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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 9:39 am 
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Verdure wrote:
And as a related aside, a friend of mine says 'where there are ropes, there should be knives'. Meaning, if there are painters on your boat, you should have a water knife on on your PDF.


I've been re-thinking everything I do in a canoe since I joined this site a few years ago. So much great collective wisdom... how come I still carry a folder in a lanyard around my neck? :doh:

I started do this twenty years ago so I'd have a knife handy if I needed it in a hurry while stream fishing. I don't wear a PFD while fishing, sometimes only a tee shirt and shorts on a sweltering afternoon, so it seemed a logical place to carry the damn thing - strung up alongside all my other fishing essentials.

This past fall we tripped on a quiet, remote river and stayed in an Adirondack leanto for a few days. In the leanto was a plaque memorializing a guy who had died on the river a few years before, just upstream of where we were staying. It seemed impossible to drown on this river, but when we got back I asked around and it turned out the man got caught in a strainer while trying to get his boat around it.

I thought about my faulty logic:

- waterproof matches in a waterproof container, always attached to each of our vests... even though we rarely trip on cold water

- rescue whistles always attached to each of our vests, even though we always trip alone and beavers rarely come to rescue swimmers

- painters attached to bow and stern deck plates with weak bungees holding them in place

- pocket folder on my lanyard... IF I am fishing and if I remember to put it around my neck (sometimes in the canoe I just throw it over my knee for convenience)

Even after I was almost swept under a strainer myself a few years ago in high water on a normally placid stream, I still thought I was OK with my set up. But now I think about the aforementioned dude's thoughts as he breathed his last:


"Damn, my PFD is stuck on a $^$$@ branch! Where's my ^$%#$%) knife!!"

"Where is my painter? Shit, it's wrapped around my f***ing foot!"

"What's that holding my head under the water. OMG... it's the friggin' knife lanyard!!!"


Who knows what actually happened to that poor soul, but before our first paddle of the season I'm gonna make sure we both have fancy rescue knives attached to our vests and practice getting them out until it's second nature.

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 9:50 am 
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I've been re-thinking the logic of it all since reading of the woman who died on her first canoe trip.

She was wearing her pfd.

The canoe dumped (can't remember the details).

Her pfd was caught up in the strainer.

Her husband couldn't free her.

She died....wearing her pfd.


So, now, whenever I read someone saying "always wear your pfd", I think that there should be the additional advice that each person should have a knife attached to their pfd, so they can hopefully free themselves.



Barbara

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 11:01 am 
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Barbara, if you look at the accident reports and assessments of canoe and kayaking related deaths you will see that the most dangerous things on rivers are sweepers and strainers. Missed takeouts before dangerous falls and being caught in high-retention hydraulics are low to non-existent as causes of death, maybe because folks traversing those waters are both highly experienced and usually paddle with others who are accomplished in rescue and recovery. But more than one person has met his or her demise when their clothing or PFD was caught in a strainer.

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 11:18 am 
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The old saying that the most important piece of equipment you carry is knowledge and common sence.....and a level head.

Nothing worse than puling out a panic person. Being absolutely petrafided is a scary situation for you and your team.....so don't put yourself in the situation if the concequences will freak you out

If you're PFD is caught you can't get it out and you're running out of air....take it off?

Anyways BK, you've spent 30 years running around river banks with felt on the bottom of your shoes....stands to reason you've picked up a thing or two about moving water and river banks.....and on shore is where alot of acidents occur.
There's a million "what if's"
understand the connectivity because seldom is it just one thing that gets you in trouble. No tryed and true formula.....just having skills, sence and a few pieces of equipment when your skills and sence fail you. You can get alot of good advice from flks like HOOP and MAC and paddle to the sea....mobax.....hell can't name them all :lol:
But they aren't on the river with you....so trust inner voices..... when they say walk do so; Everyone is unique....honor that and have fun out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 11:33 am 
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Yes, I know that and you know that, BK.

It's hard to know the circumstances, Gail. I'm going by what was reported in the local news. So to say that you can take your pfd off if caught underwater is an assumption I wouldn't want to make. Who knows just how entangled one becomes in such a situation, on that particular river, in that particular strainer. Or, as the news story described it....a sunken tree.

It's not too bad sitting here playing armchair quarterback. But it's a different thing altogether when an emergency situation is happening to you. When you and the people you're with aren't experienced with emergency rescues, or even canoeing for that matter.

I just don't like the statement "a pfd will save your life". It's incomplete information that we tend to promote without thinking about much.

And people end up putting too much faith in wearing a pfd....which is so much better than complying with the bare minimum of "have it with you" at least.


Barbara

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 11:48 am 
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Improper wording on my part Barbara...... I had meant that sometimes the counter-intuitave when all else fails is a possibility....... to much thrift of words apparently :lol:

Quote:
It's not too bad sitting here playing armchair quarterback. But it's a different thing altogether when an emergency situation is happening to you. When you and the people you're with aren't experienced with emergency rescues, or even canoeing for that matter.

but that is exactly what this site is....break down the information presented........ in the hopes of preventing it happening again.......
and for the record it has happened to me ..... not as dramatic mind you, but I had to pull my oldest off a rock when she got pinned upsteam by leaning into the rock
she's also got stuck in a hole
know the feeling.....it's not good
our solution.....skill work and a river runner instead of a playboat

you didn't present all the circumstances so I'll refrain from further comment other than my qualifing statement.....and ropes/safety equipment is the topic so I won't tangent it :D
EDIT: a pfd in most boating accidents will save lives and with 30 sec commercials to the masses it's appropriate...... (incomplete but valid)
canoeing...... it applies to alot of situations.... but a little more incomplete
white water....it is a woefully inadequate statement

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 12:26 pm 
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Barbara wrote:
I just don't like the statement "a pfd will save your life". It's incomplete information that we tend to promote without thinking about much.
Barbara


Really, it's much like seat belts. We all know someone who refuses to wear it citing stories of deaths because of the belt. We can only go by percentages/chances for pretty much any safety aid.

So a knife on my PFD will increase the odds of a good outcome in the event of the worst situation. Guess what my hubby and I will be getting for our birthdays in March. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 12:29 pm 
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Barbara wrote:
And people end up putting too much faith in wearing a pfd....which is so much better than complying with the bare minimum of "have it with you" at least.


:oops:

Well, it's amazing how arrogant we fishermen can be. The idea of wading a river with a PFD on is so silly to us that we'd never live it down. And I don't just fish from near shore or the bank. I've crossed many a raging torrent just to fish from the other side so I could reach fish that were rising in a hard-to-cast-to position. The two big differences are that I can't go in water higher than my chest or I will start to float away and that my felt-bottomed tootsies already have a stable starting place. Totally different from falling out of a boat and trying to regain a standing position - a recipe for a broken ankle at best.

And yes, all of my spills have happened in knee deep or shallower water. Not just because I got lax, but rather, without the buoyancy of the deeper water, all of your weight is bearing down on those slick rocks so it's much easier to slip. That's why I had so much respect when I caught Paul Mason climbing up the face of a falls on the Moose in the Adirondacks wearing only sneakers. After that feat, his going down the falls in a canoe (which he dragged up behind him on a rope) seemed anticlimactic.

A couple of years ago I was visiting friends on the Ottawa and dumped in a ridiculously flat looking piece of water (we failed to read a seam correctly and got" windowshaded"). Well, it's still the Ottawa - lots of water pushing you along. My PDF was no where near as good fitting as I thought it was and the push of the river stripped it up around my neck so I couldn't swim. I couldn't get it off either, don't know why but prolly had to do with the force of the current. Took in a throat full of water and had a laryngeal spasm and couldn't breathe. All the while I was smashing into every submerged rock in the river, and there were plenty since the water was low. Not a dangerous situation since there was quiet water (and rescuers) below me, but all I could do was hang on to the shoulder straps to keep my head from going under and ride it out. Plenty of bruises, however.

Point is, since I've spent so much time in the water cockily sitting on my PFD which was there just to comply with boating regs that I never got a good fitting PFD. The following spring I went to a trade show and saw that the Kokatat rep was as beefy as I am. I went up to him and asked, "What do you wear?" and he set me up with their "Ronin" model, which I now wear religiously.

