20+ years as a motorcyclist, 30+ as an alpine skier, I've done rock climbing, mountain biking, back country camping, etc... my whole life. The take-away is that I rather enjoy being active in life and have learned that risk mitigation is the only way I'm going to continue doing fun activities (and all of those involve some element of risk) for several more decades of life. My goal is to get to "the end" (40+ years from now) with the most/best stories of things I've done in life. :D
We had already been planning on taking an into to whitewater kayak class ~ couldn't find the budget for it last fall when we first bought the (used) boats, but the priority for education... and thus the funds, have just risen sharply through the ranks along with the desire to be educated on rescue. It was an eye-opening experience, especially as someone who's not accustom to doing anything in/on water (not much water in Wyoming and I'm Wyoming born/raised). I suspected there was a "work smarter, not harder" aspect to this rescue, hence asking here prior to getting some formal, in person, hands on education.
I agree fully that a rescue class may be used first to save my own life, or that of my wife, her brother, his girlfriend, or one of the occasional friends we seem to be taking with us on our trips now. If I can keep myself from a panic situation (or one of the above), I know that rescue will be made easier/more likely.
BTW, thanks for the edit, that cleared up a couple things that had me confused upon the first reading last night.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
Kayak Deck Gear Bags
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