Used my rescue Knife Saturday

Advise: Wear a rescue knife when paddling.

We had a boat pinned against a tree that had fallen into the river. We needed the throw rope that was strapped into the boat to pull the boat off.

I was able to stand on the tree and reach the rope but the strap was tangled and not easily released.

This was all about 200 yards before the start of a class IV gorge and I REALLY didn’t want to be swimming.

My gerber river shorty that has been riding patiently on my vest for more than 10 years made quick work of the strap. The boat was recovered and no class IV swimming was required. Whew!

For those who are wondering: The boat had been loose for several miles before it was stopped. No one was swimming near the tree or the gorge. No I don’t have the skills or the stones to paddle Gilsum Gorge at any level. We took out well above.


Ahh, the one we all live for, congrats!

good save, Tommy
I like sharing a river with guys like you.

Preparation… Ya just never know… Way ta go Tommy…

Sorta like bow tie downs on boats on
the rack.

Used mine Saturday, too.
Less urgent situations, but I had the same thought…“hey, that’s why it’s here.”

Trying to pull a 5 gallon water-cooler bottle out of the river. It was upside down and mostly filled with water. I couldn’t get a grip on it and it was heavy to lift…needed a hole to release siphon so the bottle could drain. What I needed was a …“hey, what’s this thing on the PFD?” Second time to pucture sidewall of a water filled tire/wheel assembly.

Gerber shorty, same knife.

Ya, it was river clean-up day in Maryland.

I used mine lots of times down in the
Keys this year and other years, but mostly for cutting up all the nasty monofilament that the fishermen leave tangled up all over the place.

I don’t wear it on a vest since I don’t wear a vest lots of times, but I usually keep it teathered to the deck.



Some of the controversy about
knife safety is related to vest-mounted knives, which in creeky whitewater can get snagged or poke the bearer. I think a deck mounted knife makes as much sense.

Deck mounted knife?
This is the first I’ve heard of mounting a knife on the deck of a kayak…whats your setup for that?

that’s simplistic thinking
There are plenty of knives on the market that are made to minimize this possibility. Your other objections in the previous thread revolved around use, not the knife itself. The truth is that a knife can be kept on one’s person with a minimum of danger and displacement. Personally I find it silly to make up reasons not to carry one, but that’s only my opinion.

Mine is teathered to a bungee and

– Last Updated: Apr-07-09 1:44 PM EST –

simply kept under a bungee.

Keep in mind that this is a sea kayak, not a white water boat.
My knife is a West Marine and is an awesome one which they have replaced for me each time a bit of rust showes up on it.


Minimum of danger? Maybe for
folding knives, but I’ve heard of incidents with Gerber Shorty and other open knives.

I think the need for a knife might be related to carelessness and low intelligence.

Deck Mounted knife? Nope
My deck was the far side of the river when I wanted the knife Saturday.

I’d hate like he11 to be tangled in someone’s rope wishing my deck mounted knife was near.

I like having tools close at hand.

Yeah I know, only stupid people need tools. Smart folk hire out that sort of thing.



Knife on the boat sounds like a really bad idea. If you get separated from the boat during a failed rescue with lines in the water, it’ll be a bad time to find your knife strapped to your boat.

Bill H.

makes a good little knife called a “Chive” It’s got a strong pocket (PFD strap)clip, lanyard hole, and lock for the blade to prevent accidental openings. Also uses their “assisted opening” feature where the blade snaps open by pressing on the back of the blade. It comes in stainless steel and Kershaw stands behind their knives with a good warrantee. I have the Chive and it’s bigger brother the “Leek” and wouldn’t be without them. MADE IN USA!

another made-up reason
For me it comes down to a pretty simple equation, g2d. It’s another tool in the shed. It takes up no room.

Again, if you need guidance or supervision when carrying a knife, you probably aren’t the type of person who should carry one. But many of us don’t need that guidance.

oh g2…
You have such a way with words…

rescue knife
Got a Gerber Shorty - want one of the new NRS ones.

Used it once to cut a kayak anchor line in current. Made the investment worthwhile.

Which ones take up no room?
I agree that folding knives are easy to carry, but I never believed I could get one out and open in a situation where I needed it. Maybe I need more guidance on this.

I have purchased straight “river” knives, and made one of my own. I have probably the longest torso on this board, but I never found a way of lashing or tabbing a knife on my chest, or any other very reachable location on my person, where it wasn’t taking up space, impeding certain ww paddling motions, or posing an obvious risk to snagging in creekside thickets. Gerber River Shorty is good, but not really good enough. It makes me chuckle that some people will never clip a carabiner on their person, but cheerfully carry a river knife on their chest.

So, what I’m saying is that there is not, at present, a completely trouble-free way to wear a knife for instant use in entrapment. And, because in 36 years of whitewater paddling, I have never needed immediate access to a knife, and have seen very few accounts by those who HAVE needed such access, I don’t find a compelling case for carrying an instantly accessible knife. Your mileage may vary. Or, you may have some data that goes beyond isolated anecdotes.

I’ll take a look at it. Might have seen
one in a store recently.