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Keeping tabs on others

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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rjmonta

Since 01 Aug 2014
29 Posts

 



PostTue Jul 17, 18 6:33 am    Keeping tabs on others Reply with quote

Yesterday one of our group had a kitemare which ended up with lines being cut and a rescue (thank you) of our friend by dragging her to the Washington side out the way of a barge. She had to hitch a ride back to the event site and her kite ended up on the sandbar (also another thank you)
We are all intermediate kiters -some more skilled than others and we try to make sure that we are accounted for when we leave that water.
Is that a strategy that anyone uses for keeping track of your group on the water other than just trying to find the kites being used? This gets a bit tricky with all the kites. I quickly loose site of the others.

Thanks again to the kiters that helped her out - you helped a fellow kiter out of a difficult situation.

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
343 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostTue Jul 17, 18 9:13 am     Reply with quote

I feel it is best to keep tabs on those around you, whether you know them or not.

Last week at Ft. Stevens, I had gone back to the beach to get some water, and saw a guy down in the break washing by. He was down for a long time but was still in the crowd. The longshore current actually took him past the south end of Lot B. Since all of his fellow Hood River Rats were staying upwind of that, he soon was alone still in the break, washing down wind. I saw everybody just abandon this guy and I was absolutely disgusted with the collective attitude of the HRR's.

So I launched, went downwind, and kept tabs on this guy in case he signaled for help or got munched by something swimming in the water with him. He was having some serious issues with the kite yanking him around and releasing on occasion. He finally got close to shore and started to walk in. I offered to land him, but he refused. He gave a self landing a few attempts and could not get the kite down. I offered again, and he took me up on it this time.

I talked to him and he seemed a little slow. He said he was not doing a downwinder. Turns out it was my observational skills that were a little slow. When I looked back to see him reconnecting his lines, I went back to tell him to walk up the beach because I was not going to chase him further downwind than that. He agreed and that is when I realized he was wearing shorts! Yep, so it was me that was slow in not noticing his attire. For the amount of time he was down in the break, he had to be hypothermic by then - hence me thinking he was a few shy of a dozen. He took some of my advice for the 3/4mile walk back up to the north end of Lot B, but did not listen to me when I said to deflate his kite. Half way up, he figured that one out.

In all honesty, I would have probably have been putting my life in danger helping this guy, even if he was not hypothermic - considering his decision to go out without an adequate wetsuit for the water temps. There is a good chance that his inability to make a wise decision could have endangered me also. But I did not know it at the time I was rendering aid. Still, I could have been in the position to save his life and that would have been worth it. And given no one on the water (remember I was on the beach with my kite down, taking a break) would help him, help did come in the form of someone looking out for someone they did not know.

Should you have members in your group that need special attention, then you need to stick around them and limit your tricks and range so that you stay close and ready to render assistance. But keep tabs on ALL the kiters on the water. Observe them for skill level, whether they are overpowered or underpowered, and keep an eye on them when they have issues. Don't limit your attention to just those in your group.

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sleestack

Since 07 Dec 2006
169 Posts
Land of the Lost
Stoked



PostTue Jul 17, 18 9:43 am     Reply with quote

[quote="Matt V"]

his fellow Hood River Rats were staying upwind of that, he soon was alone still in the break, washing down wind. I saw everybody just abandon this guy and I was absolutely disgusted with the collective attitude of the HRR's.
[/quote] Arrow

Yes, the HRR's like to "CUDDLE HUDDLE", and don't stray out of the pack; kind of like a swarming bees . Not so great when they encroach on the wave break you have chosen to adhere to and shred upon.

They were about as thick as they come this past Wed and Thurs at Lot B with the 100 degree temps in the gorge and no wind.

Yep, good advice above. Keep an eye on all around you and dress for the swim/water temps not the air temps.

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D-Krep It Kiter

Since 18 Jul 2011
417 Posts

Obsessed



PostTue Jul 17, 18 9:55 am     Reply with quote

You can go to Petsmart and get plastic dog tags made up with everyone's phone number. Won't help keep track of each other on the water, but it can be very useful if someone has to pull out unexpectedly, especially now that we use smart phones and don't have to remember our friends phone numbers any more.

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
228 Posts

Stoked



PostTue Jul 17, 18 10:20 am     Reply with quote

I can't imagine someone kiting in shorts at Lot B. That's just insane.

