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Thread: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

  1. #1
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    Default Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Two local men went paddling on Long Island Sound last evening. Flat calm, though current would be stiff this close to the moon.

    At 9 pm, relatives reported them overdue.

    This morning both bodies were discovered. Both wore lifejackets, which wasn't enough because of cold water.

    One man was 60; the other 36.

    Water temp: 55F/ 12C

    They may have died rather quickly of cold shock induced heart attack. Or, they may have lasted an hour or more before succumbing. We don't yet know. In either event, had they a radio or beacon clipped to their lifejackets, they would have had a better survival chance.

    We also don' know what they were wearing, but wool pants, wool shirt and a wool cap will retain body heat even when wet.

    Expected Survival Times In Cold Water

    Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 11.31.25 AM.jpg

    https://brooklyn.news12.com/police-2-men-missing-after-going-fishing-on-long-island-sound



    Kevin
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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Many people don't realize that the water now is about the same temp as October. I saw people over the weekend in kayaks with not life jackets on.
    The C.G. was also broadcasting reports of a person in the water off Matunuck beach (Rhode Island) and asking people to keep a watch and report anything.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Had they been in a BOAT they may have lived too.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    The PFD at least aids in body recovery.

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    Post Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Had they been in a BOAT they may have lived too.
    The statistics at https://uscgboating.org/library/acci...stics-2019.pdf may interest you. Table number 24 on page 48 indicates that in 2019 there were 39 deaths in canoes while open motorboats had 288. Table number 27 on page 52 indicates that in 2019 there were 45 injuries reported in canoes while open motorboats had 1246. Bad things can happen regardless of the type of vessel that you are using.

    Benson
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    Last edited by Benson Gray; 06-02-2021 at 02:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Gray View Post
    The statistics at https://uscgboating.org/library/acci...stics-2019.pdf may interest you. Table number 24 on page 48 indicates that in 2019 there were 39 deaths in canoes while open motorboats had 288. Table number 27 on page 52 indicates that in 2019 there were 45 injuries reported in canoes while open motorboats had 1246. Bad things can happen regardless of the type of vessel that you are using.

    Benson
    It's certainly true that bad things can happen in any vessel. However, the graph you show is a breakdown of reported deaths by vessel type; it is not per capita of vessel operators or percentage of registrations, so it doesn't indicate the relative risk of different vessel types. I also note that for reporting purposes canoes and kayaks with a motor are "open motorboats" - only craft powered by paddles at the time of reported accident are recorded as "canoes" or "kayaks".

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    A canoe does not belong on LIS,all I'm sayin.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Regardless of the %s Sail only looks to be quite safe.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Around here, the local weather has cold water alerts this time of year to warn people of this danger.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    A canoe does not belong on LIS,all I'm sayin.
    Agreed. Sounds nutso.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by pandelume View Post
    the graph you show is a breakdown of reported deaths by vessel type; it is not per capita of vessel operators or percentage of registrations, so it doesn't indicate the relative risk of different vessel types.
    I searched for any statistics that would indicate the relative populations of canoes to open motorboats which might help normalize this but didn't find much. Can you provide a source for this information? Thanks,

    Benson

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Many people don't realize that the water now is about the same temp as October. I saw people over the weekend in kayaks with not life jackets on.
    The C.G. was also broadcasting reports of a person in the water off Matunuck beach (Rhode Island) and asking people to keep a watch and report anything.
    I can't speak for LIS, but around here the water temperatures in spring are much colder than in October due to snowmelt runoff.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    wool clothing might of helped...but only while they were above the water..once immersed, each movment "pumps" chilled water into/thru the garment. and any heat retention is quickly lost. ........still better than going in nude

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    That is a tragic story and it is really sad that two folks who were otherwise prepared did not survive their outing.

    I'd like to caution folks on making assumptions about the situation and the type of watercraft they were using. I have seen a lot of discussion on this forum that deals with the interplay between conditions (wind, waves, current) and the type of craft being used. Aside from the water temperature there wasn't a lot of information about what the conditions were actually like. Yes, the water is cold, but I assume that not every sailor of an open boat, either in the PNW or in Maine, wears a dry suit when they head out. Even if the water temperature is in the 50s.

