Rescue rope / throw bag question - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-15-2015   #1
 
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 583
Rescue rope / throw bag question

I know a lot of people carry 150' of high strength line for z-drag rescue rigging, but I've been struggling with how I want to tackle this problem myself.

Part of the problem is that it's not unusual for me to be by myself on a river... in other words, I can't count on another boat having the supplies I need to do an extraction. For that reason (and general safety), I'd really like to be able to carry all of (or most of) my safety gear on me on rivers where a pin is possible, so that if I'm off my boat, I still have a chance to fix the situation.

For that reason I've been playing with the idea of carrying a throw bag that is also strong enough for rescue, and also having my slings, biners, and pulleys all on me.

I saw a new bag from North Water at my local shop today that was 1/4" SpectrA (not SpectrX), 2200lb, and 115' of rope in a throw bag that looked not to bulky to wear. Main concern is not being able to get a decent sized prusik on that rope to set up a z-drag, and the breaking strength as well.

I went to their website tonight and they also sell a 3/8" version of that same rope but only up to 75' length.

The thing I really liked about that rope is that it felt very soft and supple... felt like their normal soft polyprow rope and WAY nicer than the SpectrX. It would be easier to pack, easier to throw, easier to get prussiks to bite, AND it's actually stronger than SpectrX at the 3/8" size. The trade-off would be durability, but I don't use my throw bags often, and don't have to set up z-drags often.

Pro Throw Line – North Water

For what it's worth, I don't run any huge water here, so a pinned raft may or may not have the same power of water holding it down... but maybe that's just "so far".

Specs on all the rope options are at the bottom. I can't decide if 1/4" is enough, or 75' is enough, or the more durable SpectrX is more appropriate.

Any thoughts?

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Old 06-15-2015   #2
 
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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Hi

Your on the right tract....be able to self rescue is key on the water.

I have personally never needed to set a z drag or pig rig....but I am fully prep with the gear, I practice, and I am swr trained.

Here is what I use and carry

type V high float rescue pfd

NRS pro Rescue 75 foot bag, 5,000lb rate line this is attached to my boat

NRE pro waist throw bag 50 feet of 2,500lb rated line + 4 wire gate beaners attached to waist bag + 1 attached to line

7 feet of webbing with a large wire gate beaner ...carried in pfd pocker ...this gives me a total 6 beaners on my body

2 small pulleys, 2 climbing loops for a klienhiest purrisic 1 small figure 8 with ears.,,,,this all fits in second pfd pocket,


I likly do not have sufficient line to set a z...,but I should have enough to set a pig rig.

hope that helps


scott
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Old 06-15-2015   #3
 
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
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Totally helps... thanks! You and I seem to think alike.

I think I'm going to buy the 75' 4400lb bag and hope I never need it or see it fail. Better than a stronger and longer rope that I can't carry on me and is attached to my boat while pinned to something, right?

Ideally, someone else can carry the same thing, and one of the ropes can be the line to the pinned boat, and the other can set up the z-drag (joined with a biner)... giving me the 150' feet recommended.

Cheers!



Quote:
Originally Posted by shredder-scott View Post
Hi

Your on the right tract....be able to self rescue is key on the water.

I have personally never needed to set a z drag or pig rig....but I am fully prep with the gear, I practice, and I am swr trained.

Here is what I use and carry

type V high float rescue pfd

NRS pro Rescue 75 foot bag, 5,000lb rate line this is attached to my boat

NRE pro waist throw bag 50 feet of 2,500lb rated line + 4 wire gate beaners attached to waist bag + 1 attached to line

7 feet of webbing with a large wire gate beaner ...carried in pfd pocker ...this gives me a total 6 beaners on my body

2 small pulleys, 2 climbing loops for a klienhiest purrisic 1 small figure 8 with ears.,,,,this all fits in second pfd pocket,


I likly do not have sufficient line to set a z...,but I should have enough to set a pig rig.

hope that helps


scott
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Old 06-16-2015   #4
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Yes.,,.you can z drag like you describe. ...but a pig rig ...will give you greater mechnial advantage, and use less hardwear...,I suggest you forget the z drag..and learn hiw to setba 4 to 1 pig rig


scott
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Old 06-16-2015   #5
 
Calgary, Alberta
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^^^ I'll look up the pig rig... thanks.
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Old 06-16-2015   #6
 
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Old 06-16-2015   #7
 
Calgary, Alberta
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Cool... looks like I knew what a pig rig was already, just didn't know that name. In crevasse rescue that's just called a 4:1 advantage.

