Published on April 6th, 2017 | by Matt Dumoulin
Thank you North Sea Kayaking for this great video showing how to react to one of the « Worst case scenario » Possible when sea kayaking: a paddle capsizes for from shore.
One of our own team mates capsized, lost his kayak and got unconscious three kilometres offshore during our last trip. It’s probably one of the worst nightmares that can happen to us. Luckily it’s just a training scenario, the “worst case scenario” in fact! In our group we train these things on a regular base. Not only because we paddle safer, but also to build up trust in each other, to learn from mistakes and to get better in what we do. It’s also team building and thus great fun! The week before we did practically the same scenario but in rougher conditions, it works also. It’s important to state that this is in no way a training video, we just want to show what is possible and how we respond to such an incident as a team. There is certainly no “one solution for every problem”, but this is a possible way to counter these events. Always make sure to take care of the (unconscious) paddler first. Retrieving his kayak comes later. If the paddler is conscious and you’re sure that he is OK, you can go after the drifting kayak and bring it back to him. Most important is to communicate with each other in a loud and clear way. Work always as a team not as an individual, get everyone involved. Make sure to take First Aid classes every now and then, make sure to know how to use your equipment (radio, cell phone, Personal Locater Beacon,….) and dress for immersion. Always wear your PFD, no exceptions!