    I frequently paddle my canoe on San Francisco Bay which is well known for its wonderfully windy conditions. I simply go out when the water is glassy and usually don't stray too far from shore. I also see lots of folks out rowing in the early morning before it gets windy. If you want some amusement try and talk a rower into wearing a life jacket. The water temperature is just above 50 degrees in the winter and by June is usually in the low 60s. Conditions are actually pretty mild on SF Bay a surprising amount of time. Then again I have also been bounced around on a C&C 37 with two reefs in on a typical summer afternoon.

    When I visit my in-laws in CT I often see 6 inch waves or glassy conditions on Long Island Sound. I'd never expect it to be like that all the time. But, it looks like a great place to paddle.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    When I visit my in-laws in CT I often see 6 inch waves or glassy conditions on Long Island Sound.
    This was the case on the evening in question.



    wool clothing might of helped...but only while they were above the water..once immersed, each movment "pumps" chilled water into/thru the garment. and any heat retention is quickly lost. ........still better than going in nude
    But with a beacon or a VHF they could have called for help. ( Some cellphones are even now waterproof and they would have been in an area of good cell coverage)

    They were near one of the most heavily populated places on earth: Even a strobe or air horn might likely have caught someone's attention.

    Aircraft and boats were in the air starting at 9:30 PM. They left the beach at 6:30 PM. Three hours--assuming they went overboard immediately--is well within the expected surviveability time for 50F water if they wore lifejackets, and if the were dressed " properly"( wool clothes and a cap not being a drysuit, but perhaps doubling your cotton clothes/ no cap surviveability ), and if they had a means of communicating their position. In fact, any two of those things and they likely would have been saved.

    My reason for creating the thread was to point out that its rarely the one thing.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Thank you for creating the thread and for the opportunity to talk about this. It sounds like if just a few things had gone better (clothing, PLB, VHF, Phone) this would be a story to tell in front of the fire, instead of the outcome that took place. I didn't realize that the conditions were so calm.

    I'll admit that I do wear a life jacket, bring my waterproof VHF, and go in a group if we are farther from shore. I'd be curious to hear if waterproof cell phones are helpful. I have a really hard time using the touch screen on my phone with wet or cold fingers.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Another point to consider, a lot of this stuff has gotten much less expensive than it used to be. It's pretty easy to get a cheap strobe, or a waterproof case for your phone. You can get a radio without a license now.

    I always assume the ocean is trying to kill me. It's inanimate, which gives me an advantage, but it's always trying.

    Stay safe.
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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Flares, and lots of them.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    I would not assume that canoeists and kayakers necessarily tend to make poor decisions any less frequently than powerboaters, PWC owners or sailors do. The affordability of rotomolds (cheap "kayaks" in particular) is pretty scary when you think in terms of safety and good decision making by trained or skilled paddlers. That $139 Walmart kayak does not automatically come with a helping of common sense.

    On the safe end of the scale for paddlecraft in cold water you have a combination of dressing for immersion, dressing for flotation, carrying safety equipment for signaling, self-righting, bailing, etc. and mixing that all with some experience and skill. As you start eliminating things from that list, your risks go up. If the weather happened to come in suddenly and you got stuck on shore six miles down range, you might also want a little bit of survival gear. There is a small ziplock bag in one hatch of my sea kayak that contains an emergency Mylar Space Blanket, a Swiss Army knife, some matches and a generous pile of cedar drawknife and plane curls from the last Greenland paddle I made. Even for short day trips along the shore of Lake Superior it's always in there - just in case.

    These two paddlers were dressed for flotation, but apparently not for immersion and don't seem to have had any way to signal for help or do anything with the boat to help save themselves. Whatever their skill levels were, they apparently weren't adequate to survive. Very sad.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    I've no way of knowing and this is pure speculation, but when two people die on manageable expeditions I assume that one died trying to save the other. We've had 4 canoe/kayak related deaths in the waters around central Lake Champlain recently. A 70 year old couple on the Vermont side canoeing on a small tributary (Lewis Creek) and a young father and 3.5 yr old son on the NY side. Most of us would do anything possible to save even a complete stranger, no less a friend or relative. The world would get on just fine without me should I die on the water, I'd not do very well if someone I was with succumbed. I think there's a hero in all of these stories.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Gray View Post
    I searched for any statistics that would indicate the relative populations of canoes to open motorboats which might help normalize this but didn't find much. Can you provide a source for this information? Thanks,

