East Wind Safety Plan

Introduction

Purpose

  • The purpose of this plan is to ensure that the EAST Wind Brigade on the Ottawa River is prepared for as many eventualities as possible.
  • We must do everything in our power to ensure that there are no incidents, and if these do occur, we must be prepared to deal with them.
  • In the event of an incident where legal action is taken, our best defence is to demonstrate that we have exercised “due diligence”.

Due diligence is “…the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances.”  A judge or jury would consider whether the incident was foreseeable (could a reasonable person have foreseen that something could go wrong?); preventable (was there an opportunity to prevent the incident?); and controllable (who was the responsible person and what could they have done to prevent the incident or successfully recover without injury or death?).

Event Overview

  • The EAST Wind Brigade will take place over the course of 7 days, June 25–July 1, 2017. The brigade will consist of 2 replica fur trade north canoes (26 `), each paddled by 8 paddlers, that will travel the length (approximately 145  km) from Hudson to Asinabke (Victoria island) on the Ottawa River in Ottawa.   This event is expected to take 9 days to complete.

Persons Responsible

Official Title Individual Assigned – Source Overall Responsibility
Brigade organizer Dot Bonnenfant

 

Advise the Recreation Association staff contact of the incident.

All communication with press and family in the event of an incident, accident or emergency; ensure that canoes meet Paddle Canada and Canadian Coast Guard safety requirements

Route – Itinerary Planner Les Braden Planning of the basic route, and assist in pre-event safety plan implementation.
Canoe Leaders: Will be assigned daily from the various experienced crew leaders for each of the canoes The brigade travels together.
Each morning the Brigade organizer or his/her delegate leads a daily Brigade Meeting, leads decision on when a planned paddle should be cancelled in advance, and when a day’s paddle should be abandoned on route, assigns a group leader for each group
Ensure that each canoe is properly equipped to Coast Guard regulations, and Safety and First Aid equipment f or his/her canoe.  Responsible for navigation!
Safety Chair Dot Bonnenfant Implementation of the Safety Plan
Canoe Crew First Aid persons who  ensure that the canoe he/she is assigned to has required First Aid equipment for  its crew. Dot Bonnenfant
Les Braden

Michele M

On Site First Aid, & victim supervision until EMT arrival

 

Location of the Safety Plan during the Event

  • Each of the following are to retain a copy of the Safety Plan, and must have their copy accessible in camp each day.
    • Safety Chair
    • Brigade Coordinator
    • Canoe Leaders
    • All Brigade participants

Contact Information

General Information on Contacts

  • It is important that all people involved in the safety plan, know their roles ahead of time.

Emergency Response Contacts:

9-1-1 is the emergency phone number for the region!

On Route:  Prior to, During, and Following the Event

Potential Hazards and Control Measures:

Potential Hazard Control Measure Person Responsible
Weather conditions: rain, hail, wind, severe winds (tornadoes), lightening § Proper clothing, food, water.

§ Daily access to appropriate weather forecasts

§ Lightening protocol: get off the water (preferably under shelter) after first lightening seen; wait 30 minutes after last lightening seen.

§ Route or Safety Chair – to confirm arrange for appropriate weather forecasts (best available)

§ , responsibility of brigade group leaders and crew captains

Injury: sprained ankle, blisters, overuse injuries § Clothing, first aid supplies, whistle.  There must also be a communications device (e.g., radio or cell phone) or system (e.g., call-in system before and after going to site). § Route and/or Safety Chair

§ , responsibility of brigade group leaders and crew captains

Risks from other boaters:  collisions, swamping § following the “rules of the road”, advising other users of Brigade Plans § Brigade organizer, Canoe Crew Leaders

 

Lake Hazards: wind, big waves, , in particular Big and Little Rideau lakes have been identified as known wind hazards at times. § Postponement, or leg cancellation

§ Appropriate route selection

§ Route or Safety Chair – to confirm arrange for appropriate weather forecasts

§ Brigade group leaders

§ Canoe Crew Leaders

River Hazards: dams Rocks, shoals, rapids, , low water, waterfalls, § Planning and route selection

§ Knowledge of navigation markers

§

§ Route & Safety Chair

 

§ Canoe Crew Leader

Hypothermia § Appropriate clothing, rain gear § Canoe Crew Leaders

§ Individual Paddlers

Drowning: § During this Brigade all paddlers will wear an approved PFD § Individual Paddlers,

§ Crew Leaders

Locks: turbulent water, upsetting, collision with other boats in locks, person overboard in steep sided locks § Paddler must follow Lock master instructions, canoes should raft up, cables maybe present to hold onto, gloves maybe an asset

