St David's rescue^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
User avatar
PhilAyr
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:51 pm
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by PhilAyr » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:42 pm

Mark Rainsley wrote :
To conclude (and nicely summarising Douglas's points about his Skye assessment experience), the relevant section in the excellent BCU Coaching Handbook is titled 'Testing Conditions/ Low Consequences'. Says it all, really. Given that the assessor we're talking about has written a chapter in this book, I should imagine that he's read this.
and :
My assumption of who the course provider/ assessor was has only come from Googling '5 star sea assessment Pembrokeshire April', as I assume hundreds of other folk have also done this week. I have no specific knowledge.
Well if your assumption ( as well as mine and probably a few others ) is correct then I wouldn't go holding my breath on the BCU taking any immediate action. Or am I just being negative ?

Phil

Dave Thomas
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:36 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Dave Thomas » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:12 pm

Mark R wrote:My assumption of who the course provider/ assessor was has only come from Googling '5 star sea assessment Pembrokeshire April', as I assume hundreds of other folk have also done this week. I have no specific knowledge.
I was going to ask you that, but resorted to Google first and came to the same conclusion. And anyhow, I'm not aware that there are many 5* assessors in Pembrokeshire. All of which makes it rather pointless imaging that identities could be 'kept quiet'
PhilAyr wrote:Well if your assumption ( as well as mine and probably a few others ) is correct then I wouldn't go holding my breath on the BCU taking any immediate action. Or am I just being negative ?
I do recall one instance several years where a BCU provider was to some extent 'taken to task' following an incident during a training/assessment course. But I guess its a fairly small and close-knit (albeit possibly 'dog-eat-dog'?) community of folk at that level, so who knows ......
Dave Thomas

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13869
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 37 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Jim » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:22 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:I know nothing about marine law but what would happen if a professional boat operator such as a seal boat or one of those RIBS that goes through the Correvreckan lost a passenger overboard and had to call the rescue services? Are there any parallels with professional coaches or guides? I don't know.

Douglas
As far as I know all emergency calls to the coastguard are logged and passed onto the MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) who then choose which require further investigation with a view to altering legislation or MCA codes as necessary to prevent recurrence of reasonably preventable accidents. Their reports can make for scary reading.

http://www.maib.gov.uk/home/index.cfm

jamesl2play
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Bridgend
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by jamesl2play » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:48 pm

'I was wondering why people were reluctant to discuss incidents on a forum. Lesson learnt.

Glad you guys were ok in the end'.


I posted this comment in the Fishguard Rescue thread and I feel that it is equally relevant here.

Some of the comments so far are very relevant others not quite so but some to me just smack of armchair paddling.

UKRGB is a fantastic resource and I lurk on here all the time but you cannot seriously expect that the professional concerned is going to join in this discussion and thereby potentially prejudice his legal position either at some sort of enquiry or even perhaps with his insurance company.

I have never met the person concerned but as a rule I will not criticise others when I was not there and do not know all the facts because that has a habit of coming back to bite you on the rear.

All credit to Mike M in the previous thread but do not expect me to as open as Taran if I get caught out.

User avatar
Stuart Yendle
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:35 pm
Location: South Wales
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Stuart Yendle » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:05 pm

Completely agree with you there James. I made my rescue public on the forum and got a lot of great constructive and generally nice comments, which made me feel a heck of a lot better about my embarrassing mistake. However after the way this thread turned I think I would keep it to myself if I got caught out again. I wouldn't want to upset those people who are obviously too perfect to ever make a mistake requiring assistance...opps sorry rescuing.

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 8059
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 13 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by MikeB » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:10 pm

jamesl2play wrote: I have never met the person concerned but as a rule I will not criticise others when I was not there and do not know all the facts because that has a habit of coming back to bite you on the rear.
Yes. What disturbs me most, from the comfort of my "armchair", is the nonchalance with which this entire incident was first reported. 5* assessment or not, having a swimmer in the water and separated from his boat, having been in the water a few times already, linked with another competent paddler damaging a boat badly, really does raise a few questions.

