01-21-2008, 03:11 AM #1
Rescue Water Craft-USCG-Training-Education (Stories/links)
Ok Mike, here you go!
I think to start this thread out a notice should be inserted here to readers that the comments and responses posted here are in no way a substitue for training or education, nor in any form an endorsement of training or search and rescue procedures using a RWC (Rescue Water Craft-PWC).
These posts are experiences relative to those who write or who reference and should not be used for training guidelines due to serious liabilty that could result in injury of death on behalf of the user for misinterpreting the content information. This is open for dialogue only, not for pracitical use in the field.
If a reader is interested in training or education related to RWC/PWC, contact your boating law administrator in your representative state for references, rules, laws and regulations.
01-21-2008, 05:28 AM #2
I have some comments on this post...but too tired now..
NIOSH report stresses dangers of surf rescue
By FireRescue1 Staff
OCEAN SHORES, Wash. — The dangers involved in surf rescue training have been highlighted in a NIOSH report released Thursday on the death of a Wash. firefighter.
Captain Robert McLaughlin, 40, of the Ocean Shores Fire Department, drowned during an exercise in March 2006.
NIOSH investigators believe the drowning was ultimately caused by a combination of exhaustion, hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In their report, they recommend instructors ensure that personal watercraft (PWC) are never boarded by an operator or a passenger while the engine is running to avoid the dangers of CO poisoning.
In addition, they urge personnel to wear issued personal protective equipment — Capt. McLaughlin’s hypothermia may have been accelerated by the non-insulated gloves he had purchased himself and was wearing for dexterity. Departments are also advised to analyze surf rescue operations to determine a minimum level of fitness and strength for participants.
The report details how a wave knocked Capt. McLaughlinoff of his personal watercraft (PWC), and he was unable to re-board. He became trapped in the current generated by the PWC and attempts to pull him to shore with a tow strap failed because of the rough surf conditions.
NIOSH also recommends that training exercises should be monitored by EMS units and treated with the same response level as actual emergencies.
01-21-2008, 05:31 AM #3
Mavericks surfer Peter Mel finds perspective, balance, spirituality
Article Launched: 01/12/2008 02:01:57 AM PST
Click photo to enlarge Big wave surfer Peter Mel in his Capitola store, Freeline Design Surfboards,... ( Patrick Tehan )
He said a prayer. He placed ti leaves, used in Hawaiian ceremonies for protection before entering the water, on his personal watercraft for luck.
Then he surfed.
The monster waves were the biggest to hit Mavericks in five years, catapulting some to perhaps 80 feet in height.
After one of those liquid locomotives swallowed up Mel, a second wave held him underwater for maybe 20 seconds and "rag-dolled" him toward the craggy rocks known as The Boneyard. Luckily, his tow-in partner Ryan Augenstein then plucked him from the volatile washing machine.
Back on land, Mel wondered: Am I doing the right thing being out here?
"I was very scared, but I survived," he said.
And Mel remains hooked on the adrenaline of riding monstrous waves.
The Santa Cruz native is among the 24 men who will compete today in the Mavericks big-wave contest near Half Moon Bay - an event that requires skill, guts and maybe a touch of crazy.
Consider that December day. A boat sank nearby, claiming two lives. At the foreboding Ghost Tree break just off Pebble Beach, Mel's friend and big-wave pioneer Peter Davi drowned while surfing.
So while Mel would like to place first at Mavericks - a title that has eluded him - he has things in perspective.
"I used to be all about winning contests," he said. "But in the past year I've realized what's really important: my family. It's not surfing."
He has faced down more than just menacing waves.
Set up to surf
Mel, 38, has a laid-back personality and looks like the middle-aged dad he is - complete with flecks of gray along his temples. He helps out at the family surf shop. But basically his sponsor, Quiksilver, pays him to surf.
He lives within walking distance of some of the best breaks in the continental United States, and he is riding waves most every day. And, yes, he knows people will read this and think: Now that's a swell life.