§ Safety Loop available to assist swimmer back into the boat

§ Canoe Crew Leaders, Individual Paddlers
Wild Animals:  raccoons, etc. § Proper food management:
no food in tents or left outside!
§ Individual paddlers, Crew Leaders

Canoe and Rescue

The Big Canoes

  • Big Canoes for this event are 26 foot Rabaskas (voyageur canoes)
    These canoes will include six or more seating benches.
  • These canoes should be rendered unsinkable in calm water. The Canoe provider needs to ensure that this is so.
    AND, it must be the practice of all paddlers to load day, and/or overnight trip gear into the boats in waterproof packs  (garbage bags inside of packs and other innovative waterproofing techniques are acceptable) and these packs should be secured to the canoe in such a way as to add to the overall floatation of the canoe and gear in the case of upset.
    Such gear must be secured such that it cannot come loose and hinder rescue (i.e. tied in tightly or stuffed under seats).  It is recommended that a swamped big canoe have enough flotation so that its gunwales are 5” above the water surface.
    (Many older models do not have this much floatation, but if you are unsure, test your canoe before the brigade. It must have positive buoyancy when swamped. )
  • Canoes are to have on board at all times:
    • Spare paddles – minimum 2
    • Approved PFD for each paddler. Paddlers are required to wear their PFDs at all times when on the water.
    • A sound making device, commercial air horn preferred
    • A minimum of two manual bailing devices – buckets or hand pumps.
      Two 10-20 litre buckets and a hand pump are recommended.
    • A first aid kit (per Transport Canada guidelines for Guided Excursions – from the RACCC)
    • GMRS radio with a minimum capability of 16 km, or a working cell phone. Cell phones are adequate for communication for our route.
    • A minimum of two 15 m Throw Bags of floating 10 mm line.
      One bag shall be secured at one end to a grab loop, and the second shall be immediately available mid-canoe for rescue work.
    • 4 (four) locking carabiners, two with each throw-bag
    • A repair kit of materials appropriate to the construction of the canoe. (to be provided by the canoe rental company)
      Duct Tape, wire, spare nuts & bolts of sizes similar to those in the canoe, silicone repair caulk/adhesive, appropriate resin and materials for significant hull repairs. (Dot to check: rental canoes, repair materials provided.). Our East Wind Brigade will never be far from communities where we can access these supplies.
    • Flashlight and spare batteries
    • “grab loops” near each end of the canoe for attaching rescue lines are strongly recommended. These grab loops must be strongly secured and capable of taking the full weight of the canoe when swamped. (up to the individual crew captain).
    • At least One “rentry” (grab loop) strap per canoe. (Made out of webbing)

 

General Paddling Practices

 Each morning crew captain submit completed Crew Sign-out forms (see Appendix B) , so we know who is paddling with whom, when, in what canoe.

Each morning crew captains will review the route.
Crew captains are responsible for having a map of the route for each day

(map to be provided by brigade organizer/Itinerary organizer)

At all times during the brigade canoes are to paddle together.
At NO times should a canoe be traveling alone, if one canoe stops, all canoes in the group sub-unit stop!
This applies to the in-Ottawa segment of our trip:
Canoe crews should find other crews of similar capability (speed, motivation, etc.) to travel with.  At no time should canoes be ahead of the designated ‘lead’ canoe, or behind the designated ‘sweep’ canoe.

 At times of greater risk or difficulty paddlers MUST follow the instructions of the Brigade Coordinator or Itinerary Organizer, who at times:

will attempt to balance canoes for physical ability and experience.

may direct the order of canoes for approaching landings and portages.

may direct rescue attempts

 

Canoe – Flat water Rescue

Flat water rescue is problematic when the conditions (wind and waves usually) that necessitate rescue also make it difficult to effect a safe rescue.  The victims from a swamped canoe must attempt to remain with their boat.  The canoe is the most visible item for rescuers to locate.

Under most mild conditions the quickest rescue is for the rescue canoe or boat to help stabilize the upset canoe, and one or two paddlers clamber in an begin to bail the canoe dry.  As the gunwales lift additional paddlers can climb in to help with the bailing.
Canoe captains must be familiar with this rescue technique and should be able to rescue a swamped canoe within 5 minutes. ALL BRIGADE PARTICIPANTS NEED TO KNOW THIS SWAMPED CANOE DRILL AND THEIR ROLE.

First priority is to identify the most vulnerable paddlers and get them out of the water. This is the responsibility of the Canoe captains. In a rescue, the captain should be the first to board the swamped canoe and then directs the rescue from inside the canoe. The second person in should be strong enough to help less capable persons into the canoe.