Critical analysis is a good thing. Whether the person / people concerned want to do it in public, on a forum, is another matter.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 42 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:02 pm

Phil and Dave,

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I wasn't there and we have not heard the providers' side (and I do not think that here is now the place for the providers' side) and there may be any number of factors not discussed here that made it a true accident that can affect anyone. (However, that does not explain why the assessment carried on afterwards as if nothing had happened). That's why there should be some sort of review to maintain the generally high standard of professional coaching that we are lucky to enjoy.

Jamesl2play
I have never met the person concerned but as a rule I will not criticise others when I was not there and do not know all the facts because that has a habit of coming back to bite you on the rear.
That is very true James and I have always avoided commenting on previous rescue reports because I too had to put out a 999 call and I know all too well how those involved are feeling. Also if anyone had died or been hurt I would have held off posting till later. However, this rescue already has some facts in the public domain (mainly the RNLI report) that do raise public concern, principally because it was a professionally led trip.

Jamesl2play
but you cannot seriously expect that the professional concerned is going to join in this discussion
Everyone is different James and as I said above I don't think here is the place to hear the provider's side or to impartially review all the facts. Sean Morley did make a public statement shortly after his rescue incident. As a result his stature as a coach has only increased. I fear in this case the "Golden Morley Hour" has probably passed. I think Sean Morley's rescue and this rescue are quite different from recreational rescues because they are professionals and so they do have an onus to reassure the public that they are operating to appropriate standards and the real issue here is whether there is anyone overseeing those standards.

Having involved the emergency services on a 5* assessment, I think this coach should welcome the opportunity to have a peer review to investigate all the facts see what lessons can be learned and hopefully reassure the public about his future competence to coach. The UK has some outstanding coaches, many at an international level, but let's not have a lottery whether a member of the public finds a good one. We do not know all the facts and it may well have been a genuine accident. However those facts that have surfaced:

the fact it was a 5* assessment,
the fact that the party was split
the fact that a guinea pig traversed St David's head without his kayak,
the fact that rescue services were involved,
the fact that the assessment continued that evening

do raise public concern and I think it is up to the sport's governing body, and the professionals to allay that concern by reassuring us that an impartial review will take place to see what lessons can be learned that will improve future practice. As a member of the public I am not just bothered about just this one incident, after all no one was physically hurt (though we do not know how the guinea pig is coping afterwards. Has anyone checked to see if he is OK?) But this is not the first time that rescue services have attended professionally led trips. I have read nothing official about these or any review of these incidents. How did I find out about them? Instead I read about them here on UKRGB Forum and in the RNLI magazine, The Lifeboat!!! Am I aware that anything has been learned from these previous incidents? No I am not and I so am not reassured. The profession and the BCU have slipped up but not providing such reassurance.

So I call on those coaches who care about your profession, please do something to set up some sort of mechanism, either in the BCU or outside of it, to protect both the public and yourselves. If such a mechanism already exists then please publicise it.

Douglas

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 42 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:18 pm

Stuart
Completely agree with you there James. I made my rescue public on the forum and got a lot of great constructive and generally nice comments, which made me feel a heck of a lot better about my embarrassing mistake. However after the way this thread turned I think I would keep it to myself if I got caught out again. I wouldn't want to upset those people who are obviously too perfect to ever make a mistake requiring assistance...opps sorry rescuing.
Stuart I can only recall constructive and nice comments about your very good post. Your post also helped many people through lessons learned. Thank you.

This incident is different because it is the most recent of several that involve professional coaches being rescued and there does not seem to have been any publication of a review to see if professional standards were followed. Because I have been involved in a 999 rescue at sea myself, it is easier for me to articulate the concern that many recreational paddlers feel about this. I am not an armchair pundit. I required the rescue services myself, as a result of my own actions, and it is the lack of gravity that some recent rescuees have expressed about needing rescued that has caused me to break my previous silence on commenting about rescues.

