On Saturday 13 January, Station 4 Mykonos hosted a combined training event with Station 24 Lamberts Bay and Station 34 Yzerfontein. The training was focused on Kite rescues, as preparation for the Downwind Dash event. A Hobie (belonging to one of our rescue crew) was included in the training exercise.
Obsession Kiting School kindly donated the time of one of their instructors and the use of the kites at no charge. They coached the crew on the basics of kite safety and rescue procedures.
A theory session was presented, on the beach, before the exercise began. During practical training at sea, the crew were able to practice rescuing a kite surfer and recovering the kite as well as rescuing a capsized Hobie Cat.
The kite theory session focused on the safety systems of each kite, procedures for rescuing, stablizing a kite surfer, safely releasing the kite and recovery of the kite and casualty from the water. Crew were also shown how kite surfers are able to perform a “Self rescue”. They were also briefed on the dangers and risks of releasing a kite and allowing it to fly around freely.
After the theory sessions, both Hobie and Kites took to the water to be “Rescued”. Crew were given the chance to take turns in “righting” the capsized Hobie and coxswains had the chance to manoeuver the boat close to the end of the mast and assist by picking up the mast and turning the boat into the wind to help the crew. The Kite instructor “body dragged” out to sea and then “crashed” the kite. The Crew then had to perform a practical kite and patient rescue.
Our thanks go to Obsession owner/manager ,Shannon du Plessis and head instructor Megan du Plesiss .
Megan demonstrating the kite safety release system. Crew had a chance to wear the harness on the beach and take turns releasing the safety systems so the understand how it works once they have to rescue someone in the water.