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Old 07-23-2011   #21
dgosn's Avatar
San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
I would NEVER fasten a runaway (even if right side up boat) to my boat. Remember the first rule, don't make yourself a victim. It's only gear. Loop a rope around something, frame, oar tower, etc, that you can hold some tension on, but let it go if shit hits the fan.
What if said boat has the steaks and tequila? 1 day into a river trip with out meat and booze is scary seriously; attaching to a ghost boat is serious business.....

I've clipped to an upside down raft a couple times, but to a strap (on my boat) to make it easy to unbuckle and break free, a knife would be the last resort. When I was a greenhorn (more so than now) I flipped in westwater and someone threw a rope to me, and told me to tie it off. I was happy I did as I was pendulumed into an eddy, had I not been rescued that way I would have went all the way to last chance with no real shore in sight.

Reading this thread shows what a situation based debate this is. On a river like the grand, a boat will hit an eddy and stop. On a river like the MFS at high flows a lost boat may be lost until Riggins. I'd never risk my life for gear, but I also want to protect my buddy's investment as well.....

There are lots of good ideas here, but I think ropes are deployed far to often in rescue & -hit-fan scenarios. The link to the youtube video of the Westwater shitshow illistrates that a rope in the hands of a newbie is likely more dangerous than no rope at all. The fact there was a loose rope in the water for a full 5+ minutes is unacceptable (as well as no re-flip). I always have a waist throwbag and one on frame, I have thrown my bag once in the last 2 years on the water, and that was to get out of toilet bowl in gore. I often use it for safety, flipping, or other things, but rarely does it get thrown except for practice and camp games.

One thing I have not seen mentioned is that it is a good idea to keep a throwbag accessible even on an upside down boat. Cats w/o floors are easy, but on a raft it sure is nice to have a bag available if your riding the bottom.


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Old 07-23-2011   #22
Nosebleed, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
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Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
I would NEVER fasten a runaway (even if right side up boat) to my boat. Remember the first rule, don't make yourself a victim. It's only gear. Loop a rope around something, frame, oar tower, etc, that you can hold some tension on, but let it go if shit hits the fan.
Good to know!

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Old 07-23-2011   #23
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I keep the throw bag anchored to the raft on an old rescue vest quick release. Never used it, but seems like a no-brainer.

If I ever catch a rope on an upside down boat, i will simply clip it to the chicken line, if i have time.

I've been meaning to incorporate a padded carabiner pocket to the end of the bag, so it wouldn't hurt, but is already right there ready. Don't throw a rope to a heavy boat, if you don't have a plan to anchor/ hold on securely.

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Old 07-23-2011   #24
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leadville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 279
This is a good debate. I have swift water rescue traning 10 years expired. A lot of river experiance as a paddler have swam pine creek hole after being surfed on a stinger for a while. (Thanks again ava for the rescue, First real swim, will never be on a class V rapid again.) Only had vision on the water for the last four years (couldn't afford replacement glasses/contacts). Flipped a couple weeks ago and want to improve my safty on the river. Would love to swim all day, flip/reflip my boat, have a beer or two maybe grill out, try some of the ideas here. Grizzley creek to glenwood would a mellow enough section to make it a safer place to do this.

Also if anyone finds any of three blue shaft carlisle paddles on the fork near glenwood, flipped above the bike path construction.

Thanks and be safe gerry 30three 98 one nine78six
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Old 07-23-2011   #25
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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I recommend a set of modified flip lines for the gear boat, 2 on each side, built with ~30 feet of floating rope in each bag. The end of the bag attached to the D-rings is a solid loop of webbing (not a girth hitch with the bag) and has a single, non-locking carabiner on it. The flippee can throw a rope of their own to shore or another boat, and the flippee has a place to attach a received rope by hitch or at the end of the bag, whichever urgency and ability dictate.

The downside of the system is only repacking the slightly larger flip bags. I have recovered a flipped boat by throwing the flip line to a buddy and will definitely be building a set for of these for my next trip.
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Old 07-23-2011   #26
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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I don't know these guys, but this is how you deal with a flipped boat. Flip starts at 1:15. 60 seconds later they're back under oar power.
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Old 07-23-2011   #27
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Great thread, Andy.
I have seen it happen a few ways. Everytime I see the guy on the bottom of the boat just grab the throw bag he just gets jerked off (off the raft). I did see a guy lay spread eagle on the bottom of the boat and hold the line in one hand and hold on to the floor lacing with the other hand, but it seems like he got kinda stretched out. By far the best I have seen is exactly what you suggested, make a loop of rope and stick it through the chicken line, d-ring (seems harder to get to), or the lacing on the floor.

Wish someone was around to help last time I flipped. Had a loaded 13.5ft Aire with 15 gallons of water in jugs in the front. Nearly busted a nut trying to flip that stupid thing back over with all the water in the front and the water in the floor.
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Old 07-24-2011   #28
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Hey Andy,

Broke a metacarpal in my hand last year running the MFS at high water. Got a real ass chewing few days later when I passed on a rope cause I hadn't made the eddy line and it wass tossed early. I now carry my Z-drag on my jacket in big water including prussigs which can be made into a quick draw with biners to the floor laces or chicken line. Honestly unless you're in super fast water where you might not see your boat again I think its best to swim upstream get in somebody else's raft and wait to turn your boat over in an eddy down stream under controlled circumstances. Righting a dynamic flip results in broken bones when the frame oars or dryboxes clock you. Your other option is to ride the raft thru the rapids which is easier in a padle boat when multiple paddlers can paddle the upside down boat thru to an eddy. Heck you might even have the next rapid right your raft.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 07-24-2011   #29
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by teletoes View Post
I don't know these guys, but this is how you deal with a flipped boat. Flip starts at 1:15. 60 seconds later they're back under oar power.
Those guys are good, but it's a small lightly loaded raft. That's not going to happen as fast with a heavy big gear boat.
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Old 07-27-2011   #30
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Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 131
Did you notice they had a belly line and were able to get back on the bottom of their boat easily? Highly recomended. You have got to be able to get back on the bottom of the raft.

OK, so you got a belly line, throw a wrap of the throw rope around that so you don't get pulled off the boat. Don't you guys run a belly line? Should I start a new thread and rev that one up?

Also, the suggestion to go out and try this stuff out is important. You don't want to be making it up for the first tiime when the #*&% hits the fan.

Also, in the above video, they talk about being more active highsiding, he says something about not wanting to let go of the oars. If you watch my video here of my lava run, I gave up on my oars pretty soon, and just went to highsiding. I have avoided many flips by training my passengers to high side long before we actually need it, and my one row flip so far was 'cause I didn't train my peeps.(Plus a raven shit in my boat that morning at Rapid 5) I still lost my passenger, though, when I told him to come to me he didn't hold on hard enough and fell out. Which might have kept the boat right side up, instead of pulling it over with him. At 34 seconds I motion for Art to come to me to try and keep the boat from going into the pocket on the right.

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