Useful Whitewater Rescue Videos

posted January 14, 2018
by Charlie Duffy

I teach a fair number or ACA Safety & Rescue classes each year.  I’ve also lead numerous Instructor Certification Workshops.  The ACA Level 4 Curriculum covers many topics.  Some students/candidates are interested in real world examples where these skills come into play.  I was quite fortunate to have Charlie Walbridge lead my Instructor Certification Class.  One of the many interesting exercises was a slide show of various incidents we analyzed and took a stab at “what would we do?”.  With the proliferation of Go Pro video cameras, I decided to make a collection of successful rescues that I share as exercises for Instructor Debriefing exercises. 

Everyone should be very thankful to those paddlers that reported these incidents to the AW Safety Database (https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/view/) and shared their lessons learned so we can all benefit.  Everyone lets their guard down sooner or later – talented paddlers practice defense in depth and can manage these incidents.

Swiftwater Swimming Skills & Avoiding Flush Drowning

·                  https://vimeo.com/10290133

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/3301/

o   One of the best examples of conserving energy in big water

·                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAtAFYkjVmw

o   I can’t find an entry in the AW Safety Database

o   NRS Instructional film, great rescue communication skills

·              https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/3214/

o   No video but a great instructional report on flush drowning, non-tethered rescue, and the need to maintain First Aid training

Four Corners (Scene Management), Plan A, B, C, …

·                 https://vimeo.com/68476394

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/3724/

o   https://boatertalk.com/forum/BoaterTalk/1052440674

o   http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/members/1679-albums1324-picture6247.jpg

o   Not all rescue solutions are obvious.  This is why we box (enclose) the rescue site, so someone is in place when Plan A doesn’t work.  Also gives a great example on why bulk heads in kayaks have been redesigned.

Low Head Dams

·                 https://vimeo.com/12656654

o   No entry in the AW Safety Database (it’s foreign). 

o   Shows how difficult it is to escape this feature and challenges in rescues.

·                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g6n0O7T13o

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/4034/

o   Better example of recirculation, note how small the drop is.

·                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW65pWAjDgo

o   I can’t find an entry in the AW Safety Database (it’s old, 1975)

o   Shows the hazards to rescue professionals dealing with low head dam rescues.

·                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Sc27E6ZCU

o   Nice video showing a wide variety of professional rescue techniques

Bad Hydraulic

·                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl-LjPG7ltc

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDDgOnDuDAE

o   No entry in the AW Safety Database (February 2015)

o   This is a great training video, lots of challenges.  It’s really special since you have videos from both the rescuer and the person needing assistance. 

Reach Rescue

·                 https://www.facebook.com/failarmy/videos/1252419981521828/

o   Unknown if in the AW Safety Database (January 2017)

o   Fast, simple, effective and no ropes.  Great example of RETHROG.

Hypothermia

·                                       o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz3gy5XyaBo

o   This is such a great training resource (not an incident)

·                                       o https://www.soundingsonline.com/voices/hypothermia

o   This is such a great training resource (not an incident)

Tethered Rescues

·                                        o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o43JnQknus&feature=youtu.be

o   Not in the AW Safety Database.

o   The Green River Race has the most incredible safety crew imaginable.  Lots of great examples of tethered rescues at Gorilla including the most famous clip at the 3 minute point.

Sieve & Stabilization Line Rescue

·                                        o https://www.instagram.com/p/BaR1ouwA8ks/

o   https://www.facebook.com/african.river.rat/videos/1256292557850175/

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/22248/

o   https://thinkrain.blogspot.com/2006/09/initiation.html?m=1

o   Many pins have taken place at this spot and the hazard is well documented.  This is a great example in the use of a stabilization line.

Strainers

 o https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/2017/08/15/daring-rescue-on-six-mile-creek-caught-on-video/

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/14298/

·                                        o  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvzumGifKPA&t=170s

o   Couldn’t find an AW Safety Database entry.

o   Well narrated.  Tethered rescue, hands on is key!

Solo Paddling·              

        o   http://www.kayaksession.com/near-death-experience-on-belson-creek-ohio/?utm_content=buffercde16&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

                   o https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/4096/

o   Paddling solo is one of the most common contributing factors to all reported incidents in the AW Safety Database.

Throw Rope Skills

·                                       o https://vimeo.com/72792859

o   AW safety database entry unknown.

o   Few films show very clearly why we need to practice our throw rope skills.

Undercut Rescue

·                                       o https://vimeo.com/150611975

o   No AW Safety Database entry, this was during a race on Daddy’s Creek.

·                                        o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0xgRKB3Vu4&t=19s

o   No AW Safety Database Entry (Foreign)

o   Very close call

Hands On, Near Drowning, Situational Awareness, Equipment Trap

·                                      o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvzumGifKPA&t=170s

o   https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/4396/

o   Excellent rescue with a lot of challenges.

Raft Unpinning

·                                         o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nIAmxDinzU

o   Very challenging place to unpin a raft, worse yet – a bucket boat. 

Scouting!

·                                         o https://www.facebook.com/lance.beaber/videos/191139297696956/

o   No AW Safety Database report.

o   Many paddlers these days choose not to scout when necessary.  Yes it’s inconvenient but in a few cases may save your life as well as your friends. 

 

Charles Walbridge
Bruceton Mills, WV