A note from the board:
An important part of what Paddle Manitoba does is help paddlers gain skills for safe, successful paddle tripping. We wanted to follow up the trip leader's workshop in April by providing opportunities for folks to practice their tripping skills. We hope to run more of these sessions in 2017.
Paddle Manitoba hosted a four hour lakewater canoe rescue course at Grand Beach on the afternoon of August 21, 2016. Six people attended the course, and although it felt like talking to the converted, everyone had an opportunity to try things they had not done before, or hadn't done in a long time.
The purpose of the clinic was to get in some practice, share experiences, and try out some new concepts. We had hoped for wind coming off of the lake since it would provide the environment when capsizing often occurs, but few courses or practice sessions have this opportunity. We brought along dry-packs and barrels filled with stuff to make the experience more realistic.
Though the clinic was primarily about rescue techniques, we also had discussions about paddling in wind and waves, landings, towing, concerns with large lakes, and how waves form and crest. Rescues started with getting out of, then back into, the canoe in deep water. Getting into the canoe from deep water is probably the hardest part of doing a rescue for most people.
**Keeping track of people in the water** - This was a constant reminder, especially in windy conditions, but important at any time so a swimmer doesn't get clipped by a rescue boat
Recovery techniques included canoe-over-canoe, parallel rescues, and Capistrano flip. We tried all of these with and without equipment.
We hope never to have to perform actual rescues, but having the knowledge and skills to do them if they are needed is essential. Practicing with other skilled canoers, especially if the training sessions include some adversity, makes us all better paddlers in the end.
Discussions on technique, or, 'Should Tim and Charles ever be in the same boat again?'
Special thanks to Tim Lutz for spending much of his day in the water, allowing others to try out multiple methods of saving him.
Tim Lutz spent his day in the water