Another nifty invention from Steve Whetman.
The Krab Stick is a simple rescue device. It converts certain karabiners into hooks to enable a reach contact.
Over the course of the weekend a paddler got into difficulty on the Kisdon Force section of the River Swale, resulting in a need for medical help and helicopter extraction.
Thankfully here in the UK we have volunteers and paid professionals who can help us get out of sticky situations.
In the many years that I’ve been dabbling in whitewater kayaking technical rope work has always been the hardest thing for me to grasp – I’ve got it nailed now but not after constant repetition of reading the amazing Ww safety books and practice, practice, practice. I’m all for making things easy and I just wish all those decades ago the whetman equipment system was available. It take the mystique out of the black art of ropes and knots. Takes the worry away from do I have the correct kit and skills.
Rescue Essentials – The collection of gear and equipment that you carry to aid in a whitewater rescue is pretty crucial. It is a compromise between having enough gear, space available and the weight it involves.
My gear shifts, changes and evolves over time but the basic core of gear always remains.
Within my paddling group there will be several variations of this gear, it is important that the group is not reliant on one persons gear as it may be that person or that person’s boat that is in need of assistance. Do you know what emergency gear your paddling buddies carry? Should you?
It is also important that you know how to use the gear effectively. This is particularly the case with those items that carry an element of risk when used, e.g. ropes. If you are not sure book yourself on a good course.
Breakdown Paddle (Splits):
Two piece or four piece. What ever you choose is should fit in your boat and be capable of handling the types of water that you venture onto. For my money I’d go with a four piece Vertical Element or Werner setup (in that order!). My own personal set up is below.
Analysis of one of many drops we lead folks down in Chile every year. See what it takes to operate safely and execute a seamless rescue when things don’t go according to plan. Thanks to the safety team of Chris Baer and Chris Wing, and Rose Wall for allowing her footage of the rescue to be used for educational purposes.
Jake shows us just what to do if you end up in the swimming in whitewater without your craft of choice.
Whitewater kayakers have a saying, ‘We’re all between swims’. Whether you’re a whitewater paddler or not, everybody should know what to do if you end up in a fast moving river.
We first saw the Yak High Back 60N last year at Paddle Expo 2015, since then the initial concept has been developed and has gone into production.
The last thing anyone wants is for a throwline that is being used in a rescue situation to come apart. Making sure that the rope is threaded and tied into its bag correctly is a critical part of getting things right. Palm Equipment takes us on a walk through of how their throw bag system should be tied. The same knots and principles can be used on other bags.
We’ve had an original Petzl Vertigo here at Unsponsored HQ for a few years and have really liked it’s performance. Petzl have been on the case and have updated the Vertigo using i-beam technology. Just like the original the Petzl Vertigo has been primarily designed for ease of clipping in with the added bonus of having a locking key gate. The new construction has shaved off 2 grams.
Your PFD is one of the most important pieces of safety gear that a paddler owns. It’s got work right first time, every time. Time, UV and general paddler abuse can cause damage to your PFD that may or may not be visible.
This PFD related video from Palm Equipment gives a great run through on how you should carry out a PFD health check.
The is How to Make a Flip Line edit from US based NRS is a great watch.
A flip line, or guide belt, made with a length of webbing and a locking carabiner, has many different uses for kayakers, rafters and canoeist. In addition to helping flip an overturned raft, you can use it to make a rescue anchor, boat tether, rescue harness, etc. Swiftwater rescue instructor Jim Coffey shows how to build yours.