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Old 11-20-2009   #1
 
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 117
account of long swim

this was on boater talk. thought it was good info to have & perhaps discuss. I know I am going to replace my lifejacket this year with a little more floatation.


That time Mike almost flush drowned
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Old 11-20-2009   #2
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
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Thanks for sharing, someone's tragedy hopefully will be a great lesson for others.

Seems like in most cases a self rescue is a must. I remember when I was swimming most of the Snake Murtaugh rapids, even with kayakers, I had to do a lot of self rescue myself and it was tough. A higher flotation PFD hopefully helps with keeping the head out of the water and keeping the panic away.

From saving other swimmers, it seemed that the swimmers were wasting a lot of their energy on fighting the in-properly worn life jacket and not using their energy to swim the rapids correctly. Life jacket buckling is always part of my safety talk on my trips now.

Great video and I am so glad it was a good end!
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Old 11-20-2009   #3
 
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Thanks for sharing, good virtual-training. A good reminder also, swimming practice is incredibly important. You can't do well what you don't ever do. It is a LOT of F*CKING work, even when you're a very proficient and practiced, ahem "swimmer". Drysuits, while they are absolutely critical and keep you warm so you can function, seem to make it a completely different animal.
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Old 11-20-2009   #4
 
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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look behind you

That was a very useful vid. Aggressive swimming is key. One thing I noticed in the vid was when the narrator (helmet cam guy) said that he didn't look behind him for over a minute. My rule of thumb when running harder stuff is to look behind me every 5-10 seconds to check on the boater in the rear. I also expect my boating buddies to do that for me if I'm pulling up the rear also. This is key if you are running blue angel style. If the helmet guy had looked behind him sooner, he maybe could have made it to shore in time to bag his friend with a rope. I can't tell you how many times I've run a creek and had boaters in front of me never looking back. My pet peev rant is over. Be safe out there...Atom...
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Old 11-20-2009   #5
 
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at my house, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom View Post
I can't tell you how many times I've run a creek and had boaters in front of me never looking back. My pet peev rant is over. Be safe out there...Atom...
A good reminder, thanks. It's even better to hear from a friend before launch, safety talks aren't just for commercials or multi-days.
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Old 11-20-2009   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 669
another possible strategy

One thing you may want to consider in a situation like this (swimmer in a very continuous river) is to have one person sprint ahead a couple hundred yards and jump out with a rope. This is a especially good option if you have a bigger group with other boaters still in the water with the swimmer. It seems like it will take alot of time, but a person with a throwbag on shore can really be alot more effective. As you can see in the video, it is really difficult to help a swimmer in harder whitewater without putting yourself at risk. It usually only takes a couple minutes for a person to get far enough downstream to have time to set up with a rope, but sure you go far enough, because it does no good to be on shore with a rope when the swimmer is already past you.
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Old 11-20-2009   #7
 
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Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atom View Post
That was a very useful vid. Aggressive swimming is key. One thing I noticed in the vid was when the narrator (helmet cam guy) said that he didn't look behind him for over a minute. My rule of thumb when running harder stuff is to look behind me every 5-10 seconds to check on the boater in the rear. I also expect my boating buddies to do that for me if I'm pulling up the rear also. This is key if you are running blue angel style. If the helmet guy had looked behind him sooner, he maybe could have made it to shore in time to bag his friend with a rope. I can't tell you how many times I've run a creek and had boaters in front of me never looking back. My pet peev rant is over. Be safe out there...Atom...
I agree 100%.......It's been a habit of mine since day one. I look over the shoulder as often as possible.....it takes a fraction of a second to use the periph's and see your buddies safely behind (or not)......I think any more than 15-20 secs is too much in most cases.
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Old 11-20-2009   #8
brought to you by Carl jr
 
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Glad he made it to an eddy. That was a swim
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Old 11-20-2009   #9
 
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Golden, CO
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I don't see any possibility this guy could have gotten to shore and tossed a rope in time. It was one big flush. Like the others said, in that kind of situation you need to immediately self rescue by swimming like a motherf----r. Nobody else can help you.
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Old 11-20-2009   #10
 
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
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Looking closely at the swim, in addition to protection from the cold water the swimmer/victim's unburped drysuit provides him with a lot of desired bouyancy. Guess I will take the winter and aquaseal some of the pinhole leaks in my suit, replace worn gaskets, and give it a coat of that goretex revivex. How many of us have neck gaskets that maybe aren't completely worn out but, are just fitting a little loose.
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