Re: Rant, Rant, Rant

Posted by GKaminski on Mar 11, 2005

Reading this thread causes me to shake my head in disagreement. I did not want to wade in on this, but to suggest God could have only prevented this tragedy is naive. While I certainly do not want to judge, it seems unavoidable when evaluating what could be done to avoid tragedy. So let me say, I take no pride in this and I can see myself having similar lapses in judgment, particularly with my zeal to be on the water. Furthermore, I do not know all the facts and understanding that some things reported or mentioned in forums like this one may prove to be incorrect in light of a final CG investigation, nevertheless they should serve as warnings and be heeded. Everyone who ventures out on open waters should know what to do to save your self. Do not rely on who is with you, they may be in the water and depending on you. Assume the worst will happen, you will end up out of your vessel and in the water. What will you do? Given the water temperature, how long do you have before you loose dexterity and become fatigued. Self recovery only gets more difficult the longer you are in the water. If you need assistance, how will you let people know you are in distress and where to find you. How long will it take them to get to you once hailed? This will depend on how accurate you know your position. Be familiar with your vessel and safety equipment. If someone supplies you with a vessel equipped with safety gear and you are unfamiliar with the safety gear, then swimming to shore should be your only viable rescue strategy. A swimmer has only a 50% chance of surviving a 50 yard swim in 50 degree water before being overcome by hypothermia.

Know the possible range of conditions you may encounter, that the vessel your using is appropriate for the conditions and you are familiar with the vessel in those conditions. Practice self rescue techniques and remember the conditions in which you practiced your self rescue techniques are not the conditions you will face when you need them, they will likely be worse. It was suggested that the canoe was a whitewater canoe and the catamaran was a pontoon boat. If true, neither vessel was appropriate for the conditions they were in. It is always a series of events that lead to tragedy. Avoid any one event and the tragedy may have been avoided. While not the only safety equipment that should be relied on, signal flares alone may have changed the outcome.

In Response to: Re: Rant, Rant, Rant by Kurt Maurer on Mar 10, 2005


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