Gah! I’ve Capsized!

We recently spent a very chilly Saturday morning enjoying repetitively falling into the lovely warm water of an indoor swimming pool to practice our rescue skills.

Turns out self-rescue is more complicated than we thought, especially when you think about applying it to a more realistic situation such as this:

Capsized-Kayak.jpg

Here are a few nuggets of advice which will stick firmly in my mind for DW:

  1. TURN YOUR BOAT OVER
  2. TURN YOUR BOAT OVER
  3. TURN YOUR BOAT OVER

And that’s about it really.

When you capsize your first instinct will be to hold onto the boat whilst it remains well and truely upside-down. If you give into this instinct then all you will achieve is sinking it. If the only thing you remember is to flip your boat the right way up, you’re 80% of the way there.

Assuming you get that far, the next steps for a K2 go something like this:

  1. Put your paddles inside your boat,
  2. Swim to somewhere where at least one of you can stand up,
  3. Slowly and steadily empty your boat of water by tipping it onto it’s side and letting the water drain out of the cockpits (this is difficult),
  4. Work out the easiest way to get back in the boat.

Getting all the water out of a K2 is really not the easiest of tasks, but be aware that it’s very possible to break your boat if you use too much force. The water in the boat will weigh and awful lot and your K2 won’t be much use any more if you snap it in half.

As for the other steps – you’ll need to tailor them to the specific situation you’re in. If it’s -10 degrees, then you’ll just want to get yourself out of the water asap and completely forget about the boat altogether. Equally, if you’re in the middle of a river with very steep banks then you might have to get a bit creative about emptying the boat and getting back in again.

All in all, TURN YOUR BOAT OVER as it will give you time to think.

 

 

 

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