Following on from my recent post regarding the evening of skills training/assessment I undertook with Owen Burson, I’ve been thinking a lot about the issues I found trying to complete a straddle rescue when the bungees on the top of my spray deck caught around the rear day hatch on my sea kayak preventing me from moving forward and getting into the cockpit.

This video, courtesy of (Leo Hoare – a North Wales based Outdoor Provider), shows a variation on the straddle self rescue called a ladder self rescue where, rather than climbing up and over the side of the kayak to sit straddled across the rear deck, you utilise the sea kayak as a ‘ladder’ and slide/pull yourself along the back deck from the stern to reach the straddled position behind the cockpit. Skillfully performed in some reasonable sea conditions, it is a nice example of how to exercise this self rescue.

At the same time, it makes me realise even more that I need to sort out an effective method of moving the spraydeck out of the way or revert to a deck with no bungees if I were to perform this self rescue effectively with no risk of spraydeck bungees catching on the kayak.

Tomorrow morning I am planning on a dawn skills session with plenty of self rescue practice so will report my findings. I’ll also be sure to spend some time on the ladder self rescue.