In the original post on Qajaq USA...
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-11-13 7:21 AM (EST)
...the following claim was made:
: I think this example of a rescue went well.
I don't think so, but let's open this up for discussion.
Not having been there, it's difficult to judge, but this doesn't seem to have gone well other than the fact that everyone was OK in the end.
Simply allowing a boat and paddler to be carried to shore is not what I think of as a "rescue", though in some circumstances it may be the best alternative. In this case, both would-be rescuers put themselves is serious jeopardy by allowing everything, including themselves, to drift into the shore break. I've been in that situation myself during what we considered to be a botched rescue and the one takeaway from it is to avoid rescues in a surf zone like the plague. At no point did the "rescuers" seem to have any control over the situation whatsoever.
If the option was available, the better approach would have been to tow the boat and paddler away from the shore break, or at least stabilize their position by having one paddler put the empty boat on a long tow and paddle into the waves while the other paddler got the victim back into the boat. That could be completed in a minute or two, at least to the point that the paddlers would be able to move to deeper, calmer water where they could pump out any remaining water in the rescued paddler's boat.
I'm glad that everyone was OK and hopefully some lessons were learned from it.