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KAYAK FISHING SAFETY - lesson's to be learnt..

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by GJW, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Wildcard

    Wildcard Hartlepool Marina - Simply The Best

    The problem here is the lads did everything right and still had a nasty experience. The forecast was good as were the tides. I have under estimated what the wind can do myself in a 21ft boat and came undone.

  2. Dorado

    Dorado New Member

    Regarding taking a casualty onboard your own kayak.

    It helps a lot to get a casualty out of the water. Even in a drysuit with underclothing, water saps your body energy and warmth 20x faster than air does - so getting him out of the water makes a huge difference to survival time. BUT, as you rightly say, not at the expense of ending up with two casualties instead of one. Maybe lying crosswise, bloody uncomfortable, but with body core out of water and legs dangling over you could have maintained position. two totally onboard - Ok if not too lumpy.

    Better plan would have been to hold onto the partly filled kayak and got him to just straddle it - legs out each side really improves the stability. Partly because the body mass is then more centred on the same mid section (legs out front spreads load along length of kayak) and also because legs overside, each side, puts some of the weight of the paddler below the deck level - vastly increasing stability. Even a half flooded kayak has a great dealof buoyancy. Rafted up you could have held it upright and kept him out of the water, but you would have drifted some because of your inability to paddle.

    It is impossible to say what the correct course of action to take was - you do what you can with the tools at your disposal and the prevailing conditions. Different people would take different routes and probably end up with the same result.

    Emptying a flooded kayak - with it UPSIDE DOWN, it cannot take on any more water, the air is trapped inside the hull. You get the swimmer to manoever the stricken kayak over the rescuers kayak, bow first. The swimmer lifts from in the water to get the bow up and over - buoyancy aid helps with this. You are not actually lifting much weight, just the bow section - the water runs aft. Swimmer then goes to stern of stricken kayak and between you it is manoevered across the rescuer kayak until about half way - now even either side. The ends of the upturned kayak prevent the rescuing kayak from capsizing as they provide massive support a long way out. The water will run out of the hatch - or most of it will, it will if you rock the upturned kayak from end to end. Maybe the hatch has to be released, but I think the weight of water would find its way out. Stricken kayak can then be returned to the water and righted BEFORE it leaves the rescuing kayak, so as to keep hatch clear of sea as it is turned. (Hatch back on first if removed of course).

    You now have an emptied kayak - or at least only a few litres inside it. Not enough to worry about. raft up, casualty climbs aboard. This takes a couple of minutes if practised. Once you have seen it done, it will take only 3 minutes max for your first attempt. that is not THAT long toi be swimming, and preferable to being in the water astern while you try and tow him in. This reinforces the need to STAY WITH YOUR KAYAK. Once emptied, it is a huge buoyancy bag, even upside down and half full, but empty you can get back aboard, and if you cannot paddle through cold and exhaustion, at least the casualty is now out of the water. You can then start to think about next course of action.

  3. carpyken

    carpyken New Member

    Simon, you are describing an 'X' rescue....

    You wrote Swimmer then goes to stern of stricken kayak and between you it is manoevered across the rescuer kayak until about half way

    Surely it would be best for the swimmer to then go to the other side of the rescue boat, take hold of his own bow and using his legs to push away on the hull of the rescue boat, this just gives good leverage to get the stricken yak over - its just thats how I was taught.

    This manouvre is easier on a sit in side as the cockpit is central on the yak which makes tipping the water easier with a see-saw movement. Don't think I've actually done it on the sit-on-top, must be more difficult with the hatch being located way forward up on the bow.

  4. Dav

    Dav Rockling

    Some good ideas there and im sure ive seen a video somewere of the very same procedure , altho i would of put money on it turning real neasty if we tried it , the sea was way to choppy and im sure ide of been in too .....
  5. carpyken

    carpyken New Member

    You did great in all honesty Dav, you both did. Just hope its not going to put you off. It could happen to any of us, especially the way some of us are pushing the boundaries further and further.

    Fortunately the wind up on the West coast of Scotland was pushing onto the land. While we were messing about in the wind swept chop and while the wind was at its height I decided it would be 'fun' to raise my sail and just see how fast this thing could go. :scared: :scared: It nearly had me stright over, how I stayed upright I'm not sure, I'ld have been ok but I would certainly have lost a lot of kit :embarrass:

    As I said 1st available slot in good weather we'll get out and show you guys what its all about :wink: :happy:
  6. CBass

    CBass New Member

    I'm not even sure that an X rescue would be possible in a SOT Ken. Normally you would rest the boat on the section of Bow in front of you, your legs would be in the way. Plus any stuff that was strapped on the deck of the boat being recovered would prohibit you sliding it over the deck of your boat. On top of all that a fishing Kayak fully rigged is probably more weight than most people on here can dead lift. A Prowler or a Dorado weighs a good 25kg plus the assorted adornments all adding weight any water in the hatch would kill it dead!

    Did the kayak take on any water through the hatches? If so, or even if it did not then all the open spaces should be filled with air bags, that way even if all the hatches fail then you don't have to empty the boat. Gary says that he got the boat righted but was worried about how far he was drifting as Dorado points out you are much better out of the water, even if you think are drifting to far the kayak is the place to be in terms of getting back to the shore and being rescued.

    An airbagged SOT should be relatively easy to right then you are placed to use an assisted rescue, where the two boats raft and the swimmer uses the upright boat as an outrigger, or maybe carry a paddle float and stirrup. http://www.topkayaker.net/Articles/Instruction/PaddleFloat.htm.

