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Helping a swimmer

Learning how to help swimmers is an important part of kayaking responsibly.

While it's not necessarily required in order for you to go kayaking to begin with, it is probably a good idea to have some experience helping out swimmers as a kayaker. This is due to the fact that when you're out at sea, you're never sure who you might come across. Also, if you are on a lake or river and you come across an injured, tired, or unconscious swimmer, the last thing you want is to find yourself unable to help out this person.

There are several different important techniques that you can learn in order to figure out what you need to do to help a swimmer. Once you've learned these different techniques, you can feel comfortable that there's a good chance you'll be able to help the person you see who is in need of help.

One way of helping a swimmer is the bow carry. This technique involves actually helping the swimmer get back to shore. Considering that you are in a boat, the chances are good that you'll be able to get the swimmer to shore much more quickly than they would be able to swim back on their own. This can definitely save the lives of swimmers.

The bow carry and the stern carry basically entail the swimmer getting up onto your kayak and holding on while you paddle back to shore. As you might imagine, this is not always the easiest technique to use. However, it is indispensable and has definitely saved lives in the past.

If you're worried about whether or not you'll be able to do the bow or stern carry in an important situation, then the first thing you should do is practice. In a pool, you should work on helping a swimmer onto your kayak, helping a swimmer onto their own kayak, and towing a kayak. You should also learn how to pull yourself onto a kayak just in case you are the person who needs to be saved some day.

The best way to learn these techniques is just to practice them. Of course, if you're worried about being able to do the technique correctly from the beginning, then you might want to look into taking a kayaking class which will help you to learn and practice these and other techniques.


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