Originally Posted by Andy H.
Lots of good points in the discussion here.
As others have pointed out, you should be in a stable position ready to get yanked around when throwing a rope. If the boat is a kayak, I can see the instructor's point, but I don't think this precludes lots of situations involving rafts.
I've always got a couple of throw bags on my raft and have used them to bag swimmers from an eddy with a raft passenger pulling the swimmer in. It's tricky throwing from a raft and the person on the oars should be ready and in position to work with someone else who's throwing or pulling in the swimmer. I think a lot of it depends on the character of the river / rapids and the judgement / skill of the person on the boat throwing the bag. It takes skill and teamwork but I don't see why it should be a "never ever" deal.
Flip/swimmer situations happen too fast to pull over and throw from shore. I can't imagine having to pull over below every rapid that may have a swimmer and set safety from the shore.
What do others with experience think about this?
I've deployed a throw bag from a moving raft to a swimmer from another boat. Got them back in our raft quickly before the next set of rapids. She would have taken a pretty nasty swim without the deployment of the throw bag. We could not have gotten to the shore. Oh, there was no shore. In this situation the throw bag was the best option.