Swift water rescue pfds for beginners? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-05-2020   #1
 
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Monongahela, 15063
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Swift water rescue pfds for beginners?

I feel like i have read a few articles and heard a few podcasts on rescue pfds and that you shouldn't wear one if you've never had the training.(that being said i have not had the training but am on a continuing mission to hopefully find one in my area soon. ) but my train if thought is like that of a first aid trauma kit, i feel like everyone should carry one if you don't know how to use it because odds are someone else will. So im just wondering on everyone else's take on this topic?

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Old 04-05-2020   #2
 
Jackson, Wyoming
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That analogy doesn't quite work. I can't think of any scenario where you would be trading PFDs in the middle of a rescue. However, if you are interested in taking a swiftwater class and would like to get a rescue vest, you can simply not use the quick release or any type of tether attachment, and you will be fine to use the vest until you get the training.
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Old 04-05-2020   #3
 
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But couldn't it be used by rescuer trying to rescue the wearer i think would be more my point?
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Old 04-05-2020   #4
 
Salida, Colorado
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But couldn't it be used by rescuer trying to rescue the wearer i think would be more my point?

As a past swiftwater rescue instructor, the vest would be fine with the belt and proper training, if the wearer lacks the training just pull the belt and ring and wear it as a standard vest, the rescue vests tend to have higher flotation that a regular vest.

The ring would be mainly used in a Tyrolean setup where the rescuer is lowered into the water and held by a rope from the back and held against the current to effect a rescue.

No one without the proper skills should be trying this in the first place.

Let me say that again, No one without the proper skills should be trying this in the first place.

Truth be told, in 40 years of boating, I used this method once in real life to rescue a kayak that was upside down on a rock in Clear Creek. Larger rivers simply don't lend themselves to this due to the distance between banks and the length of ropes needed, most folks don't own 2 ea 300 foot lines and a 200 foot haul line, let alone know how to set 3 point anchors etc, etc, etc...
There are other uses for the ring, but I won't go into them here. It's pretty sketchy to be dangling on the end of a rope attached to your PFD, hence the quick release the wearer can employ when shit starts to go sideways.



My 2, your mileage may vary, and yes, I wear a rescue vest.
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Old 04-05-2020   #5
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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As a long time but now former ACA Swift Water Instructor who is not current on dues etc, I agree with what MNichols.

It is good to learn proper technique in a clinic rather than the real deal. A untrained panic release just might not be as easy to do as a person thinks.

My group has used the rescue ring vest with a qualified person in the vest and on the belay line in several kayak rescues similar to what MNichols described. Probably not that complex setup of lines tho.
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Old 04-05-2020   #6
 
Portland, Oregon
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None of us were "trained" before we were trained. You've got to start somewhere ... just like the Wright Brothers before they passed the exam for their pilots' licenses. Get it 'n get it!
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Old 04-05-2020   #7
 
Salida, Colorado
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None of us were "trained" before we were trained. You've got to start somewhere ... just like the Wright Brothers before they passed the exam for their pilots' licenses. Get it 'n get it!
That sir is a very dangerous attitude.. if you have any intention whatsoever of making yourself available in an emergency situation, you should get the proper training. It's not like it's hard or difficult to get it, but not having it could cost you your life... Take it from one who has done body rescue
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Old 04-05-2020   #8
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The only time other than in training I've used my rescue vest to be "live bait" was on a river clean-up. There was some shit in the water in some current that was just out of reach. We got me clipped in, and I waded in up to my nipples and tried as best I could to reach that damn thing, but it was still JUST out of reach. It moved a couple times, but not far. I kept after it; as the water surface changed, it would disappear and reappear. The little extended reach gripper tool I had was pretty useless. I made several attempts, and after a while it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to reach it. At that point, I signaled shore, let go of my footing, and I got swung into an eddy just downstream.



It was great practice.


Get some training.



Otherwise, I can't count the number of times I've clipped in to another kayak (or canoe) to tow it to shore for a wayward boater who was enjoying a lazy day of swimming even though they started out in a perfectly good boat.... Even towing can present serious hazards. I need to ask a friend for details of a situation she found herself in years ago when a boat in tow went down the opposite side of a rock that she did. As I recall, the force kept her from releasing the tow.



If you've had training, but it's been a while, a refresher can't be a bad idea. Note to self: read that last sentence because it's true, and it's probably about time.
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Old 04-05-2020   #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
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I got an Astral Ringo that you can add a belt to. I'm just starting in this and for now it's a standard PFD. I'd like to take a swiftwater class in the future and it can expand into that capacity.
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Old 04-06-2020   #10
 
Salida, Colorado
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I got an Astral Ringo that you can add a belt to. I'm just starting in this and for now it's a standard PFD. I'd like to take a swiftwater class in the future and it can expand into that capacity.

For what it's worth, https://rescue3.com/events/ is the gold standard of swiftwater technician classes, granted due to this @#$%^&* virus pandemic most everything is cancelled, but once this is over, they will resume training.
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