So I had one of the scariest moments on the water last friday on henderson creek in tennessee, and I had some questions for people on what they do during situations.
My friend ended up getting pinned on the downstream side of a log in the middle of a class 4 rapid with a class 5 just downstream with his head just out of the water. I climbed out on the log and he told me his lifejacket was caught on the tree, I felt around and couldn't feel it being caught anywhere. I tried just pulling him out of the water but that didn't work, so I felt around again because he kept saying something was pinching his midsection making it hard to breath. I found that his skirt was caught on the tree, I tried just to work it off but couldn't budge it, at this point it had been at least 3 minutes so I was getting pretty worried. I told him that I was going to cut his skirt, I felt around the area that was caught and couldn't feel his body at all so I was pretty sure I wouldn't cut him. I couldn't really see thru the water so I just felt where it was stuck and started hacking away, as soon as I got thru the rand he came free. I was able to get hold on to him before he washed downstream and we got him a rope and to shore. He then had to hike-out and was able to get out just before dark.
I have been thinking about this situation a lot lately and have come up with a few questions, most importantly my hands were going numb by the end. I use poggies and don't have gloves, I'm wondering if gloves would have any effect on this. I think it might help but at the same time I'm not going to take the time to put them on before helping someone and I can't feel the paddle if I wear them all the time.
The other thing I was thinking about was whether I could get out of my skirt, in this case he would have had to get it over his head, do you think it out be possible to do this.
Just kind of thinking about what I could do different/better in preparing for the rescue and during the rescue.