Surfski paddler rescued in Cape Town

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9 years 6 months ago #22185 by [email protected]
Nasty story - but a happy ending...

Well done NSRI - and the two paddlers who assisted.

www.nsri.org.za/2014/10/rescued-surfskie...sported-to-hospital/

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
The following user(s) said Thank You: YBA/Jim Murray

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9 years 6 months ago - 9 years 6 months ago #22186 by [email protected]
The thought that springs to mind is: you need to recognise early when you're in trouble and call for help then, not when you're so cold you can't operate your phone or flares.

We had a sea kayaker raving on the facebook page that it was stupid for the paddler not be wearing an immersion suit but here's the thing - it's summer for us here in South Africa and the air temperature is 20C on a cool day.

So where do you find an immersion suit that won't cook you alive while you're paddling? It's a conundrum: we have high air temperatures and low sea temperatures. You can't wear a wetsuit because you'll die of heat exhaustion - but then you're in deep shit if you go into the water.

One answer is: recognise early that you're in the dwang, and use your phone or flares while your hands still work.

This is the beginning of the downwind season in Cape Town... Guys, please, take a phone, take flares, know how to use them. Make sure you know what the phone number is of your local NSRI station - they'll welcome an SMS from you to let them know what you're doing.

My standard downwind kit:

- PFD
- Paddle leash (ties my paddle to the boat - if I have to help someone else, I can just let the paddle go)
- Belt leash (ties me to the boat)
- Waterproof VHF
- Cell phone in waterproof pouch
- Set of 3 pencil flares

I let Simonstown NSRI know what we're doing with an SMS - then they have situational awareness, if they get called out, they know what they're looking for.

Over the years I've been involved with two separate rescues (of other people) and I've used every single bit of rescue kit that I own. It's not excessive, it's not bulky, I don't feel embarrassed that I carry it.

Be safe.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
Last edit: 9 years 6 months ago by [email protected].
The following user(s) said Thank You: mancapbol, Newbflat

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9 years 6 months ago #22187 by [email protected]
Yet more detail:

The paddler had:

- flares
- phone
- practised remounts a few days before
- two buddies who had paddled ahead of him and only realised something was wrong when he didn't arrive.

In other words, he's a sensible, experienced paddler who did all the right things, and was saved because of a number of factors including that he had his cellphone with him.

No single safety feature is a silver bullet, but every item tips the odds in your favour.

Two takeaways:

- Realise earlier that you're in the poop, don't wait until you're hypothermic before calling for help
- Use the buddy system. If your mate comes out, stop. If you see someone stopping, stop until you're sure they're ok.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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9 years 6 months ago #22188 by craigDBN
I was thinking about the need for a safety app during recent training session. I paddled around the bluff (Durban) in fairly bumpy conditions, when it occurred to me that I hadn't told anyone that I was paddling, let alone what my route would be. So the app would be something along the lines of charter log .ie. enter the app, plug in your start time, intended route, and expected finishing time. When your session is complete, re-enter the app and push the done button, allowing it to know that you are back safe. Miss your approximate finishing time by a certain amount, and the app will automatically send a distress sms to your designated next of kin(s), along with the information you entered for that session. This would be vital information for a possible rescue operation. Needs work, but I think it might be good. What are your thoughts ? Thanks - Craig

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9 years 6 months ago #22189 by peteski
Hello Craig, there's an Android app called Glympse that basically does a lot of what you're saying. It may be worth checking out.

Fennix Swordfish S - Carbon Hybrid

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9 years 6 months ago #22193 by Watto
I was in CT about 6 months ago (caught up with Rob briefly but unfortunately unable to get out for a paddle) when the air and water temperatures were about the same as now - 25 degrees plus in the sun. But the water - bloody hell - just wading off the beach was a stand-in-ice-bucket challenge! Way colder than mid-winter Avon/Swan river temps Perth. Respect for you guys paddling - or ditching at any rate. Was seriously scary and just cannot imagine spending significant time in the drink there without a full wetty.

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9 years 6 months ago #22195 by craigDBN
thanks peteski. I will look into it. But a lot of apps enable you to share a gps position, which presumes you have your phone on you at the time. Now I'm probably gonna get shot down here, but I rarely take my phone along on a training session. So I would like to plug my expected training session (which seldom strays) into my phone before I leave (.ie. same as signing the register OUT), and then check in again on the app when I get back (.ie. same as signing the register IN). Miss the sign IN by more than a certain pre-set time, and the alert goes out to your designated next-of-kin.

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9 years 6 months ago #22196 by [email protected]
Something like Floatplan...

www.thefloatplanapp.com/

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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