Preparing for “Safetyday” – Gear check

When kayaking on white water and even more so when you are the instructor/guide, safety and rescue play a big role in letting everyone have a good time and a relatively safe environment to learn kayaking in. Tomorrow is another day for the instructors training which is called “Safetyday”.

The description for this day is as follows :

This day has partly theory and partly practice. For the practice part: Bring a wetsuit or drysuit and all other attributes the participants think they need to work safely with a group on the whitewater class they want to do the exam in.

Nice one, what should I bring with me then, besides my normal paddling gear?

This is what I have at the moment regarding safety equipment (Helmet not shown):

  • New 15m 10mm throwline with new carabiner
  • 20m 8mm? throwline with a bit corroded carabiner (both 8 years old, the screwgate doesn’t screw anymore)
  • An old PFD (personal floatation device), 8 years old
  • A corroded quick release belt
  • A cowtail with new carabiner
  • Attached to the PFD: A spare carabiner, a whistle and a watch

Some observations :

  • Seawater is definitely not good for your gear, don’t take your carabiners with you if you don’t need them.
  • Seeing that my quick release is corroded and my PFD is that old, and having read that the floatation gets less over the years, I think it’s time to buy a new PFD soon.
  • Maybe I need to retire the old throwline and carabiner also, will ask that tomorrow what they think about it.

I’m planning to try to get my instructors degree for class III whitewater, so what am I missing?

After reading: 

 White Water Safety and Rescue chapter 12 about basic rescue equipment and thinking about it a bit more, I miss some essential equipment.

  • Working with ropes means you should also have something to cut it if things go wrong : A knife would be handy. Since I don’t have experience with them, I will ask advice about what works and what doesn’t and things to pay attention to before buying one.
  • A first aid kit. I will do a first aid course in two weeks and expect to find out what is needed in a first aid kit and how to keep it dry on the water.
  • A spare paddle, same as with the knife, no experience, so need to ask tomorrow.
  • Maybe some pulleys, nylon tubing and other stuff used in a Whitewater Rescue Technician course. I’m planning on following one this year and will wait till after the course with buying those.
  • A good boat to rescue people and gear out of the water, my Fun won’t cut it on class 3 water with me in it as a rescuer.

I guess that most of this equipment I’m missing will not be used tomorrow, we’ll be on flat water and land whole day, the only flowing water in the Netherlands at Dutch Water Dreams is not open yet. Seeing that we need to bring a dry- or wetsuit, we propably will be swimming and using throw ropes for basis rescue scenarios. Something like the following clip but without flowing water :

I’m excited and wondering what new things I will learn tomorrow and will post a report of the “Safetyday” after the weekend.

One thought on “Preparing for “Safetyday” – Gear check

  1. Pingback: Preparing for “Safetyday” – Whitewater classification | Kayaking dreams and memories by Arend-Jan Tetteroo

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