"I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world," he agreed.
Perhaps Mel wasn't born to ride a surfboard, but he had one waiting for him that his dad had shaped.
John and Kim Mel lived in Hawaii, where he surfed the famed North Shore of Oahu. But with Kim pregnant, they moved to Santa Cruz and he opened the Freeline Design surf shop in 1969.
The first time his father took him out to Pleasure Point, when Peter was 6 or 7, it was a disaster. He got caught up in the kelp, started crying and swore he would never surf again. But a few years later, with his mom's encouragement, he was ready.
"Surfing is like an addiction," he said. "You get it in your body and it rules your life. It's all you think about."
Mel was good enough to grind it out on the traditional pro surfing tours. But he was never world champion good. His 6-foot-2 wingspan - which earned him the nickname "The Condor" - was a hindrance on smaller contest waves that rewarded more compact, agile surfers.
"The highlights for me on tour were on days with really big waves," Mel said. "I shined in the big-wave arena."
It was about then that a hidden big-wave arena just up the highway from Santa Cruz was about to be unveiled.
Taking the next step
Jeff Clark surfed Mavericks alone for 15 years. He shared his secret about the reef with the Hawaii-sized swells with a couple of Santa Cruz surfers in 1990. Mel ventured out the next winter.
"It was weird because I had driven past here all my life and never thought it was anything special," Mel said of the break, located about a half-mile off the coast. "I was lucky to find this place at that point in my life."
Mavericks became part of America's growing fascination with extreme sports and Mel gained a reputation for riding some of its biggest waves. He soon was an endorsed athlete with a six-figure income. He appeared in magazines and documentary-style films like "Riding Giants."
Mel is known in the surfing world for his deceptively smooth style; effortlessly carving his way down vertical walls of ocean water.
"It's hard to describe the feeling," he said. "Obviously it's a rush. But you're so focused and so totally into the moment that there's not a single thought in your mind."
As he got older, Mel also became wiser about navigating waves as large as buildings.
"Pete took the time to learn the waves here and become one of the best," said Clark, the Mavericks contest director. "He's become one of the standards of performance."
And he traveled the globe, tracking swells.
"You're chasing the endless winter," he said.
But it can be a crazy life, often dropping everything at a moment's notice to follow big waves. There also is the pressure to perform in contests and be one of the guys in the surf community.
At some point, Mel said, "I just started to feel like I was losing my mind and my family."
As a rule, surfers believe the burn-out image of their sport not only demeans them but also is an exaggeration. Yet the stereotype has roots in reality.
"The surf culture revolves around good times and partying, and I didn't want the party to end," Mel said.
He described himself as a heavy drinker before his wife, Tara, put her foot down in 2006. Make changes, or else.
"I shaped up because I didn't want to lose her or my kids," said Mel, who has two boys; 8-year-old John and 15-year-old Anthony from his wife's previous marriage. "I was lucky enough to realize what I had to do. A lot of people never do."
Leaving that lifestyle in his wake may not have made him a better surfer. But Mel said he's a better person.
He's also more spiritual.
Survival of the fittest
The topography of the shelf just off Pillar Point focuses massive open-ocean swells in one spot, causing waves to suddenly, and perilously, double in size. It is here that Hawaiian pro star Mark Foo died in 1994.
In early December, even Mavericks veterans were in awe. The waves rolled in as thick as they were tall. More treacherous, the currents were pushing them toward the cheese-grater rocks.
Mavericks legend Darryl "Flea" Virostko took what Mel calls "the worst wipeout I've seen." Mel's spill nearly yanked off his life jacket.
As he popped back up, "the biggest wave I've ever seen was coming at me," Mel said. "All I could do was go into a turtle position and not panic. It was the most powerful thing I've ever felt. It should have ripped me limb from limb."
