Throwbagging Someone on a Flipped Raft - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-21-2011   #1
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
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Throwbagging Someone on a Flipped Raft

The Westwater shitshow video Paul posted here got me thinking about how easy it is to get pulled off a flipped raft when you get to the end of the throw rope and the boat is cruising downstream.

One way to avoid this would be to run the rope through one of the D-Rings or under a chicken line quickly, possibly even looping it a time or two, then hold the rope in your hand when the rope goes tight. This way instead of standing on the slick raft bottom and getting pulled off, the force on the rope will be downward and there may even be enough friction to arrest the raft without too much pull on the rope in your hand.

Of course you need to be ready to let go if its pulling your hand into the D-ring.

Anyone ever seen this done?

Any thoughts or safety hazards I've overlooked?

Thanks,

-AH

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Old 07-21-2011   #2
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Other than the major hazard of fixed lines?

I see your point about going all slip-n-slide on an upside down raft, though.
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Old 07-21-2011   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandob9 View Post
Other than the major hazard of fixed lines?
Brando, I must not have been clear. Here's what I'm thinking: make a loop of rope, pass the loop through the D-ring or under the chicken line (a couple of times if you have time before the rope gets tight), then hold onto the loop paying attention to when the slack ends. If you let go, the rope pulls through the D-ring and you're floating free again. No fixed lines, no slip-n-slide off the boat and back into the water.

-AH
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Old 07-21-2011   #4
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Ok, so you're using the friction of the grab line as a brake?
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Old 07-21-2011   #5
 
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I've been pulled off an overturned raft while holding a throw line.
Since then, I've thought about it a lot.
I came to the same conclusion. I would run the line on a bite through the D-ring and chicken line. It's impossible to gain enough traction to do anything productive otherwise.
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Old 07-21-2011   #6
 
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Uh oh. I have had 3 beers in the last 3 hours and I am posting. This may sound a little, how you say, silly? BTW, I apologize for drinking so slow by buzzard standards, I have to work early in AM.

Are you thinking of a bite through the d-ring or chicken line and then passing same bite through again, just in between the previous "lines" created by passing through the first time? Or to the side of the first pass-through? I would also think this would be super-fast and if you pinched off a large enough bite the first time and you could do a third pass-through if you wanted and be able to hold on with much less effort.
I would think either would work, but the side by side variation, with rope wrapping downstream from throwbagee would create more friction. Probably easier and better on a chicken line, more friction from 2 rough surfaces vs. one rough and one smooth, oar rig being tightened down may keep d-rigns tight and unable to use for this, and my D-rings are probabaly not big enough for the 3rd wrap. Also, frame tubing would create a lot more surface for friction (if you have one on) and would similar to the "tuber" belay device used by SAR teams with a heavy liter to deal with. I have used a "tuber" type belat device with the FD and one person can easily control a liter loaded with gear and 4 persons if set-up correctly. Even my sally ass could do it.

I bet someone could devise a math equation for this, with x being weigh of said overturned raft and y being cfs divided by average fpm gradient where said throwbag to flipped raft occured. Someone a lot smarter than me.
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Old 07-22-2011   #7
 
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I like the concept but it could complicate an already tense situation. I would hate to have any body parts near that operation when the rope pulls tight. I do not think a person on top of a flipped raft sees everything coming, especially on a out-of-control boat and when looking down. It would surely help from getting yanked off the raft if one had the time to rig it however. Are we trying to rescue the person or the boat? If it is the person we are after, does it matter?
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Old 07-22-2011   #8
 
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I guess the notion of why one would want to stop an upside down raft that's traveling down the river must be much more obvious to me than some folks.

The objective would be to stop the raft and right it before an event such as: A) entering the next set of rapids on top of an upside down, out of control raft, B) passing the planned campsite or takeout, C) dragging the oarframe and gear over rocks and ripping out oar towers, drybox, coolers, kayakers' drybags and beer out of the boat, etc.

This is one of those times when there are risks of having lines attached to the boat and another point are acceptable to prevent greater consequences. The physics of bringing to rest a 1000 lb object moving at about 5 mph in swift water enter into this.

Thanks,

-AH
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Old 07-22-2011   #9
 
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No, I for one (and any sane person for that matter) sees the necessity of controlling a flipped boat for the reasons you outline above. Just playing devils advocate for safety's sake. You did ask for thoughts and safety concerns afterall. Best
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Old 07-22-2011   #10
 
Vail, Colorado
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Andy,

If you're quick enough you can wrap the throw rope around the downstream perimeter line and as the line gets tension from shore, just weight the upstream tube and re flip the raft....as your getting the raft pulled to shore, do a tightrope walk up the line while your pulling your waterproof pistol out to shoot the bad guy that flipped your raft!!!......

ok, for real, actually I don't see anything real wrong with what your talking about, just really scary if for some reason your hand got caught in the loops of rope as it gets tension. a flipped boat in fast current, with a good anchor to the boat, can pull the thrower on shore off the bank really easy as well. a swimmer in the water can rip the thrower right off shore if not anticipating well, so a boat could certainly do it really easy. depending on the speed of the current, one, two, or three peopl on shore may not even be able to hold the line. Better to try it than to lose the raft though!

Cole
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