Long Island rescue

Terrible inlet even for boats.

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Wow. Lucky paddler. I’m surprised the advice was to wear a wet suit rather than a dry suit.

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Glad they got him in time. Not the first rescue that ever had to happen because of ignorance of tidal behavior.

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The weather, surf, tide and current tables are available easy enough on the internet. That inlet gets a max ebb of close to 3 knots. Ebb against sea swell in an inlet is the worst. If one is not aware of that, it’s not much different than going over a waterfall because you didn’t know it was there and didn’t bother to check.

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Many inlets for larger bodies of water can have really vicious tide races at peak flow. A countervailing wind can make things much worse, like whitewater with 3’+ standing waves. I’ve seen small power boats capsize in the Indian River Inlet near Ocean City, MD.

Some inlets are safe to traverse only near slack tide unless you have sufficient skills and some can’t be paddled against at peak flow.

Over estimate your abilities and under estimate the conditions.

An impressive rescue by the various FD on LI who’ve joined together to make up for the USCG not being staffed for winter rescues.

A couple of interesting points near the end of the article:

The rescue boat couldn’t see the kayaker due to the waves - they were directed by the spotter in the helicopter. Wave height matters.

The spotter in the helicopter couldn’t see the paddler since he was dressed in all black - he spotted his brightly-colored kayak 30 yards away. Bright clothes matter too.


Orange stripe on paddle blades would help. Winter or summer I wear kokatat red/orange hat for visibility.

Was he wearing a black pfd, or none at all?

Think they said he had PFD on.

And I rather doubt it was black. Were they suggesting people wear bright clothing OVER their wetsuit? I don’t wear one much so I don’t know how common that practice is. But my FJ is blue.

Why do you doubt that? All or nearly all of the pfd manufacturers make them in black. Not that it’s a bright idea but they look common enough.

I guess because the profound stupidity of buying and wearing a black one (esp over a black wetsuit) never even dawned on me. I guess I’m the stupid one then. :smiley:

Although I do see surfers all in black.

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Gotta look good for your public!

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Hey, black is slimming after all…

To each their own. Not my choice for sure. I want to be seen even if I’m still in my kayak paddling. I’d never buy a black kayak either.

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