Surfskier death from failed leg leash

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10 years 11 months ago #8296 by Rightarmbad
I went shopping for safety gear on Friday.

I found a realy small emergency rescue GPS, cell phone type size, at the boaty shop.

I kind of like the idea of a radio though, it gives you immediate feedback of what is happening and allows you to make a more informed decision should it be required in the situation.

What's everybody's thoughts?

Should we have started another thread for this type of discussion and leave this one for condolences etc?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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10 years 11 months ago #8297 by Kiwibruce
Yes good idea.

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10 years 11 months ago #8307 by AR_convert
I think discussing safety gear on this thread isn't disrespectful, in fact I think it lends weight to what we are discussing and the possible consequences of going out ill prepared.

If this thread is well worn it will also keep the tragic loss on our minds and if I interpret the initial post correctly that was the intention of sharing this event.

This week I went out to do a paddle in 3m swell not far offshore but I wore my PFD and even took a flare which I wouldnt have done previously.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 10 months ago #8689 by Kocho
This thread has provided some very good safety information. Worth a "bump" up ... It prompted us to do our own little rescue practice.

A short video from a portion of it is included (for towing and carrying).

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10 years 10 months ago #8690 by [email protected]
Have you fellas tried that in the ocean?

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10 years 10 months ago #8694 by Kocho
Not sure if you are sarcastic or just curious with your question. Perhaps someone with an ocean nearby can try it and share. I don't claim it will or will not work, but I think chances are there are variations that will work in most but the most extreme conditions. What we did was in flat water and if we get a chance we will try it in more choppy waters.

Of course, in rough water you'll have to come off the ski to setup. If you can remount, you should be able to set the tow.

Also, have you tried to hand-paddle the ski while lying on the rear deck? It is way more stable than sitting upright. That's an option when a paddle is lost for example.

Towing in dumping waves is always risky and in surf is plain hazardous. Hence, there are variations in such environments such as towing the "victim" in the water behind the ski, which will place less risk on both parties. Of course, one needs a tow line and I don't think I have seen ski paddlers carry such burdensome items on outings...

I just want to mention, that being towed felt very stable in the water - I was filming with both hands off the paddle and looking sideways while being towed. Also, having the person lying on the rear deck actually stabilizes the ski. It slows it down, of course too...

Sea kayakers do this kind of stuff routinely. If a ski has a bow loop it makes towing almost as easy as in a sea kayak. Without the bow loop/handle, it requires more setup time.

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10 years 10 months ago #8695 by [email protected]
I have no idea where you live/paddle. Works well in flat water and curious to know what would happen in ocean. Had the pleasure of paddling the ski a few kilometers at dusk in the ocean after my blade snapped. It was dead calm so ok though. Wont want to try that in conditions.

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10 years 10 months ago #8698 by Kocho
Unfortunately, I'm 4 hours from the nearest ocean :(

We do get decent wind waves on the Chesapeake Bay (steep and short period compared to ocean). But the chances that I'd get both waves and someone to paddle with and do rescues on the same outing is way too slim. We don't have enough ski paddlers down here and the ones who would be comfortable or even seek to be out in rough conditions are even fewer... Maybe we can persuade the Connecticut crowd to try it :cheer:

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10 years 10 months ago #8745 by Kayaker Greg
Good work Kocho, shows what can be done. I heard a story of a couple of guys spending a couple of hours getting to shore and sharing swimming and paddling dutys, perhaps that could have been avoided with a little pre practice sometime.

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10 years 10 months ago #8794 by Kocho
We also tested other ways to help a "victim", one of which was to simply hang onto the bow (under it) with legs crossed over the bow, being pushed forward... I also tried being dragged by the ski behind it while holding on to the rudder (on another occasion). While these both are slower options than riding on top of the rear deck and require more effort by the "victim" to hang-on, they are still viable alternatives to swimming along-side a ski and taking turns, and I think are faster than that.

Anyways, back to the OP's topic, I feel it was hypothermia that dealt the fatal blow so to speak. In that water temps the only option to not lose function of the limbs within minutes would be to keep them out of the water... and if one is swimming, that's hardly possible...

In open water I usually carry a paddle float with me - can be a useful tool if one is exhausted or injured, but I have it on my ski, so if I lose that I lose it too...

In sea kayaking circles, 2 is not considered a "group" capable of helping each other enough. Usually 3 is the minimum: One paddler can tow while a 2nd stabilizes the 3rd paddler (assuming the 3rd can't stay upright for some reason).

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