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Old 11-09-2006   #11
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185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
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I think the bad safety started long before the throwing/non throwing of the rope. Bad scouting or beta or cockiness. Why would you throw your paddle away on a hole that will re-circ a person? Yeah cool throw your paddle on a drop that might re-circ a boat but most likely let a person go. Theres no need to throw a paddle knowing that your probably not going to get out in your boat but also just yourself. Like I said bad scouting or beta someone should have told him how sticky the hole was. Cockiness, if some one did then he is just rolling some heavy dice.

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Old 11-09-2006   #12
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I agree. I'd seen that second vid before and it pissed me off a little bit. They had plenty of people there to set safety yet it took them over ten seconds to get the first rope out. They should have stopped the second kayaker from going while the first guy was getting recirced. Then the paddlers came up to try and help but should have realized they would just be getting in the way of the attempts to get a rope out to the swimmer. It's lucky that one boater that got surfed didn't swim, making things twice as bad. Then that guy throws the rope to the swimmer between the to kayakers just asking for everybody to get tangled up in it. And what the HELL was the guy doing when he decided to slide down the drop on his ass? That was just plain stupid. My .02.


"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
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Old 11-09-2006   #13
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Regardless of what the safety is doing, the swimmer should be working on getting out of the hole using the currents. I didn't see a lot of effort to dive down deep and swim down to the river bottom. I personally would prefer that my safety waited to throw the rope for at least 10 seconds, because I'll likely need longer than that to get oriented and then attempt to swim back into the curtain of the falls. The last thing I want when I'm recircing in a hole is a rope to get tangled around me. I'll throw a hand in the air if I want a rope, but don't think that you have to throw a rope for even the first 30 seconds.

Once I flush under the bottom or signal though, hit me.

And throwing your paddle isn't that cool. Stomping the boof with a paddle earns more style points.

Obviously, if a paddler is knocked out different rules apply. I'm only talking about the second vid.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 11-09-2006   #14
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I agree after watching that second video that safety was poorly set, disorganized, and was not using very wise judgement at all. However, as far as being cocky on a serious drop goes... I don't know if I would label it that. Anyone with a basic understanding of river hydrology should be able to easily swim out of a very low voulume pourover. And more importantly, if you are going to run drops like that, you should have already practiced how to swim out of a ledge-like pourover in a less serious situation or swiftwater rescue course.
Of course, rapids in a video always seem to be way less signifigant, and I've never scouted or more importantly tried to swim out of that paticular rapid. Personally, having practiced swimming out of very similar ledges, I would think that if you knew what your doing, that rapid would not be much of a saftey concern at all. Obviously, regaurdelss of how serious that rapid really is, they should've set saftey and handled the rescue much differently.

Also, on one other note, why was the person behind the camera still filming? By the end it was obviously becoming a life-threatning situation. Even if your not a kayaker, and you don't know what your doing, you should still put down your camera and see how you could assist the rescuers.

And just to draw out my post a litle longer... everyone does it. It's easy to talk shit (myself included) about what other people are doing wrong setting saftey. But seriously...
How many times have you half-assed setting saftey?
Or been disorganized as a group about whats going on?
Not had a pin kit or a throw rope?
And ecspecially, not communicated as much as you should have?
I know I've done these things before.

I mean honestly, how many groups of paddlers talk before they put on about what hand signals they use, or get together before a big rapid and make a plan? I'd say for the most part it does't happen.

Communicating with your group, setting saftey, getting trained, and having the proper gear are things that most people think about, but just put on their to do list until one day they really need to use it, and it's too late.

Just some fuel for though...

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Old 11-09-2006   #15
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Here's some other things that pissed me off about the second video.

1. I'm pretty sure that the guy with the rapel rope on the cliff didn't have a pfd on. Correct me if I'm wrong. If you don't have a pfd you are a liability in any river situation.

2. Never, ever create another victim in a rescue situation. Homeboys in their boats can try for a grab at you, but don't fuck that one up and get in the hole yourself like they did.

3. The guy going over on his ass looked like he had a rope to his vest for a strong swimmer rescue attempt. Even if he managed to grab swimmer #1 the person holding the rope would only be able to pull them both back into the falls. They needed a different setup, but right idea especially if the swimmer becomes unconscious. If the guy didn't have a rope tied to him with a rescue vest, see #2.

4. Carry a rope with you every time you get out of your boat. I can't count the times I get out to scout a big rapid with less experienced paddlers then they want to watch my line, but they didn't bother getting their rope out of their boat to set safety. Also, the Astral bags that fit into your jacket and the waist bags are great to have in a dire emergency, but they are generally on 35 ft or so. That wouldn't have helped the dude in the video - nor will it generally work on your local river. When you get out of your boat, carry your big bag. I also have 3 biners, prussiks and pulleys in my jacket along with a daisey chained webbing around my waist. That way I always have all my rescue gear, even if I swim. Always carry a knife.