    Benson
    Before posting I did a little looking and wasn't able to find meaningful statistics to give context. This is made worse by the different regulations in different states, many of which don't require registration of paddlecraft at all or outboard vessels below a HP or length limit. My impression from eyeballing classifieds, marinas, etc. is that at least in the Seattle area open motorboats in the 12'-20' range (i.e. "fishing boats") outnumber paddlecraft by a significant margin - perhaps 4:1 or greater. Small outboard craft that can move at high speed are quite common, but that opinion is hardly scientific.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Watching the local news just now. A guy fishing in a local river fell out of his boat when the anchor rode snagged and capsized him. He was wearing a pfd and was able to use his waterproof phone to direct the first responders to his location.
    EMS evaluated and released him. Water temp about 50f. Todays air around 70f. As noted, go prepared for the worst.

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    Lightbulb Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by pandelume View Post
    I did a little looking and wasn't able to find meaningful statistics to give context.
    Another way to look at this is to assume that people get in trouble on the water at a constant rate regardless of the vessel type as shown below. This would imply that 47% to 49% of the vessels are open motorboats while 6% to 2% are canoes depending on if you are using the death or injury statistics respectively. My guess is that the death numbers may be more accurate since these are always reported while many minor injuries may not be reported, especially when smaller craft are involved.


    Benson



    Vessel-statistics.jpg
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 06-03-2021 at 06:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Gray View Post
    Another way to look at this is to assume that people get in trouble on the water at a constant rate regardless of the vessel type as shown below. This would imply that 47% to 49% of the vessels are open motorboats while 6% to 2% are canoes depending on if you are using the death or injury statistics respectively. My guess is that the death numbers may be more accurate since these are always reported while many minor injuries may not be reported, especially when smaller craft are involved.


    Benson
    Well, that's the question, isn't it? I don't think we can safely assume this to be the case, considering that the activities of the people, how many people, what ages, how fast the vessel travels, etc. - all things that potentially have an impact on the accident and death rates - varies quite a bit by vessel type.

    My suspicion is that "open motorboats" have more than their fair share of accidents and deaths due to how they're used and by whom. But that is a suspicion only.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    "In 2018, the Coast Guard counted 4,145 accidents that involved 663 deaths, 2,511 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents."

    "Out of all 663 deaths 84 were kayakers, and 44 were canoers, cumulatively representing 19.3% of all reported deaths in 2018. Only open motorboats surpassed paddlecraft deaths. Motorboats were involved in a staggering 46.9% of all deaths. It may seem that motorboats are inherently more dangerous. However there were a little over 10 million registered mechanically propelled boats, and only 531,879 registered “paddlecraft” (includes all paddle driven craft). Paddlecraft represented only 4.4% of all registered boats in 2018, but were involved in 19.3% of all deaths."

    https://yaklogic.com/kayaking-statistics/

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Paddlecraft represented only 4.4% of all registered boats in 2018
    Maybe a bit misleading as a lot of "paddlecraft" don't need to be registered at all. My wife and I currently own eight of them and none have or need registration.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Another consideration is that many of the motorboat and pwc deaths involve speed. It would be hard to paddle a canoe fast enough for a fatal impact.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    i never tole'em bout dis one

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Maybe a bit misleading as a lot of "paddlecraft" don't need to be registered at all. My wife and I currently own eight of them and none have or need registration.
    Yeah, the registration information probably doesn't correlate well. However, the death reporting statistics are interesting in themselves, and are similar to the 2019 statistics:

    Quote Originally Posted by Executive Summary at [url
    https://uscgboating.org/library/accident-statistics/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2019.pdf][/url]Where data was known, the vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths wereopen motorboats (48%), kayaks (14%), and personal watercraft (8%).
    Reading the tea leaves a little, my guess is that many of the kayak related fatalities are due to inexperienced users in inexpensive "tupperyaks" who were not prepared for immersion and/or were unable to reboard once out of the kayak. To be honest, it's precisely this lack of experience in rolling and exiting/reboarding that has always dissuaded me from considering a kayak for myself.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    This thread brings to mind some of the really stupid dangerous examples I've seen of canoeists and kayakers exercising really bad judgement over the years.

