Canadian Canoe Routes

Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater
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Author:  Paddle_man [ May 16th, 2013, 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater

I found this to be an interesting article about one persons take on self rescue on a solo whitewater expedition. He has many valid points, although I think I would be nervous about attaching my boat to myself, even if it is on a quick release. I usually prefer to have a long clean rope that I can easily grab onto if I need.

Author:  recped [ May 16th, 2013, 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater

I've self-rescued quite a few times in long sections of Class II/III, no way would I want to be attached even with a quick release of some sort.

I recall one time when I was holding my throw bag rope which was attached to the boat, I was doing the usual thing, letting the rope play out while I headed for shore. When I reached the shore it was very steep and I could not pull myself out of the water, only able to hang on to some branches.

While this was happening in an instant the rope got wrapped around a couple of my fingers at about the time the fully swamped canoe took up all the slack, there I was, holding a branch with my right hand while my left hand was wrapped by the rope and the full force of a few thousand pounds of a swamped canoe pulling on my left arm.

If I had a third arm I could have cut the rope or disengaged a quick release, unfortunately I left my third arm at home for this trip!

I was fortunate to be paddling with another solo, I screamed for help as he went flying past (not swamped) and fortunately he was able to get to shore downstream and scramble up to where my boat was to relieve enough of the tension that I was able to untangle my left hand.

I could have just let go of the branch but that would have resulted in a continued float downstream which would have meant a very dangerous swim through an ugly chute.

I understand how critical it is that you don't completely lose your boat on any trip and especially when travelling alone but it's not worth drowning on the spot.

Nope I do not want to be attached to my canoe in fast moving water. If I was paddling Lake Superior is heavy swells (done that) it might be a different situation, If I flipped I would not want to lose contact with my boat if I was several kilometres from shore.

Author:  rblturtle [ May 16th, 2013, 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater

When paddling rough open water,I fasten my canoe to myself so it won't blow away from me if I dump. I have seen this happen to others several times,and once retreved a paddler in the waters boat for him. Its amazing how quickly the empty boat blows away from the swimmer. I agree that it's not good to do this in moving water.

Author:  ezwater [ May 16th, 2013, 9:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater

I agree that a long rope, bright colored, chosen for good floating, would be my option. I would not want to be connected. A canoe loaded with water and gear in class 2+ whitewater is going to be an irresistable force pinballing against immovable objects. Even if I have hold of the rope, I often will not have much influence over the canoe until it hits quieter water.

I hope we get input about the actual frequency of such demanding circumstances. I wouldn't want people roping themselves to their canoes for situations that seldom occur, or that turned out to be manageable in other ways.

Author:  pknoerr [ May 17th, 2013, 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Solo Canoe Self Rescue in Whitewater

I'm with the rest of the crowd... no way I want to swim rapids with the canoe attached to me. I've been very fortunate to not get tangled up in either the painters, or the throw rope, and I really would prefer to get through life not having that experience. I'm a let the boat go and pick up the "yard sale" kind of whitewater paddler. Boats seem to wash up pretty quick on rivers, and gear can be collected along the way.


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