Douglas

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24133
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Mark R » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:24 pm

I *am* an armchair commentator, quite unashamedly. Any time anyone insists I lead a trip in conditions like that to prove my paddling credentials, this armchair is exactly where you'll find me.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 8059
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 13 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by MikeB » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:41 pm

5* paddling isn't, as I understand it, about paddling in massive conditions. There are many people who enjoy paddling in massive conditions. It doesnt mean that they ARE 5* paddlers. Quite the contrary, in what I understand the context of the 5* award to be.

RichJ
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:03 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by RichJ » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:37 pm

Hi All,
Firstly, may I thank Taran for initiating this discussion.

Clearly, there are many Sea Kayakers viewing the thread. Mostly, average weekend paddlers like me who can make errors.
And it is to us, non professional folk I would like to reinforce:

·The CG encourage us to report our Passage Plans.
·We can all make mistakes or be unlucky! Early reporting can save life!

I do hope the debate here would not hinder any paddler from the early reporting of serious concerns to the CG ?

Richard Janes

User avatar
Taran Tyla
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Taran Tyla » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:44 pm

Phew, thats a lot of comments to read so I'll keep this brief!

The Guinea pig is fine, I've been in touch.

An incident report is being compiled by the course provider will be posted on their website when ready to be published.

User avatar
PhilAyr
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:51 pm
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by PhilAyr » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:51 pm

Taran Tyla wrote:Phew, thats a lot of comments to read so I'll keep this brief!

The Guinea pig is fine, I've been in touch.

An incident report is being compiled by the course provider will be posted on their website when ready to be published.
I'm glad to know that .
So which website is the incident report going to be on then Taran ?

Phil
Last edited by PhilAyr on Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Oarsome
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Greater Copenhagen

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Oarsome » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:52 pm

RichJ wrote:Hi All,
Firstly, may I thank Taran for initiating this discussion.

Clearly, there are many Sea Kayakers viewing the thread. Mostly, average weekend paddlers like me who can make errors.
And it is to us, non professional folk I would like to reinforce:

·The CG encourage us to report our Passage Plans.
·We can all make mistakes or be unlucky! Early reporting can save life!

I do hope the debate here would not hinder any paddler from the early reporting of serious concerns to the CG ?

Richard Janes
I can't speak for anyone but myself, but since I have been rather critical, I feel I must repeat that I think that calling the CG in the situation was the right thing to do. What I fire at is this is supposedly a professional outfit, it was a 5 star assesment, and 8 competent paddlers under leadership of the coach/assessors let it all go completely out of control.
After that, not only did the assessors continue their course, but the person being assessed seems to have learned nothing from it. That person want a 5 star award to be able to lead others professionally, but can't see any problems whatsoever.

Had they learned even a bit, not continued, and certainly not downplaying everything as "getting a lift", and "the only person uncomfortable was the person in the water" as if that's perfectly reasonable and under control, I wouldn't have reacted as harshly as I have.


Had this been a group of friends paddling and running into problems, and learned just a little bit under way, I would have viewed this quite differently. Calling the coast guard is perfectly fine to me, but to call it "a lift" and go on as if nothing happened and that it wasn't a serious situation is p******* me off. If it wasn't serious, they should have been able to handle it themselves.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 42 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:59 pm

Taran>
Phew, thats a lot of comments to read so I'll keep this brief!

The Guinea pig is fine, I've been in touch.
I am really pleased to hear that Taran you contacted him and I am glad he is fine. I hope you and the others are also doing well, I was really shook up for ages after my rescue.
An incident report is being compiled by the course provider will be posted on their website when ready to be published.
I sincerely hope this will not be the limit of the investigation of this incident and rescue.

Douglas

User avatar
Taran Tyla
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Taran Tyla » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:05 pm

Oarsome wrote: Richard Janes

After that, not only did the assessors continue their course, but the person being assessed seems to have learned nothing from it. That person want a 5 star award to be able to lead others professionally, but can't see any problems whatsoever.

