I've king of change up my gear a bit. Now I carry a short tow attached to the belt on my jacket and I carry a throw rope.
Sometimes, I can get pretty close to someone in breaking waves and throw them the rope from the boat while I'm out of the white zone.
I've learned I throw it best from the boat by throwing it like a football.
The throw rope can extend the short tow.
The short tow is the most handy for moving people and boats a short distance to a safe zone.
I'm learning as I go here but I've started keeping both short tow and throw rope handy on all trips except for flat water small lake exercise paddles.
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