 

Leg/Day Cancellation

Conditions Leading to Cancellation

  • It is difficult to state specifically what circumstances could lead to delay or the cancellation of a day’s paddle.
    The most likely is weather:
  • Extremely bad weather: high winds that result in considerable risk to paddlers or even make paddling impossible (lakes), or very high winds with risk of windfall (portages); severe rain or hail, lightning storms, tornadoes, Forest fire, flooding, or other natural disasters

Who Makes Decision to Cancel

  • Making the decision to cancel should be done by the Brigade Organizer, Safety Chair, and the Canoe Crew Leaders. The Brigade organizer, safety chair  and  Canoe Crew leaders will be responsible for cancelling a day’s paddle on route.

Procedures to Follow in the Event of Cancellation

  • Each evening, or morning, at least 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure, the Brigade organizer, brigade group leaders, safety chair, and canoe crew captains shall meet and determine if weather conditions are conducive to safe paddling. This group shall have the best available weather reports and route maps. If an evening meeting is held a morning meeting will be necessary when conditions are marginal or worse.  Canoe Crew captains will be responsible for notifying their crews of any cancellation.

On Route:  Prior to, During, and Following the Event

Potential Hazards and Control Measures:

Potential Hazard Control Measure Person Responsible
Weather conditions: rain, hail, wind, severe winds (tornadoes), lightening § Proper clothing, food, water.

§ Daily access to appropriate weather forecasts

§ Lightening protocol: get off the water (preferably under shelter) after first lightening seen; wait 30 minutes after last lightening seen.

§ Route or Safety Chair – to confirm arrange for appropriate weather forecasts (best available)

§ , responsibility of brigade group leaders and crew captains

Injury: sprained ankle, blisters, overuse injuries § Clothing, first aid supplies, whistle.  There must also be a communications device (e.g., radio or cell phone) or system (e.g., call-in system before and after going to site). § Route and/or Safety Chair

§ , responsibility of brigade group leaders and crew captains

Risks from other boaters:  collisions, swamping § following the “rules of the road”, advising other users of Brigade Plans § Brigade organizer, Canoe Crew Leaders

 

Lake Hazards: wind, big waves, , in particular Big and Little Rideau lakes have been identified as known wind hazards at times. § Postponement, or leg cancellation

§ Appropriate route selection

§ Route or Safety Chair – to confirm arrange for appropriate weather forecasts

§ Brigade group leaders

§ Canoe Crew Leaders

River Hazards: dams Rocks, shoals, rapids, , low water, waterfalls, § Planning and route selection

§ Knowledge of navigation markers

§

§ Route & Safety Chair

 

§ Canoe Crew Leader

Hypothermia § Appropriate clothing, rain gear § Canoe Crew Leaders

§ Individual Paddlers

Drowning: § During this Brigade all paddlers will wear an approved PFD § Individual Paddlers,

§ Crew Leaders

Locks: turbulent water, upsetting, collision with other boats in locks, person overboard in steep sided locks § Paddler must follow Lock master instructions, canoes should raft up, cables maybe present to hold onto, gloves maybe an asset

§ Safety Loop available to assist swimmer back into the boat

§ Canoe Crew Leaders, Individual Paddlers
Wild Animals:  raccoons, etc. § Proper food management:
no food in tents or left outside!
§ Individual paddlers, Crew Leaders

Canoe and Rescue

The Big Canoes

  • Big Canoes for this event are 26 foot Rabaskas (voyageur canoes)
    These canoes will include six or more seating benches.
  • These canoes should be rendered unsinkable in calm water. The Canoe provider needs to ensure that this is so.
    AND, it must be the practice of all paddlers to load day, and/or overnight trip gear into the boats in waterproof packs  (garbage bags inside of packs and other innovative waterproofing techniques are acceptable) and these packs should be secured to the canoe in such a way as to add to the overall floatation of the canoe and gear in the case of upset.
    Such gear must be secured such that it cannot come loose and hinder rescue (i.e. tied in tightly or stuffed under seats).  It is recommended that a swamped big canoe have enough flotation so that its gunwales are 5” above the water surface.
    (Many older models do not have this much floatation, but if you are unsure, test your canoe before the brigade. It must have positive buoyancy when swamped. )
  • Canoes are to have on board at all times:
    • Spare paddles – minimum 2
    • Approved PFD for each paddler. Paddlers are required to wear their PFDs at all times when on the water.
    • A sound making device, commercial air horn preferred
    • A minimum of two manual bailing devices – buckets or hand pumps.
      Two 10-20 litre buckets and a hand pump are recommended.
    • A first aid kit (per Transport Canada guidelines for Guided Excursions)
    • GMRS radio with a minimum capability of 16 km, or a working cell phone. Not all canoes need radios, cell phones are adequate for communication, but radios are more reliable.
    • A minimum of two 15 m Throw Bags of floating 10 mm line.
      One bag shall be secured at one end to a grab loop, and the second shall be immediately available mid-canoe for rescue work.
    • 4 (four) locking carabineers, two with each throw-bag
    • A repair kit of materials appropriate to the construction of the canoe. (to be provided by the canoe rental company)
      Duct Tape, wire, spare nuts & bolts of sizes similar to those in the canoe, silicone repair caulk/adhesive, appropriate resin and materials for significant hull repairs. For those with rental canoes, repair materials willbe provided.
    • Flashlight and spare batteries
    • “grab loops” near each end of the canoe for attaching rescue lines are strongly recommended. These grab loops must be strongly secured and capable of taking the full weight of the canoe when swamped. (up to the individual crew captain).
    • At least One “rentry” (grab loop) strap per canoe. (Made out of webbing)

