Nootka Sound incident - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
Join Date: May 2002
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Default Nootka Sound incident

Some paddlers may be interested in this report of two fatalities of ocean kayakers in Nootka Sound:

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 08:35 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: , , Canada.
Posts: 2,497

Yea my wife worked with one of the fellows. She said that he was very experienced and in good shape. So it is quite a mystery.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 09:11 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 131

Actually, it's not as much a mystery as it sounds. The timeline indicates the likelihood of poor judgment or being caught unawares by a storm. By the time they arrived at Esperanza Inlet, after leaving from Gold River and going through Muchalat Inlet and up Tahsis Inlet, very nast storms were either brewing or imminent.
They were due back within days and there is a strong possibility they either decided to risk it, or got caught unawares on the way south. Either way, the storms were so bad by that weekend that even the fishing boats weren't going out. One scenario is they got south of Esperanza when they realized they were in trouble, found no where they could land and tried to run back to the inlet.
They were well equipped, had at last two years experience kayaking in the area but something went wrong.
Did they fail to read the signs of impending poor weather? Was it overconfidence as they tried to outrun the storm? I suspect we will never know exactly. But the fact remains they made a decision which left them caught in a storm in an area known for its shipwrecks.
Lesson: read the weather and delay if necessary. Better to be late, even miss a day or work, than not get back at all.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2003, 11:50 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada.
Interest: Photography, cycling, hiking, camping, kayaking, volleyball, martial arts.
Posts: 339

Aiee! My dad has kayaked through many regions of the Gulf Islands, Broken Group Islands, and many others who's names I don't recall. Some of the stories I have heard from him definitely paint kayaking in storm weather to be extremely treacherous. He once came home after a multi-day trip white as a ghost after fighting a storm on the last day. Kayaks are still better than canoes on the ocean, but bottom line is that you are a tiny speck out there in a land chock full of hazards, and years of kayaking experience doesn't change that fact.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-13-2003, 02:12 PM
Summit Master
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Canoeing, Hiking, Fishing and Bear kissing.
Posts: 4,501

Yikes, I was planning on canoeing into Hot Springs Cove sometime this summer. I have heared that it's too dangerous and too far away to canoe or kyack from Tofino however from the maps, Tahsis looks much closer. Has anyone done this or have a word warning for me? I think I will do some more research into this first now.

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