How To Survive A Kayaking Accident
You're kayaking in Irondequoit Bay. You're a casual paddler and the boat you're in is a rental, but it's a calm Sunday afternoon and you're not planning on heading into bigger, deeper water.
A few power boats go by, close and fast enough that you get some confused waves. Your boat starts to rock, you overcorrect, and the next thing you know you're upside down under water.
Don't panic, that's what Dave Holburt says. He's the head kayak instructor at Bay Creek (among other things).
"First thing to remember is to remain calm, it's only water. You're only going to be underwater for a few seconds, and you're going to come right out of your boat."
Holburt says the best safety preparations start well before you get out on the water. Wear a lifejacket that fits properly. Don't drink because it affects your motor skills. Furthermore, Holburt says you should actually practice flipping your boat.
"The biggest key to staying calm is practicing this stuff in a controlled environment so that when it happens in real life, you don't panic."
Holburt recommends taking a class or getting someone to spot you for practice. Last year the US Coast Guard reported 131 kayaking accidents resulting in 58 casualties.