Scoop rescue thoughts

I was looking ahead towards a rescue day at our local lake that is coming up and did a YouTube search on Scoop rescues as I haven’t done much with them in the past. I came across two versions that differ in the placement of the “wet” paddler. One with the wet one face down (face on the back deck) - Master the Sea Kayak Scoop Rescue for Injured Paddlers | Adventure Kayak | Rapid Media - YouTube , and one with the wet one in the seat (relatively normal position) Scoop Sea Kayak Assisted Rescue | Skills | Adventure Kayak | Rapid Media - YouTube. I found the face down one interesting as that seemed to be different than what I’ve seen demonstrated before. Talked this over with another paddler at a Monday Night session and and today we went back to the lake and tried out the face down scoop rescue.

Set up: Inland lake, calm with minimum boat traffic, temps in low 70s. Both paddlers male, reasonably fit and around 70. Dry paddler ~5’ 8" 180 lb (guess) with good skills and experience in a CD Caribou. Wet paddler 5’ 8" 160 lb (known) with moderate skills and experience in a Delphin 150.

Results: I had some difficulty getting my hips past the thigh braces in the Delphin and, at first, didn’t get me feet fully to the front bulkhead. Partner wasn’t able to rotate me and the kayak in that position. Once I did manage to worm my way fully in the rotation was successful and not too difficult. We did not try the seated version on the scoop rescue.

Questions: Have you worked with either or both of these versions? If so what are your experiences and thoughts. Did you find one version better or just different than the other? Have you been involved in using one of these versions when needed (and not in a training session)? If so, in what conditions and how did it go.


(Oh, I did read through the 2007 comment thread that the software here suggested.)

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I can’t remember if I’ve tried getting a paddler in face down. Now that I think about it, it seems like it’s been too long since I’ve played around with it. I can remember using it for real for a larger person where a paddler wasn’t able to climb onto the kayak nor heal-hook in. I remember the key being tipping the kayak sideways, and pushing it down to flood the cockpit to get it lower into the water. Then making sure their butt is fully against the seat makes a big difference. I’ve mostly practiced this with the person being rescued doing their best to mimic unconscious dead weight, which is hard for that person to really do.
I can imagine where a conscious paddler could end up fighting your best efforts, trying to bring their head and shoulders up and in the process extending them as far from the boat as possible while you’re trying to rotate it into an upright position. This would probably be more true in real scenarios where the swimmer might be less than perfectly calm and collected. I can see where getting that person as far into the cockpit as possible, and then having them hug the back deck tightly, could potentially make the whole process more possible.
Flooding the cockpit and having the person facing down introduce complications once the person is upright in their boat. But I recall the important thing to remember is that this is a last resort effort to get someone back into their boat. If I can’t get them into an empty boat, can I get them back into a flooded boat and work from there? If I can’t get them upright in a seated position, can I get them upright on their belly and then work from there?
Now I’m interested to try both and experience what challenges each presents.

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I have never tried to use the face down method but have used the method with the casualty in the normal sitting position twice. 18 months ago we had a paddler dislocated their shoulder when they capsized. Using the Scoop rescue with the casualty sitting in the normal position was quick and efficient and ensured that the paddler was in the minimum amount of pain.
They were then towed ashore, placed in a car and at the local hospital within 45 minutes.
It was so effective that we have practiced it regularly on Club sessions, ensuring that the majority of paddlers are able to perform fast and effective Scoop rescues.
Well worth experimenting with.

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Tried this scoop version again this evening but reversing the kayak & paddler. In the first case the rescuer struggled to rotate me in a Delphin. This evening he went over in his Caribou S and I performed the rescue. It did take some effort pushing down on his hull but it wasn’t too bad. Hull shape may make a difference.