Swiftwater Rescue Training
Laughlin, Nevada 2002

 

 

 

Throw bag practice, dry run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second throw, no time to re-bag the line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw bag practice, wet run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who get past the first line gets picked up by the downstream safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Traverson demonstrates proper position for floating down a swift moving river. The current was measured at 8 mph on this day.

 

 

 

 

 

Carlson boards give rescuers an advantage when going after a victim. Rescuers use a ferry angle to travel efficiently in a current.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal watercraft equipped with rescue boards were used for safety during the training. Assisting tired participants went smoothly with the help of the PWCs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Underlin demonstrates how to mount a victim on a Carlson board.

 


 

 

 

Many of the swiftwater rescues/assists performed in Ventura County have involved using the inflatable boat. Often times rescuers are able to walk the craft through flooded areas to pick up stranded victims. In the event the water becomes too deep, the boats come equipped with paddles.

 


 

 

 

 

If an inflatable boat transporting rescuers is capsized, this technique can be employed to right the craft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three man crossing technique can work well in shallow water with a current.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A second strategy for a shallow water crossing involves a group of people. The largest individual is placed at the front of the line, and others hold on behind the leader. The weight of the person behind, pulling the person ahead downward allows the group to walk further along the riverbed than is possible alone.

 

 

 

 

 

See?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A strong swimmer is utilized to pull a line to the other side of the swift water river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Fischer uses the Ferry Angle swimming technique to reach the opposite bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upstream safety is extremely important for swiftwater rescue work. When ropes are used across a river, the potential danger to boaters is increased substantially.

 

 

 

 

 

After the rope is secured to an anchor on the opposite bank, team members are able to cross the river effortlessly using the tensioned diagonal line system.

 

 

 

 

John Sullivan zips across.

 

 

 

 

 

The system can be easily modified for a smaller scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use of personal watercraft helped speed up operations.

 

 

 

 

 

As a last resort, rescuers may enter the water as "live bait" to save a victim. Proper equipment, timing and technique are essential to avoid hazardous consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Big Jim jumps in and performs a live bait save of three swimmers at once!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank and Tim instruct the team on how to dislodge a victim caught up in a strainer using the single line method.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An artificial strainer is carefully rigged to demonstrate the force exerted by the current. Once caught in the strainer, there is usually no way out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay makes a valiant attempt to go over the top of the strainer.

 

 

 

 

Click here for a slide show from the Los Angeles County Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue Team titled, "Swiftwater Rescue for the First Responder."

 

 

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