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#214065 - 01/01/11 06:55 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
After alot of thought of All the posts,I thought about a Trebauchet,Make one of those & Shoot yourself across! 5 Before 12, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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#214102 - 01/02/11 02:26 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: Richlacal]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
For reasons only partially understood, I decided to briefly cruise the net for booms and swiftwater rescue. I found the use of inflated, nearly rigid fire-hose-type devices being hyped.

There were not a lot of written details but pictures and diagrams clearly showed lengths of inflated fire hose being fed straight out to victims in still water, and being fed upstream to drift down to victims in moving water, among others. One diagram even shows tethering the hose upstream to a tree and using what they call the pendulum effect and guide ropes on a mechanical truck boom over the water to let the current take the hose to a victim.

I did not find any river-crossing mentions, nor the idea of having a rescuer ride the end of the inflated fire hose as the current pendulumed it out.

Sounds a bit like a high-tech "pole" to me.



Edited by dweste (01/02/11 02:27 AM)

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#214221 - 01/03/11 07:17 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
For those suggesting using an upstream angle to ferry yourself across: dream on. Michael Phelps in 50+ degree water, maybe. Average person, no. In serious water, you're either swimming hard for the nearest shore, or trying to survive obstacles. If you try to maintain an upstream ferry angle, all you accomplish is to slow your cross-river speed. Your few miles an hour of upstream velocity are negated by far by the speed of the water carrying you downstream. The loss of cross-river speed from trying to maintain a ferry angle means the force of the current pushing you back toward the center of the river will overwhelm you. You'll be swimming as hard as you can upstream, and all you're accomplishing is wearing yourself out. Ferrying works much better for boats than it does for swimmers.



Quote:
For reasons only partially understood, I decided to briefly cruise the net for booms and swiftwater rescue. I found the use of inflated, nearly rigid fire-hose-type devices being hyped.

There were not a lot of written details but pictures and diagrams clearly showed lengths of inflated fire hose being fed straight out to victims in still water, and being fed upstream to drift down to victims in moving water, among others. One diagram even shows tethering the hose upstream to a tree and using what they call the pendulum effect and guide ropes on a mechanical truck boom over the water to let the current take the hose to a victim.

I did not find any river-crossing mentions, nor the idea of having a rescuer ride the end of the inflated fire hose as the current pendulumed it out.

Sounds a bit like a high-tech "pole" to me.


You all need to take a Swiftwtare Rescue Class before discussing things you really do not understand or take snippets from things you read on the web and try to theorize how you would implement them in armchair scenarios. Even if attending such classes are not feasible, try contacting your local Swiftwater Rescue Team and see if you could watch them train. They might even be willing to try a few of your ideas under controlled conditions.

Our team brainstorms all of the time and we do try various new ideas and techniques for rescue situations all of the time, but we have the basic background in water hydraulics, rescue training, equipment and sufficient safety factors to mitigate most of the risk. Before all training activities, we do a risk/benefit analysis and if we feel we will lean something from taking minimal risk, we will try it out. Our experiences have been that most of tested methodologies still are the best, but are willing to examine new ideas.

Pete

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#214236 - 01/03/11 10:29 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Good advice, Pete.

I did white water kayaking in New England years ago, had swiftwater rescue training, and was on safety crews working Olympic qualifying kayak races. I have seen whitewater canoes and kayaks wrapped around rocks and trapped submerged in various hydro features. The power of swiftly flowing water is relentless, overwhelming, and unbelievable until you experience it.

I have decades of solo and group trekking where the fording of small but swift melt-water streams and rivers are forded singly and using group shuffle methods. Occasionally we would construct rope bridges.

I have intentionally and unintentionally swum-floated through shallow and deep rapids, it generally scared the everloving out of me until the river depositied me in to a friendly eddy or pool. I have been rolled downstream in less than 2 feet of water trying hard to get up or out.

By choice you would not cross a flooding river of any size except by bridge. A multi-person crew using tension diagonal lines [TDLs] and mountaineering-grade lines and hardware very carefully tackles such situations for training and rescue.

My scenario, however, is an alone-in-the-woods with no-choice-but-to-cross poser intended to harvest bright new thoughts.


Edited by dweste (01/03/11 10:32 PM)

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#214260 - 01/04/11 06:27 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
AndrewC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Boise, ID
Hey Pete, do you feel that ferrying is effective for swimming in situations like this?

I must admit to no SWR training - I plan on rectifying that this summer. However, the statement you quoted was taken from experience. I haven't found an upstream ferry angle effective in getting me out of danger while swimming in class III-IV whitewater. Even in my kayak and assisting a swimmer to an eddy, I found the added drag of a swimmer rendered ferrying less effective than paddling straight toward shore. Would you disagree?

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#214267 - 01/04/11 02:11 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: AndrewC]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
Hey Pete, do you feel that ferrying is effective for swimming in situations like this?


Yes

Quote:
Would you disagree?


I would disagree

While not from the specific curriculum we utilize, it is close enough-

From Water Rescue Techniques


Quote:
Swimming and Wading Techniques in
Swiftwater Rescue
Outline
4 of 5
2. Peel Outs
a) Swiftwater entry (See above)
b) Speed – for faster moving water you should have
more speed coming across the eddy line. But you may
be able to compensate some with your Swiftwater
entry.
c) Angle – Your angle exiting the eddy should be
pretty aggressive, at least 45 degrees, depending on
where you want to go. If you want to ferry across the
river you should have a greater angle than if you just
wanted to reenter the current to go downstream.
d) Position – As in boating you should try to exit the
eddy from the safest and highest spot to keep from
being pushed back into the eddy.
F. Ferrying in Moving Water
1. While not as useful as in a boat you can slow your
downstream progress
2. Angle should be approximately 45 degrees upstream angle to
the current.
3. Works most effectively in aggressive swimming facing
upstream, but you can use an aggressive backstroke.
VIII. Whitewater
A. Breathing Patterns
1. Turning your head to the side in waves may help
2. Time breathing in wave trains, so that you breathe after
going through a wave on the back side of it.
B. Special Considerations
1. Ledges
a) Pull knees up to your chest or “ball up”
b) Prevents foot entrapment
2. Holes / Hydraulics
a) Change shape of your body or ball up
b) Swim to one edge
c) Swim to bottom
d) Look for jet of water underwater
3. Strainers – Will discuss specifically in strainer drill.
C. Swiftwater


We normally train on the Potomac River. When the water levels are low and for classes we normally use the Whitewater Course at the Dickerson Power plant. Everyone is required to travel down the flume to the outwash area, where we conduct most of the training (to try and stay out of the way of the kayakers). This web site has most of the flume, with around minute 3:25 to 3:31 showing where we conduct most of the training. Everyone is required to perform self-rescue/aggressive swimming across the outwash area using ferrying techniques.

Dickerson Whitewater Course


Pete

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