Had they learned even a bit, not continued, and certainly not downplaying everything as "getting a lift", and "the only person uncomfortable was the person in the water" as if that's perfectly reasonable and under control, I wouldn't have reacted as harshly as I have.
I have learned things from this incident but on reflection decided not to post my thoughts partly because of people like you & partly because some of the things cast direct judgement on the assessors decisions & I'll keep those between myself & the assessor.

User avatar
Oarsome
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Greater Copenhagen

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Oarsome » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:21 pm

Taran Tyla wrote: I have learned things from this incident but on reflection decided not to post my thoughts partly because of people like you & partly because some of the things cast direct judgement on the assessors decisions & I'll keep those between myself & the assessor.
I'm referring to the parts were you claim that the only person that was "uncomfortable, was the person in the water", the parts where you think it was a-okay the way things was handled, and the parts where you seem to be more miffed at being failed getting a 5 star award, than the fact that if the RNLI hadn't been there, somewhere could be dead, regardless of there being 8 paddlers around.

Oh, I forgot, the part where you thought it was fine that someone couldn't get out properly because he had a damaged boat and another had to drag an extra boat, rather than being concerned about the bloke in the water.

You know, all the excuses and an utter lack of insight to the seriousness of having to "get a lift" from the coast guard to save a life the 8 of your couldn't handle on your own, and even to help you guys out who were supposedly "comfortable". Yes, we can all be "comfortable" knowing those parts came from a soon-to-be coach who downplay having to be rescued by the RNLI as if hopping on a bus.

Those parts.
Last edited by Oarsome on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24133
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Mark R » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:23 pm

Taran Tyla wrote:partly because of people like you
No one takes Oarsome seriously, and you'll notice very few bother to reply to his stuff. Don't worry about it.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Oarsome
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Greater Copenhagen

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Oarsome » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:25 pm

Mark R wrote:
Taran Tyla wrote:partly because of people like you
No one takes Oarsome seriously, and you'll notice very few bother to reply to his stuff. Don't worry about it.
Yes, we mostly like yes-men around here. If someone actually constructs an argument and aren't apologetic about it, then it's easier to disregard things.

It's unfortunate that the site admin acts like this, but by now that's no surprise.

User avatar
Taran Tyla
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Taran Tyla » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:27 pm

Mark R wrote:
Taran Tyla wrote:partly because of people like you
No one takes Oarsome seriously, and you'll notice very few bother to reply to his stuff. Don't worry about it.
Wheres the like button ;D

User avatar
Kayaks'N'Beer
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:12 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:32 pm

For what it's worth, Taran, thanks for posting your account. I'd have loved to quiz you all day on the details but, given the way the indignant jackals among us have waded in with their tuppences worth, I can totally understand you being loathe to entertain the inquisition.

Regardless of the fact that your assessors didn't see fit to stamp your ticket, in my mind at least, you have gained a much more important and valuable award - you have been in a situation where it went tits.

I'm never really 100% confident that someone I'm paddling with has my back until they've been in that position. Training can prepare you for it but, when the fit hits the shan, that's when you are truly tested. That's when you find out what it actually feels like. That's when you are presented with the choice between dealing and folding.

Not everyone passes this exam. A far greater number (the lucky ones) never have to sit it but those who have, have a lot more of my respect than the ones who can wave some bit of paper in my face that says they've graduated training school.

Try not to take the negative stuff to heart. Reflect on what went down, what you saw happening, what it felt like, whether you kept your head or started freaking out. All these things, regardless of how it went down, will make you a much better paddler in the long run.

