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k a y a k e r

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journal
edge your boat, don’t lift hers.
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Stabilize her boat
with your body.
TECHNIQuE BY SHArOn & ALEC BLOYD-pESHKin
A Perfect T
ADD SpEED AnD SAFETY TO YOUr nUMBEr OnE rESCUE
THE T-RESCuE is the workhorse assisted the bow a foot or two past the far side of cockpit, wrap your body over her deck and
rescue for sea kayakers. Done properly, it en- your boat so that the cockpit will clear the hold tightly. If you hold the coaming, your
ables you to quickly get a capsized paddler back water when you flip it. Tip her boat toward fingers may get kicked or pinched, and
into a dry boat in any conditions. you to begin emptying the cockpit, then flip you’ll have to transfer your hands to the
In recent years, old techniques have been re- it all the way upside-down. Instead of lift- deck lines so she can secure her spray skirt,
placed, such as having the swimmer hold and ing the boat, grip it and edge your own boat providing a moment of instability. Remain
push down onto the stern of their kayak. Some away. You’ll be completely stable because in this position until her spray deck is on,
have been added, such as the heel-hook reen- her boat will act as a huge pontoon, and she’s holding her paddle and she says she’s
try. Others are specific to sea conditions and you’ll avoid straining your shoulders. Stay ready. Then slide gently away.
paddler skill. But despite the variations, there in this position until the cockpit is empty The main points here are ensuring that both
are a few keys to efficient, effective T-rescues in and you’ve flipped the boat right-side-up people keep hold of the boats at all times, slid-
every situation: again. Slide the boat back into the water. ing boats instead of moving the swimmer, edg-
1. Don’t rush in. Take a moment to com- 5. Manoeuvre the capsized boat until the ing instead of lifting the capsized boat, and sta-
municate and ensure she isn’t too panicky stern is pointing toward your bow. using bilizing the emptied boat by draping your body
to cooperate. Remind her to hold onto her the deck lines, slide the boat along to make instead of using upper-body strength. These
boat and paddle. it easy for the swimmer to transfer from approaches facilitate a faster and safer rescue
2. Ask her to flip her boat, if possible, and slide your boat to hers without letting go of the by enabling you to get into position quickly
to the bow. Then paddle up to her bow. deck lines. Then push the boat toward her and use technique instead of strength.
3. Have the capsized paddler transfer to as she walks her hands along the deck lines Practise often in many conditions, with dif-
your boat, preferably close to your cockpit and arrives at the cockpit. ferent swimmers and rescuers, and using vari-
unless conditions dictate otherwise. Don’t 6. How the swimmer re-enters is up to ous re-entry techniques. That way, you’ll have
let her swim; remind her to hold onto the individual preference and conditions. Some experience to draw upon when you really need
deck lines of both boats while making the people prefer a scramble re-entry, while to use the T-rescue.
transfer. Then swing her boat into the T others prefer a crab or heel-hook. Regard-
SHArOn AnD ALEC BLOYD-pESHKin (bloyd-peshkin.
position (bow facing your cockpit) by lean- less, remind her to stretch out so that her
blogspot.com ) are ACA Level 4 sea kayak instruc-
ing on her boat and spinning it. centre of gravity remains low. To secure
tors and BCU Level 1 coaches at geneva Kayak
4. Slide her boat up on your spray deck. Bring her boat, grab the deck lines in front of her
Center in Chicago.
24 ADvENTuRE KAYAK | Spring 2010
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