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#397963 - 01/21/11 03:56 PM Kayak in a norther
Amanda Syme Offline
I read a letter to the Editor in the San Pedro Sun this week that describes the rescue of a tourist. He was found sitting on the reef, all cut up (the reef is very sharp) and he had capsized his kayak 2 hours prior. The current was too strong for him to swim against and he had tired quickly.

The other day my business partner came to work and said that he had just talked a visitor out of taking a kayak for a paddle. We had a norther blowing.

Who exactly is responsible for cautioning our visitors about the dangers of paddling during different types of weather conditions? Often times the sea off the east coast and inside the reef is lovely and calm to look at when we have a norther - but anybody from here knows that once you get off the coast a little the breeze is stiff and can easily push you over the reef where the sea is anything but calm.

We need to be more responsible and aware of the fact that our visitors don't know about the weather and sea conditions and many are not even active most of the year, then they attempt to go gung ho - snorkeling, hiking, scuba diving, kayaking etc for the brief one or 2 week visit.

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#397977 - 01/21/11 04:57 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
Diane Campbell Offline
Agree 100% about the weather/northerner aspect of being on the water --- if you get swept away, the next stop is either Turneffe or Jamaica.

But equally - or even more critically - I have to wonder about the common sense of anybody who sets out on the sea alone - swimming, snorkeling, diving or kayaking - regardless of the weather. You can drown in 2 inches of water if you have an accident and there is nobody to help you.

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#397978 - 01/21/11 05:26 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
JZB Offline
I imagine whoever gives out kayaks would be responsible for advising of sea conditions just like the people who rent out golf carts are (or should be) responsible for explaining our rules of the road.

I often tell my guests when its not a good day for kayaking or that they shouldn't attempt a paddle out to the reef because it is farther than it looks but if they don't listen and go anyway, it would be their own fault if they get into trouble. Thankfully, I haven't had to rescue anyone yet! (knocking on wood)

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#397979 - 01/21/11 05:26 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
shuffles Offline
I would suggest that any resort who has kayaks, etc., keep them locked and require guests to check them out, WITH a life vest. We don't have any, but I think this might solve the problem. We are friends with the people who wrote this letter and they were alarmed by the incident.
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#397983 - 01/21/11 05:42 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
Amanda Syme Offline
Diane - I know what you are saying, but how many times have we all commented on the apparent lobotomy some guests have before they arrive on vacation. Many do so many things they would NEVER do at home. And they are gullible, trusting, naive and even just plain stupid in their actions. Yet in their home towns they are well respected and considered smart, cautious and wise.

I think that there is an onus on us, as residents of San Pedro, to at least point out the risks and dangers and potential problems that can occur. I am not saying we should scare people, but we should caution them.

I can barely cross a road in Miami by myself - because I am so out of my element. I have found myself in many situations that, looking back, I should have given a little more consideration to. But ignorance really is bliss sometimes.

I am just glad that I have so far managed to live to be a fool another day!

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#397986 - 01/21/11 06:02 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
Diane Campbell Offline
Random thoughts on water safety and vacations ---

I've heard that God watches after drunks and babies - I think probably tourists too, which is a very nice thing indeed. Given the risky behaviour I observe daily, things are really pretty darn good here.

The scariest stuff I see visitors do around the water ......

1. swim laps in boat lanes

2. take kayaks out alone (in any weather)

3. people who can't swim at all (or who are in poor physical condition) going kayaking

4. the northerner thing that started this conversation

5. hard-partying on docks in the night

6. screaming in or near the water when there is nothing wrong - the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome kicks in after a while and it's very possible we won't respond when there is a real emergency

Anyway - I think it would be good for resorts to chain their water toys up in risky weather ..... and yes agree totally, we as residents should take the time to kindly advise our guests when they are about to do something ill-advised. We should do it as nicely as we can, and should not tire of offering a helping hand whenever possible.

I also think it is impossible for any resort operator to keep tabs on the whereabouts of their guests - it's not practical and I don't think anybody wants to stay in a resort where they have to sign in and out.

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#398002 - 01/21/11 08:36 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
Otteralum Offline
My wife feels strongly that my jumping with reaper falls into this category of foolish tourist activity. I disagree, of course.
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#398019 - 01/21/11 09:30 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
Amanda Syme Offline
Recently a fellow from Canada was on the mainland and drove a jet ski across a lake, and never came back - he couldn't swim and didn't have a life jacket. May he RIP.

I don't know where the line is on who should monitor such activities.

I just speak my mind, make my concerns known and hope for the best.

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#398040 - 01/21/11 11:52 PM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
shuffles Offline
Maybe impossible to know where your guests are at all times, but knowing that one of your guests took out a kayak or another water sport item would at least alert someone at the hotel that a guest is missing.
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#398045 - 01/22/11 12:06 AM Re: Kayak in a norther [Re: Amanda Syme]
BZE Me Offline
Amanda - we have never met but I can say with no reservations whatsoever that I like your postings and opoinions and with out a doubt I would like you.

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