Posted by: csdailyblog | May 8, 2011

Testing Water Skills in the Pool

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Although the ice is finally out, the lake water is still much too cold for safe swimming, so students headed to a nearby high school pool for water safety training and testing. It’s important for them to get these skills down pat before getting out on the lakes in canoes and going on our spring Exploration Week trip. They took swim tests, learned the canoe T-rescue and self-rescue, and then demonstrated to staff members that they were able to perform these important safety skills.

A T-rescue is performed in a  group of canoes when one canoe flips over. A second canoe comes to the rescue of the flipped canoe. The rescuers first move their canoe perpendicular to the downed canoe, making a “T” shape. They then pull one end of the flipped canoe up on to their own canoe, turn the canoe right-side up, put the raised end back in the water, and hold the canoe steady while the paddlers in the water crawl back in.

Students also learned the self-rescue technique, used when a canoe has flipped but no one is around to help. In this somewhat more strenuous maneuver, the paddlers get under the canoe, propel it up out of the water, and flip it over while it’s in the air. Once the canoe is flipped right-side-up, one paddler holds the canoe steady while the other crawls in, and then the paddler in the canoe leans away while the second paddler crawls in. There’s a fine line between leaning over just far enough to allow the second paddler to crawl up into the canoe and leaning over too far. As you can imagine, learning these techniques made for a fun evening. Enjoy the photos.

Mary Anna

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