Bill Maisey wrote:At the risk of being labelled an armchair, can anyone explain why the guinea pig's boat couldn't be towed (with the tidal flow)towards the guinea pig rather than the hideous looking, weather shore rock landing from hell ..?
Chris Bolton wrote:This question also ocurred to me, having once been involved in an incident where a decision was taken to split swimmer and boat. I didn't post the question as I've seen how easy it is for questions, genuinely seeking to understand what happened, to be taken as criticism.
Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:1) For me this scenario becomes interesting at the point you mentioned the casualty, paddling a swamped boat. Standard practice (I think) would be removing the water from the boat before breaking the raft. What factors prevented this?
2) The swimmers boat was towed away from the victim. Was this before or after the two paddlers had committed to following him? At which point was it decided that either the two rescuers could not get the swimmer back to the boat and, that the remaining party should put in rather than follow the swimmer and rescuers. What were the factors that led to both these decisions. What was the dialog, etc?
I did start a possible explanation for this even before you guys asked it, but then I realised it was pure speculation so deleted it. As an exercise in highlighting possibilities, not speculating what actually happened:
We know conditions were at least a bit choppy and there was a tide race involved. In many threads the usefulness of pumps that require the deck to removed or waggling a handle in front or behind you in such conditions has been questioned. We don't know if there were any pumps available, but assuming there were, it might have been the classical conditions the naysayers have always said a pump couldn't effectively be used in? Maybe the casualty's spraydeck was damaged during the first rescue?
We also have had a lot of discussions about the practicality of towing in such conditions, yet I can't actually recall any of the towing threads considering the towing of an empty swamped kayak.
I have done this on whitewater in the past, the most memorable time was on the Lochy (to Fort William) where I towed a boat for several miles after someone swam on the Loy (it went a long way because we got the swimmer first and there was a long delay before we decided we should continue to the Lochy and look for the boat). The Lochy is relatively easy, but was in spate and the only rapids on it have big waves and boils (not unlike the run outs to GC rapids Chris!), to say that towing a swamped boat in these conditions is difficult is only the half of it, I was eaten by a boil and had to roll! I did not find the time under water to feel around for my quick release, I just rolled, grabbed the towed boat for stability and unwrapped myself from the rope.
Attached to a swamped sea kayak in exciting conditions with the prospect of running a tide race ahead of me, well can you work out where I would have gone?
Rule No.1 In trying to help a casualty, be careful not to get yourself into a situation where you also become a casualty, that helps no-one.
I don't know what happened, I can see that a situation could unfold where the rescue of the swimmer ended up in the main race where the group rescuing the boat could not reasonably have followed.
One of the problems with the real world is, that it never pans out quite the same as the forum discussion did... :-)