Learn the proper way to right an overturned canoe
If you spend enough time paddling, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually overturn your canoe. That makes being able to right a canoe a vital skill, unless you fancy a long swim or wait for help.
Canoe over canoe: Position the overturned canoe perpendicular to the centre of an upright canoe, within reach of the paddler (or paddlers). Those in the water can help steady the rescue boat by grabbing hold of each end, and swinging their legs over the gunwales. The paddler then lifts the front of the overturned canoe to break the suction, and slides it up and across the gunwales of his boat. Once the overturned canoe is halfway across, the paddler rolls it upright and slides it back into the water. With the two canoes parallel to one another, the paddler then holds the gunwales together to stabilize the empty canoe as the swimmers climb back in.
Capistrano flip: Two paddlers (or even one strong one) can right a canoe with this technique. To start, recover the paddles and tuck them under the thwarts. Duck into the pocket of air under the overturned boat and hold the gunwales at the middle (with two paddlers, face each other, positioned at the seats). Treading water, lift one side just enough to break the suction. Then with a strong scissor kick, heave the elevated gunwale up into the air, flipping the canoe upright. With the boat now mostly free of water, one swimmer can climb back in while the other holds onto the opposite side to stabilize it.
Re-entry: To climb back into a canoe, grab the gunwale midship with your hands positioned shoulder-width apart, and let your legs float to the surface behind you. Then with a powerful pull and kick, haul your chest up onto the gunwale; keeping your weight as low as possible, wiggle back in.