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Salem Swim Festival July 22 (rain date July 23) WE NEED PEOPLE! ONLY A 4 HOUR COMMITTMENT!

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Ok, I'm apparently a glutton for punishment for I opted to act as coordinator for this event for our end. Salem Coast Watch will be holding a fundraiser swim meet event on July 22 at Forest Park in Salem, MA. They have approached us to see if we could provide kayak patrols and we have agreed to do so. Once again we have a chance to get the word out about our club and about kayaking in general.

So I'm now soliciting for volunteers to help out. The committment is minimal. We will need 6 to 8 people on the water, basically helping to keep an eye on the swimmers and offering assistance if necessary. The event runs only for one day from 8am to noontime. They have also agreed to allow us to have a table from which to pass out our club literature and talk to people about the club/kayaking, so I would like to get 2 people for the booth as well. Salem Coast Watch will provide refreshments for the volunteers.

This is another great chance to help spread the word about our club in the heart of the North Shore, so please volunteer today! WE GET SO MUCH FROM POOL AND LAKE SESSIONS, THE MESSAGE BOARD, ETC. GIVE BACK TO THE CLUB NOW!

If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please email me at kevin dot beckwith at mindspring dot com.


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It's great that you are doing this.

Unfortunately I will be out of town and can't help on that day. What I can help with prior to the session is a mid week after work practice for those involved or anyone else interest. It would be useful for anyone who is volunteering to practice paddling with someone on your deck. Lots of different ways to assist a swimmer and some are better than others.

Count me in for that if you are interested.


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It's none of my business, but even good intentions are sometimes misguided.

4 steps to life saving ;

1. Reach ( with a pole )

2. Throw ( rope with float )

3. Row ( next to last option is to paddle to them )

4. Go ( last resort is to swim to them )

When a desperate swimmer gets hands on a kayak, it ain't pretty.

Maybe a 12' rubber raft is a better choice of safety craft to haul them on board.

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an observation...

i helped once at a triathalon event and came away with the conclusion that a safety swimmer on a sled behind a jet ski would be a far better option that kayaks. fast, no prop and almost immediate help low in the water...no gunwhale to get anyone over and you can speed em to land real fast.

if a swimmer gets injured, cramps and panics, gets smacked in the head with someone elses hand/fist/foot and knocked unconcious (have you ever seen those crazy ass triathalon folks? it's like roller derby in speedo's!)...those are all ugly scenario's and unless you have a rafted kayak kinda of situation, one kayaker could be hard pressed to aid that swimmer...in truth, you're going to be really limited...there's nothing to grab onto - there's no pfd and getting them across your foredeck without their help would be tough sans a good solid place to grab...you could jump outta your boat and keep them floating face up til other help arrived.

remember, most all rescue and safety training we do as kayakers is to aid other kayakers really.....concious or unconcious, most scenario's we train for and encounter involve at least 2 boats...t-rescue or scoop and they are getting back into their boat...you have a lot of support from that second boat and in a pure swimmer situation, you don't have that support...just you, just your boat and no handy pfd to grab onto.

if it's kayaks you bring, of course bring the radios's - determine frequency...you could only assume that there is at least one powered safety vessel...make sure that guy has a radio...maybe a type 4 throwable pfd on the front deck? something that floats that isn't you or your boat that you can toss to someone in case their wiggin' out?

which is not to say you won't have a great time...you probably will. just stuff i thought about when i did it.

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Last summer Patty P. and I did this for the Clean Harbor swim in Gloucester. They had rescue boats (the motorized kind) on the water also. The role of kayakers was to tell the swimmers when they were heading off course (often for some) and keep an eye out for anyone having trouble. The motorized boats actually dealt with the one case of hypothermia and might have picked up a couple of other swimmers who could not make it.

I suspect this event will be similarly well organized.

Liz N.

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Well, if someone flips me over, I'll just take a page out of Gillian's book and tell them not to do it again or I'll whack them with my paddle:)

To be honest, dealing with a swimmer is not much different than dealing with a person new to kayaking and unfamiliar with rescues who flips; however, a motor-powered craft will be out there with us in radio contact if that allays any fear...

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