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Arby

Kayaker Overboard...

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I watched from the beach yesterday as a Kayaker fell off his Kayak about 1/2 mile off the beach off North Lavalette . Luckilly he was able to swim almost the shore before the Coast Guard finally arrived to pull him out. His Kayak is somewhere in the Atlantic (by this point).

 

Now Some Questions:

 

  1. <LI>Is it anyone from SOL?

    <LI>Do you fellas attach a rope to the kayak and your leg (or other appendage) just for such emergencies? I figure that if this guy did he would have either been able to get back on it or support himself to float it in to shore.

    <LI>Wear PFD's? This guy seemed to NOT be wearing a PFD. Lucky for him he had the paddle to help himself in with. But Geez. he was at least 1/2 mile out!

    <LI>Do you fellas carry Flares? There had to be 100 boats (no lie) in the general area. A flare would have gotten immediate attention.

 

The gentleman unfortunately lost his Kayak and whatever other gear he had on board with him. He's fortunate that he is alive today.

 

 

------------------

"Ya can't fish anymore if you're dead." - Arby SOL# 304

 

Berkeley Striper Club...Seaside Park, NJ

 

fishguy.gif

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Yes, the Kayak went out to sea faster than the guy could swim after it. cwm24.gif

 

------------------

"Ya can't fish anymore if you're dead." - Arby SOL# 304

 

Berkeley Striper Club...Seaside Park, NJ

 

fishguy.gif

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I seem to remember someone here on SOL buying a yak this summer & he was in the Lavalette area. Hopefully we can here his story & thank god he's OK. That was a pretty stiff wind out there yesterday & if it does catch the paddle just right over ya go. For that same reason I did no go out yesterday them days are made for the back bay areas.

 

[This message has been edited by Marksharky (edited 11-25-2002).]

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Marksharky, It's not Rick7 (he lives in Lavallette) because he was on his way to Hatteras yesterday for the week.

 

I have no idea where the guy is from. I only know where he tipped over.

 

------------------

"Ya can't fish anymore if you're dead." - Arby SOL# 304

 

Berkeley Striper Club...Seaside Park, NJ

 

fishguy.gif

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I don't tie myself to the kayak, but I would always hang on to the paddle and that is tethered to the yak. Safety wise I always wear a PFD (even in the Summer), plus always carry a whistle, knife and mini flashlight in my PFD, plus a small airhorn, two small marine flares, another waterproof flashlight, a cell phone and GMRS/FRS radio in the seat pocket of the yak. Inside the yak I keep a first aid kit and spare batteries. The only thing I might want to add at some point (no spare cash at the moment) would be a marine VHF handheld radio rather than the GMRS/FRS radio.

 

Why would anyone paddle out half a mile, in strong winds, without a PFD, especially this time of year???? He is lucky to have got away so lightly.

 

[This message has been edited by The ORB (edited 11-26-2002).]

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I'm glad that he made it in. It sounds like he didn't exercise good judgement. Not having a pfd on is very dangerous while alone, offshore in the ocean anytime and with the strong wind and cold temps extremely dangerous.

 

I am very secure in a kayak but I don't push it at this time of year. You have to be extremely careful. If the winds are strong off shore I don't go out. On our Cape Cod trip I pulled the plug on the group one day with just such a scenario. Everyone was OK but I had several people new to the sport and I felt that it was the prudent thing to do. With cold water I err on the side of caution and I prefer not to fish the ocean alone. I make sure that my clothing is secured and a pfd is on. I have adequate layers under my dry clothing. Safety items are available and accessible. I don't like the idea of being tethered to the yak but my paddle is and its in my hands. Also if I'm not paddling I have a drift sock either out or on my lap ready to go into the water. the last time I was in the ocean there was a strong west wind off of Sea Brite. As soon as I hooked a fish the sock was in the water. Otherwise I'd drift a quarter mile or more. Since I was alone I was in a very stable kayak too.

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Someone told me there was a story in the APP yesterday, the man had on a wetsuit & wanted his name withheld from the paper.

