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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious if there was a specific whistle "code of ethics" out there. I was thinking that you use your whistle only in dire emergencies BUT as I read through the various post it seems like people use their whistle for various things ie "come on down, the rapid is clear" or "Ok, I threw come on down" OR "he give me another beer" OR "whistle to get another boats attention for various reason".
So it got me thinking, I've never seen any formal "code of ethics" with whistle so I'm asking what your opinion is?

Thanks for any feedback,
Scotty V.
 

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1 whistle blow = everything okay, come through
2 whistle blow = hold on somethings ups
3 whistle blows = shit just hit the fan, coming running with a throwbag and rescue gear.

Some people prefer to not use 2 whistle blows as it can be confusing on the river.
 

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Signals should always be reviewed prior to hitting the stretch with the crew you are with that day.
 

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1 Whistle = Pay attention
Many Whistles = Shit just got weird (unsafe)
2 Whistles = Check out that hot piece of ass over there (usually only at the boulder play park).
 

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swimmer only

Signals should always be reviewed prior to hitting the stretch with the crew you are with that day.
best advice here-
I personally only use a whistle to mean a swimmer- then my crew doesn't have to either remember or decide who many whistles they heard- long short etc. The exception would be the complex set of whistle commands used when using a high end rescue (lower) system- but this is usually beyond the scope of the training or gear that's carried.
 

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3 Whistles -- there is a major disaster or danger, come running, watch out, etc.

as many as it takes..-- when throwing to a swimmer and you do not have eye contact.

Other then that in general a whistle should probably not be used.

However after saying that last bit.. I believe that the above should generally apply in situations where you may have many different groups paddling (e.g. say the Ark, or the Poudre). If too many people are out there blowing just one whistle blast meaning "hey pay attention" or watch me, or it's clear, or... it could sound to someone outside the groups the "dreaded" 3 whistle blows. Think of a garage full of cars with several car alarms going off -- they will eventual get ignored.

On the flip side, one group, with proper proper communication on the meaning of the different whistle blows, a whistle can be a very good means of communication. For example say safety has been set up for a sketchy drop and the eddy where the paddlers start from is out of the line of sight from the safety group. The safety could use a whistle to signal that it's now clear and the next boater may proceed.

btw -- a lot of this should be covered in a good swiftwater rescue class...
 

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1 whistle = something bad just happened (like a swimmer) or something bad is about to happen (like you are going to get stuffed under a log if you blow past this eddy), HEADS UP

a bunch of whistles = something really bad just happened, someone is going to die if you don't do the right thing right now, HEADS UP
 

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Don't get complicated with this. A whistle blast is just a way to get the attention of someone who can't hear you. 3 repeated is universally accepted for "Emergency". Anything other than this is covered in the scope of rescue training. If you don't have this training you shouldn't be guessing into it.

I rarely use my whistle, but do use it occasionally and think it is an important thing to have. Pulled a guy out from getting sucked under a sieve once cause he was able to get to his whistle. Would have never seen him without this. He certainly got his $2 worth out of his whistle...

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/safety:start
 

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1 whistle blow = everything okay, come through
2 whistle blow = hold on somethings ups
3 whistle blows = shit just hit the fan, coming running with a throwbag and rescue gear.

Some people prefer to not use 2 whistle blows as it can be confusing on the river.
This is what we are teaching in the Downstream Edge ACA certified swiftwater class. Used when you cant use hand signals because of a horizon.

Bottom line - you and your crew on any given day need to be on the same page regardless of what signals you'll be using.
 

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via Mike Mather...

1 blast = Attention
3 blasts = Emergency
2 blasts = Emergency so bad they didn't get to the third blast

That aside here are the rules we go by, live by the 1 or 3 blast rule unless otherwise discussed.

Sounds like there are two different scenarios.
1. Moving a crew through a difficult section safely.
2. Traveling downriver

I would think your crew would discuss up/down river signals at the put-in or during the scout.

