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Rescue Steps in a Tandem


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It has occurred to me today (after I promised loaning my Tandem to a good friend for the upcoming summer trip) that I need to make sure I go over the rescue techniques with him. So for two paddlers who can not roll the whale and are alone, what are the correct steps to get back into the boat?

1. Successfully capsize - both paddlers are out of the boat

2. Inflate paddle floats and attach to the paddle.

3. One paddler at the bow and one paddler at the stern - push stern down, lift the bow to empty as much water as possible.

4. Flip the boat right side up, front paddler tries to keep the boat steady while the rear paddler launches on the back deck and gets back into the boat.

5. Rear paddler utilizes the paddle float to keep the boat steady and the Front paddler launches onto the middle deck and get back into the boat

6. Pump the rest of the water out in a cooperative effort.

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Been there, done that, posted the video. ...in 4+(?)ft breaking waves.

What you outlined is pretty much what we did, except that we paddled the rest of the way out past the breakers before doing any pumping as that seemed closer than shore. In our case the the kayak had only a single bulkhead behind the rear paddler and some air bags in the bow. We still ended up with the bow under water, the front coaming at the water line and the rear coaming barely above. Spray skirts were attached except for opening one side on the rear to get the pump in and edged away from the opening.

I have become a BIG fan of a sculling brace for stabilizing while getting a 2nd paddler in or out of a tandem. It is very powerful and provides you with a useful paddle and no awkward time getting the float on or off where you have neither a float, nor a paddle. With a sculling brace and our "racing tandem", we can get Emilie in and back out of the water when "needed" because there is no land with-in a mile or more.

I have a video clip of us nearly going over while playing in a minor spill-over from some tidal currents. Emilie was so certain that we were going over that she setup her paddle for a roll and leaned right over the edge of the kayak. Even with all that going against me, I was still able to prevent capsize with a strong sculling brace.

...when the boat didn't go over, Emilie looked back to see why and then sat up again and returned to paddling. ;-)

In the case of our "un-assisted" reentry, I did use the float to stabilize the slight edging as the boat was quite unstable and I needed to hold the edge very accurately. I was able to steady the edging by leaning on a paddle+float while pumping.



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