Kayaking Technique Forum

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Re: Like rolling vs not rolling discussion
In Response To: Swimming skills ()

Similar in may ways. Your friend wants to paddle 'in a marsh'. Perhaps it's a sheltered marsh, where the water is never more than neck deep. It'd be perfectly safe to paddle there, as long as he can wet exit. Perhaps it's deeper, sheltered water, and it's still safe to paddle, if he is comfortable floating on his PFD. But if he can float on the PFD, he can hand paddle in it, and that is basically swimming. Perhaps there's a hurricane on the horizon, and he'll die.

The point is, there ARE conditions it's safe for him to paddle in. There are conditions which will surely get him killed. Like the risk thread, it's all relative. As long as the risks are understood, and mitigated as best as possible for the conditions, safety is pretty high. If your friend lacks the common sense to wear a PFD, and cant swim, and goes out in the tide rips, he will die. If he understands the risks, prepares to the best of his ability, and avoids conditions beyond the acceptable risk factor, then it's quite safe for him - no matter what his abilities are.

Of course, there are no guaranttes. Swimming, or rolling, wont keep you alive if the risk factor is exceeded too much.

: One of my co-workers wants to go sea kyaking in a marsh on the Maine coast.
: He does not know how to swim, so my first instinct was to say NO. Is
: swimming a reasonable pre-requisite, or can he rely on his pfd?

: Thanks,
: Tom