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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


And the story behind the picture, taken by our own Steve Richardson:

Went today for some kayak fishing.
As always, before launching with my yak done some meteo-research. All looked more or less well. Strong winds from west, but went out in much stronger that the ones predicted, so thought that it is not the issue.
As I was launching in the harbour, noticed that waves are not large, wind is inshore, so - it all looked perfect.
Paddle for some time, dropped an anchor tied it to the stern of my yak and started clearing tackle to start fishing.
I didn't notice, that the rather heavy anchor that I use - a brake disc from SUV car, did not lock on the bottom and is just sliding through sand. Did not thought about the strength of the tidal current, and today was one of the biggest tides this year
I was preparing my tackle, when suddenly anchor locked itself on rocks, strong pull on the line and it broke from the mounting on stern, placing me side to the current. Kayak started twisting, I reached for the knife to cut the rope but - wave came and suddenly I was in the water. Just on my way to the water I managed to grasp some air, reach for a fly rod and paddle. And - there I was, in cold water rushing around me with the force of mountain river, current was just pushing me under the yak.
Instantly I realised, that this time I'm propably fighting for life, that it is the serious thing, beyond my (or propably anybody except of proffessional life boat crew man) abilities to handle.
Managged to reverse my yak, which was floating bottom up and then the anchor rope just snapped and as I noticed - I was just drifting away.
Droped a drift anchor, as the wind changed direction and was pushing me with the current to the open ocean.
Noticed guys on the golf field shouting to me, just managged to shout back "HELP".
I was able to place myself alongside of my yak, in propper, energy and heat saving posision. I got my phone, luckily waterproof and dial 112. When I reached the operator I was instantly switched to closest Irish Life Boats unit - just on the oposite shore of the bay. When I reached them I was told that help was on it's way, boat was and a helicopter would be heading in my direction and they can see me, so just to hold on.
The same were the guys on the shore shauting - "hold on, help is on its way!"
Long minutes passed and I started feeling very weak, I guess the stress, adrenaline, a gallon of swallowed sea water and cold were finally kicking in.
Than I've heard the sweetest sound that could be - a closing buzz of powerful outboard motor.
Very soon a RNLI RIB pulled aside. Guys asked me if I'm injured, how long am I in the water and if I'm able to move. No, 20 mins and yes were the answers. First thing I handled them my fly rod.
"Jaysus, you must really love this rod" one of them said and they pulled me to their boat, then my yak followed.
Instantly I was under a very proffesional care, guys were asking me series of questions to establish if I'm allright as I claimed and if I'm in need of any medical help. Luckily - the worst thing was the cold and a finger, that I squeezed a bit with paddle when trying to re-enter my yak.
Then I was transported back to the lauching point, two crew members jumped to the water, got me on my yak and walked me slowly to the shore. They were so nice that they even put and strapped my yak to the roof. It is surprising, how in a cold water muscles stop to respond - I will not be able to do it by myself.

To cut the story short - I owe them my life. Three brave volounteers that dropped everything that they were doing to help a human that they never seen before. The same goes to three golfers that saw what happened and react instantly.
It really feels good to be alive.
 

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Kuba - really glad that you are OK.

I'm not a yacker but I know the sea & fishing in general can catch you out in lots of ways not just when you are afloat.

There are lots of situations just like yours when people get in trouble through no fault of their own and rely on a few of the hundreds of unsung heros around our country like the RNLI, coastguard or any of the emergency services who don't think twice to put them selves at risk to save a total stranger.

Thanks for the post, very well written and I felt like I was there, even though it wasn't your fault I think it to guts to put it on here.
 

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Very lucky indeed. I've had a couple of frightening experiences in my yak and it certainly makes you realise how dangerous the sea can be if you're not prepared. Having helped save someone in big tides this time last year who had pretty much lost all energy and given up it really gave me a reality check. Glad you were able to call for help in time.
 

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Scary stuff Kuba, glad you're ok!

Thanks for posting your experience.

thank f*** for the RNLI.
 

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Scary stuff indeed Kuba, i've heard of so many comming unstuck while anchoring a Yak in tide and current, i never anchor, get a decent drogue and fish on the drift, more fun, catches more fish, and a whole lot safer. Thank God you got out okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Few things to add

-It was my fault. Miscalcultion, strong current and bad weather. After some time I see this clearly.

-Support RNLI/Irish Lifeboats. They are awesome people, but they need funds to run their bussiness of saving people. Annual membership costs less than 8 Black Fiiiish Minnows :D ...
 

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Hey Kuba glad you survived to tell the tale.

Apparently around 150 people drown around the UK coastline every year.

I was in a similar situation to you five years ago on a remote part of our coastline. I was in the water for two hours & was in a worse (hyperthermic) state than you.

Luckily for me my safety equipment, drysuit, pfd etc saved me.
 

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Hi Kuba

It was a rather tense 30mins watching this unfold especially knowing it was you in the yak. Glad it all worked out ok in the end. Hopefully catch up with you again sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are you still around D.?
I plan to visit few spots during the weekend, hope to bump into you :D As chances for fishy photos seems to be higher in your presence :D :D
 

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Glad your ok ! I'm quite new to yaking and not had the bottle to anchor up yet. Your story just confirms that I should stick to drifting ! Thanks for posting, you may of saved me from a similar near death experience .
 

