A recent fax to set the historical record here:
Dear Editor of Sea Kayaker Magazine:
Re: Michipicoten Island Rescue, SK October 2011
Your Magazine describes above yet another highly dangerous "rescue" costing taxpayers thousands of dollars, this time involving a large double kayak that the victims thought they could use to "rescue" themselves by using a paddlefloat and somehow pump themselves out. Your deadly mis-information left them with a flooded double kayak that could not rescue anyone; although Ed Gillett crossed the Pacific Ocean using sponsons for extra stability when his life demanded it, just like Hannes Lindemann crossing the Atlantic in a double canoe with cork sponsons in 1956. Your Magazine has sometimes printed truthful information regarding paddlefloats and sprayskirts and pumps that have left so many victims to die in the water with no hope of the flooded kayak rescuing them, (approximately 2,000 dead Americans in canoes and kayaks according to the US Coast Guard, since 1993 when you first truthfully published sponson information).
Sometimes your Magazine implies that they should have simply been able to perform an "Eskimo Roll"; although the Arctic peoples often failed to roll successfully and died in large numbers relative to their population. "However Reimer was an experienced sea kayaker...His Eskimo roll was not strong, so there was only his paddlefloat." "Hanging onto his upside-down boat, he lifted his paddle over his head. In spite of the rough seas, he waved it back and forth..." (Sea Kayaker, June, '01, p.54) Many Arctic peoples did not roll at all, and some even employed some kind of sponson concept. Note: "A capsized paddler who Eskimo rolls is still in the same conditions that capsized him or her in the first place, and with each roll he or she will take on more water, lessening the kayak's stability." Matt Broze, Deep Trouble, p.91 Today, the idea of transforming the flooded canoe or kayak into a life raft to paddle to safety, is clear and obvious, except for your published misinformation. Transform a canoe or kayak in emergencies simply, quickly and inexpensively into a liferaft, to paddle even fully flooded, the water acting as ballast for further stability; that is neutral buoyancy ballast, as in the concept by Archimedes. The most common life threatening emergencies in canoes and kayaks did not escape the normal intelligence of human beings, even thousands of years ago. Your Magazine and others like it, selling fraudulent instruction and advertising, create deadly misinformation for profit. I understand that Sea Kayaker Magazine is in a competitive market and you would simply lose advertisers and go bankrupt if you did not publish the same deadly misinformation as Canoe and Kayak Magazine, for example. Canoes and kayaks kill far more innocent citizens in the U.S. and Canada per use hour than any road vehicles. But thankfully strong and honest consumer advocacy exists for vehicle safety. You and other members of your cult deliberately profit from lying to the American public, stealing their money for fraudulent instruction and endangering their lives. This action has killed hundreds of American children in kayaks and canoes. This is easily proven in a court of law: it is plain and obvious.
I have created a simple fact page for lawyers in the U.S. and Canada who plan to sue participants in this canoe and kayak safety fraud that has killed thousands of victims since your article: "Once you have the Sea Wings fitted and adjusted, its advantages over the paddlefloat become clear. To use a paddlefloat, a certain amount of instruction and practice is needed. But with Sea Wings, I simply told my volunteer how to snap the four buckles, inflate the sponsons, and climb back aboard." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, Winter, 1993) Please read http://www.sponsonguy.com/Classactionlawsuit.html
You have tried to warn about paddle floats: "...It has two fairly serious shortcomings: You can't seal the sprayskirt, and you can't keep both hands on the paddle while pumping." (Sea Kayaker Magazine, February 2003, p.29) "Sea Wings are simply the best and easiest-to-use self-rescue device on the market today." Sea Kayaker Magazine, Winter 1993, p.34 Today the victims in your Magazine article above could have purchased CO2 sponsons, simply pull a cord to inflate in emergencies, components of air bladder and CO2 inflator being the same as an inflatable PFD: very simple, lightweight, and less expensive than a wet suit or a drysuit. CO2 sponsons cannot be sold, nor any type of a dozen types of sponsons can be sold due to your malicious treatment of sponsons within your magazine and the cult at large: "There is even an interesting look at the development and vitriolic promotion of sponsons as safety devices for kayaks and canoes." p.53, Sea Kayaker Magazine, February 2009.
It is not all your fault. Sometime you have printed the deadly truths about paddle floats; but you did not mention sponsons as a reasonable lifesaving alternative. Read Matt Broze in both Sea Kayaker Magazine and Paddlewise: "The most effective way of using a handheld bilge pump in rough seas is to lift the bottom of your PFD up and shove the pump down between the spray skirt and your belly. This way is slow and awkward, but you can pump with the spray skirt completely sealed. Practice it." (p.27, Sea Kayaker Magazine, June 2006.) Matt Broze, "Pumping Out after Paddle Float Rescue", Paddlewise, Wed, 20 Jun 2001 02:36:43 -0700: "...obviously there are going to be certain combinations of clothing and spraydecks that don't allow a pump down the front. Please try it and report back (if you don't knock yourself out and drown after hitting your chin)." The idea to shove the pump down the top of the sprayskirt requires unfastening the PFD, since the tops of sprayskirts normally extend some distance underneath the PFD. Mr. Broze in "Deep Trouble" (p.84) accepted limited culpability for misleading dead David Kelley with a paddlefloat "talisman", but negated this admission by not confessing the main paddlefloat dangers: impossible to pump out in real conditions, impossible to brace and retrieve the paddle behind the cockpit without re-capsizing; despite referring to needed sponsons stability in several places in "Deep Trouble"!
I shall fax this letter to you at Sea Kayaker 206-781-1141 today, September 2nd, 2011.