Orere Point yesterday 20th August

To discuss safety issues and their direct affects on kayaks and kayak fishing. Do it but do it safely!
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awondering
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:32 pm

Firstly this is NOT a finger pointing exercise or am I bagging anyone, this is something we can all learn from, me probably more than most, as I do tend to fish alone more often than not and do probably fish more than most, which whilst gives me experience also puts me at a higher risk because of the frequency I am out there.
It would be good if this kicks off a constructive thread that has quality information that can be used as reference for all kayakers beginner through to experienced…

Yesterday morning events… I arrived at Orere point at about 6.20am to see a group of Kayakers already there, after quick greetings and a few enquiries as to whether I had fished here before led me to believe that some of these guys were Orere virgins, I believe most if not all were from the East Auckland Kayak fishing club.( Please correct me if I am wrong)
I did make comment that it looked snotty out that way where I was headed and probably wouldn’t improve in the next 4-5 hours looking at the swellmap report.
I launched at 6.30am and headed for the reef that is marked, out to the right.
After about another 30 minutes I could see a few yaks heading in my direction and it was snotty in fact quite uncomfortable, with real shitty sets of waves coming through, it was a very short almost vertical swell at times of about 1.0m and they were so close at times by the time the bow was hitting the bottom of the swell the next one was almost there. For those that do not know Orere point,it has a strong current going through and is marked as such on sea charts… and with a southerly wind, it wasn’t going to be anything other than a crap sea, over on the reef area it is worse than under the houses on the hill, just nature of the seabed… and it is a little more protected from the wind…

A few minutes had passed by maybe 30, I can’t be accurate not that it matters. Then I heard the call over the VHF “who is it”, thinking what do you mean? After looking around I notice a red ultra-upside down about 200 meters away… I thought bugger!!! I didn’t do anything else as there were three other yakkers closer and thought sweet… and didn’t give it much more thought as two of them were heading over to give him a hand.
About (guessing) 15 minutes had gone by and I hear we need some more help… no worries… pulled the rods in and head over probably 100 meters away… there were already three yakkers in situ.
One holding the guy who arsed out on the side of his yak, the other guy holding the guys kayak who is holding the guy in the water; the other guy had buggered off to get the boys in a boat to come and help??? And the upturned kayak drifting off… so I grabbed the floating kayak... and attempted to right it, I couldn’t see why it was so tough trying to do it… It was just so bloody heavy, I noticed centre console lid was open and hanging down so doubt I would have got it over anyway.
By this stage the boys in the boat came over and grabbed the said Kayaker that was in the water, it took all their strength to lift this guy into the boat, he was knackered and bloody cold and could not offered any assistance at getting in the boat… the boys then got a hold of his yak and dragged that out of the water. Which at this time it became apparent the ice box had taken water…

A lot of “what ifs” and “maybes” here…
But what if he was by himself, sure he had a PFD on, but would that of been enough? Had it been mid-week would of a VHF been enough… didn’t have PLB or EPIRB… water was bloody cold… and certainly exaggerated by the freezing southerly wind blowing… How safe are these ice boxes? After seeing that, I have absolutely no interest.How many of you blokes that have them, have tested them to see if they are water tight?
This is actually the second time this type of thing has happened to me… what worries me is that do these blokes think it’s alright because “I am in a group and if I get in the shit I will get help”, shouldn’t we be of the mind that yes I can do all that is required to sort myself out in this situation? And if we can’t, what do or can we do…
There are kayakers in here with one hell of a lot more experience than myself that can offer up constructive ways and means to help ourselves in these situations and should be discussed on a more regular basis in this forum and continually updated.
I think KFNZ has wealth of valuable information and these topics can only add to this.
It is a timely reminder to me and I am sure a lot of other kayakers how very easy it can go wrong and its scary stuff. And yep to sum it up, some may just say it was a turtle…and we all joke about them… to me it was something that could have gone terribly wrong… We only have to look at what happened last week… And lastly yep he looked fine when I left,cold but OK :y:

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Hainesy
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:51 pm

Not sure what you say or where to start......

