A bad pin on the leven

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kayakingcraig
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A bad pin on the leven

Post by kayakingcraig »

A quick note for kayakers in the North West

Firstly so you know before you read, I am not usually a user of forums but in this case i thought it was the best way to get the information accross. so I’ll introduce myself first I’m a kayaker from the north west and I mainly paddle in the lakes with a great crew of mates and local lads. Although I don’t call myself a great paddler I think of myself as an able and competent paddler with some good rivers and experiences to my name.

Today something happened on the river Leven that I never wanted to or thought would happen to me, it’s a river I have ran over 100 times and today was a normal run in low summertime levels with just a desire to get out and do something after our long spell without the wet stuff. A few months ago a post was put up on UK Rivers stating that there was a jetty or object lodged with mill force rapid just below the brick chute weir. After paddling this river at all sorts of levels since that post it had become common knowledge that the object had been removed.

Unfortunately it had not….. Today I approached Mill force in my play boat, I stopped on the lip of the drop in the Eddie river right I had a good look, and from above the drop looked normal. I decided to take the line river left as I like the boof off the lip and land in the white stuff (fun at low levels). My mate Jonny also a competent paddler waited in the eddie for me to go first. I dropped over the lip landed flat and got a bit of down time all normal in a play boat. At this point I felt the boat hit something solid and slide under an object. I became pinned at chest height under the water and I was unable to move. I was right in the base of the hole and completely submerged I tried to move but there was no moment for jiggling the boat free after several seconds I managed to push myself up a short distance and get the top of my helmet out of the water this created a small air curtain where I got some breath I put my hand in the air for my mate to see where I was. I realized my options were running out and time was getting quite slim I took a breath and put my head back under the water wriggled several more times every so often taking a breath in the end I relaxed and took the decision that I was not able to remove my deck and I needed to get out without it. After reaching down again for one last attempt and push at getting myself out, my spell of good luck came just in time. I became free and managed to swim out and hug the bank. I was in the company of a good friend at the time, he saw me go over the drop land in the hole and not resurface. He says all he could see was my hand reaching up in the air. And when I finally came out of my boat after the longest minute of my life I was greeted by an organized friend who had eddied out and was preparing single person rescue efforts to get me out.

I am not writing this to tell you of my epic day, neither for you to tell me your opinions of what I should or shouldn’t have done in that situation. Only in the hope that those reading this will pass on the information to Uni clubs, clubs and other forums to stop this occurring with possibly more serious consequences.

I am also interested in getting a group together to meet up whilst the levels are low and attempt removing this jetty before the Uni groups arrive with the crowds of inexperienced threshers and take the on the Leven. If you’re a local boater to the Leven and happy to give a hand while the water levels are low please give me a email on kayakingcraig@hotmail.com

This is a link to the pics of the object and my pinned boat. Like I said if you wish to place negative feedback then please don’t bother as this topic was raised as information to stop any serious situations occurring not for you to debate my level of paddling competency.

Yours
Craig Jones…
Craig

Lakes Boater

Brookbank Lancaster Manager

Glyn B
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Glyn B »

Doesn't sound like you could have done much else tbh Craig.

Many, many thanks for the info!

Like you, I run the Levens a lot and often take the better newbies down it, so that information is absolutely invaluable. Glad to hear you're ok! By all means let me know when you think it'll be possible and I'll happily come up to help.

Glyn Brayfield
Last edited by Glyn B on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jonny Briggs
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Jonny Briggs »

Thanks for posting that, glad your OK

Id post it on http://www.deathbeforeportage.co.uk and I'll see about putting the account on Rainchasers.

Maybe a extraction day with the chain saw is needed.

Jonny

Andy H
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Andy H »

Hi Craig
Glad to hear you are OK, It sounded like a nasty 1 and the next paddler might not be so lucky. As you have said as a local paddler and you know the river very well i should get a load of mates and try and remove the object, A big grappling hook and strong line should work on a z drag.

Cheers Andy
The true challenge is allways within oneself

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Lancs_lad
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Lancs_lad »

You dont have much luck on the Leven do you Craig!? Glad your ok mate, ill ring you about boating tomorrow.

Ian.Adey
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ian.Adey »

Lucky escape!