If you are traveling down river and need to communicate with an unknown party I'd stick with 1 and 3 rule I'd say those are pretty universal.
 

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the best time to use your whistle is when you are swimming and that f%$&* Griff and his girlfriend are doing NOTHING but drinking Schlitz and YOU DON'T WANNA DIE OUT HERE.



sorry, couldn't resist. the whistle - for me - is forever engraved with Griff and the random caps user / swimmer girl from Gunni.
 

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There I was floating down this burly class III+/V- section, Whitewater to Delta. I friend of a friend had joined and was talking up her kayaking skills, therefore, not paying much attention my buddy Grif and I were enjoying PBR and turkey legs warmed in the sun. After launch we quickly heard a staccato of whistles blows from what we thought was a purposeful swim in some class two riffles. Grif thought the bitch was hungry and tossed her a turkey leg as we floated by. We heard her swear and thought maybe she was thirsty and got pissed we didn't give her a PBR as well. We saw her claw her way to shore and start blowing the whistle over and over. She apparenty was signalling the ranch owner at that point to bring a cold one down as an attempted rescue.

Little did we know she would start one of the most viewed threads on the buzz. Now I understand her whistle code...thanks!

Griff is currently floating the Ohio River on the KY border on a whirlwind tour visiting his relatives.

Bummer, stankboat beat me to it.
 

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1 whistle = something bad just happened (like a swimmer) or something bad is about to happen (like you are going to get stuffed under a log if you blow past this eddy), HEADS UP

a bunch of whistles = something really bad just happened, someone is going to die if you don't do the right thing right now, HEADS UP
This is why you should talk about safety before the run. No offense ture this might be how you roll but I have never boated w people where 1whistle is something bad happened. 1 whistle has always been I am good, come on through, is safety in place?, or I am entering the drop. I guess it could also be why is your portage around mad dog taking so f'in long?


3 whistles is shit has hit the fan get here now!
 

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Agree with 1 whistle = attention, 3 whistles = 911 emergency in progress.

A couple other thoughts though... I always try to get someone's attention in a non-emergency situation with a loud whoop first. Works well in most places and keeps the whistle for real deal stuff.

My heart always skips a beat when I hear a whistle, and it always annoys the hell out of me when some guy blows a whistle to get his buddy to watch him pick his nose or some trivial bullshit that could have easily been done with a whoop. When I hear one whistle, I'm on red alert waiting for the next two blasts.

When its agreed that whistles will be used for routing drops, its all good. You know you are expecting a single whistle and you aren't surprised or worried when you hear that first blast.
 

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the best time to use your whistle is when you are swimming and that f%$&* Griff and his girlfriend are doing NOTHING but drinking Schlitz and YOU DON'T WANNA DIE OUT HERE.

sorry, couldn't resist. the whistle - for me - is forever engraved with Griff and the random caps user / swimmer girl from Gunni.
Don't apologize. I can't believe it took to page two for some true whistle ettiquette. She did use some weird capping didn't she. Missing Yakgirl. What entertainment.

My heart always skips a beat when I hear a whistle, and it always annoys the hell out of me when some guy blows a whistle to get his buddy to watch him pick his nose or some trivial bullshit that could have easily been done with a whoop. When I hear one whistle, I'm on red alert waiting for the next two blasts.

When its agreed that whistles will be used for routing drops, its all good. You know you are expecting a single whistle and you aren't surprised or worried when you hear that first blast.
I hear a whistle and I am looking for someone in the water instantly. This is more for read and run class 3, 4 rafting and kayaking though. For pool drop, horizon line creeking, with portages and mankfests I could see the use of a single blast as a heads up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Funny how you can always tell a thread is losing momentum cause YAKGIRL and her story comes up.
I sat and read it one night and laughted the entire thread.

But seriously, I think I've got the anwser I was originally looking for.........thanks for the information and input.

Scott
 
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