    One was a college Recreational Studies professor, who was pretty well known to be a moron, sending a class of students, many of whom didn't seem to have any canoeing experience, down a rocky stream at flood stage. We happened to be there that day and were paddling a decked C2 whitewater canoe. Half a mile after we put in, many of them were already in the water or had crawled up on one bank or the other. A couple were clinging to branches out in the middle. We eventually passed him and told him that he had people back upstream in the water. His response was "Yeah, some of them aren't very good in canoes".

    Different day, same put-in, similar water - we came across a guy who was tying his two small children to the thwarts of his aluminum canoe. We tried to explain to him just how dangerous that was, but he wouldn't listen. "I don't want them to fall out." was his reply. Where are the park rangers when you need one?

    Another one was a stretch on another river about half a mile long with a couple big stoppers and big standing waves that you couldn't even see over from a kayak at high water. We would ferry cars back and forth and run the fun section three or four times in a single afternoon. So one afternoon we're getting ready to do our second run and here comes a plastic Budweiser canoe. The guy is lying down in the bottom with his head on the center thwart and his feet up on a cooler in the bow. His girlfriend is in the stern seat trying to paddle (very badly). We cautioned them that there was some pretty rough stuff ahead. "Oh, we run this all the time" (during most of the summer it is so shallow that you can ride a bike down it). Flood stage is quite different. We gave them a few minutes. When we passed them, he was on one bank, she was on the other and the canoe was gone. All we could do is tell them that there was a bridge about three quarters of a mile downstream where they could reunite.

    These shots were taken on that day. My old blue Lettmann Mk V slalom kayak - my favorite whitewater boat ever.

    BP2.jpg

    BP1.jpg

    More recently, we saw an organized group of about fifteen people getting into sea kayaks on the shore of Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands with a single group leader from some paddling shop in the area. It was very obvious that most of them had never even been in a kayak before. No clue how to get in and out or even how to hold a paddle. One fat guy even flipped just trying to get in. Lifejackets over street clothing or swimsuits. Their "instruction" was about fifteen minutes trying to paddle around behind the breakwater. Then they set off on a two mile open water crossing to the nearest island. Absolutely nuts! When I hear of paddlers getting killed, it saddens me, but it certainly doesn't surprise me.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    Looks like a nice Kober paddle. I think I have one around here somewhere.

    The lethal thing on recreational touring kayaks, is that the mfg barely put enough floatation in them to float them, let alone float an occupant and the side decks make it almost impossible to rescue. Prof guide community here ( Maine ) did a bunch of experiments to see what would happen. We ( the prof sea kayak community ) complain here about the testing ( no on the water) but at least we have a system with standards. And you can't take a nickle as an instructor or guide unless you have a license.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    It's actually a Prijon Leiser paddle from around 1973. Unlike the Kober Moldau, the Prijon doesn't have the veneer laminated on the faces, so it's a little bit lighter, but also a bit less durable. I'm not even totally sure what the various wood species in it are. The corners of the aluminum tip protector wore through pretty quickly, so over the years it's had them replaced with fiberglass ones, made by molding and laminating a couple layers of bias-cut 10 oz. strips over the blade ends. It's a great whitewater paddle and they are pretty rare.

    On a different day at the same spot I decided to try an intentional roll in that same big stopper, just to see what would happen. I got slammed really hard on my back by the bottom and lost my grip on the paddle. Somehow I managed to slide my 6'4" body out of that same low volume boat without even unhooking the neoprene spray skirt to grab the paddle before it washed away. I guess I figured that I could always get another boat.

    prijon.jpg

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    The tables in post #28 seem to indicate that the unknown is about the safest place to operate a vessel.
    My theory on morbidity and mortality associated with kayaks is that many people come to kayaks from hiking, camping, and other outdoors pursuits. That being the case, they do not bring with them attitudes and behaviors that are almost second nature to people more experienced with the water. For example, even a swamped canoe can be paddled much faster than one can swim. Most experienced mariners are very reluctant to leave the vessel.
    A kayak's seaworthiness is highly dependent on the skill of the paddler. A sea kayak with a good paddler is extremely seaworthy.

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    Default Re: Two Canoeists Found Dead--wearing lifejackets.

    When I was a camper at State Maine YMCA camp in 1945 I earned a canoeing certificate. One of the skills we were taught was how to recover and dewater a swamped canoe. There are two ways and I have done both as a trial. How many canoeist know them?

    Oh, My first boat was an old canoe that I used on Long Island Sound. I even made a primitive sailing rig for her which worked.

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