Augenstein, 25, grew up in Aptos and collected pictures of Mel from surf magazines. He guided the personal watercraft into the impact zone, looking for Mel as he warily watched another wave in the set build. Miraculously, Mel appeared right in front of him and grabbed the rescue sled.
They barely outraced the churning whitewater, darting into a channel between the rocks. Augenstein was stunned that his friend wasn't seriously hurt.
"To me, that was the protection - the praying, the ti leaves - that saved my life," Mel said. "That wasn't luck."
Sounds right to Augenstein.
"It really did seem like something was looking out for us," he said. "I don't know if it was the blessing, but so many people had terrible experiences that day and I sort of wondered if we should have had one, too."
Tara, of course, has heard this story. But she has become accustomed to the risks associated with her husband's preferred brand of surfing.
"I have total faith in Peter's ability and that he will do whatever it takes to be safe," Tara said. "When they're out on the water, these guys really do have each other's back."
Clark says that if the reason you're at Mavericks is to win a contest, then it's the wrong reason. Mel understands what he means. He is more at peace now riding the big waves.
"I know I have the ability to win, but it's just not that important," he said. "I'm not saying that because it sounds good. If I'm lucky enough to win, great. If not, I'll gladly congratulate the winner."
And be thankful if they all leave the water safely.
01-21-2008, 04:08 PM #4
KANALU K38 has a NASBLA approved course now available in Hawai'i
KANALU K38 now has a NASBLA approved online course available in Hawai'i
PWCSafetySchool.com is a free, Internet-based boater education course. It is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR). Passing the PWCSafetySchool.com course is the FIRST step toward earning a Hawaii Boater Education Card.
Completing the exam and certification process with KANALU K38:
Upon the successful completion of the PWCSafetySchool.com course you will be provided a PWCSafetySchool.com Certificate of Completion (CC) Number. The next step is to go to KANALU K38 www.kanalu-k38.com. Fill out the application form provided. You will be assigned a Hawaii Boater Education Card (HBEC) Application Identification Number. You will need both the CC Number and HBEC Identification Number to apply for and receive your official Hawaii Boater Education Card.
Your paperwork will be processed and your one-year temporary PWC/Boating Safety I.D. Card will be mailed to you within 2 weeks for DOCARE/DOBOR recognition purposes. The fee is $15.00 (payable to KANALU or use the Paypal icon to make a credit card payment online). Your permanent documents will be mailed to you. Your I.D. card and certificate are proof of successful completion of this course.
Be sure to include your PWC Safety School certificate number to receive your permanent HBEC card after payment process is completed either online or upon receipt of payment. Please make submission by pressing "submit" on the HBEC page to submit your completion form, or you can mail to the address below:
KANALU K38 (www.kanalu-k38.com) 3133 Waialae Ave., PMB 3108 Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
All PWC owner/operators once provided with the Certification and Hawaii Boater Education Card must register for a classroom and practical course offered by KANALU K38. The practical component must be completed within one (1) year.
Upon satisfactory completion of classroom and practical, a validation decal, certificate, and card will be issued that must be renewed every three years.
The validated HBEC decal will allow the PWC owner/operator to access any and all State waters where PWC's are allowed according to the Hawaii revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative rules. Note - to be certified for Tow-surfing through KANALU K38 the individual must complete the above process first.
Although focusing on safe use of a personal watercraft, this course covers all aspects of safe boating as required by NASBLA and the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) - State of Hawaii.
For information and registration for the classroom and practical course click on the following links:
KANALU K38 - Personal Watercraft (PWC)/Boating Education
K38 - Shawn Alladio: K38 PWC Rescue Course and Surfing Event Safety
DOBOR's information on Hawaii Administrative Rules governing use of PWCs in Hawaii's waters.
Boating Law Administrator:
DLNR, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation Administrator
333 Queen St Ste 300
Honolulu, HI 96813
Boating Safety Education Specialist
333 Queen St Ste 300
Honolulu, HI 96813
Department of Land & Natural Resources
Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation
333 Queen St Ste 300
Honolulu, HI 96813
"For every action there is a reaction - think safety first"
KANALU K38 is proud to announce commencement of our 2008 community and occupational boating education programs and the launch of our Hawai'ian homepage dedicated to boating safety. Aloha!
