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Submitted: 07-30-2007 by cooldoctor1

The 90-minute DVD Sea Kayak Safety by Leo Hoare and Olly Sanders is set at Anglesey, North Wales, and is recommended for the avid sea kayaker looking for a primer on rescues, despite it's rather pedestrian title.

The first 50 minutes of the video is dedicated to teaching single and team rescues. Although not as encyclopedic as Wayne Horodowichís USK "Rescues" DVD, the outing with Olly and Leo has a distinct difference in that it is taught first on flatwater, and then in the ocean. Witness paddlers righting themselves and performing rescues in turbid conditions; supremely educational. Covered on this DVD are ladder rescues (called scramble or cowboy rescues in America), how to dump the boat of water, hand of God rescues, re-entry and rolls, and such.

I think that, for completeness, the Nigel Foster rescues DVD, or Wayne Hís DVD, is likely more thorough. They include stirrup rescues, complex paddle float use, paddle swims, and the like. Much of this is not seen on this DVD. Also lacking on Olly and Leoís DVD is an explanation of reason for using each rescue. Although they are demonstrated it would be nice to know, for instance, that a particular rescue is better for larger paddlers, or better in cross chop. None of this is mentioned (although it is all particularly well mentioned on Wayne Hís DVD). I will say that, for towing specifically, which is an integral part of safety, Olly and Leo are exceptional, showing various tow devices and techniques of line, single, tandem and fan towing. One could argue that this DVD is a worthy companion to safety and rescues, with one of the other DVDs above as the flagship rescues DVD.

The final 50 minutes or so of this DVD is interesting, as it speaks with the Coast Guard about what information they need from you, the boater. What can they see from the water, what is hard to spot, what signaling devices are best (e.g. various types of flares), and how to use them. Next a rescue boat operator chimes in with information on rescuing small paddlecraft. These segments, although not the most lively on this disc, are informative, certainly.

Hard to rank the rescue DVDs, especially Nigel vs. Olly/Leo vs. Wayne H. Each has itís own virtues and vices. I think if I could only get one, I would buy Nigel Fosterís DVD. It really covers a tremendous amount of material. Supplement it with Olly and Leo, and you have a fairly tidy set of rescue information.

Or you can do as I did: get one of everything.

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