Tuesday - Free Sea Kayak Safety Video

Tap HM Coastguard on the shoulder and ask, "Hey, can I borrow one of your helicopters", and you can expect a negative response.

Particularly if you'd also like to use their cliff rescue team and a control centre.

If you try to persuade the RNLI to throw in a couple of lifeboats, then frankly you're pushing your luck.

Yet earlier this year that's exactly what we achieved. How on earth did we manage?

I'll spare their blushes, but certain people were instrumental in making this happen. They took our project to the right people, in the right way, at the right time. It was approved 'at the top'.

The people who carry out rescues on a daily basis saw the first edit of the film several months ago, suggested changes which were made, and have approved the final version.

Part of our informal agreement was that, in return for the rescue services' contributions to our 45 minute film, which we would sell in Volume 3 - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, we would also make a shorter version.  That cut-down will be available to anyone free of charge.

That free video will go live on Tuesday 15th October with details on this website, on SeaKayakwithGordonBrown.com and SeaKayakPodcasts.com .  It will also be on YouTube and Vimeo.

In the short film, Gordon goes through the safety equipment he recommends carrying to raise the alarm and attract attention.

We consider flares, radios, PLBs and more.

The result is not just Gordon's opinion, it's his in-depth understanding having worked at length with the rescue professionals of the Coastguard, RNLI and helicopter crews.

Their opinions are fed into his findings.

In the full version of the film, we go one better.  We show you the equipment in action and reveal why Gordon makes those recommendations.

Two scenarios are constructed around real-life rescues. We show the best ways to raise the alarm - the so-called 'Initial Distress Alert' - and then, once the rescue services are looking, how best to attract their attention.

And then there are the special, unplanned moments.

We hear legendary sea paddler Murty Campbell, coxswain of Stornoway Lifeboat, explain how he's going to change his safety kit as the result of our exercise.

Search and rescue pilot Alun Tink reveals that a pinpoint red flare is more visible to him during the day than an orange smoke flare.

We see exactly why from the open door of his chopper.  It makes you think very hard indeed about what to put in your BA.

After landing, Alun, who is also a sea kayaker, unpacks his emergency paddling kit and explains what he carries and why.  Every sea kayaker should sit up and take notice of this.

Renowned expedition paddler Marcus Demuth summed it up in an email; "20 minutes in I pushed the pause button, grabbed an empty dry bag, labeled it IN THE SH*T KIT, and packed it with the contents as mentioned in the DVD".

Perhaps these are some of the reasons why we were allowed to borrow the helicopter.

No comments: