Floater wrote:Dumb beginner question: If conditions restrict the effectiveness of rescue then why take that person out kayaking in those conditions in the first place? Surely they should build up their skills first?
I have had some beginner classes and emphasis was on self rescue, in case of capsize grab your own paddle and start swimming to your kayak.
First off I don't believe any question on safety is dumb that includes paddler rescues -- and there are a lot of variables that makes this question not quite straight forward
the only time I have had to do this was on a fishing trip out around Cape Woolamai off the South West side of Phillip Island there was a bit of swell running and the std side chop of the area ( the fishing was poor by the way ) anyway on the way back in through Cleeland bight there was a nice little break on the middle sand bar
So the new game plan stow the rods and catch some runners - my mate Leejo was caught out by a bigger wave that stood up and tricked him ( he had also upgraded his fishing ski to something longer and had not done a lot of miles on it )
as it happens he was in the drink separated from his kayak in about 3 meters of water along the surf break - now the distance to land were 1.8 km to our launch site across the tide and about 1.5 km to the easiest landing near Sam Remo - the tide was heading that way so was the wind and faster still so was Leejos kayak caught in the surf wash
So my first call was to make sure my mate was ok which he was and had his paddle still in hand , his paddle lease had snapped - I also asked if he was right to float around for a while and I'd grab his yak - again he was ok with that
I headed down to his kayak a good 100 meters away and towed it back along the deeper water out of the surf zone - leejo had also swam his way across to the deeper water out of the surf zone for an easier remount
with the kayak that far away and the wind pushing it there would be little chance for leejo to swim to it and my guess off shore with the wind very few could swim to a kayak if separated from it