 

Hypothermia and Cold Water Survival

 

The essence of proper clothing is: NO TO COTTON AND YES TO THE "UNNATURAL FABRICS SUCH AS POLYPROPYLENE (from many manufacturers) PROCORE AND DRYLETE (from Hind), AND CAPLENE (from Patagonia)" to name a few. These fabrics, and others like them, will provide insulation even when they and you-are wet. Some of them also have excellent wicking ability, drawing moisture away from the skin into the outer layer of the fabric-Drylete is a particularly good wicking fabric. Cotton will not keep you warm when it's wet, and worse, heavy cotton clothing becomes alarmingly heavy when it's wet. A final note-remember that these fabrics will not be effective if you wear a layer of cotton underneath them, next to your skin.

Hypothermia means lowered, deep-body temperature. In cold water, the skin and peripheral tissues become cooled very rapidly, but it takes 10 to 15 minutes before the temperature of the heart and brain begin to cool. Intense shivering occurs in an attempt to increase the body's heat production and counteract the large heat loss. Unconsciousness can occur when the deep-body temperature falls from the normal 99 degrees F to approximately 89.6 degrees F. Predicted survival time in 50degree water is about 2.5 to 3 hours; that time is increased by extra body fat and decreased by small body size.

Immersion in cold water (especially if sudden) causes immediate major changes in body function. There are isolated cases of"sudden death" being reported but these are very uncommon. The cause of sudden death is not clear, although a number of reasons have been suggested. One is a form of heart attack resulting from the increase in heart rate and change in blood pressure which accompany immersion in cold water. This is not likely to occur in someone with a healthy heart and circulatory system. Other possible causes of death are related to hyperventilation which every one experiences in response to the shock of cold water. It is possible that if one plunges underwater or is immersed in rough seas that hyperventilation could lead to uncontrolled aspiration of water and drowning. Because panic can magnify any of the above responses, it is important to remain calm and methodical if faced with a cold water emergency. If possible, enter the water gradually, allowing the body to adjust to the changing temperature. Consciously control your breathing as much a possible. The more clothing and insulation your body has, the less will be the initial shock on entry into the water.

The body produces almost three times as much heat when swimming slowly and steadily in cold water compared to holding still. However, this heat and more is lost to the cold water due to increased blood circulation to the arms, legs and skin and increased water circulation through the clothing. The average person, dressed and wearing a life vest, cools 35% faster when swimming than when holding still. Although shore may seem close enough to reach by swimming, the far better decision is to stick with your boat, and even better, to get out of the water! You lose more body heat in water than in air of the same temperature. If you are unable to right the kayak and paddle back, at least get up on top of it and get your body out of the water. From there you can paddle the kayak to shore, and/or wave for help. If your kayak appears to be sinking (a good touring kayak with bulkheads would have to be almost broken in two before it would sink) salvage something with flotation - a rescue float, dry bag or seat cushion, and conserve body heat.

There are a number of ways to rewarm someone who has been in cold water: exercise (for mild hypothermia), a hot bath or shower, hot sweet drinks (no alcohol), a heating pad or body contact-huddling with a warm, dry person(s). Unconscious victims of hypothermia should be handled gently and taken to a medical facility.

 

 

 

 

[This message has been edited by Marksharky (edited 11-26-2002).]

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THE DEATH OF A PADDLER: GETTING THE STORY

 

by Chuck Sutherland

 

On Saturday, April 6, 1996, Easter weekend, Mr. Charles A. Wagg, 56, died in a kayaking accident on the New Jersey seashore. He launched at 2 PM on the lee side of the 9th Street jetty in Ship Bottom, NJ. Mr. Wagg capsized about 100 yards from shore when he first encountered 1-3 foot waves at the end of the jetty. Mr. Wagg, a good swimmer, did not wear a life jacket (his PFD was attached to the rear deck). He wore a drysuit with no layers of clothing inside it. Observers reported that he was sitting on the back deck of his boat with his feet in the cockpit. The water temperature was about 41 degrees F. After capsizing, he was able to swim to his boat and start kicking for shore. In another minute or so observers lost sight of him. Waves brought him into shallow water where two observers were able to wade out and pull him to the beach.

