Monday, June 20, 2011

Solo Canoe Self-Rescue


This article is very short, but still very imformative. It details the idea of Eric Leclair to attach yourself to your canoe when you are by yourself in white water.

The most important thing in a canoe flip is to get restablished, get your canoe and get to shore. But what if the water moves so fast that you can be crushed and knocked unconcious on the rocks? Or the water is too cold to swim to get your canoe? Eric Leclair have the answer. You should attach yourself to your canoe with a 100 foot rope. It is attached to a quick release belt on your PFD (life jacket or Personal Flotation Device) and the rope is attached to the canoe.

This method can be very dangerous, the rope can catch on snags, whether swimming or canoeing and should only be used where the risk of losing your boat is more catastrophic than swimming with a rope.

However, Eric recalls an example where it has saved his life. He was travelling on the Nahanni after a September snowfall and flipped in a wrigley whirlpool. He had just enough rope to make it to shore and get his canoe and all his gear back and continue the trip.

The method of canoeing solo can be dangerous, but with dangers and problems come solutions. Eric Leclair has come up with a solution and has shared it with the rest of us to be sure we will not be in danger of a flip when by ourselves.

Eric Leclair."Solo Canoe Self-Rescue." Rapid, Summer/Fall Volume 12 No. 3. Page 16, bottom right.

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