Always opt for the least dangerous rescue technique when you’re rescuing another paddler. The following rescue options are progressively more dangerous to the rescuer and should be practiced in a controlled area before being performed:
1) Reach (This is the safest option):
- First, get the capsized paddler’s attention using your voice, a whistle or another sound signaling device.
- Then, reach a hand or paddle towards the capsized paddler and pull them to safety.
- If the capsized paddler is too far away from you to use the ‘reach’ technique, you should throw them a rope with a flotation aid that they can grab onto.
- Once the capsized paddler has grasped the end of the rope, pull them to safety.
- If the capsized paddler cannot be reached using the ‘reach’ or ‘throw’ techniques, you should attempt to paddle out to them.
- Paddle just close enough so that the capsized paddler can be pulled to safety using the ‘reach’ or ‘throw’ techniques.
- The ‘go’ option should be your very LAST option—it places the rescuer in a very dangerous position.
- To perform this rescue technique, swim to the aid of the capsized paddler while bystanders call for help.
- This technique should only be performed by trained rescuers and as a last resort.