7.3 Assisted rescue

Whist slickly executed sea kayak rescues can look simple, there’s a lot of steps to follow. With practice, you’ll be able to execute a rescue quickly and effortlessly.

Here’s a list of the key steps as a reminder:

  1. Victim turns boat upright and moves to the bow of their boat, holds onto paddles

  2. Rescuer brings their bow to the victim and paddles forward to bring boats parallel

  3. Transfer victim to the rescuer’s boat, rescuer places paddle under decklines, moves boat square to each other

  4. Rescuer edges towards victim’s boat, slides it over deck, bringing it as far as the front hatch

  5. Rescuer turns the victim’s boat over - rolling towards them by holding the deck lines and keel

  6. Rescuer edges away from victim’s boat to empty, lifting if needed

  7. The rescuer slides the boat off their deck, bring the boats parallel to each other and facing in opposite directions

  8. The victim comes round to the cockpit, passes their paddle to the rescuer and re-enters the boat. There are several possible approaches - heel hook, bellyflop onto back deck as for the self rescue, or work along from the back of the boat (ladder)

If boat and paddler are separated, fetch the boat and bring it to the paddler (perhaps after emptying it). It’s much easier to move a boat than a swimmer. The victim keeps hold of their paddle and holds one blade high to make it easier for the rescuer to keep an eye on them.