THE LEADER IN HAWAI`I PWC AND BOATING EDUCATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Photo by David Pu'u Photography
KANALU K38 Water Safety provides services for public safety agencies such as lifeguards, fire rescue, law enforcement training, Search and Rescue and or volunteer groups using Personal Watercraft (PWC). For reference, Personal Watercraft are referred to as Rescue Water Craft (RWC) for occupational use.
K38 provides PWC boating safety instruction for recreational boaters, working in partnership with the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), and it's partners the Water Safety Congress (WSC) and others in reducing or preventing deaths or injury from boating related incidents. Kanalu K38 provides consultation and event management services for athletic programs and events, media relations or the film industry.
K38 trains federal agencies such as the USCG and special waterborne divisions of the US Navy and the USMC for the use of Personal Watercraft for safety, task force protection and counter terrorism. K38 and Kanalu K38 in Hawaii have affiliates in Japan, Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, and the UK. K38 also works with the film industry for water related services. K38 is also affiliated with the American Watercraft Association (AWA) in partnership with their H2O Responder Membership and the award winning RIDE Magazine.
The hands on courses offered by KANALU K38 are tailored to meet the needs of the recreational user, tow-in surfer, occupational advancement, and rescue/law enforcement.
The 'Kanalu K38 Way' of training is designed to offer students technical boat handling skills. These courses are physically demanding, students will learn in tier levels of skill sets that help create an optimum enabling comprehension of the operational needs and design characteristics of these unique small boats. Laws, rules, regulations, preventative maintenance, vessel/crew/gear considerations and role playing for real world conditions assist students in a comprehensive approach to PWC or RWC operations.
The courses are designed to improve the skills and knowledge of all PWC users and boaters in Hawai`i. KANALU K38 recommends you seek additional boating education advancement for personal and professional advancement, take a basic CPR and first aid course and have a strong swimming ability and the willingness to learn new methods and team building skills.
We provide classroom materials and Personal Watercraft for the practical training needs of our students. Students need to supply a properly fitted, sized and approved USCG approved lifejacket, appropriate water attire, protective footwear, water helmet, or recommended/required gear as directed by your operational need.
KANALU K38 recommends you contact the local USCG Auxiliary chapter and arrange to have your boat/PWC inspected and certified as meeting the minimal safety standards. National and State boating law requires that all vessels be properly outfitted to meet possible emergencies per specific waterway use.
National Associaton of State Boating Law Administrators
National Safe Boating Council, Inc.
Department of Land and Natural Resources/Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, State of Hawai'i
The traditions and culture of the Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) still live on in our history. This is a Native site dedicated to correctly educating those who play and work in the ocean that is and always has been our home
Kanalu K38 Instructors
Clifford Pake Ah Mow
Tom Pohaku Stone
01-21-2008, 10:38 PM #5
I'll start by attaching the PWC training requirements for the USCG Auxiliary PWC program....you won't have to look through it very far until you realize that K38's training is vastly different from ours in that the USCG Aux does not do any whitewater/surf rescue....even so, the basic knowledge required to become qualified as PWC Operator includes those items that any rider can use. The training consists of 8 basic sections, the first being Crew Efficiency Factors, Risk Factors and Team Coordination. This section alone can take the candidate quite a bit of time to complete. The Team Coordination Training involves a 16-hour class and delves into risk management at a level that is normally only approached by industry professionals. As you look through the rest of the manual, you might be struck by how basic much of it really is....even so, I'd be willing to bet that there are only a few forum members that could successfully challenge a check ride!
Think about the first time you got on a PWC....it probably went about like this: You probably put on a life jacket, got an entire two-minute brief about the kill switch, the throttle and (if you were really lucky) a caution about how the boats don't steer well at low speeds....and off you went! "Boy, this is fun and really simple to operate!" went through your head and the speed, power and maneverability is great! Way too much fun!
