Part 1: Emptying the Kayak during the Kayak T-RescueEvery kayaker should know how to get back into their kayak in the event that they become separated from their boat. The T-Rescue is one of the easiest methods for doing so, providing the kayaker is not paddling alone. The following steps should be practiced by two or more kayakers in shallow water prior to going out on any kind of unprotected water kayaking trip.
Flip Over and Wet-Exit the KayakOf course, this is the cause of needing to do the T-Rescue in the first place. For the sake of practicing this maneuver, go ahead and safely flip over in your kayak. Knowing how to get out of the kayak while upside down is a prerequisite to practicing this technique. Be sure to safely wet-exit your kayak.
Flip the Kayak Back OverDepending on the type of kayak, this could be difficult or it could be easy. Kayaks with secure bulkhead compartments will generally be easier to flip back over. Go to the bow of the kayak and spin the kayak to flip it right-side up. If you need help, ask the spotter, still in his or her own kayak, to aid in flipping the kayak back over. Once the kayak is right-side up it will be full of a lot of water.
Pass the Kayak Over to the SpotterIf you are not near the person who is going to help you with this rescue begin swimming with your boat to that person. The kayaker who is upright should already be paddling over to you also. Once the kayak is being in the control of the upright kayaker, the person in the water should grab onto the bow loop of the upright kayak and stay out of the way.
The Kayak T-Rescue: Pull the Kayak Up Onto the DeckThe rescuer at this point should pull the submerged kayak up onto their kayak deck by the bow. This might be difficult, but the idea is to get the kayak across your lap and the deck of your boat as high up as you can. This is where the name of this maneuver comes from, as the two kayaks will form a “T.”
Tip the Kayak OverWith the submerged kayak as high up on the rescuer kayak’s deck as it can be, the rescuer should then begin to tip the kayak over. If there is a lot of water still in the kayak it will be difficult to tip it completely over at first. Just begin to let the water drain out and flip it all the way over as it becomes lighter.
Flip the Kayak Back UprightRock the kayak back and forth, attempting to get as much water out as you can. Then flip the kayak back upright.
Position the KayakFinally, you want to position the kayak in the easiest position for the person to reenter the boat. Bring the kayak parallel to your own kayak with the stern of the empty kayak next to the bow of your own kayak. Basically, the kayak will be facing the opposite direction from the kayak that the person helping is in.
Now the kayak is ready for the person to attempt to reenter the kayak.
What You Need
- 2 Kayakers
- 2 Kayaks
- 2 PFDs
- 2 Paddles
- Bilge Pump
- Paddle Float (just in case)