose ropes are deadly. Lines should be tied and wrapped before departing.
5. Attach a whistle (or other attention getting device) to your life vest to signal for help.
6. Carry a First Aid Kit inside the canoe. Store kits inside waterproof coverings.7. Take a repair kit with you. Include quick repair items like duct tape, sealant, waterproof tape and other materials
ONCE YOU'RE IN THE WATER:
KNOW WHERE TO SIT
NEVER TIE PADDLES
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
|A Good Tip|
Practice capsizing and re-entering your canoe before you head out.
Practicing and perfecting the proper rescue techniques will help you to avoid panicking in a real emergency.
Dams and other man made obstructions
Portage trails are usually well marked.
If the portage trail is not well marked look around and walk down some possible trails without moving your equipment. Don't go far or you could get lost.
|If You Capsize|
In open water such as lakes or very slowly moving water, stay with your canoe. Even full of water it will help support you and your crew.
However, if you capsize or swamp in fast moving streams, get away from your canoe. Moving canoes filled with water can pin or crush paddlers against rocks or trees.
Any canoe can break apart even in the smallest streams if it is filled with water and comes in contact with an immovable object.
Float on your back, feet downstream. Don't try to stand. Rocks or other objects can trap your feet and the force of the water can hold you under.Even in flat water conditions, the easiest approach is often to first have another canoe rescue the unfortunate swimmers by having them hold onto the bow and stern of the rescue boat and get towed back to the shore.
Once the paddlers are safe, the rescuers can then haul the upended canoe back to the shore where the entire group can bail out the boat, dry the gear and poke fun at the skill level of the soggy paddlers who dumped
|Strainers are any obstructions on the water.|
|Canoe Rescue Techniques|
If the dump takes place a long distance from shore, and the water conditions are suitable, it may be possible to put things back to normal by doing a canoe-over-canoe rescue. This is done as follows:
Of course, this can be complicated by the fact that there may be significant amount of gear either tied into the dumped canoe, or floating around it.
Always remember that people come first, and gear comes second. Worry about rescuing people and getting them back into their boat before you think about the packs and paddles.
The most important factor to safe kayaking is having the knowledge and experience to judge the level of potential danger and the ability to accurately compare it to your groups capabilities leaving adequate margin for error.
The most likely fatal accident is due to cold shock or hypothermia following a capsize and subsequent failure to execute a rescue.
Winds and/or rough seas will cause the capsize, the rescue failure will be due to lack of practice, insufficient rescue equipment, inadequate flotation in the kayak, or separation from the kayak or paddles.
Most often the victim is paddling alone and carrying no distress signals or an entire group is in trouble making it impossible for the paddlers to take care of each other.BE PREPARED
Paddling in wind and rain or wet rough seas without adequate clothing can lead to hypothermia, but the greatest danger is from total immersion in chilling water as the result of a capsize.
It is imperative to get a capsize victim out of the water as soon as possible and then to add clothing and watch closely for signs of hypothermia.
The victim may not recognize the symptoms in himself and, if hypothermic, may even become belligerent towards you and your concern.
Wind is one of the sea kayaker's most dangerous adversaries, it can increase in velocity quickly and make control of a kayak and paddle difficult if not impossible.
Making headway into very strong winds is a struggle. It is possible you could be blown offshore or blown onshore into dangerous regions, such as big surf or a rocky coast.
When the wind picks up the waves soon follow. Waves make a capsize more likely and can get you wet from splash or spray. Waves can create difficult control problems and broaching if they are approaching from the side or from the stern quadrants.
The size of surf is difficult to judge from seaward, but you should be able to differentiate the less violent spilling surf from the abrupt dumping surf more likely to damage you or your kayak.
A dumping surf on a steep beach can be extremely violent. You should avoid surf if possible. You can often find a much smaller surf, and a place to land in an area protected by a point of land or an island.
If landing in surf is a possibility bring a helmet.
TIDES AND CURRENTS:
Novice paddlers who might be easily intimidated by the large but relatively harmless swell on the open ocean can be lulled into a false sense of security by the apparent calm of inland waters.
This might be justified in good weather on a warm lake, but some areas affected by tidal currents can become treacherous.;A calm place can become very rough in a few minutes. Even mild currents can take you well off course
|Know Your Equipment|
|Whatever water sport you choose to enjoy, make sure that your are properly prepared, both physically and mentally for any challenges you may encounter.|