Thanks.

Seems that maybe crevasse rescue and raft rescue are, in fact, not "significantly different skill sets".
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Old 06-16-2015   #8
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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His numbers are a little off too. This is what I learned from my instructor. A Figure 8 knot drops the rope's rated strength about 20%, not a rated amount like 800-1000 lbs. If you use 1" nylon webbing for anchors, on a bad day that stuff has a 4000 lb break strength. The prussic is your fuse or weakest link, they slip at about 1800 lbs or break at about 2400 lbs of force, but those numbers are based on 11-13 mm static rope, with the smaller line you speak of the prussic lines would probably have lower numbers.
Do you boat entirely alone, or just a single boat?
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Old 06-17-2015   #9
 
Calgary, Alberta
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^^^ I used to boat with others but lately I find myself being the only one up for the trip, so I do it alone. Not just single boat, single person. And even when we were in a group, I was really the only one ever prepared for eventualities.

Good point on the prussics. There is a weak point in every system and I never really thought how much of that is the prussic. My thought in posting this was that having the gear on me at all times takes one MAJOR weak spot out of the equation, and at least gives me more of a chance than my main rescue gear being 150' of 1/2" line that I have to hope to grab while I'm getting flipped/pinned.

Anyway... even if it's only an expensive throw bag, I think I'm going to buy it.
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Old 06-17-2015   #10
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Hi

I would like to respond to the some of the alternative points made in the pm you received. ...that now seems to be deleted.

Personal protective gear, and rescue gear, is a very personal choice, that will vary depending on many different factors.

I primarily run small r2 boats down water that tends to be on steeper and narrower end of the spectrum.. I would modify my rescue equipment if I was running heavy oar boats on wide rivers,

In your original post you ask about what rescue gear folks carried on the body, I provided you with my personal gear list.

From my perspective any rescue gear that is not on your body, can not be counted on for being there when you need it

Help on the river is great, and always appreciated, but I do not count on others having the equipment needed, swr knowledge, or even being there.

It is my personal choice to wear a high float type V pfd, because I believe the extra float increases my survivability when swimming a class IV or V rapid, and since I raft, not, kayak...there are no ergonomic problems with a high float type pfd.

Every extra ounce of rescue hardware on my body, has the net effect of reducing the positive buoyancy of my pfd by that same amount..,I want to keep the weight of rescue hardware on me to a minimum....If I drown, because I am carrying 20 lbs of by the book rescue hardware on my body ...what good is that ?

I am aware that the locking beaner is specifically recommended in swr manuals.

I have chosen to semi ignore this recommendation to save weight on my body. Note I carry 4 locking gate beaners, plus two 20 foot anchor straps in my supplemental rescue kit, located at the bottom of my dry bag. .

I carry 22+ kn rated wire gates on my body, I will not hesitate to use them, when locking beaners are not available.

I find that the wire gate has 3 advantages over the locking type...It is lighter, smaller, and easier to use, while still maintaining adequate strength for mechanical advantage system.

I do not worry about entrapment issues associated with a wire gate because they are either tuck away in my pfd pocket, or attached to my NRS waist throw bag that has an emergency quick release buckle.

For me there was a significant and noticeable weight saving on my waist throw bag, when I switched from my 4 locking gates, to the smaller and lighter black diamond nuterno type wire gate, ...,and that saving in weight will increase my survivability in the event of a swim, After all if I do not survive the swim, what good is the gear ?

My flip line is about 6 feet long with loops at each end, and of course a wire gate and is stored in my pfds pocket. I have found this length to be adequate to get around river side trees, I have use it as an anchor many times without a length issue.....yes having two longer anchors would be better.,,but I am limited by the pocket size on my pfd.

I know my rescue gear selection is not what the swr manual recommends, For me, my selection is the correct balance between safety,strength, weight, ease of use, and most importantly my swimming survivability.

scott
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