It's the water pressure on the surface area of the canoe that creates the load on the rope. A 17ftx3ft canoe pinned submerged on edge against a strainer in a 4.5mph current will require a force of over a ton to pull it against the current.
This example doesn't use an unusually strong current as it would still be possible to paddle against it and as the force is velocity squared a doubling of velocity would quadruple the force. It makes me glad I'm a kayaker with the much smaller surface area and less chance of pinning.
Canoe Pack Liner
Recreational Kayak Paddle
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