It seems a fellow I met this spring at the 2014 Pacific Paddling Symposium had some unplanned adventure recently. Although Jaime Sharp found himself in a situation he couldn't get out of without outside help, he was well prepared. Here is how Jaime described the experience on his Yak About Adventures facebook page:
So.... a casual day paddle along the coast of Oregon turned into one of the top 5 epic moments of my life. I had not planned to go rock gardening, and wasn't even wearing my helmet. Tara decided to paddle through a gap in the rocks (I gap I wasn't planning on going through) during a lull in the swell, and I thoughtlessly followed her Assuming she wouldn't go unless she felt real safe (she hates rock gardening). I followed with a giggle that quickly turned into a choke ..... A huge wave formed up and Tara was only just going to make it... I wasn't...
First action make sure will behind me was not coming in too by turning and signalling stop (he was back paddling already) 2nd action I started to turn to face it, thinking "fuck I am not wearing my helmet I am gonna die!" ........A few violent moments later I found my self atop a spire of rock amazed that I only suffered 5 minor cuts, watching my boat sink and get bashed to bits in the surge and rocks, and wondering how to get out of this jam.
This was how we ended up solving the issue... The cost $4000 plus in gear, but the ride home free.
Full incident report, debrief and short action film to come on a blog soon.
While things went badly for Jaime that day, there were a few things he did right. At the end of the Coast Guard video you can see that Jaime had a small drybag with him. This is likely his "ditch kit", stored in an easy to grab spot (on his lap, perhaps) so that when he ditched the kayak he had something that floats and contains his survival "essentials". Jaime or his group also had the ability to communicate their need for help. Jaime is a very experienced ocean paddler and he most likely had a VHF radio on him. From an article on CoastGuardNews.com they shared some details, including how the Coast Guard was contacted:\
Watchstanders ... were contacted via VHF-FM radio at about 1:10 p.m. by a male kayaker who was stranded on the rocks near Cape Falcon after his kayak was pushed against the rocks and sank.
The article also goes on to comment on why this rescue was succesful, and why we can look forward to many more stories frm Jaime: