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Kayaking death stats…

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  • #1351
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I was looking over the Canadian Red Cross’ 10 year drowning report…from 1991 to 2000, 37 kayakers died (whitewater and flatwater). For some, this might seem like lots (and obviously too many). However, given the continuous dangers encountered with kayaking, I’d expect these numbers to be higher. Care to share your thoughts?

    http://www.helluva.ca/pdfs/10drwn_english.pdf

    #17094
    Jenny Right-Side
    Participant

    My first thought after reading your post and skimming through the report is that these deaths are “drowning deaths”. Many whitewater kayaking accidents result in a cause of death being something other than “drowning”.
    For example, a kayaking-related cause of death might be called “fatal blow to head” or “fractured skull” etc.
    I don’t mean to sound morbid, but these are the realities of the sport we choose. There are whitewater kayakers who drown due to foot entrapment, lack of PFD, sieve… and there are many who die due to blunt force trauma to the head, neck or spine.
    Any thoughts?

    #17095
    skibum_
    Participant

    37 in 9 years isnt that many. I bet 10 of those were flatwater and the other 10 involved dams

    #17096
    wavesporter
    Participant

    ya! we do what we can to make the sport safe, beyond that you cant controll anything.
    the way i see it its like 10000000* more dangerouse to drive a car then to go WW kayaking.
    life is about risks and rewards, and ive gotten a hell of a lot of rewards out of this sport.
    if youe worried about dying stay indoors all day and watch TV
    if you want to LIVE learn how to kayak!
    <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #17097
    skibum_
    Participant

    not to mention that the ottawa is pretty harmless

    #17098
    1-Blade
    Participant
    "wavesporter":3icjgz81 wrote:
    the way i see it its like 10000000* more dangerouse to drive a car then to go WW kayaking. [/quote:3icjgz81]

    My sons are just getting into driving age and I am more worried about them getting to and from the river than the actual paddling. They wear PFDs and helmets, are competent at river reading and judging the consequences of their paddling decisions, know how to rescue and be rescued. What I can’t guard them against is idiots in a rush to get home Sunday night passing on a curve or hill, drunks on the back roads, deer wandering out onto the road and other assorted lunacy.

    #17099
    1-Blade
    Participant
    "Jenny Right-Side":1zbqnf1u wrote:
    My first thought after reading your post and skimming through the report is that these deaths are “drowning deaths”. Many whitewater kayaking accidents result in a cause of death being something other than “drowning”.
    For example, a kayaking-related cause of death might be called “fatal blow to head” or “fractured skull” etc.
    I don’t mean to sound morbid, but these are the realities of the sport we choose. There are whitewater kayakers who drown due to foot entrapment, lack of PFD, sieve… and there are many who die due to blunt force trauma to the head, neck or spine.
    Any thoughts?[/quote:1zbqnf1u]

    From pg. 10 of the report: [quote:1zbqnf1u]In at least 28% of boating drownings, a PFD was not even present, let alone worn.[/quote:1zbqnf1u]

    This confirms what Jenny is saying: these are not WW paddlers. I have never met a WW paddler who does not wear a PFD as a matter of course.

    #17100
    JeffB
    Participant
    "skibum_":1y89o7bo wrote:
    not to mention that the ottawa is pretty harmless[/quote:1y89o7bo]

    This is what leads to accidents. You start thinking that the river is harmless. This in turn makes you feel secure, that there is no danger, no risk of something going wrong. This is how people get hurt.

    I would say that the Ottawa is forgiving, but it can still give you a thrashing. There is always something that can go wrong.

    Want to feel safe, be honest about your skill/experience with regards to the features ahead, the knowledge of how to tackle them and what to do if things don’t go as expected.

    #17101
    Grant
    Participant

    As a sea (great lake) kayaker getting into white water, it amazes me the amount of sea kayakers who don’t wear pfds. The wife and I always get the “look at the whimps wearing pfds” look. I even talked to some boaters who think their skills are beyond the need of a PFD, and they carry one in their boat because it’s required (Michigan only requires one in the boat, not worn).

