Kayakers carry various pieces of rescue
equipment to re-enter their kayak after a capsize and wet exit.
For sea kayaking, the standard piece of self rescue equipment is a paddle float, but sponsons are another option. Some people may include a rescue stirrup. These can all help you re-enter the kayak.
A second piece of essentially necessary self rescue equipment is a pump to get the several inches of water out of a kayak. In a recent fatal accident, the victim, having done a wet exit and gotten back in the kayak found it impossible to move the full kayak of water against the wind. A pump or other method to get the water out is necessary. Options include (from problematic to most useful)
- bailer - can be homemade from a plastic bottle or a felt hat
- hand pump - can empty the boat while the spray skirt is on. Built-in models require only one hand, others, two.
- foot pump - the paddler can paddle and brace while pumping the water out of the boat
- electric pump - like the foot pump, it allows hands-free pumping
Assisted rescue equipment may include tow ropes or throw ropes, and rescue stirrups.
If these rescues fail, should you be stuck in the water or lose your boat, you may be in a position where you need to summon outside help. You will need some other safety gear, like signal devices to attract the attention of a would-be rescuer such as a VHF radio, whistle, flare?s, or air horn.