I think everyone who paddles in a group should read this wonderful report here:
I don't know how many times I've been on trips where things haven't gone as planned, but I think careful analysis can help us prevent problems like this in the future.
In the real world I often hear that we are going to stay together and the strongest paddlers should paddle sweep. In this case the strongest paddlers did stay out to help those in trouble. But I have been out a number of times where the winds pick up the group spreads out and the strongest end up at the take out.
I hope sharing what can happen will help groups realize that they are only safer when they stick together and keep track of each other. If you cannot talk to all the paddlers in you group you may be too far apart. So let's paddle together or at least realize when you are not in clear hearing range of each group member you are each paddling alone.