Canoe self-rescue

I don’t want to hijack the canoe w/sponson tread. But I do want to know…

How DO you get back into a capsized canoe?

I’m a kayaker who occasionally canoe for the change of pace. (There’re also just way more places I can rent canoe for a day on a fly away vacation than to rent a kayak)

Here are a couple of archived threads
Good place to start. This topic comes up from time to time.

There have been others as well.

Oh man, this is going to be…
a good thread.

The best I have ever been able to do is pull it back to shore.

“Bald Paddler” and “Canunut” can turn theirs over, get under it while treading water, push it up in the air and flip it over and then one climb in while the other balances from the opposite side and then the other climb in or something like that.

Others claim which I find hard to believe that they can get in a rock most of the water out.

I won a ten dollar bet from a guy who claimed he learned in the boy scouts how to right and get the water out of my Old Town Disco (in water over his head) and then paddle it away.

He must have tried for a half an hour before he gave up and said he forgot the method!



Here’s how I did it but,
you have to have the canoe outfitted ahead of time. I use two large floatation billets, tethered to the thwarts fore and aft. With the canoe capsized and full of water, swim underneath and rock the canoe enough to break the vacuum. Then, forcefully flip the boat over with one arm, using the other arm as a hinge, hand just above the waterline. This will leave the canoe upright and mostly empty of water.

Next, pull out the two large floatation billets out on the same side of the canoe. Quickly run a stirrup from the opposite side. Use the buoyancy of the billets against the force on the stirrup to counter balance your body weight.

It took a few tries to get the tying right. It even worked in moving water, about 4 MPH. Once you commit you body weight to the stirrup, you must make one complete motion back into the boat.

This was fun to do but it became too much to carry and mess with. It took up most of the room in the canoe and it weighed 85 pounds.

the Red Cross Canoeing Handbook

– Last Updated: Nov-07-05 2:48 PM EST –

and the Boy Scout Canoeing merit badge handbook have techniques. one i like (because i have a strong frog kick)is to go to the stern of the flooded canoe and sink it (hopefully it has some flotation in the ends)slightly till the gunwale submerges, then do a vigorous scissors or frog kick and shove the canoe forward. some water will flow out. repeat this until most of the water is out. then swim to the side of the boat between the center thwart and the rear thwart. put both hands on the gunnel and kick your feet up near the surface. you should be floating on your stomach with your hands about shoulder width aparton the gunwale, facing the side of the canoe with your feet near the surface. now do a vigorous frog kick or two while pulling your body across the gunwale/pulling the gunwale under you. slide over the gunwale and into the bottom of the canoe. then bail what water is left. fun! you do need some strength and agility to do it.

yes they do
… and some months ago Mike McCrea posted some of their more “helpful” tips and techniques. I only wish I could find the link in the archives. That post had my sides sore.

Here’s another archived thread
This one contains a technique that I have used. But, you must have the right boat, enough supplemental flotation and plenty of practice.

half an hour?
I tryed with a 14’ solo for an hour, I can not do it.

Depends on the boat
if you have a light comp cruiser or stock boat you can tread water, while wearing your pfd and hold the boat over your head to empty it. flip it over and one holds it while th eother gets in. The one who is in then sculls and hold the boat steady for the next guy. It is really easy after you have spent hours and hours practicing it. We were forced to learned since we paddle Lake Norman and swimming to shore is not really feasible. Oh yeah once you are both in you drop your siphon bailers and paddle like h*ll. It is a great technique if:

you are wearing your pfd

you have a light boat( 20-30 lbs) and

you practice till the inside of your thighs and black and blue and bloody.

Th epay back is you can still have a great time in a race if you dump.

Now before you say it won’t work in real life, Canunut and I were often swamped out in waves at least a foot high. In bad conditions we might get in and get bumped out 2- 3 times before we were able to get moving, but we could do it.

saw it
At c1 race in canton ny saw a canoer tip at start and maybe took him 20 seconds to roll the canoe back up and it had not much water in it so he paddled it away in pursuit of leaders and must have reied on bailer. Wow it was neat to watch.

It’s not fun
With any luck the canoe isn’t fully swamped. Grab a thwart or two and pull yourself along and in. Not up and over. Don’t touch the gunwhales.