I noticed it when it first appeared and we tried a few rope setups on it but no luck, a chain saw is about the only thing that will shift it but doubt the water will ever get low enough, I'll stick a note at the put in but doubt it will last long,

There's a bar on the right end of the wood that will work as an attachment point if any one fancy's having another go!
Guiding and Coaching in the Lakes,UK & Europe

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Ricks-Freestyle-Mind
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Glad your okay, thaks for the info. Is it the drop after the brick chute weir by the get in pritty much?

kayakingcraig
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by kayakingcraig »

yeah its the drop immediately after brick chute wier on river left
Craig

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heybaz
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by heybaz »

Hi Craig

I'm up for giving it a go - I'll pm you my mobile no; likely to be in Ulverston middle of next week, possibly over next weekend.

I wonder if its worth having a chat with the guys working on the old mill building just by the brickchute - I recall seeing a big yellow digger on the site last week - maybe a chain over the wall and 10 minutes by the side of the road is all it would take? I have some local contacts and will put feelers out.

Thanks for the report and well done on keeping your cool; I'd like to think that I'd do the same as you under the circumstances but would almost certainly need to keep my drysuit on until I reached a shower....

rich gunton
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by rich gunton »

Nasty, well done for staying calm and getting yourself out.

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Magpie
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Magpie »

hiya craig

i ' am up for giving you hand .

based in penrith
paddle like f##k

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Ollieswims!
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ollieswims! »

Hi craig, im coming up again in a few weeks with some mates who are experienced paddlers and we're more than likely to be running the leven.
I'de be happy to try and shift it with you and some others.

Cheers,
Ollie.

Kayacb
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Kayacb »

Count me in, will pm/mail number.

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scottdog007
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by scottdog007 »

I saw someone get in a pin like this 2 weeks ago on the Tryweryn lower section at Balla Mill Falls (g4). I was instructed by friend that has done it loads of time to go river left. And soon after we completed this someone else came over river right and hay presto got into the pin. In his case it wasn't so bad as yours, as one could see his head and the tail of the boat sticking out. But it is frightening to watch. The other luck on this is that the pin happened next to the bank so people could get close to help. It seemed he couldn't get out him self, he needed the help from 2 others to get out of his boat and leave the boat behind. It took 4 or 5 minutes to complete the rescue.

Not a very nice experience. Thanks for the info, and i'm pleased you are ok.

Mr Mark Pugh
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Mr Mark Pugh »

I'll help. Give me a call 01729 823 769.

In your opinion, would there be any problems running the rapid down the main flow at lowish levels?

Thanks for the info

Mark

yakist
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by yakist »

As Deb as posted in the Paddling Conditions -NW part of the Forum The object has been removed from the falls! using various pullys and ratchets! It is currently tied up to a tree, just out of the river on river left, there was only a few of us so we were unable to move it far!

Can anyone can cut it into smaller bits more easy to move (chainsaw prob be best), then reducing the risk of it moving downstream and blocking up another fall could be removed.

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Mark R
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Mark R »

Good work ...
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Ricks-Freestyle-Mind
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ricks-Freestyle-Mind »

Well done, great stuff!

Mark Dillon
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Mark Dillon »

Great effort, well done and thanks to all who removed it.
Thanks from all who paddle this river
Mark

heybaz
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by heybaz »

Good effort guys - I'll have a pint and wish you much happiness!

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forestknights
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by forestknights »

Top job well done all involved in the removal of this hazard.
Know the wisdom of patience during times of inactivity.

www.forestknights.co.uk

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Ollieswims!
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by Ollieswims! »

Nicely done guys, very quick response.
Thanks a lot.

kayakingcraig
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by kayakingcraig »

kayakers

a note from the victim of the pin

thanks to all those who said kind words about my experience and those who took there time to spread the message, stuff like this shows what a small but great community we are all fortunate to be part of.

and a special thanks to those who took there time and effort to remove the jetty and i owe you all a pint for your efforts..

cheers craig jones

aka kayakingcraig...
Craig

Lakes Boater

Brookbank Lancaster Manager

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buck197
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Re: A bad pin on the leven

Post by buck197 »

What an awful thing to get caught under indeed and I guess you were somewhat fortunate/quick witted to get out from this pin which makes it a bad story with a sweet ending. I hope this can be chopped up and disposed of before you get any significant water gets into the river to move it back into the original place or further downstream. Woukd the EA not be responsible to shift it now it has been partially removed.
Brian Taylor
Paddle Pirates

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