Sea Tec Rescue Stirrup by North Water

Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Sea Tech Rescue Stirrup As a guide or instructor, carrying and knowing how to use a stirrup rescue tool can be very helpful. It is a quick and easy assisting device to help and injured or weak paddler back into their boat.

It is fairly simple to make your own by going out and purchasing some tubular webbing from your local climbing store. What ever material you purchase, make sure that it doesn't float as it will make your rescue considerably easier.

North Water recently developed and produced a fantastic stirrup rescue tool that should consider. I know you are asking, "Why would I buy that when I can just some rope or climbing webbing?"

I thought the same thing at first but once I had played with it and actually used it for rescues in a real life situation; I quickly realized the benefits and have since dumped my own homemade stirrup.

Firstly, the webbing they use is bright yellow allowing the victim to see it in the water and get their foot into it quicker. In real life, it this has proved to be very helpful.

The other amazing feature is the simple addition of a quick adjust buckle. With my homemade stirrup, I was required to stop and tie knots in the webbing to shorten the loop for the victim to get their food into. Now with the quick adjust buckle I can shorten it faster and with more accuracy.

The greatest drawback to the traditional stirrup rescue loop is the question of what you do with all the webbing when the rescue is over. It is a huge hazard if it gets wrapped up around you in big water think stowing it safely before you start paddling after the rescue is completed.

North Water has solved this problem by sewing on a piece of neoprene with Velcro attached. This allows you to quickly wrap up the webbing and secure it together with the neoprene wrap leaving you with a safe and compact rescue tool ready to go the next time you need it.

Like any other rescue device or technique, you need to practice using it in controlled conditions so when you really need to use it, it will be an asset and not a liability for you.

Finally, if you currently don't use a stirrup tool, consider using one. I have personally used them several times for new students who were either too tired or didn't have the upper body strength to rescue themselves. Why let them struggle when you can quickly deploy it and help them in with less embarrassment?

As an instructor, it has been a lifesaver for me three times for me over the years.

For more information about the North Water Sea Tec Rescue Stirrup, visit
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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