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Old 04-28-2011   #11
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 71
Thanks for sharing the video- those are great learning opportunities. I like the analysis too Deepsouth. Great tips.

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Old 04-28-2011   #12
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
wow...that's an impressive effort you put forth. I'm glad everything turned out ok. After watching that I'd be happy to have you throw a rope to me anytime! Way to stick with it. I guess you realized what was at stake and had no intentions of letting go until your hands were phyisically ripped off!

One thing I wanted to add to Ian's comments on rope throwing (very well written):
I don't know that drop at all and couldn't tell from the video, but was there a way to throw a rope into that spot from the other side? The angle of attack is often a very important factor in a rescue. It seemed like you were pulling the swimmer over the rock and if you could have reached him from the other side you may have been able to pull him out around the rock...which would have been much easier (in theory).

Once again...nice work. That was an absolute hell of an effort! And you don't need a muzzle to keep the noise down. I think raw video captures the true intensity of these situations. That video would be no where near as intense with some hip-hop beat playing in the background!


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Old 04-29-2011   #13
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
Glad this was posted, and that helpful feedback was provided and taken so humbly. I've learned something; although, for my skill level it's probably a few seasons too early, but hey, you never know.
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Old 04-29-2011   #14
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 211
Some more food for thought...did you guys discuss safety and come up with a plan prior to him dropping in? Or was it more run down get on the ledge and then let him fire it. Reason...the ledge looked wicked slippery and moss covered. Perhaps rigging an anchor in the nearby rock would have provided a place to for you to clip to. Safety back up so you could yard on the rope if needed. Also, once he grabbed the bag, you could have clipped it into the anchor (clovehitch to a biner) and followed the rope down to help him. Myself and my crew of paddlers carry a small rock rack in our safety kit (stoppers, hexes, webbing, etc.) when we're creekin. I've used it more times than I care to remember. Was the swimmer wearing a rescue vest? By clipping a biner into the back metal ring as well as near the front buckle, you provide 2 places to clip into in times of rope rescue. A quick tug on the release buck and the belt feeds through, should problems arise with the rescue system. This would have allowed him to rest more while being rescued...a vital component to lasting longer in cold water rescue situations. Just some food for thought and glad things went well.
To air is human, to get big air divine.
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Old 04-29-2011   #15
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
some great advice on this thread about safety, handling rope, anchors, etc.

but all in all thanks for sharing this video and glad everyone came out alive!
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Old 04-30-2011   #16
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White City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 52
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I have run safety a couple times for him before, we didn't discuss much as far as what we would do if things went wrong. It was very slippery and an anchor would be a good thing at this waterfall as the only other place for saftey would be above on the other side which is about 30 feet. Yes he was wearing a rescue vest, you know everything happened pretty fast, next time a good discussion will be had with anyone running something nasty and a plan of attack will be put in place in case something goes wrong. Thanks for all the positive replies and all the info put fourth, it will be very helpful in the future as this probably won't be the last situation that happens along the river, happy boating everyone.
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Old 04-30-2011   #17
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 106
I watched the video and gleaned the following.

1. KEEP TRYING. Throw the bag as many times as it takes. Shout encouragement to your swimmer. Never give up.

2. As you said, shout to the swimmer and make eye contact before throwing the bag, so as to increase the chances of a catch.

3. Enlist the help of others.

4. Look downstream and consider deliberately flushing out the swimmer, rope in hand, rather than pulling him/her in.

You saved a life. And your post may have saved additional lives.
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Old 04-30-2011   #18
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 75
Great job with pulling him out and staying with it. I'll mention this just because nobody has yet. You no dobut got the best grip by twisting the rope around your hands. Honestly, I've done it before. Train yourself to not wrap it. It's classic hand entrapment and could put you in a worse situation. The body belay style hold/brace (staying on the shore side of the rope of course) is your best bet. This is a great post. Take that course, keep that intensity, and communication.
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Old 04-30-2011   #19
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White City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 52
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When I wrapped the rope around my hand I was thinking about the hand entrapment possibility, I felt at that point if I lost my grip I could lose him and I wasn't willing to let that happen. I guess it was a risk I was willing to take, again thanks for the positive and informative info I take it seriously.

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