While riding my bike home yesterday across the Gorge Bridge, I saw a kayaker get in trouble. He was in a long Current Design boat, possibly a racing boat. He had just gone under the bridge and was followed by a eight-man sculling boat and the coach in a small motorboat.
I'm guessing that the kayaker did not see the motorboat go by, or he didn't realize that he needed to turn into the wake. Either way, the wake of the motorboat broadsided him and he went half-way over.
He shoved his paddle down into the bottom and stopped himself from going totally over. But he was stuck on his side, half in the water and half out.
There was little I could do up on the bridge except have my cell phone handy to call 911 if he needed help. And he did -- he was calling out.
Another kayaker and a pair in an outrigger were quickly there and helped right him. The coach in the motorboat puttered away in blissful ignorance.
So today's lesson, Grasshopper: even in calm, shallow, well-travelled and familiar water, accidents can happen. Let's be careful out there.