Using Bow Roll Rescue to aid hand-of-god or Bow Roll Rescue

Already I have an emailĀ from Jim Tibensky with the following suggestions:

1. If someone is attempting a hand of God rescue and another boater is nearby, they should be encouraged to do the bow (or stern) roll rescue as an aid.

2. Likewise, if someone is near by a bow rescue, they can grab the stern and assist by just grabbing and twisting.

Christopher Cunningham, editor of Sea Kayaker Magazine, commented:

At first glance there would be a problem with having the assist if approached from the wrong side. The technique you describe is either left or right handed. If you approach to help out you may be coming in with the wrong hand. It seems possible to assist with the wrong handed side, but that would require describing a variation on the technique.

My thoughts:

I think both Jim and Chris have some good points. Certainly the Bow Roll Rescue could be used to assist a hand-of-god rescue but it would require some attention to the side of approach. As Chris notes, the Bow Roll Rescue is done right or left sided, with roll direction determined by side of rescue. To properly assist a hand-of-god rescue the Bow Roll rescuer would need to approach the inverted kayak so their back was to the hand-of-god rescuer. Assisting someone performing a Bow Roll Rescue on one end of an inverted kayak by approaching to do a simultaneous Bow Roll Rescue on the other end requires the two rescuers to be facing in the same direction. These may be simple requirements in theory and probably something an experienced paddler like Jim could figure out on the move, but my recommendation would be for anyone desiring to use the Bow Roll Rescue as an assist to practice it as an assist many times, planned and unplanned, to be certain the decision on approach direction is always correct and comes without much pondering.

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