Heavy boats and tired swimmers
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The H-I rescue is particularly effective for larger, heavier boats (including heavily loaded boats). Two "rescuers" align their kayaks in parallel on each side of the capsized boat. You, the swimmer, first give your paddle to a rescuer, then move to the stern of your boat. The rescuers put all three paddles across the decks of the two rescue boats. Next, you push down on the stern of your boat as the rescuers lift your bow out of the water and place it on top of the paddles. At this point, you should be hanging on to one of the rescuer's boats and the stern of your own boat. The capsized boat should then be moved, with your assistance, up to its pivot point. The rescuers should be careful not to damage the paddles as they move your heavy boat up and over them. Once at the pivot point, they see-saw the capsized boat to drain all the water. After draining the kayak, they flip it over, slide it into the water, and move it back under the paddles. At this point, one of the rescuers can leave, while the other rescuer finishes the job with a standard T-rescue.
The Scoop rescue is an excellent choice for a paddler who is unable to haul himself up onto his deck. He may be injured, tired, hypothermic, incapacitated in some other way, or he may simply lack the upper body strength for the task.
This rescue works best when the kayaks are aligned bow to bow. There is no need to drain the swimmer's kayak, as the scoop rescue process will flood the cockpit anyway. The swimmer makes his way to the side of the boat, just astern of the cockpit, and holds on as he gives his paddle to the rescuer. The rescuer then rotates the swimmer's kayak outward so that it is on its side with the cockpit accessible to the swimmer. The swimmer places both legs into the cockpit and maneuvers into the seat, getting good contact at legs, knees and back. Then the swimmer lays back on his deck as far as possible while the rescuer rotates the kayak upright. This rotation is done by pulling the outside edge (or perhaps the swimmer's PFD) up while pushing the near gunwale down and away. Failure to push the near side away will cause the two kayaks to rub together and may stop the rotation.
After the kayak is upright, the cockpit must be bailed. It is important to stabilize the ex-swimmer through this process, and to be sure he is ready to resume paddling before getting underway.
From an online discussion (by AKT staff) of a difficult rescue one November: "the rescuer has to take into account whether the swimmer's hands are cold. Cold hands, no grip. If the grip's no good and a sling is unavailable, then that's when to go to the scoop."
The sling assist is a variation on the T rescue for the paddler who lacks sufficient body strength to haul himself up onto the deck without assistance. Several variations of slings have been developed, but the one we like uses a paddle park, which is always available as a permanent part of our kit.
The initial approach is the same as the variation of the T rescue in which the swimmer comes up on the rescuer's front deck. To assist the swimmer, the rescuer attaches the paddle park to the deck lines opposite the capsized boat, about six inches apart, with the line dangling next to the hull. The swimmer places the stern foot in the sling, grabs the deck lines on the far side of the kayak (or those of his own boat if he can reach that far), and hauls onto the rescuer's deck. The rescuer can help by edging toward the swimmer while keeping firm hold on the swimmer's boat for support.
Another simple sling is a length of floating line (cut to fit your boat and carried in your PFD) that can be quickly looped over the cockpit coaming.