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sleestack

Since 07 Dec 2006
169 Posts
Land of the Lost
Stoked



PostTue Jul 17, 18 10:35 am     Reply with quote

[quote="Slappysan"]I can't imagine someone kiting in shorts at Lot B. That's just insane.[/quote]

I've seen it done before, but on a very sunny and hot SW day at the coast were the waters are much warmer. Actually I take that back. I've seen many HHR's were a top with shorts before on a N/NW wind day up at Lot B when the waters are a lot cooler.

Usually if you see someone wearing something that looks like shorts, they are probably wearing a wetsuit with legs cutoff at the knees and either short or long sleeve tops and boardshorts over the wetsuit (probably a 3/2 or 4/3).

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
343 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostTue Jul 17, 18 11:31 am     Reply with quote

sleestack wrote:

Yes, the HRR's like to "CUDDLE HUDDLE", and don't stray out of the pack; kind of like a swarming bees .


More like a school of fish. One turns, they all turn, then another turns, and they all change directions. Not really in unison, but just watching one will give you the gist of what is going on around you. There is no real leader, and they can be herded, just watch out for the injured ones as they can really mess up the lineup when they are abandoned by the healthy ones in the school.

I actually find it fun going through the swarm, seeing if I can get one or two to match my direction, or follow me up into a worthless section of the break. Kind of mean, but I guess I am not all good.

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sleestack

Since 07 Dec 2006
169 Posts
Land of the Lost
Stoked



PostTue Jul 17, 18 12:13 pm     Reply with quote

[quote="ldhr"]

Sleestack - me and my HR hommies were cuddled up by the Jetty (all 3 of us). You're welcome to share waves with us anytime. Bur first - check your attitude at the park entrance.....[/quote]



idhr:

My attitude is great. The cuddle huddle is a long-term observation and labeling of the packs from the gorge when they come ride lot B and do rides down to the wreck and or beyond. Do a search on this forum and you'll see it. The term was created at least 10 years ago on this form. And like anything it applies to the masses, but not all.


My only critique of the huddles is to spread out a bit more and breathe.


Yes, riding up by the jetty was very nice. I opted to pass on downwinders and just point-sail from lot b up to the jetty and back repeatedly.


It was very high quality wind (stronger for lot B) and nice sized swell. Glad everyone scored.

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stevegriffith22

Since 14 May 2006
412 Posts

Obsessed



PostTue Jul 17, 18 4:59 pm     Reply with quote

I cant speak for HR, but I know at Rufus it has been my experience that when someone is down for a abnormal amount of time or doesn't look like they are able to get to there board fellow kiters start swarming the down kiter and one usually goes for the car. Pretty cool group of people! Watch your friends, it may save there life.

Keep on keepin on homies!

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kassak

Since 18 May 2010
87 Posts

 



PostTue Jul 17, 18 11:03 pm     Reply with quote

To the OP ideal state is everyone looks out for everyone but if there is some concern for more tangible plan the buddy system was invented for a reason.

I’m a RI transplant to pdx and I’m always surprised at the skill level of many visitors to hood river.

I tend to stay pretty alert, constantly paying attentions and learned a long time ago that situational awareness is not active in many folks when on the water. I don’t think it’s some conscious effort to be aloof it’s just what happens when nothing in life requires using any similar skills and you loose the instincts.

I’ll keep it short but many years ago back in RI I was Kiting and saw a windsurfer down in the water. I pulled up to help and she was not doing great having put her head through the sail and experiencing some distal extremity numbness from a cervical cord injury. I ditched my gear cause it wasn’t gonna help. I log rolled her onto her sail board and kept her C spine stable. I yelled at 5 or sonwindsurfer who came by and none really seemed to hear me or be able to process subconsciously that two people floating around in the middle of the water on a single windsurfer was peculiar. The one guy who stopped was an intermediate windsurfer and wanted to help, at this point we needed harbor master to rescue her with backboard. He wasn’t capable of making it back to the launch.

After about 45 minutes a boat came up to use who had been looking for the person who should have been attached to the loose kite that he found tumbling it’s wat to the east. He happened to be a kiter and realized the signifance of the kiterless kite.

Sometimes it can be stressful to be aware but that usually happens with people whose skill sets I know and don’t have great confidence in. I have a friend that can’t swim. I find it very stressful to be on the water with him. I’m pretty convinced he’s highly likely if in trouble to drown his rescuer.

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
343 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostWed Jul 18, 18 9:40 am     Reply with quote

kassak wrote:
I have a friend that can’t swim. I find it very stressful to be on the water with him. I’m pretty convinced he’s highly likely if in trouble to drown his rescuer.


