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Old 06-22-2005   #11
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
SWR is more about what you do out of the boat instead of in. If you want to be a shore based rescuer for now then buy this book. River Rescue by Les Bechdel & Slim Ray. Buy a good throw bag and practice throwing it at moving targets. I would add to never have a rope without a knife, they go together.

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Old 06-22-2005   #12
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 130
Also -- pick up or rent a copy of the video "Whitewater Self defense". It's a nice review of some basic white water safety.

Also.. some things to think about if you are a swimmer...

First -- the best is to avoid being a swimmer, learn how to avoid getting flipped (river reading, braces), learn how to roll.

If you do swim, you are more important then any gear that is floating around. If there is any chance that holding onto gear is going to put you into more danger, then let the gear go.

If you can do so safely, hold onto your paddle, or at least try to toss it into an eddy, onto the shore, or towards a group of paddlers (just remember that the other paddlers should be watching you more then the equipment).

If you can do so safely, also hold onto your boat, you might even find that it can help in a very long swim, you can use your boat as a boogie board (especially since you do have floatation in the boat right?), or as a "bumber" -- just make sure that you do not get trapped between a rock and the boat

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Old 06-22-2005   #13
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159
Ask any Kayak Inst. and he will tell you the most important skill on the river is your roll next is being able to swim yourself to saftey if you have to bail.
Learn to save yourself then learn to save others.

A great way to work on throwbagging is to put an anchored inner tube 40ft from shore in a local lake and throw till you can hit the center, leave slack in the anchor line so it drifts around.

A self rescue tip, if you can get your boat upright stick your paddle in, makes swimming eazyer and only one thing to chase after if you have to let it go.

A couple of other good books to have, Whitewater Rescue Manual by Walbridge and Sunmacher also Whitewater Kayaking by Whiting and Varette.

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