A small but very enthusiastic group of Celia, Steve and his son Sam, Jim and John (auld yin), met up with Stuart and Neil for a Rescue Clinic at Castle Semple.
The weather was overcast but not cold (neither was the water) and the wind was OK. It was however a bit of a nuisance in that whatever you began in the corner of the wee bay just off the car park, ended up some distance down towards the Centre/Toilets/Cafe. We spent about 20% of our time paddling back up to the wee bay.
Stuart ran over the basics for the day and got us on the water around 10.30. After a brief warm up, we did some towing in which everyone, by passing around tow lines, has a go. A good start. We moved on to Deep Sea Rescues and Coach volunteered me to fall over and get rescued by Celia. After that we paired off. Celia was delighted to whizz back into her boat using the Leg Hook technique. She then tried the Back Deck Swim Up and, after a bit of humphing and gasping, she made that one too but admitted that it had taken a lot more out of her than the Leg Hook. The best method, for sure, is the one that works for you, but its always good to know there are alternatives.
I believe the others all got on fine too; that Stuart must be a good coach – they were making it look too easy.
We also covered Contact Towing, with the injured/fatigued paddler lying across either the front or rear deck of the rescuer’s boat and also the use of a quick grab-&-tow bungy to link the boats and get swiftly away from (for example) being dashed on the rocks.
Next up was the Unconscious Paddler – finally Stuart got wet and, after some humphing and gasping of my own, I dragged his limp body upright (you been at the sausage rolls again Stuart?). Jim proved very adept at Unconscious Paddler as he hauled Stuart up so hard he almost rolled him 360. After about two and a half hours on the water, we adjourned to the cafe (where the wind had wanted us to go all along) for a bit of cake, a cuppa and a good gab. We couldn’t help but notice, as we strolled along to the cafe, that the wind had dropped off and the sun had come out – typical!