Safety Advice Solicited

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kayakerjnj
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Safety Advice Solicited

Postby kayakerjnj » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:31 am

With all the GW Sightings and increased numbers visiting the Cape I thought it would be good to seek some expert advice.

Below is an email I sent to Dr. Greg Skomal requesting any tips, advice and or information on the subject of Kayak Safety with GWs.

I'm really hoping we get a response from him, we probably couldn't get better tips than those from someone in his field.

FYI

From: Jordan Jacobs
Date: Jun 30, 2017 9:18 AM
Subject: Safety Advice
To: gregory.skomal@state.ma.us
Cc:

Greetings Dr. Skomal,

I’m a sea kayaker and instructor for the paddling group that I am affiliated with. http://www.wtpaddlers.org

With the increase in White Shark numbers around the Massachusetts Coast, it has created both a heightened awareness and some fear during sea kayak outings.

Do you have, or could you refer me to a resource that would be able to provide some advice about maintaining safety in the water while kayaking?

We are aware that no one should be co-mingling with prey, and or being in close proximity to fishing and or seals while paddling.

Are there any preventative steps or preparations that can be done to increase the distinction of a boat hull from prey. Is there coatings and or markings that would provide both a visual or sensual distinction / deterrent for a shark to take an up close interest in a kayak?

Our sea kayaks are typically 15-18’ in length, so visually we are presenting a much longer picture than a gray seal.

Tactically, do you have any advice regarding what to do if you are up close to a shark that has decided to check you out? As time goes on, it would seem inevitable that it will be a when, rather than in if, we will be in this situation.

Along with basic safety training for our group of paddlers, it would be great if we can pass along proper information about shark – kayaking interaction safety guidelines to those that wish to sea kayak, rather than letting irrational fear guide them.

Personally I’ve always been fascinated with GW’s as they truly are a marvel of Evolution and longevity. However, I really don’t wish to interact with them up close while paddling if I can possibly help it.

Any help / information would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes and continued success with your research efforts!

Sincerely,

Jordan Jacobs
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan

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kayakerjnj
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Location: Randolph MA

Re: Safety Advice Solicited

Postby kayakerjnj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:44 am

Greetings All,

We did receive a reply from this inquiry. Its attached below.

In summary, we really don't have any tried and true tactics to observe in the event we have an encounter while paddling. It seems like prevention that focuses on avoidance is the best scenario for on water safety concerns.

You can read the thread from bottom to top. I first reached out to Dr. Skomal, after no response I found another on-line contact through the Conservancy.

Hi Jordan,

I am glad to hear the website is helpful and that you are already using our app. At this time we don't have answers to the specific questions you are asking. I apologize I can't be of more help.

Thank you,
Marianne

On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 8:43 PM, Jordan Jacobs wrote:
Hi Marianne,

Thank you for your reply. The checklist is of course very helpful for those new to sea. We're hoping there maybe additional preventative measures a sea kayaker could take to make our boats less attractive to both adolescent and mature White Sharks. Coloration of the hull, or treating it in such a way as to deter potential food curiosity?

Additionally, it seems inevitable that eventually a sea kayaker may encounter a shark despite not doing anything overtly foolish. Is there a best practice way for a paddler or group to safely extricate themselves from the area? I've read that aside from not panicking and thrashing to propel your self in the opposite direction, it might be prudent to head in the direction of the shark as you continue to paddle away. The thought being, potential prey would not move towards a predator?

We're trying to gather as much practical safety information as we can and pass it along to our fellow paddlers as we provide other basic safety training and other rescue practices sea kayakers should be proficient in.

I have had the Sharktivity app on my phone for many weeks now, and have found it both enlightening and a little disconcerting, thus the reason for search for any tactical safety suggestions for when we might encounter one despite our best efforts to avoid drawing it's interest.

Thank you very much for your reply.

Jordan Jacobs
Sr. Principal Engineer / Design Engineering Team Leader
Primo Medical Group

On Jul 26, 2017 8:06 PM, Marianne Long <marianne@atlanticwhiteshark.org> wrote:
Hi Jordan,

Thank you for reaching out and inquiring about information on our public safety initiatives. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is part of the shark working group here on Cape Cod and we have several initiatives that are outlined on our website and I have shared the direct link with you below:
http://www.atlanticwhiteshark.org/public-safety/

We also have our app, Sharktivity that is available for free download. The link and further information for that is available below:
http://www.atlanticwhiteshark.org/sharktivity-map/

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,
Marianne

On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 8:51 AM, Jordan Jacobs wrote:
Greetings,

I’m hoping you might be able to direct me to an education resource to address our safety inquiries.

Any information or assistance would be enormously appreciated.

Thank you,

Jordan Jacobs


Jordan Jacobs
Sr. Principal Engineer / Design Engineering Team Leader
Primo Medical Group


From: Jordan Jacobs
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2017 9:18 AM
To: gregory.skomal@state.ma.us
Subject: Safety Advice

Greetings Dr. Skomal,

I’m a sea kayaker and instructor for the paddling group that I am affiliated with. www.wtpaddlers.org

With the increase in White Shark numbers around the Massachusetts Coast, it has created both a heightened awareness and some fear during sea kayak outings.

Do you have, or could you refer me to a resource that would be able to provide some advice about maintaining safety in the water while kayaking?

We are aware that no one should be co-mingling with prey, and or being in close proximity to fishing and or seals while paddling.

Are there any preventative steps or preparations that can be done to increase the distinction of a boat hull from prey. Is there coatings and or markings that would provide both a visual or sensual distinction / deterrent for a shark to take an up close interest in a kayak?

Our sea kayaks are typically 15-18’ in length, so visually we are presenting a much longer picture than a gray seal.

Tactically, do you have any advice regarding what to do if you are up close to a shark that has decided to check you out? As time goes on, it would seem inevitable that it will be a when, rather than in if, we will be in this situation.

Along with basic safety training for our group of paddlers, it would be great if we can pass along proper information about shark – kayaking interaction safety guidelines to those that wish to sea kayak, rather than letting irrational fear guide them.

Personally I’ve always been fascinated with GW’s as they truly are a marvel of Evolution and longevity. However, I really don’t wish to interact with them up close while paddling if I can possibly help it.

Any help / information would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes and continued success with your research efforts!

Sincerely,

Jordan Jacobs
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan

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josko
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Re: Safety Advice Solicited

Postby josko » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:07 pm

FWIW, I had a shark nose my kayak on the way back from Block island Saturday (7/22).

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kayakerjnj
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Re: Safety Advice Solicited

Postby kayakerjnj » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:34 pm

josko wrote:FWIW, I had a shark nose my kayak on the way back from Block island Saturday (7/22).


Jeez Josko!

Drop a little update like that an no details........ Your flair for eliciting curiosity has certainly attained new heights :P

I'm sure the experience was memorable to say the least.....
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan

Ken R
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Re: Safety Advice Solicited

Postby Ken R » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:38 pm

I'm telling you" They don't like the taste of plastic".
KR

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josko
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Re: Safety Advice Solicited

Postby josko » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:59 am

Well, no biggie. It was just curious and sort of nosed the boat gently, as if to check its' consistency. It was about halfway between Block Island and pt. Judith. I saw a fin on the surface and swung towards it to check it out, then just glided when I got close.
Here's my GPS log for the trip. It happened near where the paths cross.
blockisland072217.jpg
Trip GPS log
blockisland072217.jpg (44.13 KiB) Viewed 2143 times


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