Firstly I'm very glad the guy is OK...

But you do raise some very relevant questions......

Without wanting to write several pages of comments, I think the lesson to be learnt is that we all have to be able to "self rescue / look after ourselves" if needed. This guy was very fortunate to have friends close by that were able to help him out, but as you point out, what would have happened if they hadnt been close by.....

I remember way back when I first joined the Forum I enquired about a group of us getting together and "learning / practising" these skills.....an informal get together where those that "can do" show us that "probably cant do (properly)" the correct techniques and skills.

I seem to recall that it never got off the ground because it headed off on a tangent of OHS and liability if something when wrong...the whole PC arguement.... :n: :n: (all BS if you ask me !!)

In the end I paid a few $$ and went and had a few hours a Fergs where for about 20mins we covered self rescue.....and believe me, even in a controlled session its bloody tiring , especially if you arent a strong swimmer or a non swimmer...

So.....I'm going to try and do something positive....I'm prepared to arrange a 1/2 day(or full day) "self rescue training" session.....

First up.....is there anyone on the Forum who is prepared and willing to run a "practical" self rescue / survival course ?? ..If so, drop me a PM and lets see if we can kick something off......

If we dont have anyone who is "trained" to teach those of us that want to learn then I'm prepared to solicite a PAID instructor from one of the many Kayak manufacturers or distributors

Theres likely to be a cost that we'll share amongst those of us that want to participate....

Now I'm Auck based, and thats where my own focus is, but if we can get someone on board to help us out, maybe we can spread this further a field, unless local guys want to make their own arrangments.

Now I've stuck my neck out, do I have any support !!!
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

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YakM@
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:52 pm

Very scary stuff, makes me think twice about buying an icebox for my next kayak no matter how good they look. Glad ended well, very scarey if he was by himself or with only 1 mate.

Matt
M@

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kiwiladbrad
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:53 pm

Big point i took out of that was "am i safe in a group". Im getting an epirb cos that story gave me the chills. Thanks chief for posting that up and glad to know he is ok.
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awondering
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:55 pm

Hainesy wrote:
Now I've stuck my neck out, do I have any support !!!
Yes A :^)

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awondering
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:58 pm

kiwiladbrad wrote:Big point i took out of that was "am i safe in a group". Im getting an epirb cos that story gave me the chills. Thanks chief for posting that up and glad to know he is ok.
I have a PLB and yes it hurts paying for it, but "if" i was in that situation yesterday, when by myself mid week and no one around, I would of had to use it... no doubt about it...

cherokee94nz
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:46 pm

As a new kayaker, i would support a training session on self recovery, and other things associated with saftey. I would be prepared to travel to get the training. Mabey a day saturday in the pool. Another day on the water fishing on Sunday.
Mabey get someone like Rob or other to run training.

Patch
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:12 pm

In my opinion the general consensus on safety is incorrect. The vhf, epirb's are all well and good but once you are in the water, they will not save your life nor will they prolong your ability to stay alive. They are a means of communication and should only be viewed as such.

Wetsuits are not just for divers. I own one and wear it, especially in winter but also for the simple fact it will help me stay warm/strong enough to live through the experience.

Canoe and Kayak run different courses depending on your ability and personal experience.

Join the coastguard, you might be surprised what you will learn.


This reminds me of someone else who got caught flailing about in the Rangi channel and to my knowledge he still doesn't wear a wetsuit. I think there is a bit of, it won't happen to me or I'm safe in a group. Nothing worse than having a mate watch you slip away.


Be prepared.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

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uktim
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:40 pm

To me this is a warning about pimping your kayak too much without enough practice of getting out of trouble. Some people seem to have so much bling on their kayak that they could get caught up in or cause problems with righting their kayak. (Yeah i can't afford much bling....yet ]:) )
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YakFisho Snapps
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:36 pm

YakM@ wrote:Very scary stuff, makes me think twice about buying an icebox for my next kayak no matter how good they look. Glad ended well, very scarey if he was by himself or with only 1 mate.

Matt
yip very scarey stuff and i'm with you matt but by the sounds of things sounds like he never closed the lid properly on the icebox and water filled it up may be wrong thou and i'm sure it can happen to any of us with iceboxes forget to close the lid securely.. as i'm sure these have been thorouly tested by jo and the new pod from viking to have a good seal when closed properly..


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nzimp
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:53 pm

This seems nothing more than a lesson of knowing your limits. I agree that there are many that take to the water without thinking but I do not know if that was the case yesterday. I go out expecting to Turtle and consider it a bonus if I don't. That means my wetsuit is my most important piece of kit. My knowledge of my limits is the best safety kit I have ever needed. I never go out in rough water in the winter. I stay in pretty close when I am on my own.
Practise getting in and out so it becomes second nature to you. If your gear stops you doing something then get rid of it or get used to being able to correct with it.
Ultimately you cant blame your gear in those situations and it is of no solace to your loved ones if the worst was to happen. I certainly do not want my headstone to say "It was his gear that killed him, not the fact he did not practise using it in every situation."
Remember no fish is worth dying for and Kayak fishing is not just about fishing.
Simple is as simple does.
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Kingfish killer
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:24 pm

A VHF can save your life if you are in the water ! Sure it wont keep you warm but it does let people know you are in trouble and you can let rescuers know where you are : a real example , a guy goes for a fish on christmas eve in his tinny by himself . Hes fishing in Auckland harbour not to far from shore . The weather turned crap and his tinny sank fast !
It was also pitch black and hes floating in the water with only shorts , t shirt , PFD ... but attached to his PFD was a hand held VHF . This man was buggered , but he was able to alert coastguard of his whereabouts . Although coastguard were within 50 m of him they could not see anything as it was dark . But again because he had his VHF on him he was able to direct coastguard to his exact spot .
The man was so grateful to coastguard as by his own admission he didnt have long to go as he had been in the water for hour already .
So in this case the VHF did save his life .

snap fisha
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:36 pm

Yes I would be in support of a training day on self rescue and willing to pay.
snap fish 101 paddles a viking 400

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awondering
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:42 pm

Kingfish killer wrote:A VHF can save your life if you are in the water ! Sure it wont keep you warm but it does let people know you are in trouble and you can let rescuers know where you are : a real example , a guy goes for a fish on christmas eve in his tinny by himself . Hes fishing in Auckland harbour not to far from shore . The weather turned crap and his tinny sank fast !
It was also pitch black and hes floating in the water with only shorts , t shirt , PFD ... but attached to his PFD was a hand held VHF . This man was buggered , but he was able to alert coastguard of his whereabouts . Although coastguard were within 50 m of him they could not see anything as it was dark . But again because he had his VHF on him he was able to direct coastguard to his exact spot .
The man was so grateful to coastguard as by his own admission he didnt have long to go as he had been in the water for hour already .
So in this case the VHF did save his life .
Yep I think that was in the half moon bay and at low tide you can throw a stone over the other side...

Douugie
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:57 pm

Well went out for a paddle today, it was a bit of a softbaiting practice session, got zero bites but enjoyed myself anyway.

Got back to the sunkist bay beach and thought about time I practiced a re-entry as usually kayak by myself, so would be good to have a small level of confidence that i could do it. So unloaded rod and everything else I didn't want to get wet and dressed in my Sharkskin long sleave top and rasdex adventure pants with dive booties went out about 20m and tipped myself out.

The water was bloooody freezing, so gasping for breath with my rasdex pants partially inflated I set about getting back on board fast!!!!! The water was flat so had no chop or anything else to contend with, no leashes to tangle in except for the paddle leash. Did I mention it was friggin cold, anyway long story short got back on board within 30-45 secs and went for a paddle to try and get the blood flowing again.

