Oh dear

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Kate D
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Oh dear

Post by Kate D » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:02 am

I have just made the mistake of visiting my local Aldi store just as it opened. Outside, waiting for the doors to open was a mass of people who all made a charge for the special offers section the second the doors opened. What they were all after were inflatable kayaks at £39 a time. Also for sale were wetsuits and water shoes. Unfortunately what was missing was any kind of buoyancy aid. I know you can't make someone buy a BA when they buy a kayak, and you can't make someone wear one if they've got it but I couldn't help thinking that this was a big mistake.
The kayaks were sold out in the first 30 seconds.
I really hope this doesn't lead to disaster.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by jamiemagee » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:04 pm

It wouldn't matter anyway. Saw someone today struggling in the wind with a Sevylor inflatable and no BA. Although he wasn't far from shore I think he'd have struggled given how cold the water will still be. His kids in the front had a BA on so why not him?

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Re: Oh dear

Post by kayak1 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:27 pm

I visited Devizes on Saturday, Seen an instructor with a group on the Avon Canal, all wearing the right kit etc...then a few yards down the canal were two kids in a tandem inflatable, No BA or helmet with their dad equally not dressed in a single inflatable, where moving boats were all around and in the Wharf...Crazy!

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Re: Oh dear

Post by GrahamC » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:39 pm

It happens all the time and will no doubt end in bad press for paddlers. A few years ago my son and I rescued a (hypothermic) father and his two young kids (no BAs) from about half a mile off Moelfre with a 1 metre swell. We just happened upon them in the sea. Unless you were within about 20m they were invisible. The kids were in an inflatable and all were being blown offshore with the dad trying to swim them in, but making no way. We had to terminate our trip (Grrr) and paddle like **** to tow them in. As we approached the beach, the mother (who hadn't informed the CG or lifeboat station round the corner that they had been swept out an hour before) ran up and thanked my son asking how could she every thank him for saving her family? He suggested that they buy him an iphone! but they walked off as if nothing had happened.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Franky » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:43 pm

GrahamC wrote:It happens all the time and will no doubt end in bad press for paddlers. A few years ago my son and I rescued a (hypothermic) father and his two young kids (no BAs) from about half a mile off Moelfre with a 1 metre swell. We just happened upon them in the sea. Unless you were within about 20m they were invisible. The kids were in an inflatable and all were being blown offshore with the dad trying to swim them in, but making no way. We had to terminate our trip (Grrr) and paddle like **** to tow them in. As we approached the beach, the mother (who hadn't informed the CG or lifeboat station round the corner that they had been swept out an hour before) ran up and thanked my son asking how could she every thank him for saving her family? He suggested that they buy him an iphone! but they walked off as if nothing had happened.

Graham
Most people don't know about coastguards and lifeboat stations and I can understand that in her panic the mother didn't know what to do.

People do stupid things. Before I started paddling I really didn't appreciate what a difference a BA makes.

Clearly she was grateful (who wouldn't be?), and she probably wasn't anticipating a sarcastic response to her gratitude. I wouldn't blame her for just walking away after that, to be quite honest.

Or maybe your son's response wasn't sarcastic, and he was actually thinking he might get a free iPhone out of it?

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Re: Oh dear

Post by GrahamC » Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:49 pm

Franky wrote:
Most people don't know about coastguards and lifeboat stations and I can understand that in her panic the mother didn't know what to do.

People do stupid things. Before I started paddling I really didn't appreciate what a difference a BA makes.

Clearly she was grateful (who wouldn't be?), and she probably wasn't anticipating a sarcastic response to her gratitude. I wouldn't blame her for just walking away after that, to be quite honest.
Yes, you are quite right Franky, I think she was very relieved, maybe she also thought the family had landed elsewhere. However, my 14 year old son's response wasn't sarcasm!
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Re: Oh dear

Post by Franky » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:00 pm

GrahamC wrote:
Franky wrote:
Most people don't know about coastguards and lifeboat stations and I can understand that in her panic the mother didn't know what to do.

People do stupid things. Before I started paddling I really didn't appreciate what a difference a BA makes.

