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If it hasn't already happened, I think everyone should check out the "hard to watch swim" video. Not for critisizm or otherwise, but to consider what you would do in that situation. The question was asked, but not answered and I would also likt to know some fundamentals when swimming/stuck in a hydrolic. I realize every situation will be different, but in general do most hydrolics take a majority of the water down and out? several people stated that you should swim down in the hopes of getting washed out.

Now I'm a big guy with a big PFD. After I've "burped" my drysuit and I'm stuck in a hydrolic should i try to swim down with the PFD on or do stome people actually consider taking their PFD off in order to get deeper?? that seems epicly stupid to me but I'm not sure I can any deeper with my PFD.

Also, in that videos, it did not seem like a very strong current pulling her back into the hydrolic. Should she have tried swimming out or can I trust that the current is much stroger than it looks??

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

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I'm just going to make a reading recommendation here. I'm not going to give my opinion on this because I really don't have any experience to base it off of. Has anyone read William "Not Bill" Nealy's book KAYAK? I feel like the animations in the hydro-topography section are super descriptive, and they definitely helped me understand what's going on below the surface of the water.
 

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I once had a bad, multi-minute beatdown under a vertical 5' curtain. First I fought it in my boat, I don't remember if it was pro-active strategy or a reaction to being tired but after a few minutes of rolls and lost breath I wound up pulling my skirt. Then another 4 -5 attempts to swim out at the surface, and finally I remembered advice to "ball up." I tucked up in a ball as I recirced to the curtain, felt it push me down and I flushed right out. I didn't have to swim down, but just ball up and let the water do the work. Always let the water do the work... well, almost always.

Also, I would not recommend taking off your life jacket, you are going to need it when you are finally swimming downstream (among other reasons).
 

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I haven't spent too much timing swimming in keeper holes. But I've done so a couple times.

I tried swimming high in the pile for breaths, didn't work too good. I tried balling up and swimming into the drop to get flushed. I tried reaching for the green water with my paddle, which I found when the paddle was ripped violently from my hands.

I was not too far from losing consciousness when I got a rope from my crew.

I am not convinced that any actions I could have taken as a swimmer were getting me out of that hole. It was my job to keep trying different things, keep fighting, stay calm, and look for the rope.

So, sure, there's stuff you can try, but there is no guarantee you'll get yourself out.
 

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take a GOOD swiftwater class by people that routinely run the shit. Ask your potential instructor questions- "How many boating days outside of teaching classes do you get a year?" "What are your favorite local runs?"

Swiftwater classes vary greatly based on the instructor. I've found a lot of instructors in the front range at least don't do very much boating if any outside of teaching. I had one openly tell me this at a pool session. The swiftwater class is only going to be as good as the person teaching it. For example I would stay away from CW's class. Just my opinion based on knowing multiple people who went through it.

Secondly, don't take advice from strangers on the internet.
 

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I thought some people (like myself) did try to answer the question in that thread. But anyway, I think you're underestimating the effect of the aeration and power of the water. Even with a PFD on, you can go deep. I imagine there are circumstances where taking your PFD off out of desperation may be worthy, though I have never heard of this being done.

If the hole's powerful enough that you're being body recirc'ed, it's generally going to be futile, counterproductive, and enervating to try to swim directly out of the hole. Even while in a boat (where you have magnitudes greater power and buoyancy) it can be difficult to paddle out past a boil line.

The general rules of thumb are try to swim deep and into the curtain, change body shape if what you're doing isn't working (i.e. if balling up isn't working, try the the starfish position and see if you can catch some green water), and look for a rope. If possible, hanging onto a paddle can also be beneficial to catch green water. Any others?
 

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So what i was allways told in swift water rescue cources as a guide, was to ball up, hoping you would get pushed to the bottom and get flushed, if that dosen't work try stretching out, in hopes you will catch some green water with an arm or leg.Bottom line ,change your position if it's not working. I know some raft guides that are probably still alive from balling up. Hope this helps, and that you don't have to use it!
 

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Would second beater boater, I was very happy with my rescue 3 courses, my trainer was a guide on a solid class 5 river, with some very serious rescue experiance. Find a good swiftwater class, If you don't allready have that training.
 

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Not sure where this video exists--Google doesn't help, but I'll throw my input in nonetheless.

I was an ocean baby growing up (Daytona), that ended up in the Bitterroot in Montana. We swam eddies, holes, and strainers as kids, obviously all without PFDs.
Eddies? Relax or go deep.
Holes? Go deep.
Strainers? Grab a rock and climb out. (That's not a joke either--we had a known one you could climb out of or slither down through.)

Now...now I'm old and these options don't exist so much anymore. I depend on my PFD far too much and tend to think it's a crutch in many situations. Given a little fitness, you'd be better off without the PFD, barring any physical or cranial injuries, of course.


(Just my devalued 2 cents.)
 

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Practice swimming, which good SWR instructors will make you do. In the original thread I saw a plug for DownStream Edge with Nick and I highly recommend his classes. You will be more worn out from a weekend class with Nick than you will ever be boating with your buds. I have also taken a few classes with Mike Mather and he is also great. Both have you swim through holes and work on multiple scenarios similar to the video. SWR classes are even more effective if you sign up with most of your crew, it's interesting to see how everyone reacts to the scenarios they throw at you. You will also swim a lot, including through holes and eddy fences. I highly recommend ocassionally swimming holes for practice, you will learn things that you will never pick up on the interweb. And yes, anything that changes your position will help: balling up, reaching deep, swimming into the curtain, and any other advice that changes your current position. If it's a real hole I'm not sure how you would be able to take your lifejacket off, but not be able to swim out of the hole.
 

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picture a wheel

Check out the Nealy book or Jeff Bennett's "complete inflatable kayaker" they have illustrations that explain things better than just words...relevant to this thread:
Pictures a side view of a wheel representing a hole,,the top goes upstream and the bottom goes downstream so you want to be low when you get on the downstream side not high where you get rotated back in...so you go deep at the base of the drop....
 

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Classic late night around the fire solution. No shit there I was in the Ledge Hole at 25000 cfs. Must have recirced about a thousand times when I was able to grab a hold of 100 pound rock on the bottom. Picked it up and walked out of the hole.
 

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Classic late night around the fire solution. No shit there I was in the Ledge Hole at 25000 cfs. Must have recirced about a thousand times when I was able to grab a hold of 100 pound rock on the bottom. Picked it up and walked out of the hole.
That is the most interesting solution I have ever heard... bottom line is keep trying, never give up!
 
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