To prepare for fall wilderness trips, excursions that will take the 46 students of semester 59 into the wild woods and waters of Maine, students have been spending a few hours each week in outdoor skills class. Below, Lily, (The Brearley School, NY) describes how to successfully pull-off a T-Rescue in the case of a flipped canoe:
As we prepare for our wilderness trips, it’s important to know both the correct way to maneuver a canoe and what to do if something goes wrong. Last week we practiced what’s called a t-rescue, a skill we can use in case a canoe tips over and we have to help our friends. This is how it’s done:
Step 1: If you find yourself in the water, alert the people around you that you’re okay. This can be done in a number of ways. Yelling “I’M OKAY” is always helpful but a nice tap on your head will also do the trick. If the other party is also tapping their heads the message has been received.
Step 2: This is where the “T” in T-Rescues comes into play. Position your upside-down boat as the base of the “T” perpendicular to the rescue boat. You can do this by pulling or pushing your boat, or have the rescue boat position themselves around you, (I would recommend the latter!)
Step 3. As we learned from Johnny Depp in the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, when a canoe flips there is a pocket of air underneath it. In order to hoist the flipped canoe onto the saving boat this pocket of air needs to be broken. The two paddlers in the water should make their way to the base of the “T”, furthest away from the rescue boat, and push down on the stern while the two people in the upright canoe pull the boat onto theirs. This will turn the upper case “T” into a lowercase “t”.
Step 4. As the two paddlers from the flipped boat make their way to the cross of the “t,” the rescuers should get ready for some heavy lifting. They must flip the canoe right side up and slide it back into the water. But remember to watch your fingers or you’ll end up like Captain Hook!
Step 5. Rotate the newly upright boat so it is parallel to the rescue boat. Now that the boats are stabilized the two soaked paddlers can make their way back into their canoe. This is the point where gratitude is given – it can come in many different forms but a tasty snack on the water is always appreciated.
Step 6. The final step is to canoe on your merry way!
As we head off on wilderness trips it is important that we have fun but are also safe while doing so. This is where our outdoor skills class comes in. In addition to learning how to right a tipped canoe, we’ve also learned how to chop and saw wood, how to pack our dry bags, and other vital skills. Soon we will be putting our training to the test and the entire community is extremely excited! See you on the water!
Lily, The Brearley School, NY
Photo of Lily by Reid H., semester 59. T-Rescue photos by Chris Percy