Sharing lessons learned: injury during portage training

I am writing to share our experience of a serious injury sustained by one of our young elite paddlers during portage training last weekend.  I ask that you please assess the risk of a similar injury with your equipment and take corrective action as appropriate.

The injury involved one of our U18 paddlers lacerating his Achilles tendon and severing another tendon on the seat rail in his K2 when exiting the boat.  Three quarters of the Achilles tendon was cut.  First aid was administered on site and the paddler taken to hospital.  The injury required surgery on Monday and will require further surgery later this week.  Recovery will involve a period of three to four months in a moon boot during which time he will be unable to run or paddle.

I have attached photos of the seating arrangement in the boat. The boat tilted during exit and the paddler’s heel contacted the front edge of the aluminium seat rail.

Regards,

John Young
On behalf of the CV Marathon Committee