Australian kayak fishing tradegy

To discuss safety issues and their direct affects on kayaks and kayak fishing. Do it but do it safely!
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Pope
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:52 am
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Ultra 4.7
Location: Mairangi Bay

Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:03 pm

Bodies of two men reported missing on kayak fishing trip found


The Australian November 30, 2011 1:08PM

A FISHING trip aboard brand new kayaks in Port Phillip Bay has ended in the deaths of two men.
The pair, a 40 year-old man from Ardeer and his 36-year old companion from Windsor, set out from Sandringham in Melbourne's bayside suburbs around 6.30 yesterday morning.

They were making their maiden voyage in kayaks which had small motors attached, with no previous experience on the small watercraft.

Their last contact with family was in an SMS message saying everything was fine, sent with a photo two hours after launching from the Sandringham Yacht Club.

By late afternoon the weather had turned windy with high swells as a cold front began to move towards Melbourne, but police are still trying to determine when and how the men got into trouble.

The body of one man was found at the mouth of the Patterson River in Carrum at 6.10 this morning, while police aircraft located the other man's body in the bay about 500m from the neighbouring beach of Seaford at 8.30.

Both kayaks were found along the Seaford foreshore.

The kayakers were reported missing to police at 11pm last night, sparking an air and water search.

Inspector Tim Hansen said both men were found wearing life jackets.

"We believe it was the first time they had used those kayaks and they were inexperienced in that type of water craft," he said. "We're making a lot of enquiries to find out where exactly they were on the bay."

Water police sergeant Lachlan Holding warned people to check weather forecasts before setting out on unpredictable waters.

"The weather was fine at the time these gentlemen are said to have left, but it gradually worsened in the time that they were out there," he said. "The conditions at the time they left were favourable, so it goes back to making sure that you check the weather and to ensure that it isn't going to change."
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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:00 pm

Sympathies go out to the families... :worried:

Surprised that the alarm wasn't raised until 11pm.
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.................... "Flying Mango".......... [Up for sale, $1400]

Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

Mac50L
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Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:31 pm

Port Philip Bay is enclosed. There were two kayaks. They had a catamaran. Where ever they ran to they would hit land, as they did.
Sandringham you head south to Seaford, just under 20 km. Carrum is about 4 km north of Seaford.

They were totally inexperienced in every way. Darwin effect...

Sandy

Kitsune
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:33 pm
Kayak Model: Albatross

Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:52 am

Hi, an interesting incident. Apart from the fact they were inexperienced, I would have thought it was standard practice for a small motor boat skipper to be attached by a lanyard to a motor shut off.

In addition every kayak fisherman should be attached to their kayak if they don't want to drown if they get separated. New Zealand kayak deaths occur when kayakers get separated from their kayaks. This is exasperated by cold water.
Cheers

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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:42 am

Although it's natural, can we all please try and avoid speculation and assumption.

It's hard enough for the families involved to deal with their loss without possibly accidentally stumbling across a barrage of unfounded criticism.

Yes, they may have been inexperienced.
Experienced yakkers die too.

Let's take this as a wake up call to take time to re-assess our own safety systems.... Preferably in a different thread.

Thanks.
HLD
Image
.................... "Flying Mango".......... [Up for sale, $1400]

Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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Kiwi K
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Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:50 am

Well said HLD, my heart and sympathies go out to the respective familes and i know that all of us here at KFNZ send Condolences.
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Ocean Kayak Prowler Ultra 4.3

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oldwetfish
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Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:58 am

well said, HLD.

in every aspect of life there is 'freak of nature effects'
We attempt to mitigate them by assessment and preparation.

This sort of thing is a tragic reminder that we need to do everything possible to mitigate the risk.

This reiterates the need for us to keep accurate trip reports, take emergency equipment (even on the shortest trips), and always plan to survive. (that means planning your trip before leaving home).

Weather
Exposure
Communications
Safety Equipment
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Kitsune
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:33 pm
Kayak Model: Albatross

Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:26 pm

There were three things left off the list
- Experience
- Skill
- and common sense (not so common).

In NZ 37 kayakers have died since 1983.
- 2 from collisions, the rest drowned.
- 10 had a PDF, the other 27 did not.
- 5 had a communication device, 22 had none to call for help.
- None of them were attached to their kayak. Most got separated and drowned.
- Kayak fatalities in NZ are increasing, and so is the range of ages.

Attached is chart of the increase in kayak fatalities and the ages of those who died. Remember every non-collision kayak death is preventable by the kayaker. It is by talking about what causes these deaths that kayakers become aware and take appropriate precautions.

This is the very time to talk about this it is about the only time people take notice. It is very easy to say oh! but what about the families, who we all have sympathy for, but the fact remains that every kayak death is preventable. Conditions are not the cause, nr are big seas, it is not cold or wind, it is kayakers going out in those conditions, getting separated from their primary floatation device, their kayak. The PFD is the fall back flotation device only after the primary one fails. Most kayakers think they can swim ashore if something happens. I suggest every kayaker read the incident New Zealand reports. Apart from the occasional collision on lakes just about all the others in N.Z are kayakers in inappropriate craft or have died through ignorance and poor judgement. If you get separated from your kayak... well you can imagine the rest.
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Kayak fatalities chart.jpg
NZ Kayak fatalities

Paul in NZ
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Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:16 am

Thats amazingly useful info - thanks.