Regardless of whether or not you ever have intentions of becoming USCG Auxiliary qualified or go through the K38 course, there are bits of information in this manual (and other training!) that can be critically important. Maybe completing the Incident Command System (ICS) courses (PWC-08-01-AUX) won't do much for you personally, but successfully completing the Navigation Rules of the Road exam (PWC-06-01-AUX) could easily be useful; especially if you learn something that could save your life or prevent an accident....think how vital that information would be if you found yourself in court defending yourself in a watercraft suit and you were in the right....because you knew which side of the bouy you were supposed to be on!
I think that by now, many readers might simply yawn and click onto a more interesting thread. I think if anyone could pass a check ride on those items that aren't CG specific, they could consider themselves "professional" riders....because this isn't about how well you can handle the boat or how fast you can go; it's about how responsible you are. Mike
01-22-2008, 12:50 AM #6
I did chuckle when I realized that my request on Touring thread to be "deputized" for a day in Ketchikan was so outrageously presumptuous. I was just thinkin of the photo opp, with ski parked on that little iceberg and all.
Right now Id be screwed on the buoy questions. Hopefully these tests have some essay questions. I'm pretty good at those.
Thanks, I will hit whatever books you link up!
01-22-2008, 01:26 AM #7
Run with it Mikey!
We are not worthy!!!
01-22-2008, 07:56 PM #8
Here's the second 'installment'....navigation rules.
This one will glaze your eyes over faster than a life insurance salesmans' spiel (my apologies in advance).
And here's the layman's point of view on navrules: These "Rules of the Road" are no different than highway rules/signs in that every mariner is expected to abide by them. The big difference between boat drivers and car drivers is that you had to get a license to drive a car...anybody can jump on a boat and go for a spin...at least you could years ago....nowdays, all but about a dozen states have at least some requirement for boat operator knowledge (my state isn't one of them!?)
I've actually taken a few states' tests and they vary quite a bit. I took Alabama's test on line (the only state that requires a boat operators license) and it does have some rules of the road questions....so, those of you out there that depend on 'common knowlege' ("I saw another boat go on the starboard side of that buoy, so I figured it was OK!") or common myths/legends ("I had the right-of-way since he was on my left!") might be surprised to find out that boating rules of the road are sometimes very different than you might expect.
Professional mariners have to pass the closed book exam on navigation rules; believe me, it's alot easier to get a driver's license than a merchant mariners license. OK, so all you ever wanted to do is drive a PWC around the lake...are you exempt from taking the rules of the road exam? Of course you are! There is no requirement for a recreational boater to pass the exam....(here comes the 'ugly' part)....there is an obligation for every boater to know the rules. Just see what happens if you break one of the rules and get caught! ....OK, enough 'preaching'.
Here's a question for those of you interested enough to keep reading (what else is there to do in the winter??) How many of you have a professional mariner's license/certificate? What is your perception/attitude/opinion on Navigation Rules? (I'd be willing to bet that only a very few respond at all...any takers?) I'll post the professional mariners views on navrules later! Mike
01-22-2008, 07:58 PM #9
01-23-2008, 01:29 AM #10
AK Mike, I think you may have missed posting 1st link(?)
This is a specialized subject but I'm sure many of us will be interested to read these links.
Ive always wanted to master photoshop but have not yet! I appreciate the offer but I'm hoping to take you up on Ketchikan ride this summer and I figure we'll duplicate that iceberg photo for real! Only problem is by the time I finish adding my widgets and gadgets and 25 galls to Ultra, I may sink the average iceberg!
Before I forget, if you are going to do EPIRB post on Touring thread, please throw in discussion of Digital Selective Service Calling (DSC). I just came across article on DSC v EPIRB in boating mag but scanner temp out of order. Will try & post in next few days.
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