How to Deal with a Flipped Canoe | Canoe Rescue Techniques


This episode of Paddle TV is brought to
you by the ACA—improving the paddlesports experience for over a century.
Learn more at American canoe dot org If you’re careful and you stick to bodies
of water that are sheltered from wind and waves, there’s a good chance you’ll
never capsize your canoe. That being said, accidents happen so you need to be prepared for the unexpected, which means you have two
choices. You need to stay close enough to shore so that you can comfortably swim
yourself and your canoe to safety in the event of a capsize, or you need to
practice re-entry techniques until you are comfortable and confident with your
ability to re-enter canoe from the water. Either way, you should always be wearing
a lifejacket when you’re canoeing. In the event that you do flip your canoe and you’re too far from shore to easily swim yourself and the canoe to dry land, you
have a decision to make. You can stay with your canoe, or you can leave it and
swim for shore. Your decision will be based on a number of factors, and it’s
something you need to decide on before you head out on your trip, so if it does
happen you can react quickly. Staying with the canoe might be your best option in the following situations: when there’s an other experienced canoer nearby
who can help you upright your canoe and get back in, if you’re trained and
confident with doing a self-rescue, if swimming to shore is too risky for some
reason, if the water isn’t overly cold and hypothermia isn’t an immediate
threat. On the flipside, abandoning your canoe and swimming to shore might be the best option if: you’re in cold water and hypothermia is a real danger, there’s no
one experienced enough around to upright your canoe and help you get back in,
you’re not confident in your ability to get back into the canoe from the water,
an offshore wind or outgoing tide will carry you further from shore, if the risk
of swimming to shore is less than the risk of staying with the canoe. In
reality, re-entering the canoe from the water is a skill, and like any other needs to be learned and practiced. And so if you plan to do
anything more than just paddle in highly protected waters and close to shore, you
should take advantage of some hot summer day and practice re-entering a canoe
with the people you paddle with. Better yet, take a canoeing course that’ll teach you a variety of rescue skills—there’s a lot of confidence and comfort that comes
from knowing that you can get back into your canoe from the water. Well I hope
you found this video helpful and if you enjoyed it and are interested seeing
more canoeing videos, subscribe to our Paddle TV YouTube channel.

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