Sea Kayaker Magazine's Handbook of Safety and Rescue / Edition 1

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Taking risks and overcoming challenges are fundamental to the thrill and satisfaction of sea kayaking. When you paddle beyond sheltered waters and into the open ocean, however, due diligence and thorough preparation are not optional; they are essential to your safety. It takes well-developed judgment to know when you're just stretching the envelope and when you're bursting through it. And when your risk assessments fail you, self-rescue and assisted-rescue techniques are not supplementary skills—they will save your life.

In this indispensable handbook, two premier kayaking instructors help you prepare your body, your boat, and your brain to meet this demanding sport's challenges. You'll learn how to make the right decisions in tough situations, choose the right safety and rescue equipment, and develop the skills and stamina you'll need to rescue yourself and others under perilous conditions. You'll also learn to:

  • Plan your trip and assess the risks ahead of time
  • Prepare for tides, currents, and local weather and wave effects
  • Paddle in wind, heavy seas, and tidal currents
  • Navigate in rough weather
  • Communicate during emergencies
  • Perform a wide variety of self and assisted rescues
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071388900
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 199
  • Sales rank: 1,167,764
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Alderson is a senior instructor-trainer for the Canadian Recreational Canoe and Kayaking Association and a senior instructor for the British Canoe Union. He is the author of Sea Kayaker's Savvy Paddler.

Michael Pardy is the director of the sea kayaking school at Ocean River Sports and a director of SKILS (Sea Kayak Instruction and Leadership Systems) Ltd. He is also a senior instructor-trainer for the Canadian Recreational Canoe and Kayaking Association and a lead guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia. Together they have more than forty years of paddling experience in a variety of conditions along Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic shores.

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Table of Contents




1. Judgment and Safety

Judgment; Decision Making; Safety and Risk; Leadership

2. Health and Fitness

Fueling a Human-Powered Craft; Power and Endurance; Medical Conditions

3. Environment

Weather Systems; Personalized Weather Forecast; Local Weather Effects; Waves; Tides and Currents; Local Wave Effects; Forecasting Sea State; Campsites

4. Safety and Rescue Gear

How to Choose Gear; Kayak Safety Features; Paddling Gear; Paddling Clothing; Rescue Gear; Communication Gear; Additional Safety and Rescue Aids

5. Paddling Technique

Adequate Reserves; Skills; Forward Stroke; Brace Strokes; Paddling in Wind and Waves; Paddling in Tidal Current; Paddling in Rough Seas

6. Navigation

Tools for Navigation; Publications; Aids to Navigation; Dead Reckoning; Piloting; Navigating through Tidal Currents; Communicating Your Position

7. Tripping

Paddler's Logbook; Trip Planning; The Trip; Trip Reflection

8. Self Rescue

Rolling; The Wet Exit; Solo Reentry; Getting the Water Out

9. Assisted Rescue

Bow Rescue; Assisted Reentry; Getting the Water Out; Towing; Keeping Together during a Rescue; Damage to the Kayak

10. Guidelines for Effective Rescue

Rescue Decisions; Rescue Priorities


Mental Shorthand for Decision Making; Environment and Paddling Levels; Float Plan; Lines and Knots; Kits for Kayaking; Beaufort Scale; Glossary; Resources

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