Be Prepared for Safety
It could happen at Any Time—Are You Ready?
Earlier this spring, three paddlers were out on the DesPlaines River around Lincolnshire. Water Levels were high but not anywhere near flood. Water Temps were still cold, and Air Temps were cool–high of the day in the 50’s.
Not a day anyone would want to take a swim.
But it can happen at any time.
Paddler 1 was navigating through a strainer. Paddler 2 followed a bit too closely and got swept sideways to the strainer. Even a moderate current flipped his canoe within seconds ,sweeping him under the strainer.
Paddler 2 pushed his boat out of the way and climbed aggressively to get on top of the strainer.
Paddlers 1 and 3 tried to reach to paddler 2 with a long branch to pull him to shore. That didn’t work.(and would have required paddler 2 to get back into the cold water) Paddler 2 did not want to get back into the cold water if he could avoid it so the throw bag option was out as well.
So instead, some rope was attached to the bow of a canoe. The canoe was floated over to paddler 2. He got into the boat and was pulled back to shore. All three paddlers got warmed up and paddled the rest of the way without incident.
No One panicked. All three paddlers had training, including rescue practice to fall back on. If this happened, would you be ready to help your paddling buddies? Please consider taking appropriate paddling and rescue training to the type of paddling and paddling venues you enjoy!