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Old 03-05-2015   #1
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
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Hard to watch swim/rescue

Lots to learn here.


The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 03-05-2015   #2
Colo Springs, Colorado
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Glenn - Were you there at the swim, or did you somehow find these videos?

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Old 03-05-2015   #3
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
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holy crap. that is horrifying.
Edit: i watched the helmet cam footage first, I thought for sure they were going to have to do CPR based on the down time towards the end.
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Old 03-05-2015   #4
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Ug. Yep. Tough to watch. The upstream rope seemed like a problem from the start, though I thought the jump out to the live bait swimmer was a good move, given the circumstances.

It's interesting to see this rescue from both the rescuer's perspective as well as the swimmer's. From the swimmer's perspective, it seems like there's something to be said for not doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. The ropes were taking a long time to setup and it seems like because the swimmer could keep her head above water (for the most part) she wanted to stay above water and not dive for green, downstream water. From an armchair quarterback position, it seems like the move would be to dive deep and hope to get flushed, rather than staying on the surface and getting recirculated over and over.

As a final note, when someone takes a beating like this and makes it into an eddy, their natural reaction is to hang out and catch their breath and count their lucky stars. They're exhausted, and crawling up on a rock seems impossible. I think it's important to pull them out of the water as quickly as possible, since hypothermia and shock are going to be concerns. Get them to dry land and let them rest there.

thanks for sharing these glenn
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Old 03-05-2015   #5
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BZN, Montana
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I wasn't there. These were in my Facecrack feed. Just wanted to start a conversation about what could go better.

My basic thoughts.

Swimmer - As craven mentioned trying out some different things to do besides tread water would probably have made this a non issue. Swimming into the main current. Swimming hard to the corners of the hole. Balling up and going deep. I think all of these had a chance of working.

Helmet cam safety guy - Obviously missed the rope when he first got out. This one sucks and even though I'm usually the slowest in/out of my boat I try to always have my rope. That he got out of the boat for a beatdown but didn't grab the rope right away is weird to me. Anyways... Obviously the angle isn't great pulling the swimmer through the hole to a less than ideal exit on the near side. I think clipping in on a rescue vest and throwing to the downstream rock for an anchor would have been fast and effective for a trashed swimmer who may go unconscious. This guy had the best chance to make a tough grab since he was so close when jumping in.

Downstream safety - These guys didn't seem to coordinate at all with the upstream safety and they missed a number of throws. Just bad rope skills I see from 60%+ of the community. Everyone talks about needing to practice, it rarely happens. It's simple to get the bag out and throw it a dozen times once a month and ensure a good repacking. The final live bait worked but as mentioned above they weren't in an ideal position and should have coordinated better with the upstream crew.

Ultimately it highlights issues with all rescues. Communication, unnecessary complications, using the water to your advantage and never stop trying.
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Old 03-05-2015   #6
Abron Cabron
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Thanks for sharing Glenn. I hope the young lady in this footage is doing alright, and is still a kayaker.
I have been thinking about this a bit since watching it, and although armchair QB is easy to do when youre not there, I totally respect that the folks in this vid did got it done as best as their circumstances allowed and saved their friend. (certainly no disrespect intended.)
I did think of a couple down and dirty things that might have saved some time from the rescue perspective.
First idea I had immediately (Like Craven mentioned) was that the upstream/crosswise rope was not going to work, so to fix that, if the downstream rescuers could throw the end of the second line to the upstream man, he could clip the two together, (assuming he already had her on the upstream line) and let go of the new midpoint and let them pull her her down stream. To save time, they could do the shore throw first.

The second idea is more risky but feasible as well, that would be for the Upstream man to clip his live bait tether into his own throw bag, then throw his bag downstream to the others,or vice versa. and initiate the live bait swim from where he was upstream, which was a much better angle to contact the swimmer. the live bait from straight downstream, unfortunately did not work . The other thing the downstream live bait could have done was to scramble upstream before jumping in.
I think we have all had scary swims, and this is a nasty hydraulic. it would be a good one to sneak for most of us mere mortals.....
good learnin.
the swimming technique as mentioned would have also helped.
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Old 03-05-2015   #7
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Glad that person has friends and is alive!

Now to armchair so we can all be better:
As I was watching I was hoping the upstream guy would clip in, throw downstream for an anchor, and tackle the swimmer for the quick rescue, then they went back for the rope.

The up stream rope became a hazard to the live bait, the swimmer, and the upstream rope. Look how it tor the go pro off, that could have been a neck. As I watched the swimmers helmet view, I saw the rope wrap around the visor and became very concerned.
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Old 03-05-2015   #8
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
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Looks like the swimmer's dry suit may not have been burped when it was put on. Her buoyancy looked crazy high and the air in the suit may have led to increased recirculation.
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Old 03-05-2015   #9
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Denver, Colorado
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Hard to watch swim/rescue

Lots of shiny new gear, Gopros, and minimal skills. Poor communication. Sloppy rope work. Non-aggressive swimming.

I tend to learn lessons the hard way, so I won't be too critical, but that was excruciating to watch.

Fortunately the guy in green had a clue.

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Old 03-05-2015   #10
NIMBY, Oregon
Paddling Since: Womb
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 97
Like others have said, from the arm chair...

Downstream: had a 20ft throw rope, a dislocated shoulder, or can't throw for shit. I consider him just as ill-prepared as the others.

Upstream: always take your rope with you... then jump to the down stream boulder and pull her out rather then in and she wouldn't of churned in there with the rope long enough to have a BDSM ball gag moment.

My overall $0.02... get in the current and hit that hole with some momentum.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Hope she gets back on the horse soon...

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