MVB INC CANOEING SAFETY PROCEDURES and PROTOCOLS

These procedures must be reviewed before every event

 

  1. As soon as you have paid get lifejackets and make sure that they are properly fitted
  2. Valuables, keys and non essential electronic gear be left behind or placed in a waterproof container attached to you or your vessel
  3. Do not enter the water until the leader has revised the safety guidelines
  4. The leader has the authority to rearrange the paddlers for the safety of others.
  5. Beginners to be paired up with responsible, experienced paddlers.
  6. Please advise the leader if there are any medical issues which may impact the canoe trip.
  7. Once in the water, paddle upstream until the whole group is launched.
  8. The leader will indicate when the group should set off by blasting a whistle to get group together.
  9. Life jackets must be worn at all times when in the canoes
  10. Stay between the front leader and the back leader while on the trip.  The party needs to be compact at all times.
  11. While paddling beginners should stay away from the bank and keep to the middle until more canoeing experience is obtained
  12. The person in the front of the canoe is responsible for identifying and alerting of approaching hazards.
  13. Each craft has a responsibility to the craft behind. It should not lose visual contact.
  14. The party needs to be compact at all times.

 

WHISTLE BLASTS

  • 1 whistle blast – reform the group
  • 2 whistle blasts - the group will pull in to the bank
  • 3 whistle blasts - paddler in the water - rescue procedures occur.



RESCUE PROCEDURES

  1. Rescue will occur under the leader’s direction
  2. If your canoe capsizes, hold on to your canoe and wait for assistance.
  3. If canoe is stuck on a log another canoe will assist you to shore.
  4. Others will rescue the canoe and equipment
  5. If you are in the water, float down feet first so you can push off any obstacles.

 

Protocols

 

  1. Book in early,  don’t leave it to the last minute.
  2. Arrive on time 5.15 so we can be ready to leave at 5.30 - text the leader if going to be delayed.
  3. Have the correct money with you for the paddle and bbq
  4. The group will always proceed at the pace of the slowest paddlers
  5. In a recovery situation (capsize, boat stuck etc) instructions must come from the leader only.
  6. If there is an incident do not leave the scene and proceed to paddle unless instructed to do so by the leader
  7. Can everyone please assist with the unloading and loading of canoes so the work is not left to just a few. Two people for kayaks and four people for canadian canoes are required to safely load and unload.
  8. Last of all please enjoy yourself and have a great time.

Steering and Manouvering a Canoe

 Before you go canoeing, even if you’re only going one time, we advise that you study steering.

This document contains diagrams to help explain the basic strokes
The web has sites where you can watch videos on canoe strokes such as:
•    Canoe paddle strokes
•    Forward and backward strokes
•    Draw and pry strokes
•    “J” strokes
•    Sweep strokes

For the technically minded
If I exert pressure here with the paddle,

•    What reaction occurs at the bow end?
•    Where did the pivot or turning motion come from?

The stern paddler is in charge of the canoe

Before you take the role of stern paddler, at the back of the canoe, you should understand canoeing terms and canoe strokes so that you can  give guidance to the bow paddler, at the front of the canoe. You need to be able to direct the bow paddler so your combined efforts are synchronised, working in harmony.

Note also that:

  1. River currents will act against the canoe
  2. Wind may also act against the canoe

 

Paddling Forwards

paddling forwards

 

 

Paddling Backwards

paddling backwards

Forward Sweep Stroke

forward sweep stroke

Backwards Sweep Stroke

 

 

backward sweep stroke

The Draw and Pry Strokes

draw and pry strokes

The J Stroke

j stroke

Canoe Safety 4 - Safety when other craft are on the river

Boats have a bow wave at the front or bow end created by the water pushed up as the boat moves forward. The bow wave is split and water travels on both sides along the length of the boat before settling after the boat has moved further along its path.

 

vessel in water

 

Boats have a wake at the stern or back end and this consists of the water that has traveled along both sides of the boat and a line of wake consisting of displaced water churned up by the motor.

 

(This ferry is in Queen Charlotte Sound, you won’t find it on the river but it is a good example of the build up of water in front of the bow). Photo Lin Starke MVB

 

wake

 

In this image we see three distinct lines of water displacement but these flatten and become multiple ripples. You can see the start of the additional waves forming.
(Fishing boat Whangaroa Harbour. 60 Horse Power motor). Photo Lin Starke MVB

 

t bone

 

Canoeing Safety 3 - Avoiding Obstacles in the Water

Trees and branches that have fallen into the river are to be avoided. The extent of the branches above water can be seen but we can’t see below through the water.

LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE VISIBLE BRANCHES AND CALCULATE FROM THAT WHERE THE NON-VISIBLE BRANCHES MAY EXTEND TO.

Take your canoe wider than the estimated margin.

 fallen tree in river

Tree stumps in the water near the bank. The river may be running higher than normal and tree felling may have occurred at low water.

ASSUME THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL STUMPS NEARBY.

Take your canoe away from the river’s edge.

submerged obstacles

There’s rippling water ahead with a piece of branch sticking up 200mm.

CALCULATE THE SIZE OF THE BRANCH THAT MAY BE ATTACHED TO.

Give the snag a wide berth, the snag may be all you can see but like an iceberg, what is underneath the water could well be part of a large tree.

snags in river

Eddies in the water (small circles of whirling water in the current), have been known to “catch” canoes and tip out the paddlers.

Google “Eddy, current, whirlpool” fascinating stuff, but our section of the river just has small eddies.

BE AWARE THAT LOCALS HAVE SEEN EDDIES CAPSIZE A CANOE

 Keep an eye on the weather. Be aware of fading light. Get off the water if necessary

weather

We love to watch the animals on the banks, kangaroos, farm livestock, and try platypus spotting.

Don’t get into trouble because the animals distract you. Watch the river too.

kangaroos

platypus

Don’t forget the other canoes as well. Be aware of them and their proximity to you. Paddle clear.

Man- made objects can catch the unwary.

What do you suppose connects the posts BELOW THE WATER LINE ?

submerged fence

Look for notices, READ THE ADVICE, HEED THE ADVICE

 Enjoy your canoeing experience.

 

Photos and text by Lin Starke MVB

Canoe Safety 5 So-o-o-o You Are In the Water!

Back to the serious business of paddling to Noreuil

What to expect

All of the team will be moving in to assist you. As discussed at the safety training - try to get hold of your canoe for support. If your canoe is upside down you can put one hand on the keel and feel with the other hand for the hand holds that are at the end of each canoe,this will give you extra control. Take a few moments to assess yourself and your situation, be ready to answer some routine questions

  1. Do I have any injuries?
  2. Are my clothes snagged on anything?
  3. Can I hear instructions clearly?
  4. Is there any undertow?
  5. How strong is it?
  6. Am I dealing with really cold water?
  7. Am I aware of any danger to rescuers?

My suggestions for the team are

  1. The simplest method to get you rescued is to have you hold onto a team member’s canoe , holding on at the back, so your weight is evenly distributed across the canoe, and be towed to shore with an escorting canoe behind or beside you.
  2. An alternative method is to pull you up onto a canoe.
  3. Your situation will govern the choice. While you are in the water you will be quickly surrounded by caring support. You can rely on the team , they are trained to help you. You will hear the leaders giving instructions to the other paddlers.
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