Bunch of indignant "experts" on t'internet, blazing guns all loaded up with half the facts? Not so much to learn there ;)

Bazza S
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:59 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Bazza S » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:21 am

It's very reassuring to see how many experts there are around to learn from. Now I know exactly what I should do when I have that epic with a group out there that I worry about so much. I also know now how to deal with things afterwards. This should hopefully avoid so many people judging me and trying to destroy any chances of me getting any sea kayaking work again in the future.
Good luck in finding the culprit and lets hope his career is destroyed. After all he is guilty of making a MISTAKE and not dealing with it in the way you think he should have done. Unforgivable I say!!
It's a good job nobody waited to hear his side of things. We may all have been slightly dissappointed.
It would be great to paddle with most of you great guys someday. You all come as across as fantastic people and you all know what to do in a difficult situation.
Barry Shaw

User avatar
Oarsome
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm
Location: Greater Copenhagen

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Oarsome » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:14 am

Yes, aren't we all above criticism. Noone is to blame for anything, and everything is always handled just perfectly. And, especially, if they post on these boards, obviously, they are perfect, and not a bad word about anything they did or say can ever be held into a bright light. Unless, of course, it is followed by a standing ovation.

Fast Pat
Posts: 466
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:16 am

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Fast Pat » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:13 am

Oarsome wrote:Yes, aren't we all above criticism. Noone is to blame for anything, and everything is always handled just perfectly. And, especially, if they post on these boards, obviously, they are perfect, and not a bad word about anything they did or say can ever be held into a bright light. Unless, of course, it is followed by a standing ovation.
FFS you go backwards and never see the view - you are in effect a glorified troll that no one takes seriously. You are after all an expert on web development and now 5* delivery - but know f all about sea kayaking -can you not troll a sailing forum instead?

Taran, i congratulate on trying to keep the Assesssor out of the headlights - personally I am guessing that ultimatley you recognise that the Assessor was trying to set a challenging 5* environment whilst maintaining the element of safety, indeed the suggestions regarding safety boats etc just about sums up the true level of understanding on the forum.

I think that what should be explored (on a non judgemental basis) by CE is what the new 5* leader award conditions should be - there are a number of contraditions between the syllabus and guidance notes.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24133
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 13 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Mark R » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:13 am

Bazza S wrote:he is guilty of making a MISTAKE
Barry, fair comments from you as always. Just a couple of points/ questions...

- Until very recent times, no one other than a closeknit community of professional coaches would have heard of this incident and it would have been quite deliberately kept that way, I'm sure you'll agree. Is this what you'd prefer?

- Are this weekend's events the first and only time that assessors involved in the course have needed the assistance of emergency services during coaching courses...i.e. have made 'mistakes'? That is a serious question, I do not know the answer but hear innuendo - it would be helpful to know either way, in order to judge whether too much is being made of this weekend?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

User avatar
Kayaks'N'Beer
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:12 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:51 am

Mark R wrote:
Bazza S wrote:he is guilty of making a MISTAKE
- Are this weekend's events the first and only time that assessors involved in the course have needed the assistance of emergency services during coaching courses...i.e. have made 'mistakes'? That is a serious question, I do not know the answer but hear innuendo - it would be helpful to know either way, in order to judge whether too much is being made of this weekend?
This is a highly pertinent question. Until I hear information to the contrary, I'll assume it was the first, that helps me to maintain an open mind about the patchy (no offence to Taran) info I'm dealing with and, thus, refrain from judging until such a time (if ever) that I feel I'm in full possession of the facts.

someone earlier in the thread said something along the lines of "we don't know if the assessor missed his opportunity to fix things by a matter of hours or seconds" Again, I will assume seconds until I hear otherwise. For the same reason.

This does not mean, by any stretch that I'm brushing things away, I simply have a pathological aversion to forming a judgement based on such sparse information. I feel some of the other board members might benefit from doing the same.

Couple of other points I'm interested in. Was a mayday issued? This might sound irrelevant to some, given that a helicopter turned up, but I think it makes a difference. Was the conversation with CG "HALP WE CAN HAZ DROWNING!" or did the coastguard decide that it was probably safer to send a couple of boats out, and suggest this in the interests of caution. What I'm really getting at was - would everything have been fine had the coastguard relayed the info between the two groups then left it at that? Again, I'm assuming yes til I hear otherwise.