5. All that gear is worthless unless you have the understanding and strategy to make it work. Guy in point #3 is the perfect example. He's got all the gear for a strong swimmer rescue and no technique. One of the best pieces of advice that I ever received was to go to the opposite bank from your partners if something goes wrong. This way people are on both sides of the river and can set up a tag line or pull a Z-drag either direction. Take a swift water rescue class. Wigston generally sets one up every spring. I haven't taken it, but I'd bet it's worth it's weight in gold.

6. I also wanted to mention that sometimes I don't use the perfect safety set up. There are many reasons, but the top are efficient river running and confidence in a drop. Just make sure to analyze the drops and realize that you are making a conscious decision to not set safety, instead of a lazy decision.

I love to run the shit and I love to see other people run the shit - I work on safety to ensure that continues for all of us for a long time. Realize though that nothing is ever guarenteed, especially in the shit.
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Old 11-09-2006   #16
Durango, Colorado
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In the spirit of constructive criticism, I'd like to offer some some suggestions about what they should have done to prevent this from becoming such a shitshow (other than not throwing your paddle):

1. Have someone on shore who can see the rapid and the boaters waiting in the eddy above. This would avoid the two boaters in the hole situation. I personally hate waiting in the eddy above a drop with no idea whether the person in front of me is clear. It looks like they had plenty of people to do this.

2. They needed to think in advance about where to be with a rope. There is more to setting safety than just being in the general vicinity with a rope. You need to be in the best place to help given what the most likely hazard is. Here, the hazard was a sticky hole. So the person with the rope needs to be downstream so they can pull a swimmer out of the hole.

3. They need to be more patient with their ropes. As soon as they got their rope out, they started throwing them around like it was the goddamn circus. A throw rope doe no good if the swimmer does not grab it. The swimmer did surface periodically. Wait until the swimmer surfaces on the boil line tothrow the rope and there is a much better chance he will grab it. Get eye contact if possible. One good throw is better than several bad ones.

4. To touch on the possibility of a strong swimmer rescue that Joe mentioned, this was perfect situation for it and they were in the wrong place. To do a strong swimmer rescue, you need two people downstream. One of them needs to have a rescue vest and the other needs good footing because he will [hopefully] be pulling two people out of the hole.

I'm sure I missed something- chime in guys.

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Old 11-09-2006   #17
Arvada, Colorado
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Just to make it clear: My previous comments were about the link I posted, not the Green River knockout.

Those guys on the Green performed like pro's and should be commended.

The guys in the link I posted definitely did not.
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Old 11-09-2006   #18
ski/kayak bum
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i knew exactly which video this was just by the posts here because its definitely memorable

although i agree with the above posts about the things these guys did incorrectly, some things to consider:

throwing the paddle- who the f knows, but with progression of the sport people will be pushing the limits in ways much like this. to think that certain things weren't thought boatable but are now being done on a regular basis. a few more flash over substance instances include wavewheels over drops, hand paddles, ect.

second boat over the drop- he is not the same boat that is sitting in the eddy above when the video starts, so we don't know the whole story. he may not have even been with their crew, we don't know.

safety setup- at least two boats in the water below the drop, multiple boaters on the shore above the drop, and at least two people on the shore below. the guy repeling over the side had a rope and had a nice angle to pull someone into the eddy horizontally (although no footing?!?!?!?!), which can be easier then pulling someone out of a hole downstream. definitely not perfect but most safety setups aren't.

boaters heading to the hole- at least they are acting, much like giving cpr, effort can be better than nothing. also, i've seen at least five swimmers rescued just the same way out of tough rapids and all were successful. this one however wasn't, so i'm not sure exactly what to make of it.

live bait attempt- not that strange to enter the water from above but i would think the guy connected on the shore needs to be downstream.

this was a cluster f^ck. but many of the serious rescue attempts i've seen, have been. not all, in fact i remember one on the Upper A that was carried out nearly perfect. A lady who was boating with us was incredible in the clutch. while the rescue was perfect, the safety set-up was not there. N.Hinds and crew had stopped for lunch and had their throw ropes out of their boats and on them. thank god.

so it is possible to "style" a rescue but the fact is that most are messy and the best we can do is look at both the good and the bad and try to train ourselves so that when the sh!t hits the fan, we do the best we can

that is all

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Old 11-09-2006   #19
ski/kayak bum
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oh and just to play devils advocate a little more,

major issues with the green race rescue:

grabbing someone who is out-cold by the helmet and pulling on them is horrible and the guys standing up in the water are certainly suspect to getting themselves in trouble.
but hella fast reaction and very good safety set-up!!

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Old 11-10-2006   #20
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by tuberslickmysweatyballs
holy shit.

i think watching a guy with a head injury/possible neck injury get pulled in by his helmet was as scary as him going over the falls like he did.

control the adrenaline and think clearly, people. fuck.
Good observation, but remember your ABC's. A = Airway. Stabilizing the spine does no good for a victim with no airway. The first guy was having trouble getting Nick rolled over and the second grabbed for whatever he could to get him rolled over. Sometimes, you just have to get them up and worry about stabilization later. Someone in the safety team later told Nick to keep his head still, though, hands should have been on his head. Reading the whole story and talking to Nick, he wanted to keep boating. Having a cooperative victim is necessary if you're going to stabilize their spine.

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