RIVER SAFETY SERIES

How to Rescue a Kayak in Whitewater


Simon here from AQ Outdoors, coming to you with a tutorial on the best practices for rescuing kayaks in whitewater. Having learned from my own experiences and those of others over the past 20 years, I'll walk you through a simple and effective approach to getting a kayak upright and back on track.

Getting Started in Flatwater

In flat water, my personal preference is to focus on getting the kayak upright as soon as possible without clipping the boat. If the kayak is upright and equipped with float bags, it becomes easier to manipulate, whether you choose to clip it, push it, or bump it.

Righting an Upside-Down Kayak

When the kayak is upside down, the common method is to lean across, grab the gunnel on the other side, and push down to right the kayak. However, in dynamic moving water, especially with larger boats and smaller individuals, this approach can become challenging. My preferred method is to get alongside the kayak, grab the inside gunnel, and slowly right it by leaning away and pushing away, maintaining constant contact with my paddle.

Swift Water Rescue

Assuming the kayak is coming down with a swimmer, quick thinking is crucial. Instead of immediately going out to get the boat, I pop myself out, get alongside it, grab the inside, and push to spin the boat. This method avoids the need to clip the boat, reducing the risk of getting hung up in hazards. Once near the shore, I can empty the kayak and get the paddler back in action.

Quick and Simple Whitewater Kayak Rescue

This quick and simple kayak rescue method, ideal for whitewater scenarios, doesn't require letting go of your paddle or clipping onto the boat. With a swift flip and push, you can guide the kayak into an eddy, ensuring a rapid and hassle-free rescue. Thanks for checking out the video, and feel free to share your comments or tips in the section below. Don't forget to subscribe if you enjoyed the content. Have fun and stay safe out there!