Coastguard pulls my wet cold ass out of the water

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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mikG
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:16 am

Got a lot more excitement than I had planned for, or wanted on my Wednesday mission off Bell Block. Thought I would share my experience on here as I learnt a thing or two that day and maybe some others would benefit from the lessons I learnt.

Finished work early on Wednesday and thought brilliant, ive probably got time for a quick fish at the local before the westerly arrives. Hit the beach, quickly launched and charged out past the reef. Once I had got a fair distance past the reef I noticed that the kayak had a slight roll and wasn't as stable as usual. I kept going for a few minutes trying to work out if it was some kind of strange wind, swell, current, tide combination producing this effect. In this time the roll increased until it was uncomfortable. I stopped and checked the anchor hadn't slipped out and was hanging off the side. Nope. I could see the back of the yak was sitting lower in the water than normal and realised the kayak was taking on water somehow, and taking it on quick as the roll was becoming more pronounced. I quickly made sure everything was secure as it could be and turned for shore. A couple of minutes later and I knew that I wasnt going to make it back and I was heving extreme difficulty in maintaining balance. Sure enough over she went and I was in the drink.

I made a mistake at this time as I righted the yak and spent some time trying to get back on board. It was wasted time and energy as i couldn't get back on because of the amount of water in the hull. I then made the decision to call emergency services and get the ball rolling on a rescue. I felt as i could of swam to shore but it would of meant abandoning the yak and a long, long cold swim. A waterproof phone in a dry bag meant i could establish and maintain contact throughout the rescue. Was glad to see the chopper head my way then make a slight turn and beeline towards me as id been in the water for over half an hour and was starting to chill down. From there on in it didn't take long to get winched on board and land above the beach. Phew.

Lessons learnt. I definitely need to up my safety procedures, especially as i do a lot of solo missions. Although it all worked out well it could of got worse. And the difference between bad and worse is a hell of a lot more than the difference between good and bad. Always carry two forms of comms. I have a VHF radio but left it home in my mad dash to get to the water. If i had dropped the phone before i could make a call i was swimming. Proper clothing. I got sucked in by the summers day and wore just a polo shirt and splash pants. Once in the water i got cold within the space of half an hour. As i do fish alone often i will be getting an epirb. If the worse happens and the two comms devices fail i can hit the red button. And file a trip report. I usually tell the missus where I'm going and when i will be back. I didn't do that in this case. TRs to the coastguard would be my best bet.

Oh, and don't watch 3 hours of shark week the night before! Couldnt help but have a thought or two about sharks while in the water :D

Coastguard picked up my yak and when i met them at the ramp they showed me a split in the bottom of the scupper hole, a big split. Don't know how that could of happened so quickly. It had never taken on any water previous to this day. Will be interested in what the manufacturers have to say.

Alls well that ends well and i hope this post helps a few others develop their safety procedures :)

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itsallablur
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:43 am

Was operation Mike. The heli pilot, marine swimmer and MikG all named Mike.

Be interested to know what caused the split.
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vr4king
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:04 am

Shit mate not good glad you got out ok......I must admit to being a bit laxed about comms etc

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mikG
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:17 am

itsallablur wrote:Was operation Mike. The heli pilot, marine swimmer and MikG all named Mike.

Be interested to know what caused the split.
One of your mates in blue was a mike to!

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FatherOfMany
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:21 am

Thanks for sharing MikG and glad you're okay!

I had a much less scary experience that this with my previous kayak being overloaded (I think) and never trusted that kayak again. And yes, I understand the shark thoughts as well :)
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Hainesy
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:02 am

Thanks for sharing !.. Glad to hear that you're ok !

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Defyant
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:13 am

Thanks for sharing Mike! We all make mistakes but it's just saying something about us possibly running through a checklist before hitting the water.
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PhaxNZ
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:17 am

Damn, glad you're ok. That sounds like the best possible outcome of a very bad situation.

Goes to show how important safety equipment is.

VinL
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:28 am

lucky you came out of that one could have been a far different story without your mobitel,evidently is a common place scupper holes to crack worth keeping an eye on, and doing a checkup filling the Kayak now and again checking for leaks.

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Mental
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:17 am

WOW that was a very close call, glad you kept your mind and went straight to the emergency services and got yourself pulled from the drink alive - could have been so much worse for you and your family :(

Thanks for sharing your experience mikG :y:
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MadMike
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:20 am

Good on you for posting mate, I had a similar thing happen to me hence the yellow submarine comments that fly around from time to time. Sat at anchor in the Barracuda and it developed a split in the rear scupper and basically pumped the hull full in a matter of minutes, went from fully floating to almost submerged in minutes, Luckily I wasn't far from an island and with the Help of Bam managed to ride the slippery log into shore with my feet over the side. the kayak was so heavy we couldn't lift it out of the water and took a fare amount of time to drain it. Bam took my gear and stayed with me whole way till we made it to shore. Certainly opens you eyes to how easy things can turn pair shaped.
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yakman
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:39 am

Good post Mike, something everyone can learn from. Years ago I took my brand new kayak for a test paddle off the port and noticed on way back in it felt a bit 'tippy'. Got to boat ramp and could hardly drag it up the ramp. Ended up being a pin hole in a scupper. If I had gone fishing that day could have very well ended up in the water like you.

Very strange to 'develop' a leak/split like yours did, a real eye opener! Keen to hear the outcome.
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awondering
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:53 am

Geez scary stuff mate, glad all well turned out well in the end... :y:

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Kayakmaker
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:10 am

What was the make and model.

Being involved in the Kayak Industry myself and fully knowing the seriousness of this situation.

Who ever made this kayak, it is paramount that the manufacturer is, if not so already informed. This is so they can check their records and procedures and be 100% confident that this problem is a one off and there is no potential of further kayaks already in the market place that have the ability to leak and sink.

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MikeAqua
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:30 am

Thanks for sharing.
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Kayakmaker
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:44 am

also Thanks for Sharing your experience.

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owaldock
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:28 pm

Thanks for sharing. A couple of take outs for me; ensure my VHS is fully charges and time to start giving the bottom of the kayak a more regular inspection. Like the idea of throwing a bucket or two of water in there every now and again to check to leaks too.

MadMike
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:44 pm

owaldock wrote:Thanks for sharing. A couple of take outs for me; ensure my VHS is fully charges and time to start giving the bottom of the kayak a more regular inspection. Like the idea of throwing a bucket or two of water in there every now and again to check to leaks too.
The bucket thing doesn't show all leaks. You get a lot of pressure on the bottom of the hull when in the water under load so what maybe a tiny hole that doesn't let low pressure water through may well let water in once underway.
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:51 pm

thanks for sharing, definitely makes one think, I seldom take out comms, will change from now on.
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Telecaster
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:46 pm

Thanks for posting your story mate, bloody scary thing to happen. I'm gonna shout myself a VHF for xmas. Smart phones are hard to use with wet hands.

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