Rescue 101 - Rescue Assistance - Part 3/3
by Patrick Bergeron
RESCUE ASSISTANCE AND VARIOUS TOWING METHODS
The following methods can be used to bring a Towee's equipment back to the beach, as well as bringing a spare part to a poor stranded soul so he or she can fix a problem to sail back in by his/her own mean.
Towing the towee and all his equipment
(The rear footstrap method):
The simplest method and often times the preferable one. The "Towee" grabs onto both rear strap with each hand and faces downwind. Then it's Arnold time, hold on until you get to shore. The Tow-er should also expect drag and stand on his back foot not to get catapulted when sheeting in.
Towing a Board:
Set your rig in the direction you'll want to waterstart, losen the
towee's rear strap, pass your rear arm through it, grab the boom and
waterstart normally. Also, in most cases it is better to bring the Towee
his board back so he can put it back together if it only came apart, or
use it as a floatation device as needed. If the U-Joint is broken, you
can think of the method described earlier.
Once onto a plane, hook in, let go of the back hand for less strain on your arm, but keep it through the strap. You can grab the board's leeward rail with your hand for more control over the now dangling board.
Towing an Entire Rig
Again, make sure the person is OK, then determine if you should bring their rig back to them so they can use one of the ?self-rescue? methods previously described, or if you should just bring it back on the beach. Set yourself in the right direction, slide the Towee's rig through your own rig, making sure you'll be heading in the right direction after you waterstart, and setting the Towee's rig on the leeward of your own. The waterstart will be a little more difficult as the total rig's weight will be increased, but it is still fairly feasible for intermediate to advanced sailors.
Towing a Sail
Roll the sail as tight as possible so it holds less water and is easier to carry. Put it onto your arms as you would with a pile of wood (remember those boy scout days!?), waterstart and sail on.
As an alternative method, roll the sail as tight as possible, lay it on the windward side of the board/mast, put your front foot on the windward, and your rear foot on the leeward side. This way, you can squeeze the sail between your feet and the mast base, keeping it securely together on the deck of the board.
Towing Mast and Boom
Slide the pieces of the mast into the front footstraps. For Skinny, two per straps, for regular diameter, one in each front strap. Adjust straps as needed so the mast pieces won't slide out.
There is only one good way for towing your boom, slide down from the top
of your sail so it will rest onto your own boom.
Again, whatever happens, your priority should invariably always be for
the stranded sailor's safety. Then, stay calm to properly assess the
situation and not waste energy or time doing the wrong thing. From there,
you can use any which method here described, or any combination of. As a
general rule, other that for the broken universal joint, I could end by
saying that the typical, easiest and most common rescue consists of
towing the Towee and his entire rig (the rear footstrap method), but it
is always a good thing to have at least would it be an idea of how to
face other potential situations before they happen ?hoping you will never
ever have to use any of those tricks. Aloha!
Patrick Bergeron is not a lifeguard and hopes you'll be practicing prevention so he, or no one else, ends up needing the techniques here described.
He is sponsored by Roberto Ricci Designs, Sailworks, DaKine, NoLimitz, Hawaiian ProLine and Streamlined .