The flip rescue is the best way to get a paddler or other water person in distress on a board to keep them warmer, and out of danger.  It’s a simple manuever if practiced often to get the kinks out.  Here’s a few clips from an instructor certification class I held last week. Practice to be able to do it in a minute or less.

How To:
– Approach other board from opposite direction (boards nose to tail) to keep leashes untangled. Paddle your board as close to the victim’s board as possible.

– Hand flip the victim board over so the fin is up. Doing so at the nose or tail is easiest.

– Cross over to the victim’s board from your own at the center. This is faster than climbing in the water. Ask the victim (or pull them) to the middle of their overturned board facing you.

– Place paddles in front of the victim parallel to their board (between board and victim). Let the paddles float free (don’t hold them). This keep them from floating away.

– Cross over to the victim’s board (in the middle).

– While on your knees, grab the victims PFD straps, wetsuit under arms, or have then cross their arms and hold their hands for falling back. Fall backwards into the water (making sure not to hit your board). Using a closed loop like a rack strap can be used to create more leverage between each person. The hand (not wrist) grab is the more secure way of connection. Once flipped, the paddles should be pinned under the victim’s chest.

* To get a big person out, stand on board, then step to the back of their board with your heels over the rail to get as much leverage as possible. Standing on the board is essential with someone bigger than you.

– Unlike the NRS video on YouTube, don’t throw you paddle away, you may need it. Prone paddling on top of some people may not work if the paddler can’t reach the water and/or the two sink a low volume board.

Tow the person to shore, or push with your board (board to board, nose to tail) if a short distance.

Practice often to work out the kinks and be able to do this speedily.  Try with different body weights, for example a smaller person rescuing a larger person. Try in rough water and wind.

Read More:
How to Fall off and Climb Back on the Board

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