Lesson I learnt today was that ya really need either a drysuit or at very least a wetsuit/spearo suit to spend any length of time comfortably in the water, otherwise you better get back on board fast or have help nearby!
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Kingfish killer
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:53 pm

awondering wrote:
Kingfish killer wrote:A VHF can save your life if you are in the water ! Sure it wont keep you warm but it does let people know you are in trouble and you can let rescuers know where you are : a real example , a guy goes for a fish on christmas eve in his tinny by himself . Hes fishing in Auckland harbour not to far from shore . The weather turned crap and his tinny sank fast !
It was also pitch black and hes floating in the water with only shorts , t shirt , PFD ... but attached to his PFD was a hand held VHF . This man was buggered , but he was able to alert coastguard of his whereabouts . Although coastguard were within 50 m of him they could not see anything as it was dark . But again because he had his VHF on him he was able to direct coastguard to his exact spot .
The man was so grateful to coastguard as by his own admission he didnt have long to go as he had been in the water for hour already .
So in this case the VHF did save his life .
Yep I think that was in the half moon bay and at low tide you can throw a stone over the other side...
I think your right Kev it was around halfmoon bay , i saw it on one of the coastwatch programmes .
The fact this guy could see the lights on shore and as you say " can throw a stone over the other side " just highlights that it doesnt matter whether your only a few hundred meters from shore or a few kilometers we all need safty precautions . In this case the VHF got this man outta the shit .

paddlesnap
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:55 pm

Good stuff Awondering ,KLB ,Hainesy, all good points worthy of consideration I am willing to share self rescue drills etc. sessions when we can organise such.
The Vhf dependancy thing is a no go as esp in cold conditions the battery life of them is negligible and probably find not many people monitoring it or able to help around anyway.
If you put yourself in a situation at your own risk then you should be able to sort things out yourself and have safe equipment and skills to do so, otherwise you ARE an accident waiting to happen-this applies to any activity .
Awondering and others have the experience/commonsense to see downfalls of overloading kayaks with gear and is worthy of consideration.

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Mental
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:18 pm

Good post Awondering :y:

Would like to hear the kayakers story too if he's a forum user...

I've carried a PLB for years now due to the fact I fish on my own and in places others don't, yea it cost me $900 at the time but worth it my mind.

I think Paddlesnap touched on a good point the amount of gear we carry seems to be getting more and more, after fishing for two days this weekend it was all too clear to me I carry too much, four rods (only used one), two tubs of Gulp and two packs of Zmans (only used one pack of Zmans all weekend), a tackle box with 20+ jig heads and rigs, four spools of leader, and a load of other gear I never touched (I used four jig heads and one size of leader) - just shows I carry too much crap...

All hatches / ice boxes / center wells etc MUST be kept closed and secure at ALL times.

And good on you Hainesy let me know if I can help :y:
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Kingfish killer
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Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:29 pm

No one is saying that we should be dependent on the VHF .
What i am saying is that a VHF can and does save lives and is a valueable bit of kit in your arsenal of staying safe on the water .
Learning how to get back on your kayak , VHF radio , appropriate clothing , PFD ect ect are all part of our safty arsenal .

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awondering
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Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:28 am

Kingfish killer wrote:No one is saying that we should be dependent on the VHF .
What i am saying is that a VHF can and does save lives and is a valueable bit of kit in your arsenal of staying safe on the water .
Learning how to get back on your kayak , VHF radio , appropriate clothing , PFD ect ect are all part of our safty arsenal .
This is the stuff we need out of this topic KK... what is it??? PFD, PLB, VHF,CELL PH... shed all the bling and get a little more common sense stuff.... "Paddlesnap" yep I will be the first one to say I am well overdue for some self rescue training.... and would be appreciative of it...(but can we wait until its warmer) A :^)

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