BoatRescueThis is one area where we have huge advantages over professional rescue personnel. Strong boaters can pretty much place their boats almost anywhere on the river and get very close to a victim. Often, the challenge is getting out in a safe manner so you can apply leverage. Boaters may be tempted to tow swamped boats which is fine only if you have a quick release system. A flipped boat is also a dynamite flotation device providing far more flotation than your PFD.

In a number of rescues, response time is critical. Often, paddling directly to the victim is the fastest way to get there and start the rescue effort. Strong boaters can pretty much put their boat anywhere in a rapid or at least get close enough to rock hop in a few minutes. All of us carry throw ropes (or should). Many also carry carabineers and perhaps a pulley or two. Throwing a rope from the accident site is often easier than from shore. For one thing all you need is distance, accuracy doesn't matter. Large craft like canoes and rafts make an excellent and safe platform for rescue activities. They can also be used to haul out an injured boater. The boat in skilled hands is a very versatile tool.