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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

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

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

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

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

Tethered Rescues

·                 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

·                 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

·                   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/

·                   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·              

 

·    h              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

·                 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

·                 https://vimeo.com/150611975

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

·                 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

·                 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

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

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

Scouting!

·                 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. 

 

 

40 years of Accident Databass Statistics

posted April 3, 2017
by Charlie Walbridge

 

American Whitewater

 Accident Database Statistics: 1975 - 2016

 

Total Records

1588

Fatalities

1262

Near Misses

  268

Injuries

    58

 

 

United States

1192

Canada

    30

All Other

    40

 

 

Fatalities by Boat Type

Kayak

  446

Canoe

  183

Raft and IK

  486

Other

  146

Commercial

  231

Private

1030

 

 

Fatalities by Cause

Cold Water

  326

Flush Drowning

  310

High Water

  290

No PFD

  201

Strainer  

  196

Entrapment 

  175

One Boat Trip

  166

Undercuts/ Sieves

  159

Near Drown (Nonfatal)

  147

Dam Hydraulic

  116

Failed Rescue

    88

Caught in Nat. Hydraulic

    70

Equipment Trap

    63

Solo Paddler

    55

Head Injury

    52

Heart Attack

    48

Foot Entrapment

    45

Impact/ Trauma

    42

Health Problem

    53

Spinal Injury (nonfatal)

    26

Vertical Pin

    13

 

 

Fatalities by River Difficulty

Class I-II

128

Class III

280

Class IV

200

Class V

173

 

 

Fatalities by Decade

1977-1986

   48

1987-1996

 219

1997-2006

 453

2007-2016

       530

 

 

Fatalities By Water Level

Low

94

Medium

370

High

420

Flood

33

 

 

Ages

Under 18

300

18-34

413

35-65

485

over 65

69

 

 

Fatalities by State

Alabama

  16

Alaska

  26

Arizona

  21

Arkansas

  13

California

109

Colorado

155

Connecticut

    9

Georgia

    7

Hawaii

    1

Idaho

  74

Illinois

  10

Indiana

  11

Iowa

    3

Kansas

    7

Kentucky

  11

Maine

  14

Maryland

  14

Massachusetts

    7

Michigan

  14

Minnesota

    6

Missouri

    7

Montana

  50

Nevada

    2

New Hampshire

  14

New Jersey

  16

New Mexico

  10

New York

  52

North Carolina

  33

North Dakota

    2

Ohio

  16

Oklahoma

    3

Oregon

  60

Pennsylvania

  66

Rhode Island

    2

South Carolina

  29

Tennessee

  36

Texas

  22

Utah

  29

Vermont

    6

Virginia

  30

Washington

  69

West Virginia

  78

Wisconsin

  12

Wyoming

  20

 

 

 

 

No Whitewater Fatalities were reported in Delaware, DC, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, & South Dakota

 

Top 10

1.Colorado

155

2. California

109

3. West Virginia

  78

4. Idaho

  74

5. Washington

  69

6. Pennsylvania

  66

7. Oregon

  60

8. Montana

  50

9. Tennessee

  36

10. North Carolina

  33

 

 

 

USCG Project Experts Launch National Human Propelled Boat Standards Survey

posted August 4, 2013
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

A team of experts assembled with U.S. Coast Guard grant funding seeks national content validation of a set of entry level, skill-based Human (manually propelled) boat operation standards. The collaborative development of sail, power and human propelled standards will eventually be recognized (not mandated) by the US Coast Guard for incorporation in recreational boating training programs nationwide. Recreational paddling and rowing enthusiasts and especially those with experience in On-Water teaching or training are urged to participate in an on-line survey.

Western North Carolina River Rescue Rodeo - Sept 29th, 2013

posted April 29, 2013
by Mark Singleton
article photo 2

Teams of canoes and decked boats will compete in river rescue events on the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro, NC.

White Salmon River Homecoming Celebration (WA)

posted September 7, 2012
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 2

Removal of Condit Dam is nearing completion and we are getting ready to celebrate the moment on Saturday September 29th. Contractors still have equipment in and along the river that will be removed over the next couple weeks and a log jam resulting from the dam breach still needs to be addressed. It's important for paddlers to wait until this work is done and everyone considering this reach needs to understand the hazards associated with the class IV/V entrance drop into the Narrows.

Chelan Gorge Releases Canceled for July 10 and 11

posted July 6, 2010
by Thomas O'Keefe
article photo 1

After consulting with American Whitewater, Chelan PUD has made the decision to cancel the planned whitewater boating opportunities on the Chelan Gorge this weekend (July 10 and 11). Providing this opportunity requires a balancing act between lake level, spill and whitewater boating and unfortunately, at this time the PUD is not able to accommodate all three. Boaters should know that AW is actively engaged with Chelan PUD to document the reasons for canceling this weekend's release and we will work together to determine the best means of providing the opportunities we agreed to. The release on July 24 and 25 is scheduled to take place as planned.


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