Clearly she was grateful (who wouldn't be?), and she probably wasn't anticipating a sarcastic response to her gratitude. I wouldn't blame her for just walking away after that, to be quite honest.
Yes, you are quite right Franky, I think she was very relieved, maybe she also thought the family had landed elsewhere. However, my 14 year old son's response wasn't sarcasm!
Oh well, that's teenagers for you :) Sorry, I didn't mean to denigrate your act of decency, I was just thinking that I've sometimes been astonished at how clueless people can be... but maybe they learn from stupid mistakes. I know I have :)

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Re: Oh dear

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:13 am

At least a wetsuit will keep them afloat and warmer in the sea if they do fall in. Fortunately most of them won't be used in situations where a buoyancy aid would make any difference.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by SeaSkye » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:17 pm


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Re: Oh dear

Post by Franky » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:00 pm

SeaSkye wrote:Oh dear indeed;

<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teess ... 9020</span>
The report is not really very clear. E.g.:

“These boats are currently on sale in some of the low-cost supermarkets, and while at first glance they might seem to be a bargain, we would urge people to think very carefully before buying one."

So you read on, expecting some qualification of that statement, for example evidence that the boats are badly made and/or that in this incident the boat got a puncture. The latter supposition is certainly supported by the photo of a knackered-looking boat at the top of the page... But there is no textual claim that the boat was unsafe, no clarification of why the boat in the photo appears to be semi-deflated, indeed no clear statement that it is the boat that the man was paddling. I'm not sure why these things couldn't have been clarified.

Paddling, like any activity, is dangerous when risk isn't accounted for. Look to the owner, not the thing owned. Think about how many people get into trouble swimming. ("These swimming trunks might seem like a bargain, but we would urge people to think very carefully before buying a pair.")

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Jim » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:21 pm

I suspect that giving an interview at short notice the crewman probably tried to cram 2 thoughts into one sentence not quite making the point he intended and causing the ambuguity about whether or not he was saying the boat itself was inherently dangerous.

I suspect he was trying to say the low cost supermarkets sell these things at a bargain price which causes people to buy them on the spur of the moment (limited offer usually), but that people should think more carefully before buying and using a boat (of any kind).

The north sea is several degrees colder than the channel or the atlantic at this time of year - anyone similarly equipped in any kind of small boat would have been in exactly the same danger of hypothermia if they capsized it. An inflatable is usually more prone to drifting in the wind but anything with shallow draft and high freeboard will drift, but any small boat can be capiszed. I wouldn't put any store in the image of the part inflated boat - the crew may have deflated it on-board so they could stow it better, or the photographer might have let a bit of air out to skew the story. I doubt if it had a single chamber, but the whole boat is deflated, including the seat which are usually completely separate....

Of course to you and me the idea of using an inflatable with sharp fishing hooks is probably absurd, but you can get 'rubber rings' designed to allow anglers to drift down river fishing so we are perhaps ignorant in the details...????

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Kammy » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:05 pm

Me and my son went out in our Kayak, on the Thames, in Lechlade, this weekend. We did see quite a few people out on these inflatable Kayaks with no BA. They seem to sell these inflatable boats with no safety guide or any licensing information.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Franky » Tue Jul 07, 2015 1:11 pm

Jim wrote:I suspect that giving an interview at short notice the crewman probably tried to cram 2 thoughts into one sentence not quite making the point he intended and causing the ambuguity about whether or not he was saying the boat itself was inherently dangerous.

I suspect he was trying to say the low cost supermarkets sell these things at a bargain price which causes people to buy them on the spur of the moment (limited offer usually), but that people should think more carefully before buying and using a boat (of any kind).
Perhaps, although that doesn't seem a very natural train of thought to me, and it doesn't explain the semi-deflated boat in the (uncaptioned) photograph.

I'm just not convinced when activities get branded as "inherently dangerous", without any account whatsoever being taken of the variable factors that make up most real life. Crossing the road is inherently dangerous. Switching on an oven ring is inherently dangerous. Getting out of bed in the morning is inherently dangerous.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by buck197 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:50 pm

Am I missing something here but there are lots of things you can buy cheaply like bicycles and then you can be let loose on the road which can be far more dangerous than being on the water. Go Outdoors sells climbing gear cheaply and people can chuck themselves off rock faces. Some people will always do stuff without undertaking a risk assessment, look at Snowdon and see how many attempt the climb in inappropriate gear. You can't polish a t*rd now can you.
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Re: Oh dear

Post by gp.girl » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:10 pm

buck197 wrote:Am I missing something here but there are lots of things you can buy cheaply like bicycles and then you can be let loose on the road which can be far more dangerous than being on the water.
Same risk per a mile as walking!

Idiots will be idiots and somethimes get Darwin Awards.
I can roll :)

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Jim » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:22 pm

Franky wrote:and it doesn't explain the semi-deflated boat in the (uncaptioned) photograph.
The camera never lies, but press photographers can stage false photos.....

Do you think if the photo was staged with a completely different boat they would omit to include a caption so they can claim they never said it was of the actual boat, even though the intention is clearly to make readers think it is?