    It really is important that you work all this stuff out before you need to use it
  7. CBass

    CBass New Member

    Maybe worth thinking about a rescue bag as well. Fill it full of the things that you will only need in an emergency but they are all together in an easily on hand place. I read about Cleeclives dunk and how he lost his flares and VHF. Nowt flash just big enough to hold all the bits that you need like flairs, floats, VHF maybe? Something like this...


    Oh and the paddle floats in my last post can be got here http://www.jackson-sports.com/Models.aspx?PartnerID=23&ModelID=5249
  8. GJW

    GJW Rockling

    I really appreciate all the advice lads, and thanks for all your concern, i have gone over and over the situation in my head and asked myself what i would or should have done diffrent, the problem seem to be that the yak tipped very easy wether it was the choppy water combined with the strong wind and me trying turn the yak to fast into the strong wind which was the problem, or was there alot of water inside the yak at that point that when the chop hit the kayak broadside on that caused the water inside to move, shifting the balance of the yak causing it to tip very easy.. I am not sure :confused:

    I have learnt a few things from my mistake though.

    (1) If the wind is blowing strong off the land no matter how flat and appealing the sea looks there is no way i will be heading off..

    (2) Never leave my yak as you lads have stated its the best flotation device you have and a kayak is alot easier to spot in the water than a person.

    (3) Dont be afraid to call for help.

    I never really thought as the anchor as a piece of safety equipment, but as you have rightly said it could of acted as a brake to stop the yak drifting away then you could get back on board compose youself and decide what you are going to do, rather than making rash decision's whilst panicking in the water..

    I half expecting a good ticking off but instead you have given some great advice and encouragement which will be of benefit to others as well as myself..

  9. Sambo

    Sambo To the MAX!

    As already pointed out yourself and Dav will come out of this as much better kayakers. As harch as it might sound an incident like this is sometimes needed for it to hit home just how careful us yakkers need to be out there. Common sense is generally the best tool we have, like you say you will now think twice about going out on a windy day :educated:
    Safety in numbers helps and you know there are plenty of us (including myself) that are more than happy to go out kayaking with you, specially for the first few trips back out there whilst you work on your confidence.
  10. newdave

    newdave Guest

    just a quickie but with regards to stopping the kayak blowing away i reckon the drogue is better than the anchor, once my drogue is out i am only going as fast as the tide not the wind, even if its only slowing you down it gives a bit more time to asses the situation.

    its a great tool for fishing on the drift, but also a safety item, :yes:
    mine were a limited edition so if you want one try Simon :laugh: :laugh:
  11. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    You also made the coastguard news

  12. CBass

    CBass New Member

    You probably caught an upstream edge, leaning the wrong way when turning is very common for people who are still getting used to kayaks . It feels very counterintuitive to begin with to edge the boat properly into a turn. The water will not have helped as it would have caused a sudden shift in the centre of gravity. Serioulsy get some airbags though then it won't be a problem.
  13. cleeclive

    cleeclive Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Some really interesting points raised in these posts, In my situation I made the decision to stay in the water for two reasons.
    Initially because I had anchor cables entangled around my legs and needed to get this free before I tried to right the Yak. I did get these freed and the anchor lifted, but then decided that I would use a lot of energy righting the yak and trying to get aboard, so made a personal judgement that I was better to act as the link between the towing canoe and my Kayak. This worked in this situation but had these guys that helped me not been around it would have been a very different scenario.

    One very important thing is to try and stay calm and look at your options and try to make the best decision in relation to your circumstances. To do this you need as much training and experience as possible. I have now learnt not to go paddling 2 miles out into the Humber on my own in the middle of winter, because the consequences could easily be fatal on a calm day with the sea like a mill pond.

    It is all part of a very important learning curve and I have had plenty of them over the years at sea.
    Being 30 miles off the land in a 25ft open boat in the Gulf of Arabia with an engine that keeps cutting out and 3 Omanis and an Indian on board who knew nothing about Diesel engines, and no means of communication with the shore and only Whales and Dolphins for company was somewhat un-nerving. A few spanners and bleeding the fuel system every 15 minutes eventually got us home, but scary when there is no way of calling help. I did remember a story from a Solomon Islander telling me how they could survive at sea for long periods by catching sharks and drinking sharks blood, but this was not the preffered option.

  14. Davo

    Davo Rockling

    "One very important thing is to try and stay calm and look at your options and try to make the best decision in relation to your circumstances. To do this you need as much training and experience as possible"

    Unless i've had a too many old speckled hens, then these words are the best primary advice i've heard regarding kayaking safety.

    Thanks Clive
  15. Dav

    Dav Rockling

    One thing i keep thinking about is ,, what if it was me that went in ,
    gary was wearing a wetsuit , dry trousers and a proper dry cag and he got soaked due to him being in the water for so long ....I was wearing breathable waders with belts and a touring cag which has latex wrists seals and seals around the waist but with no proper latex neck seal . im just assuming the neck would of allowed the water into me cag then possibley down me waders and due to the wrsit seals etc the water would not of been able to come out went i tried to pull me self onto the yak . would i of been able to pull me self onto the yak with so much water sploshing about inside my clothes ....?
  16. mattylamb

    mattylamb Rockling

    thats why personally I think at this time of year a dry suit with thermal insulation underneath is essential
  17. harrythecod

    harrythecod Rockling

    Well dav and garry sounds like your planning to give your kyaking another go :surprise: i hope next time things go ok for you both, just try to remember all the good advice that has been offered on here, :yes: and keep your chin up :wink:

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