 

A 911 call went out seconds after the capsize occurred and marine police were on the beach in about a minute. CPR was initiated as soon as Mr. Wagg was pulled from the water but he could not be revived. An autopsy showed that he died from drowning, not cardiac arrest. He died within 5 minutes of launching his boat. Mr. Wagg liked boating and whitewater rafting but it is clear that he was not a trained kayaker. He left a wife and three children.

 

This accident was reported in a local newspaper and, I am told, was noted in the New York Times. Such articles do not reach the paddling community at large. The information provided has been obtained by reporters unfamiliar with kayaking and who are in a hurry to meet a deadline. Their stories generally contain only disconnected factoids about the accident interspersed (bulked up) with lots of irrelevant information. Their next story may be on a drug bust. They move on to glory, while we wonder how to make sense of what they wrote.

 

The value of the newspaper report is that some local paddler will see that the event occurred. All specific information in the report must be regarded as suspect. The newspaper said that Mr. Wagg wasn't wearing a wetsuit. That is true but seriously misleading. The newspaper did not say that Mr. Wagg was sitting on the back deck with his feet in the cockpit or that he was a relatively heavy man. His boat was not described. It was a Necky Narpa, 16.5 feet long, 24 inches wide, with a 31 x 17.5 inch cockpit. The boat had bulkheads. This is a conventional configuration that is not unusually narrow. Anyone sitting on the back deck of a standard sea kayak stands a serious chance of capsizing, even in a swimming pool.

 

As paddlers, interested in the well being of our sport and the survival of our fellow paddlers, it is important that we document in a direct, accurate manner, the circumstances that resulted in deaths or difficulties on paddling trips. The death of any paddler is a tragedy. To not take as much instruction as possible from the event demeans the victim. Newspapers regard these cases as minor news of only local interest. I have seen this in six cases so far in 1996. All of the newspapers I contacted this spring refused to publish anything warning any boaters (early season fishermen, etc.) about the risks attending cold water boating. Most of the deaths this spring were specifically due to a lack of preparation for immersion in cold water, including the death of Mr. Wagg. A drysuit, with no inner layers of clothing, offers no protection from the cold. It is most likely that Mr. Wagg's hands, arms and legs rapidly became too cold to function. Without a life jacket to keep his head out of the water, drowning was unavoidable.

 

It is not easy to get the whole story in order to understand an accident. A first person report on a nonfatal accident, as occurred recently, may be so lacking in specific detail as to be useless for anything other than propaganda. Lawsuits were threatened to terminate discussion of that case. Individuals having knowledge relating to any case being studied may, as happened to me, take a writer for an insurance investigator. The respondent refused to tell me anything about the case. Police involved with cases often refuse any comment other than what is included in the official incident press release.

 

The water in the St. Lawrence River was 50oF on Memorial day weekend this year. That is more than cold enough to kill a swimmer. On Monday of that weekend two, three sentence paragraphs appeared in a Watertown, NY newspaper saying that a young man in a canoe under tow, died when his canoe capsized on Stillwater Reservoir. I called the newspaper and asked a few questions and the editor involved said he had no answers for me. I called the police that handled the case and had their official press release read to me. It contained a great deal of information, almost none of which made it into the newspaper. There was also a 10-year old boy in the boat who was wearing a life jacket. He was rescued first by someone in the motorized canoe pulling the boat that capsized. When the rescuer turned back to get the 18-year old canoeist, he could not be found. Police divers recovered his body in 28 feet of water the next day. The water temperature there was 50oF and the young man had been dressed in street clothes. He, traditionally, was not wearing a life jacket.

 

This is the classic pattern of death in cold water. This spring this pattern played out in the death of William Colby (canoe, life jacket kept in bow of boat, 9 days to find his body), the death of a bass fisherman on the Delaware River (May 7th, water temp. 53oF, 12 days to find the body, one life jacket for three men) and in the death of the young man described above. In my local newspaper, the fishing editor tells the readers to take a kid along, when writing about early season fishing. He refuses to point out that if the kid goes in the water in street clothes with no life jacket, he will probably go straight to the bottom.