    If you find youself needing the pfd, trying to find it and put it on at that moment is insane.

    helmets, pfds, throw ropes, etc. can save your life

    “an once of prevention, is worth a pound of cure” :wink:

    #17102
    wavesporter
    Participant

    ya that really bugs me!

    i dont sell a boat unless they buy a lifejacket (although many ppl say they have them at home, so i probably let a few go that dont)

    i guess shit like this is one of the few ways survival of the fittest can take effect in todays world. (ie stupid ppl die.)

    its kindof like racing a motercycle without breaks!
    only a matter of time before you need to stop!

    #17103
    Jenny Right-Side
    Participant

    I think I’m the only one who wears a PFD at pool sessions!!! lol
    It’s not because I think I am going to drown in the busy pool, but because I want to imitate the conditions on the river. If I am able to roll without a PFD on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the added buoyancy of a PFD is going to produce the same results.
    I bet the non-PFD-wearing-12 sandwich-eating people who drown without a PFD on are mostly recreational canoers and sea kayakers who think that since the water is not “moving” there are no threats to them.

    #17104
    JeffB
    Participant
    "Jenny Right-Side":2kzyvt70 wrote:
    I think I’m the only one who wears a PFD at pool sessions!!! lol
    It’s not because I think I am going to drown in the busy pool, but because I want to imitate the conditions on the river. If I am able to roll without a PFD on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the added buoyancy of a PFD is going to produce the same results.
    [/quote:2kzyvt70]

    I kept mine on in the pool for the same reason. I’m not exactly flexible to start with and didn’t want to get used to the freedom of movement without the PFD.

    #17105
    Boydo
    Participant
    "Jenny Right-Side":g42kqb3u wrote:
    I think I’m the only one who wears a PFD at pool sessions!!! lol
    [/quote:g42kqb3u]

    Not only do I wear my PFD in the pool, but I wear my helmet too <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #17106
    harris
    Participant

    The way I see it is that if you haven’t witnessed or experienced first hand the speed that accidents can happen then you won’t ever truely have the respect for (moving) water. Once you’ve had one of those ‘fear of god scared into you’ moments you see things in a whole different light.

    Mine happened about 8 years ago on the Ottawa during a rafting trip. The guides were allowing us to swim down a set (can’t remember which, names didn’t mean anything to me back then) and I decided against my better instincts to give it a try. When it was my turn I swam as hard as I could out into the current until the guide told me to stop. I put my feet up downstream and in I went. In the first trough my legs got swept down and under me so I went through the rest of the wave train basically standing up. I vividly remember fighting to get air and feeling how cruel and unforgiving nature felt – something I had never personally experienced before. I vainly tried to get my jello legs to kick following the rapid and it really pounded some fear and respect into me

    My 2 cents: even though the internet and the boating community is great and provides all the information anyone could ever need about the hazards there will always be those first timers or people who have gotten lucky every [i:1tlzjlom]other[/i:1tlzjlom] time they’ve done something ill advised and those will be the deaths that pad the statistics. You take out all of the no PFD, low head dam, no WW experience, no immersion gear, no prior knowledge of class III-IV river before paddling in an open boat type incidents – you would just see that ww kayaking is like any other sport and that it has consequences for even the most experienced.

    andrew

    #17107
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think as well it is a reminder to go to the American Whitewater Association and view the river safety reports done by Charlie Walbridge.
    http://www.awa.org

    Their archives are viewable on line

    http://www.awa.org/journal/archive

    check out this classic walbridge report in 2002

    http://www.americanwhitewater.org/resou … 2002_5.pdf

    page 84

    Also consider that the Kipawa River which passes through the sluice at Laniel has been run recreationally for the past 40 years, 19 of them have involve the Kipawa River Rally : no injury reported: none.

    Enjoy.

    Pete

    He has analysed accidents for the past twenty or more years and has tremendous perspective on this issue.

    As well, consider

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