Flat Holm Rescue Again!^

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Stuart Yendle
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Flat Holm Rescue Again!^

Post by Stuart Yendle » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:21 am

No it's not me this time. I have somehow become a bit of a celebrity when I'm out and about with my boat, often getting approached and asked if I'm Stuart or 'Mayday' Stu. This time one of our party suddenly became ill on our return journey midway between Steep Holm and Flat Holm. Pins and needles in his arms and legs, chest pains, shivers, vomiting and no energy what so ever. He is a capable paddler and has visited the islands previously.

This is where lessons are learnt, none of us had a tow. Myself and Taran were previously 'solo' paddlers and hadn't seen the need in spending yet more money on something not really necessary to a lone paddler. We have both been thinking lately however that we should get one as we paddle together more often. Funny enough Taran was going to buy one this weekend.

We attempted a contact tow but he couldn't even find the energy to hold on or steer. We were sitting ducks in in an ever increasing tide between Steep Holm and Flat Holm. He was looking evermore worse, keeled over in pain. We made a call to Swansea Coastguard on the routine traffic channel who advised they would send out the Penarth life boat to come take him in. The call was intercepted by a Cardiff Voyage rib boat who was in the area and picked him up leaving us with the boat. While we waited for the RNLI to come pick up the boat we made a short tow out of the chord off a VHF case and a couple of karabiners to prevent us being further swept away with the increasing tide. We then carried on back to shore with out him.

Even if we had a tow it would have been a difficult hour and half ferry glide at least. Wind on tide, now ebbing at full flow and we surfed most of the back on cross wind waves. He would have at least been required to brace himself on the waves but couldn't even find the strength to lift a paddle.

On arriving at shore he was taken into hospital but since yesterday been discharged and feeling a lot better. I think a trip to the shop for a tow is in order. Any recommendations?

Full write up and pictures are now on my blog, link below.

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Mark R
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Mark R » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:32 am

I hope your friend is fully recovered. Any idea what caused his illness?
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Stuart Yendle
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Stuart Yendle » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:53 am

He's fine now thanks Mark just feeling a little bit tired. Was taken in to hospital for blood tests etc thought it might be heart attack. Signed himself out later that evening. Possible heat exhaustion, he had a full army type dry suite on and didn't drink much water through out the trip.

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Taran Tyla
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Taran Tyla » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:54 pm

Yep, spoke to him last Stu night & he seems to think it's heat exhaustion. Not the chilled out paddle we were hoping for (LOL).

http://tarantyla-seakayaking.blogspot.c ... earnt.html

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:14 pm

It's not only hydration he'd need; he also would need to replace salts and various minerals (yes I know I'm being pedantic). Carrying energy snacks would also help out mildly hypothermic victims too.

I suffered heat exhaustion when cycling in Lanzarote, not something I'd wish to experience again (especially when kayaking).

I hope that being nicknamed "Mayday Stu" doesn't affect any decision making about when to call for help.
Myself and Taran were previously 'solo' paddlers and hadn't seen the need in spending yet more money on something not really necessary to a lone paddler.
You never know when you're going to come across a paddler from another party who might need a rescue.

Following lots of indecision about a tow system I recently bought a short-long waist-mounted tow rope from Nomad Sea Kayaking; it's construction is really solid:

http://www.nomadseakayaking.co.uk/index ... uct_id=806
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Yakdiver
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Yakdiver » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:09 pm

glad your friend is OK
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Stuart Yendle
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Stuart Yendle » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:16 pm

I hope that being nicknamed "Mayday Stu" doesn't affect any decision making about when to call for help.
It's only a laugh but it does play on my mind a tiny bit. I don't think it would ever stop me calling for help if it got serious but makes me think a little about taking risks. After all I would look a little silly getting rescued twice. I suppose what I mean to say is it makes me a little more cautious, which I guess is not a bad thing.

As for the tow line has anyone tried Jeff Allen's Tow Throw. It sounds like the perfect little tool but a little on the pricey side.

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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by garya » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:53 am

I have posted this reply to Taran on another thread

Get one of these for towing

http://www.peakuk.com/peakukkit.php?con ... &prodid=99

They should be easy to get from all good kayak shops or by mail order, I think I paid about £35 for mine. I have had a number of towlines over the years but this is the best I have found mainly because it is so easy and quick to repack, ther is lots of room in the bag to stuff handfulls in and an easy zip to close it. This is a real bonus as you usually find you have to do this in some form of swell, with one hand

It will work for both waist and deck towing. It has a short tail of rope in the bag you can lengthen to feed through a deck towing system.

Another thing I was shown and use for a short or supported tow is an elasicated cows tail cliped across my foredeck, this can be used for a quick snatch tow in an emergancy, or to help hold the boats together for a supported rafted tow taking some of the strain off you and free your hands up too.

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Mark Gawler
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Re: Flat Holm Rescue Again!

Post by Mark Gawler » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:03 am

Stuart Yendle wrote:I think a trip to the shop for a tow is in order. Any recommendations?
There is some stuff on Towlines in the Almanac
http://www.ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk/to ... wlines.htm
It doesn't mention the Palm Ocean Pro towline, which I use and have towed with on a couple of occasions. Search the forum there lots of stuff on towlines.
Mark Gawler

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