 

Why repeat all this, when these issues have been discussed in detail in the past? It has been said that we don't need ANorAK anymore because we have discussed everything that needs to be addressed in coastal kayaking. On Easter Sunday, April 6, 1986, a young man "drowned" after capsizing his super stable, unsinkable, sailing Klepper in Jamaica Bay, New York. He was a loner. He was dressed in blue jeans, a T-shirt and a life jacket. Air was 60 and water 40oF. Many people must have seen the accident. He was found by the Coast Guard at the end of the day, draped over his boat aground on a mud bar. We discussed this accident in detail in ANorAK 10 years ago.

 

Here a few standard (death) sentences kayakers often make. Sea kayaks never capsize. I will not turn over. I'll stay near shore; only go out in good weather; I wear layers like the Coast Guard says; I'll hold real still, if I go in the water, until someone comes (who, when?); at 50oF I can survive in the water for a couple hours. I'll put my life jacket on if I capsize. Ever hear any of these dodges? Most of the cases described above resulted in death within a minute or less of capsizing. None of the victims in 1996 took the time to put on their PFDs after capsizing. The traditional layers of clothing did not help them either. We write accident reports so paddlers will know what happened. To newspaper reporters and their editors- it's not a story.

 

Information for this report was obtained by Robert Zelley, Harry Mote, Pat Filardi, Tamsin Venn, Chris Earl, Marine Police investigator Brian T. Herr and Chuck Sutherland.

 

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Arby i found out it was SOL's Charlie M out there who flipped cwm24.gif

 

apparently he couldnt take it anymore. He found himself alone on that wall watching the fish busting just out of range one too many times and realized he had no hopes of catching them from shore because he had no clue in his arsenal. The sun was setting and it gets dark and scary out after the sun goes down, not to mention cold, so he packed it in frustrated and gurpy and went home to die his hair bright red and listen to punk rock music wink.gif

 

The next morning he realized what the guru was saying was true and wondered why everyone didnt have one, so he went out and purchased his first dicksled. In a frothing rage he launched in what he knew were unsafe conditions without safety equipment but he was going to tube & worm some quality fish because he now knew he had the right tool for the job of fish catching. At first he floated around with his fish finder trying to find albies sleeping on the bottom but they proved elusive so he went after busting fish and this is when he realized what he had become and plunged himself into the sea. He lost his wire line and trolling rods along with a whole flat of worms and a drift sock but made it in with his life, thank goodness. Rumor has it that someone plucked his yak and returned it to him but he put it out on the curb as refuse based on this harrowing adventure and the theory of yakfishing in general. He is a changed man today and im proud to say i know him

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Otter, you never cease to amaze me! wink.gifcwm12.gifcwm12.gif

 

Charlie M = "Kayak-Googan"? cwm24.gifcwm27.gif

 

------------------

"Ya can't fish anymore if you're dead." - Arby SOL# 304

 

Berkeley Striper Club...Seaside Park, NJ

 

fishguy.gif

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yes Arby charlie is quite the **** NEWBIE which is why we make him wear his NEWBIE undershirt and randomly beat him with thigh straps when he comes with us. You cant just teach someone to have a nice paddle, its a right of passage. You could teach him that fish eat birds but until you are out there, stuck on a sedge island with your **** partner, huddle together for warmth underneath a SIK KAYAK with pfd's on (for added insulation) wondering if you will make it back to report the sub-corky fishing results on the internet in great detail, you just wont understand that its all about the people and good times. heck, we just bring fishing gear along in case someone wants to do an article half the time.

 

He is coming along nicely after plunging himself headlong into the sea in an attempt to end it all but we wouldnt let him get off that easy. no sir. he is coming with me to the next DEMO DAY and he will be forced to smile and interact with people in effort to gain popularity.

 

Please send charlie a PM if you would like to take him **** and have an extra yak, he needs all the practice he can get.

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With apologies to the author...

 

"There are OLD kayakers,

 

and there are BOLD kayakers,

 

but, unfortunately, there are no old, bold, kayakers.

 

Stay dry!

 

Flounder

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