Can you clarify this???? Are we out there kiting with a kiter who cannot swim???? I did not know that this was possible.

We need to know this as a kite community.

Please let us know:
1. Are they a kiter?
2. Do they wear a lifejacket while kiting?
3. What kind of kites (and color) do they fly?
4. Location where they kite?
5. Physical description of them?

And if they are a kiter, take some time out and help them out with swimming skills at the local pool or even in the bay at the event site. They NEED to at least know how to float on their back, and tread water - at a bare minimum.

I do the coast mostly but I would be willing to work with them at a local pool here if you cannot.

No one should be on the water regularly without basic swimming skills and some confidence in the water. If a person does not meet that criteria, they should wear a lifejacket at all times NEAR the water (on a dock, or on large boat).

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4747 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostWed Jul 18, 18 12:12 pm     Reply with quote

ive seen em



good save Kassak


   boogeyman-11.jpg 

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Ho-Toe

Since 30 Apr 2014
136 Posts
thread-killer; non sequitur specialist
Upwelling Specialist



PostWed Jul 18, 18 5:34 pm    1st rule Reply with quote

First rule of rescuing anybody from any situation: don’t endanger yourself!

If you are rescuing a kiter, you should assume that they can’t swim (no need to out kassak’s landlubber buddy on a public forum) and not get too hung up about the reason (injury, tangled in lines, never learned, etc.). Assume that the victim is going to panic. Assume that the victim is going to perseverate about their gear over their own wellbeing. Assume that the victim is going to try to climb right up you and out of the water, nearly drowning you in the process.

There are good classes & training avaiable out there for those who would like to be able to render assistance. Perhaps the most easily-attainable (for certified scuba divers anyway) is a rescue diving course. Take it!

And, I’d like to echo those above who mentioned situational awareness. So important, and so lacking in so many people...

Have fun & be safe!

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
343 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostWed Jul 18, 18 8:14 pm    Re: 1st rule Reply with quote

Ho-Toe wrote:

If you are rescuing a kiter, you should assume that they can’t swim (no need to out kassak’s landlubber buddy on a public forum)


Out him??? No! My goal is to try to save the guy's life by offering some free swimming lessons and letting him know that he is endangering himself. I understand that this guy is likely not playing with a full deck, but that is not going to make me look the other way and hope for the best. The "differently abled" among us, like this guy, definitely deserve special attention from fellow kiters.

But if you want some valid reasons to actually "out" the guy, here you go:

- If he has an incident requiring rescue by authorities, damn sure that incident would be cited as a reason to regulate (and educate) this type of activity for all participants. THINK LICENSE TO OPERATE A WIND POWERED CRAFT!.
- If he hurts or causes injury to a would be rescuer, his lack of swimming skills would be definitely be noted in the news story as negligence existing in the kite community.
- If he requires search and rescue resources while someone else has a legitimate emergency, this guy could get someone else killed when resources are being devoted to him because of his negligence.

Also, I would love to know how this guy learned to kite. On his own??? Without swimming skills??? I thought any certified instructor is required (rules and common sense liability) to verify swimming skills. This is a prerequisite to kite lessons. If an instructor or even friend assisted in the development of partial kiting skills (less swimming), they are culpable for any incident or this guy's death.


And G-man, here is a picture of a cat. Don't know how this helps, but I am following your lead on this one.


   pexels-photo-257532.jpg 

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kassak

Since 18 May 2010
87 Posts

 



PostThu Jul 19, 18 6:25 am    The swimless one Reply with quote

Fwiw my terrestrial friend lives now, and always has,in a distant land and has never and probably will never visit this area. He started Kiting long ago in the pre organized lesson era. He wears a life vest to ward off evil spirits.

I only found out he couldn’t swim when we were on a kite trip and on a no wind day and I invited on a swim with me. He showed up with a life jacket on...I made the same offer to teach him...

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
343 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostThu Jul 19, 18 8:46 am    Re: The swimless one Reply with quote

kassak wrote:
.....I invited on a swim with me. He showed up with a life jacket on...I made the same offer to teach him...


You are a good friend. And he does not seem as differently abled as I thought - at least he is smart enough to wear a life jacket.

There is an old saying - "You can't stop stupid."

I would amend that to say "Those with a conscience, will try to stop stupid".


Still, taking the time to learn to kite, but not taking the time to learn to swim??? Gotta be a psychological issue.

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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast All times are GMT - 8 Hours
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