Its definitely making me think I should use a leash to attach my self to the kayak instead of just the paddle.

One thing that has always bothered me about motors on kayaks is that it may just putt out too far out for me to get back easily.

TwoSpoons
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Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:41 am

No VHF?
Electronics : its still magic, even when you know how its done.
ZMW5652

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TonesIam
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Kayak Model: Profish 400
Location: Howick

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:03 pm

Sorry to the families who lost loved ones.
Never thought to attach myself to my Yak - excellent idea thank you.
Tones

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Lister
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Location: South Island

Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:12 am

TonesIam wrote:Sorry to the families who lost loved ones.
Never thought to attach myself to my Yak - excellent idea thank you.
Tones
I use a tether from side handle to left ankle, for me it works as it's out of the way and hasn't caused problems when falling out. Strangely first time I launched the 'yak, I practiced falling out and getting back in.
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I like technology. I especially like to hit it with a big stick!!!!

We don't hate the fat B*tch. We just can't find anything about her to not dislike

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Hainesy
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Location: West Harbour

Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:32 am

Bad Bunny wrote:
TonesIam wrote:Sorry to the families who lost loved ones.
Never thought to attach myself to my Yak - excellent idea thank you.
Tones
I use a tether from side handle to left ankle, for me it works as it's out of the way and hasn't caused problems when falling out. Strangely first time I launched the 'yak, I practiced falling out and getting back in.
Do a bit of a search here on the Forum and there has been a series of trials, comments and feedback from a number of members (incl Stephen Tapp aka Limitless) on the use of tethers or leashes, where they should be located and the use of quick release mechanisms

I myself use one attached to my PFD (with a quick release) and attached to the rear well of my PF440 where the seat clips go
"The trouble with common sense is that it's not too common !"

Viking ReLoad
Ocean Kayak Trident 4.3
Phoenix Hornet - "Retired"
Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.3 - "Retired"
Viking Profish 440 - "Retired"
Scrambler XT - "Retired"

ZMW 2196

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Kitsune
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:33 pm
Kayak Model: Albatross

Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:53 pm

Likewise.
I have an inflatable PFD (same as yachties use with full head support) and I attach a leash from the front of that to a ring bolted to my kayak immediately behind my seat. Both ends have a quick release. I also attach my paddle via a leash to the front of my pfd but release it before coming ashore. Often this is frowned on by other kayakers but I have thought it through and tested it out. If I am separated from the kayak I can paddle myself (my body) at about one to two knots, so if I exit my means of propulsion comes with me. Give it a go - float front up with feet on surface in front with life jacket inflated then paddle. In addition the back of the paddle blade is rescue orange and it can stand out of the water about 1.5 metres which is useful for attracting help or ensuring I don't get run down in a channel if the worst happens.

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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:16 pm

I find in the SiK, that having a shortish tether from paddle to wrist works very well, allowing full movement for stern rudders, rolls etc.

On the SoT, it's tethered to a saddle at my L hip, which is where I always stow it when fishing. This keeps the cockpit clear of stray lines (compared to having it tethered centrally)

Bunny: Not sure a tether to an ankle is a good idea.
- Hard to reach if you do need to release
- A yak being pushed sideways by reasonable waves or wind will potentially drag you feet first and whilst you're playing sea-anchor, it'll be very difficult to turn around.

You might want to test it in some breakers with a safety bod standing by.

Just food for thought.
Image
.................... "Flying Mango".......... [Up for sale, $1400]

Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

Kitsune
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:33 pm
Kayak Model: Albatross

Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:01 pm

How do you find the paddle to wrist strap in the SiK when fishing, does it get in the way?

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Hairy Little Dwarf
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Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:31 pm

I only use the wrist tether when touring/playing. Don't fish from a SiK since I upgraded to a Greenland.

Of course, if I happen to spot a passing Walrus...

HLD
Image
.................... "Flying Mango".......... [Up for sale, $1400]

Phoenix Hornet - Specialty Assault Craft

Dad! Dad! Look at his fish! It's way bigger than anything you've EVER caught! - Nosey 7-8yo boy on opening my icebox to father strapping down his $XXX Stabicraft 759(?) - Gold. Pure Gold.

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Lister
Posts: 1219
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:39 am
Kayak Make: Tahe & Viking
Kayak Model: Wind 585 & 440 pf
VHF Call Sign: ZMW 4211
Location: South Island

Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:30 pm

Straps are velcro so easy to pull apart/off. So far I've had no issues when rolled/fallen out. Although the times I've gone accidentally I haven't been attached at all as I was coming in through surf so knew not to attach.

I've had tether behind me before now, and I've forgotten it was there which is why I hook up to ankle. I'm open to trying alternatives, paddle leash is to my PFD
Image

I like technology. I especially like to hit it with a big stick!!!!

We don't hate the fat B*tch. We just can't find anything about her to not dislike

ZMW4211. Proud paddler of PF440

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