The other thing I've been interested in from the start is the guinea pig's reaction (beyond - he's all right) Of course he's all right - he's still breathing. I've been out with people who have come out the boat in a little bit of chop and totally lost their shit and I've been out with others who've come out in serious conditions and come away from it saying it was the best experience they've ever had. You can never completely know how someone is going to react to the swimming experience but the swimmer's prior experience and an assessment of their overall demeanour, before setting out would play a large part in my decision of whether we went ahead or not.

Quote from a newbie who capsized as many times during an exped we were on a couple of years back. "I'm a diver," he told me "I'm used to being under water. It's nice and peaceful down there. It's up here, trying to stay in this boat that's horrible"

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3621
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 42 times
Contact:

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:17 am

Hello Barry thank you very much for putting the coaches' perspective and I very much appreciate and respect your opinion.

However, I am looking at this from another perspective, that of one of your customers. Since I have probably made most posts here, let me explain how my perspective differs.

First of all it is not me that is the expert. I have clearly stated I have no stars at all. Professional coaches are the experts and they sell their expert services to people like me. I have also stated that I made a mistake which resulted in the recue services being called. I have enjoyed about 30 days on coach led trips including one day with you and six days, I think, with one of the coaches that works for the company that may have been involved. In all of those days I have felt totally safe when being guided by those professionals. I have benefitted a great deal from the professional system in this country and wish to see the profession continue to set the high standard I have so far experienced.

However, when a professional provides expert services, members of the public like me expect them to do so at a certain standard. Yes someone's livliehood is at risk but what is more important the self interest of the professional or the safety of the public?

No where have I said the coach made a mistake but even if he did, a mistake is not enough to threaten one's professional livliehood. Everyone makes mistakes. Only if negligence was involved should some form of retraining or other action happen. That is why I have been asking for some sort of independent review of all the factors that were involved in this rescue. I urge respected coaches such as yourself to make sure that some sort of robust and open system is put in place to protect the public and also protect coaches' livliehoods.

This is not the first time professionally led trips have involved the rescue services and luckilly so far there has been no serious injury or loss of life. So far we have not been made aware of the outcomes of any peer review of these incidents or even if any review has taken place. If a fatal accident ever happened then the profession may loose any future opportunity for peer review unless they demonstrate that ba robust system is in place.

I fully understand your natural reaction to stand by a fellow professional who is going through a distressing time. However, as a professional, I aalso hope you will go on to consider the profession's responsibilty to its clients and how best to protect the public and yourselves.

Douglas

CharlieS
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:55 am
Location: London
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by CharlieS » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:37 am

A couple of observations on these posts.

1. If an incident happened in my (very non-kayaking) professional life, would I want it discussed in this way? I'm not arguing for secrecy, or avoidng evaluation but would I read over this thread and say 'It's been for the best it was discussed like this'? Maybe I'm naïve and there's a genuine culture of secrecy, lesson avoidance and unsafe practice which means we are the crusading free press but I'm not so sure. I have experience of being blogged about in my professional life (which might surprise anyone who knows what I do) and it's hurtful, often inaccurate and consumes an enormous amount of emotional energy. In PR terms it might or might not be a good idea to get your side of the story out here quickly but I'm not sure we can insist someone does that and there's a place for reserving judgement until we hear their side. I'm concerned that we assumed Taran's initial reflections as a participant were the reflections of the provider, and that we went big so quickly from one incident to their entire way of working. Not saying we shouldn't have discussed it or criticised but is this how I'd want my work dscussed? My personal experience of this coach in a similar situation makes me suspect we're making some leaps to judgement too quickly.