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Re: Oh dear

Post by jmmoxon » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:26 pm

The following day the same lifeboat crew:
Two men were rescued from the base of Huntcliff, Saltburn by RNLI lifeboats on Monday 6 July 2015 after being trapped by the tide - but only after a friend searched the internet for the telephone number for the emergency services.
If it is the same inflatable then it was almost certainly deflated by the lifeboat crew & unrolled for photos, as otherwise it might blow away on the trip back. In fact the RNLI report gives more details - he capsized in surf when blown towards the beach:
http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Man-re ... kayak.aspx

& on the same page as the newspaper report: "Stumble on night out in Redcar leads to fatal head injury for young woman, inquest hears", so worse things don't always happen at sea...

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Big Henry » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:35 am

jmmoxon wrote:The following day the same lifeboat crew:
Two men were rescued from the base of Huntcliff, Saltburn by RNLI lifeboats on Monday 6 July 2015 after being trapped by the tide - but only after a friend searched the internet for the telephone number for the emergency services.
If it is the same inflatable then it was almost certainly deflated by the lifeboat crew & unrolled for photos, as otherwise it might blow away on the trip back. In fact the RNLI report gives more details - he capsized in surf when blown towards the beach:
http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Man-re ... kayak.aspx

& on the same page as the newspaper report: "Stumble on night out in Redcar leads to fatal head injury for young woman, inquest hears", so worse things don't always happen at sea...

Mike
People getting caught out by the tide at the bottom of Huntcliff is a quite regular occurrence, and I believe there are a number of immigrants placed at Skinningrove, which is where you would be coming from or going to (other than those just having a wander along the beach/coast, so that could account for them not knowing the emergency number.

As for Redcar, if you ever go there on a night out, just being there can be a reason enough for some to cause you blood loss! And those who go there regularly often don't walk home because they normally can't walk in any sort of straight line, if at all, by the end of the night! But then again, it's not unusual in many towns across Britain now.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Jim » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:25 pm

jmmoxon wrote:If it is the same inflatable then it was almost certainly deflated by the lifeboat crew & unrolled for photos, as otherwise it might blow away on the trip back.
The crew article includes a photo which appears to be them transferring the casualty from what looks a like a D class or similar - I'm pretty sure they would have needed to deflate the kayak to get it on board!

Mystery solved?

No deception, just practical requirement.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by edenvalley » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:29 pm

Kate, i think your reading to much in to this, take your BCU head off and let folk have some fun.......

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Dave Manby » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:24 pm

GrahamC wrote:It happens all the time and will no doubt end in bad press for paddlers. A few years ago my son and I rescued a (hypothermic) father and his two young kids (no BAs) from about half a mile off Moelfre with a 1 metre swell. We just happened upon them in the sea. Unless you were within about 20m they were invisible. The kids were in an inflatable and all were being blown offshore with the dad trying to swim them in, but making no way. We had to terminate our trip (Grrr) and paddle like **** to tow them in. As we approached the beach, the mother (who hadn't informed the CG or lifeboat station round the corner that they had been swept out an hour before) ran up and thanked my son asking how could she every thank him for saving her family? He suggested that they buy him an iphone! but they walked off as if nothing had happened.

Graham
On a Canal - sort of wonder why you need a helmet? And is a life jacket really something to get really worried about when you can stand up in most canals? The micromort of drowning in a canal when paddling in an inflatable must be pretty small. OK everyone is going to shout at me for being irresponsible but a sense of relative risk needs to thought about. If you are looking after kids - in loco parentis - it is a different matter than people who are on there own.

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Re: Oh dear

Post by Big Henry » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:02 am

You can get some pretty nasty injuries from sunken supermarket trolleys, traffic cones and other sundry road works signs, and of course there are the aquatic species of bikes all sitting on the bottom of the canals just waiting for the unwary!

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Re: Oh dear

Post by matt_outandabout » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:27 pm

No BA? check
No helmet? check
Not paying much attention? check
So bite me. ;-)

ImageIMGP9202 by Matt Robinson, on Flickr

It is not the gear, it is the user.

There are way more things that will kill you more quickly available to us all in daily life (driving for a start). I would like to think that the paddlesport community are more open minded than to blame a shop for selling some boats - I would even argue it may persuade a few more into the outdoors and our sport.....

And having been involved in rescues where there was a BA.....in the boat, not on the person....simply forcing shops to sell BA's will not impact the numpties out there.

What worries me more is the (seemingly growing) number of 'serious' paddlers who are less than prepared on serious water. The chap who on WWKayakingScotland facebook group who told me 'everyone uses Youtube to scout the river - it is quicker' for example.

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