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Canoe fatalities in Manitoba

How sad. :( I don't know much about canoes. Could they not right it, with 2 adults and a teenager? Or not, b/c it would have filled up? I sure wouldn't be out in a boat I wasn't sure I could right and get back into pretty quickly. . . . :(
 
Very sad news.

In my opinion, there isn't the culture of safety among most inland canoeists (ie on the prairies, at least) that there is among ocean paddlers and kayakers more generally (and I know that the WCP community is much better informed than the rest of the paddling public). Canoeists rarely dress for immersion, and rarely practice rescue techniques. I can't speak to the situation of the recent tragedies, but that's what I see on the water. The water would have been very cold and effecting a rescue that has never or rarely been practiced would have been very difficult. Cold shock and a gasp reflex (if it occurred) would have made the situation much, much worse.

They were from Thompson and were paddling the Burntwood River (which runs right through Thomspon). Northern Manitoba on Monday was still largely frozen with open water on smaller lakes fed by runoff. Even the Burntwood appears to be still frozen on the lake portions. Here's the satellite view from Monday. https://go.nasa.gov/2rZkxXP The Burntwood appears to be typical pool & drop shield river, with rapids between the pools. Likely OK water for a midsummer run where a capsize in warm water means no harm no foul, pick up the pieces and keep going, but for their first canoe trip I suspect that they had no idea what the dangers were.

Bryan
 
I should mention that many of us (me, in particular) had to screw up before we started learning how to do things better and more safely. Some of us had to screw-up repeatedly and I'm still far from perfect. Thankfully, my screw-ups were things I walked away from, but I shake my head at what I used to do and how I used to paddle. Tragically, these four budding paddlers never got the chance to learn from their mistake.
Bryan
 
Pawistik said:
In my opinion, there isn't the culture of safety among most inland canoeists (ie on the prairies, at least) that there is among ocean paddlers and kayakers more generally (and I know that the WCP community is much better informed than the rest of the paddling public). Canoeists rarely dress for immersion, and rarely practice rescue techniques. I can't speak to the situation of the recent tragedies, but that's what I see on the water.

Bryan

Agreed. This is my observation as well. I know a few whitewater canoeists who are the exception but in general you are entirely correct.

KP
Winnipeg, Manitoba
 
By the way, I was wrong above. I thought this was their first canoe trip, but it was their first trip of the season.
 
Pawistik wrote:
Very sad news. In my opinion, there isn't the culture of safety among most inland canoeists (ie on the prairies, at least) that there is among ocean paddlers and kayakers more generally (and I know that the WCP community is much better informed than the rest of the paddling public). Canoeists rarely dress for immersion, and rarely practice rescue techniques

Our experience with flatwater canoeists mirrors this. OTOH, most of the WW crowd seems dialed in. The several Oregon WW rivers suitable for canoeing see a fair amount of canoeists, mixed in with rafters and raft-supported WW kayakers. Permits for the window during which the water levels are optimal are scarce, and river runners plan ahead. Hence, the greater focus on preparedness.
 
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