BTW, aren't the throw bags supposed to be wore on a belt rather than on a canoe? I thought the whole idea was to toss to troubled swimmers from shore.

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 6:21 pm 
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Battenkiller wrote:
HOOP_ wrote:
Overturned boats are like airplane wings in strong winds – they want to lift off!


Haven't experienced that one yet. My canoe always seems to fly farther away when I forget to turn it over before a storm.
You aren't using canoe physics again are you, Hoop? :doh: :wink:


Now now BK, you know I only talk about phenomenon I know about and have experienced... :D .

Believe it or not, I have seen my overturned and tied down boat (tied at each end, but not the middle), on two occasions actually lift and hover for a second, in one of those power gusts. It was not a slow hover - it was instantaneous launch, held back by the ropes. If the boat had not been tied down, it would have been flying out into the lake. The wind was broadside. Look at the cross section (end on, with wind hitting the broadside): wind travels farther over the top of the boat, including deflecting up, creating low pressure area; whereas it travels a shorter under the boat creating a high pressure area, and a really high pressure area should it get into the hull of the boat (which is different than a wind effect).

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 6:51 pm 
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Battenkiller wrote:
Not a dangerous situation since there was quiet water (and rescuers) below me, but all I could do was hang on to the shoulder straps to keep my head from going under and ride it out. Plenty of bruises, however.

BTW, aren't the throw bags supposed to be wore on a belt rather than on a canoe? I thought the whole idea was to toss to troubled swimmers from shore.


Hey BK,
Good that you are honest and recognize the bad situation. One of the fundamental training regimes in WW paddling is practicing swimming in rapids with your real gear on. Then you get to know how your life jacket / PFD performs. Its actually really really fun learning to power swim in rapids. Start at a WW training school under supervision, then work on self training in safe rapids.

Obviously the PFD must fit well and not ride up. With an aggressive front crawl you can eddy out, do front ferries, and actually turn head first downstream to power swim after a boat, in control, and holding your paddle too. Feet first swims are the norm however in very fast and nasty stuff, but you train to quickly flip into front crawl to front ferry and then power across eddy lines into eddies.

The swimming approach to approaching strainers is to turn head downstream, and front crawl aggressively up onto the obstruction and seal launch up onto it – your chances of going up and over are way better than going under.


Self rescue using aggressive swimming techniques is a key fundamental, and to do this the PDF must fit very well.

RE throw bag: yes the best option is to wear a secure throw bag belt, so that if you go for a swim, you have a rescue system on you as well. Your life jacket should also have 2prussiks, anchor, and 3 biners (one with a pulley) for the Z-drag. I store the anchor and prussiks on the inside of my Extrasport B27 with the biners outside in the chest pocket and the pully biner clipped to the waist cinch. . With the extra length of the B27, this inside stuff all nests comfortably inside the waist joint in the foam pieces. Thus I can go for a swim and rescue my pinned boat, with my throw bag belt and rescue gear on me, instead of inside the pinned boat.

In these new mini kayaking vests, I don’t see where you store your rescue gear? I guess I am an old school big Extrasport vest guy. It keeps me warm in rain and cold weather too.
Image
http://www.extrasport.com/product/pfds/canoe_kayak/B27.aspx

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 7:27 pm 
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HOOP_ wrote:
Now now BK, you know I only talk about phenomenon I know about and have experienced... :D .


Well, as my freshman roommate in college use to say, "What the eyes see, the heart must believe."

Or as any canoe physicist will tell you: "Experience trumps science any day."

That's how canoe physics works. :wink:

HOOP_ wrote:
I have seen my overturned and tied down boat... actually lift and hover for a second


Perhaps you have been hanging out with Shirley Maclaine and Dennis Kucinich a bit too much? :doh: :lol:

I've seen similar things, but truth be told it was at the end of a bottle of mescal... worm and all. :wink:

HOOP_ wrote:
Look at the cross section (end on, with wind hitting the broadside): wind travels farther over the top of the boat, including deflecting up, creating low pressure area; whereas it travels a shorter under the boat creating a high pressure area, and a really high pressure area should it get into the hull of the boat (which is different than a wind effect).


