Water Rescues Hazards: Weirs: serious hazard Eddie: an upstream current that forms behind an object in the water Undercut: a rock that has been worn or eroded, usually below the waterline Strainer: trees, rubbish, old bedsteads, allow water to flow through, but not you.
Water Rescues Debris: Old bedsprings, bicycles, shopping trolleys, etc Entrapment: getting feet caught in rocks, etc. If the water is deeper than 1m, the best way to cross is to float or swim.
Saving a Drowning Victim Reach Throw Wade Row Swim with an Aid Swim and Tow.
Rescue First try to throw a buoyant object Try to reach victim with a line or rope Next try a boat (if available) Swimming rescues should only be attempted by a qualified person If a line is attached to the rescuer it must be easily jettisoned.
Mammalian Diving Reflex There have been several cases of recovery after being submerged for considerably longer than the accepted 4 minutes This is attributed to a phenomenon called the mammalian diving reflex This is the body’s ability to channel blood away from ‘non-vital’ functions and direct it to the brain For this reason do not give up just because its more than 4 minutes.
Line Rescues Stand sideways to the river Look for obstacles, tree branches, etc Throw the line upstream and allow it to float down to the victim Once the person has the line the current will usually swing them into shore, like a pendulum, be aware of any rocks which may be in their path.
Line Rescues If access to both sides of the water hazard is available a tag-line rescue can be used This is simply brought to a level with the stranded or trapped person A floating tag-line is a line stretched across with a buoyant object tied in the middle for the victim to hang onto.
Stabilising the Casualty In many circumstances it will be necessary to stabilise the casualty prior to rescue A line or a lifejacket can be thrown to the casualty Mouth to mouth can be given if the casualty is trapped in shallow water Consider using a BA set to allow the casualty to breath while rescuing.
Casualty Care Casualty’s must be transported to hospital following drowning or near drowning due to a condition known as ‘secondary drowning’ In this the casualty’s lungs fill with fluid in response to the entry of water This can occur up to 24 hours after rescue It may also be necessary to treat the casualty for any pollutants in the water This also applies to any rescuers affected.
Rescues from Ice Victims can rescue themselves but panic often makes this unlikely Reassure the victim and try to get them to stop ‘thrashing’ about They should try to crawl forward on their stomachs until their hips are at the edge of the ice then roll clear.
Rescues from Ice Never attempt an ice rescue without adequate preparation All rescuers on the ice must have safety lines around them Your safety depends on being able to recognise unsafe conditions Only minimum numbers on the ice.
Rescues from Ice Spread rescuers weight as much as possible, use ladders and attach lines to ladders as well as rescuers If the ice breaks and the ladder falls in, it may be possible to use it to climb out of the water On reaching the victim attach a lifejacket or grasp them firmly.
Rescues from Ice The rescuers will have to do all the work as the victim will probably be suffering from hypothermia and unable to assist in their own rescue Tag-line rescues can also be used for ice rescues if the victim has not been in too long.
Confirmation Assessments will be based on this lesson and the corresponding study note: State the physiological effects of cold water immersion Demonstrate the treatment for hypothermia Demonstrate in-water survival techniques as a single survivor and in group conditions.