2. If I was in Taran's situation what sort of discussion would most help me to learn lessons? Again not trying to say there was nothing to learn, Taran's come back with examples of changed opinions based on things said here. But what could have been better about us too? In a tiny way I've experienced that here too. I posted a trip report after a sort of incident that was very dull and got two responses, both of which were well within bounds of decent comment, but one got the facts a bit wrong (I hadn't been complete in my report.) If anyone really has nothing to do and searches for it they'll probably not even be able to see what I'm talking about and I'm sure I should man up. Point is -the comments of people you don't know, in print, without all the facts carry different weight to comments in person. Taran invited comments and a learning exercise but some replies will have made it harder to learn lessons rather than easier. The person to person equivalent of shouting rather than constructive criticsm in the pub.

Sorry, wooly hand-wringing over,

Charlie

User avatar
Taran Tyla
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Taran Tyla » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:47 am

The Coast Guard call is getting a lot of interest so I'll try & clarify.

The Assessor did not make the call, he was on his way around St Davids Head.

The call was made as part of a collaborative decision by myself, the level 5 coach assisting & the two guinea pigs, themselves very experienced though we continually discussed other options whilst trying to establish contact.

We initially tried contacting the assessor on the pre determined channel with no luck before trying to reach the Coast Guard. We were obviously concerned that the other group might need the Coast Guard but were unable to make contact either.
It took about 45 minutes before contact was made as one of the guinea pigs scrambled up onto a rock for better reception. I didn't hear all that was said as the beach was noisy & he was higher up than me but I don't believe it was a may day call. Initial attempts to get in touch were addressed to Milford Coast Guard so I doubt this was changed.

The Assessors getting a lot of stick from this forum which I don't believe is helpful in any way. Yes, he made a mistake, s**t happens, we're all human. What a mistake doesn't do is take away years & years of experience & I still have a lot of respect for the coach involved. I'm sure a few forum members will have something to say about that!

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: St David's rescue

Post by Graham T » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:20 am

Bit of an armchair paddler here, but have respect for the sea from sailing and sailed in as rough conditions as any I know of for the boats I sailed so I am not a person who thinks you must not take any risk at all.
I point this out as I like conditions at sea but my priority is for everybody to be okay physically and mentally.
I agree to not judge without facts.
I am concerned by the following and feel free to pass comment as a I would as a customer.
If I was asked to plan a trip for this assessment, that trip is MY choice. The assessor ask if I really think this will provide sufficient scope to test as needed OR that it is inherently unsafe. If my decision proved not not then be okay on my head be it if I fail. Once my decision is overridden then all else which follows is null and void in my view.
If even a group of 5 paddlers had four who are comfortable in the conditions had a single member of the group swim more than once I would have expected the swimmer to be reunited with his kayak and the whole group manage to get out together. If this is not achievable then I question why, or whether things were that comfortable for the four.
I think having paid for a course like this there should have been a debrief and a new assessment date set. That is me paying for something I don't think was delivered, my opinion from my armchair and the one point I am willing to be corrected on.

Mistakes happen and it is how you handle them and how the lessons are learnt which is as others have indicated what is very important.
In sailing there is a word "IF" This past week end I listened to a very enthusiastic young man tell his friends "if I won the last race I would have won the whole thing" but he did not. So "IF" I win every race I will win if I sail fastest I will win or if I go the right way I will win if if if if !!!!!!!!!!!! the point here is that it does not matter if the wind had eased one mile an hour or if the distance was less or greater or if that rock had not been there or if the tide hand turned already that is to diminish by well it was only just an accident "because" and nearly wasn't. What happened is what happened full stop. No good the expression the "operation was a success but the patient died"

On my and a friends first days kayaking experience "to get it out of the way" the coach (5stars) had us doing assisted rescues immediately after lunch. I did not think this a bright idea as I know not to swim on a full stomach but we did as directed. My slim lady friend had a too large long john on and was assisted by said coach. On the paddle which followed my friend not one to complain or say anything I not the coach observed to be shivering and not okay. She was towed back to shore and we set about warming her up. Do I like the guy yes have I paddled with him since yes, was this the best it could have been no.

Post Reply