 

General Paddling Practices

 

Each morning crew captain submit completed Crew Sign-out forms (see Appendix B) , so we know who is paddling with whom, when, in what canoe.

 

Each morning crew captains will review the route.
Crew captains are responsible for having a map of the route for each day

(map to be provided by brigade organizer/Itinerary organizer)

Ø  At all times during the brigade canoes are to paddle together.
At NO times should a canoe be traveling alone, if one canoe stops, all canoes in the group sub-unit stop!
This applies to the in-Ottawa segment of our trip:
Canoe crews should find other crews of similar capability (speed, motivation, etc.) to travel with.  At no time should canoes be ahead of the designated ‘lead’ canoe, or behind the designated ‘sweep’ canoe.

Ø   At times of greater risk or difficulty paddlers MUST follow the instructions of the Brigade organizer or Itinerary Organizer, who at times:

will attempt to balance canoes for physical ability and experience.

may direct the order of canoes for approaching landings and portages.

may direct rescue attempts

 

Canoe – Flat water Rescue

Flat water rescue is problematic, the conditions (wind and waves usually) that necessitate rescue also make it difficult to effect a safe rescue.  The victims from a swamped canoe must attempt to remain with their boat.  The canoe is the most visible item for rescuers to locate.

Under most mild conditions the quickest rescue is for the rescue canoe or boat to help stabilize the upset canoe, and one or two paddlers clamber in an begin to bail the canoe dry.  As the gunwales lift additional paddlers can climb in to help with the bailing.
Canoe captains must be familiar with this rescue technique and should be able to rescue a swamped canoe within 5 minutes. ALL BRIGADE PARTICIPANTS NEED TO KNOW THIS SWAMPED CANOE DRILL AND THEIR ROLE.

First priority is to identify the most vulnerable paddlers and get them out of the water. This is the responsibility of the Canoe captains. In a rescue, the captain should be the first to board the swamped canoe and then directs the rescue from inside the canoe. The second person in should be strong enough to help less capable persons into the canoe.

 

Leg/Day Cancellation

Conditions Leading to Cancellation

  • It is difficult to state specifically what circumstances could lead to delay or the cancellation of a day’s paddle.
    The most likely is weather:
  • Extremely bad weather: high winds that result in considerable risk to paddlers or even make paddling impossible (lakes), or very high winds with risk of windfall (portages); severe rain or hail, lightning storms, tornadoes, Forest fire, flooding, or other natural disasters

Who Makes Decision to Cancel

  • Making the decision to cancel should be done by the Brigade Organizer, Safety Chair, and the Canoe Crew Leaders. The Brigade organizer, safety chair  and  Canoe Crew leaders will be responsible for cancelling a day’s paddle on route.

Procedures to Follow in the Event of Cancellation

  • Each evening, or morning, at least 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure, the Brigade organizer, brigade group leaders, safety chair, and canoe crew captains shall meet and determine if weather conditions are conducive to safe paddling. This group shall have the best available weather reports and route maps. If an evening meeting is held a morning meeting will be necessary when conditions are marginal or worse.  Canoe Crew captains will be responsible for notifying their crews of any cancellation.

Participants Who Identify Themselves as Medical Professionals – Registrar to provide

  • Contact our participants prior to the event and ask if they wish to be identified as medical professionals and will help out in the event of an emergency (e.g., EMT, nurse, physician, physiotherapist, etc.)
  • The registrar will provide this information to the Route & Safety Chair and Brigade Organizer.