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Thanks for posting Kuba ,glad it turned out well luckily i only use a small anchor with a weak split ring which enables me to pull out also a good float on the main line so i can just chuck it out and drift off .but wont anchor in a run
 

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Hi Kuba. I also had a scare like this about 6 years ago and it taught me a lot. My anchor line got jammed in a cleat & I did not have a knife handy to cut it free. The stong current in a gulley turned my yak upside down in about 20 seconds & left me to pull myself back to the yak with the paddle leash. At least I had one of those ! Here's what I learnt :-

1 only anchor in small to med currents
2 cleat your anchor line in a small dinghie type self jamming cleat that you can easily pull out & throw the line away (with an end float) to pick it up again if you can or at low water
3 never cleat off mid ships, always use a sliding anchor line ring that sets the right angle
4 use a proper small anchor with a line tied to a break clip or some cable ties, that will break free with enough force and then tie the end of the anchor line to the bottom of the anchor, so that when you have broken the clip or ties, the anchor will upend & you can get it out
5 always carry a knife on YOU. I use a divers knife strapped to my leg & also VHF / Cellphone. No good mounting them on the yak if you float away
6 IF IN DOUBT, THROW THE LINE AWAY !! :))

Hope this helps in future !
 

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Glad you are ok sounds very scary indeed.

My personal nightmare was launching a boat into surf and finding my self underneath a 16 ft Orkney when it flipped over ... my mate dragged me out by my feet and to this day I don't know how I didn't even get a scratch or remember how it even happened.
 

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And the story behind the picture, taken by our own Steve Richardson:

Went today for some kayak fishing.
As always, before launching with my yak done some meteo-research. All looked more or less well. Strong winds from west, but went out in much stronger that the ones predicted, so thought that it is not the issue.
As I was launching in the harbour, noticed that waves are not large, wind is inshore, so - it all looked perfect.
Paddle for some time, dropped an anchor tied it to the stern of my yak and started clearing tackle to start fishing.
I didn't notice, that the rather heavy anchor that I use - a brake disc from SUV car, did not lock on the bottom and is just sliding through sand. Did not thought about the strength of the tidal current, and today was one of the biggest tides this year
I was preparing my tackle, when suddenly anchor locked itself on rocks, strong pull on the line and it broke from the mounting on stern, placing me side to the current. Kayak started twisting, I reached for the knife to cut the rope but - wave came and suddenly I was in the water. Just on my way to the water I managed to grasp some air, reach for a fly rod and paddle. And - there I was, in cold water rushing around me with the force of mountain river, current was just pushing me under the yak.
Instantly I realised, that this time I'm propably fighting for life, that it is the serious thing, beyond my (or propably anybody except of proffessional life boat crew man) abilities to handle.
Managged to reverse my yak, which was floating bottom up and then the anchor rope just snapped and as I noticed - I was just drifting away.
Droped a drift anchor, as the wind changed direction and was pushing me with the current to the open ocean.
Noticed guys on the golf field shouting to me, just managged to shout back "HELP".
I was able to place myself alongside of my yak, in propper, energy and heat saving posision. I got my phone, luckily waterproof and dial 112. When I reached the operator I was instantly switched to closest Irish Life Boats unit - just on the oposite shore of the bay. When I reached them I was told that help was on it's way, boat was and a helicopter would be heading in my direction and they can see me, so just to hold on.
The same were the guys on the shore shauting - "hold on, help is on its way!"
Long minutes passed and I started feeling very weak, I guess the stress, adrenaline, a gallon of swallowed sea water and cold were finally kicking in.
Than I've heard the sweetest sound that could be - a closing buzz of powerful outboard motor.
Very soon a RNLI RIB pulled aside. Guys asked me if I'm injured, how long am I in the water and if I'm able to move. No, 20 mins and yes were the answers. First thing I handled them my fly rod.
"Jaysus, you must really love this rod" one of them said and they pulled me to their boat, then my yak followed.
Instantly I was under a very proffesional care, guys were asking me series of questions to establish if I'm allright as I claimed and if I'm in need of any medical help. Luckily - the worst thing was the cold and a finger, that I squeezed a bit with paddle when trying to re-enter my yak.
Then I was transported back to the lauching point, two crew members jumped to the water, got me on my yak and walked me slowly to the shore. They were so nice that they even put and strapped my yak to the roof. It is surprising, how in a cold water muscles stop to respond - I will not be able to do it by myself.

To cut the story short - I owe them my life. Three brave volounteers that dropped everything that they were doing to help a human that they never seen before. The same goes to three golfers that saw what happened and react instantly.
It really feels good to be alive.
So Glad to hear your ok Kuba. Our weather here being so changeable and lets face it, challenging, means we kayakers in particular have to be very careful. Anchoring is another dodgy factor to dial in and an anchor trolly and quick release system is a must. What type of Kayak were you riding on the day? I am pretty conservative on what days I will jump in my kayak. We cant always get on shore winds and the chop can appear at short notice, but experience is key to uneventful fishing. I think its always best to go out with somebody, but I am often doomed to solo session where I am in the far corner of the SW. I echo the dry suit, PFD and body knife, as all must haves in Irish waters. I am a huge supporter of the RNLI and as "sit on" and kayak fishing becomes more popular we need to put safety top of the agenda for all our sakes.

Good luck in future and good to hear your story as it serves to remind us all of the many dangers.
 
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