Blaming the Victims
The following article by Moulton Avery was originally published in Paddler-ezine, and is shared by permission. Featured photo by John Boyer from FreeImages.
Picture a mother struggling to bear an incomprehensible loss. Her husband and children are dead - victims of a kayaking accident that left her as the sole survivor. Who would be heartless enough to look her in the eye and tell her how stupid, how irresponsible, how reckless they were to go kayaking on that day, at that location, in those conditions.
Yet that’s precisely what many paddlers do on the internet in the aftermath of a tragedy, thoughtlessly hurling Darwin Awards in language that’s both insulting and gratuitously cruel. Is that the kind of culture we want to embrace in paddlesports – one that leaps to shaming and blaming fellow paddlers who are the victims of some unspeakable tragedy? Is that the kind of people we are? And if not, why do so many of us tolerate that sort of behaviour?
Feature photo by The Marksman on Unsplash.
For every unmanned kayak reported, the Coast Guard must assume that a person is missing and in distress, and that requires a full-scale search and rescue effort involving Coast Guard personnel, vessels and aircraft.
The Coast Guard estimates a team on the water costs $113,000 per hour.
It’s May. Do you know what the water temperature is?
Portland Harbor, Maine averages: May 1-15 = 47ºF / May 16-31 = 51ºF
Every Spring, warming air entices many people to go out in small boats when the water temperature is still deadly cold. 50ºF water doesn't sound particularly cold or dangerous if you mentally compare it to 50ºF air.
Contact Tows are standard safety gear at MIKCo.
A contact tow is a short tow line set up to perform a wide variety of functions. It is attached to the deck
lines in front of your cockpit, where it can be easily reached. It should connect quickly and simply with wide gate stainless steel carabiners. Being able to vary the length of the contact tow line allows you to tow different length boats. As with all towing systems, some method of quick release is essential. A contact tow can be used to tow short distances; it can also be used to bring a boat to a swimmer, which is easier than towing a swimmer to their boat.