Yeah, yeah... ol' Mr. Bernoulli and the venturi effect and all that jazz. The biggest myth in aviation is that this effect is responsible for lift in aircraft. Yes, there is a pressure differential and lift is produced, but it is a very small component of lift compared to that generated by the airfoil itself.

I'm not discounting what you saw, bizarre things happen in high winds. Probably turbulence is what was responsible. Or maybe mescal. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 7:41 pm 
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Battenkiller wrote:
Or maybe mescal. :D


No...

Nanabush.

:o

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 8:05 pm 
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HOOP_ wrote:
The swimming approach to approaching strainers is to turn head downstream, and front crawl aggressively up onto the obstruction and seal launch up onto it – your chances of going up and over are way better than going under.


In my case with the sweeper it was sheer stupidity. We had been running downed logs all afternoon but when we approached that last one I realized we didn't have a chance so I told my bow person we had to get to shore. She did her part so well that I was left with the stern hanging out upstream and we were swept sideways toward the sweeper. I compounded my bad paddling technique with a rash decision to exit the boat into what was normally waist deep water... now over my head due to three days of steady rain. I pulled the canoe over both of us right in front of the sweeper with no chance to flip myself over it.

Lady BK was able to climb on top of the tree but I could feel my feet being sucked under the trunk. The first thing I thought of was. "I sure hope my PFD doesn't hang me up under there." I pushed hard on the canoe and suddenly it got sucked under the tree trunk. I'll never forget the incredible crunching sound as it wedged firmly in place under the trunk, but it plugged the hole that I was being sucked into and I was able to reach Lady BK's hand and she helped me onto the log.

Oh... did I mention this happened in January and we were not in wet suits? :doh: :doh: :doh:

Lady BK started to cry when I announced that our brand new canoe was entrapped until the water came down in a few days (yup, those carabiners would have come in handy at that time). To make matters worse, both our cell phones and my glasses were trapped in a dry bag held fast to a thwart with a carabiner that should have been on my PFD. We walked several miles back to our car at the planned takeout (thank God we were experiencing a January heat wave and the temps even at dark were high enough to keep us from dying).

Back home I got on the USGS web site and noticed that the river was still rising and more rain was expected. It was four days before the water came down to the seasonal norm and my son and a buddy went to retrieve it with neoprene waders and a come-along. After all that freaky January warm rain, a cold snap had hit and the boat had to be chipped out of the ice that had formed. The boat, a Dagger Legend, was none the worse for wear save about a square foot of vinyl that had been rubbed off of it.

BTW, that Extrasport is exactly what I've been looking for but I was told by many folks that they were no longer made. I'm a real hard guy to fit with a PFD. The Ronin works but the Extrasport looks much more form fitting with those hinged panels.

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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 9th, 2009, 9:53 pm 
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I'm glad that these personal stories ended with few injuries. The bottom line, as has been suggested, and the original poster should understand, is prepare for that accident which will eventually occur. WW courses are very important, and having the proper gear is nothing if you don't have the training. Because of the latter, I encourage everyone to attend rescue clinics. Theory is great until you actually have to do it. Practice setting up Z drags, practice with throw ropes, and practice swimming rapids. An additional thing that we do in the rescue clinics locally, is actually practice getting up onto or over sweepers. Not real ones, of course, but a section of PVC pipe which we put into a controlled situation on a local river. Accidents happen, but the proper gear and proper training reduces those risks.
BTW, someone had mentioned a loose, rather than snug shock cord to hold the painters down. Painters need to stay where they are until you actually need them. My shock cord is beefy and taut so the painters only come out when I pull on them.


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 Post subject: Re: Painters
PostPosted: January 10th, 2009, 3:03 am 
HOOP_ wrote:
Battenkiller wrote:
HOOP_ wrote:
Overturned boats are like airplane wings in strong winds – they want to lift off!


Haven't experienced that one yet. My canoe always seems to fly farther away when I forget to turn it over before a storm.
You aren't using canoe physics again are you, Hoop? :doh: :wink:


Now now BK, you know I only talk about phenomenon I know about and have experienced... :D .

It's my experience too...
Don't know about the physics.

Dirk Barends


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