Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Swiftwater Rescue I. Water rescue emergencies present some of the greatest challenges and risks to the rescue professional. Life threatening situations.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Swiftwater Rescue I. Water rescue emergencies present some of the greatest challenges and risks to the rescue professional. Life threatening situations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Swiftwater Rescue I

2 Water rescue emergencies present some of the greatest challenges and risks to the rescue professional. Life threatening situations develop quickly and require immediate action. However...

3 Public safety teams that are untrained and ill equipped to handle water-related emergencies, expose themselves to untold risks. Firefighters, law enforcement officers and members of the search and rescue community can all become victims during rescue events.

4 Rescuer Safety ultimately depends on Training and Education “Common sense” may lead you astray!

5 Safe and effective water rescue operations depend on proper...  Training  Equipment  Preplanning.

6 Lesson 1 Swiftwater Orientation

7 Swiftwater refers to fast moving water traveling in a linear direction  River  Canal  Washes  Flood water

8 Site reference River Center River Right River Left Upstream Downstream Current Four river references relate to facing downstream

9 River Center River Right River Left Upstream Downstream Current Site reference References remain the same even when the perspective is reversed

10 Swiftwater Hydrology The study of the hydraulic effects and dynamics of water flow and the associated forces of moving water

11 Basic characteristics of moving water  Powerful  Relentless  Predictable.

12 Learn to respect the forces associated with moving water. Big Thompson Flood Colorado, July 31, 1976 Before After

13 Laminar flow  Layers of moving water which are slower on the bottom and along the banks (due to increased friction)  Moving water is faster toward the center, midstream and on the outside of bends

14 Laminar flow Outside Bend Straight Section Fastest Fast Slow Slowest Fastest Fast Slow Slowest Water layers slow near the bottom and along banks due to friction

15 Helical flow  A circular flow of water along the bank forcing water to midstream  Phenomenon caused by friction between current and debris and material on the bank

16 Helical & Laminar flow Laminar Flow Helical Flow

17 Water dynamics at the surface and midstream. Water is fastest… at the surface and midstream. along banks and bottom. Water slows down… along banks and bottom. at the outside of bends and slower on the inside of bends. Water is faster… at the outside of bends and slower on the inside of bends. in front of dams and other obstructions. Water slows down and deepens… in front of dams and other obstructions.

18 Time for float to travel 100 feet Velocity: measured in feet per second Surface Velocity Throw a floating object (e.g. stick) in the water and record the time it takes to travel 100 feet


20 Force of moving water Rule of thumb... x 2x 4 Water Velocity x 2 = Water Force x 4 (double the velocity = quadruple the force)

21 Forces exerted by moving water... The force exerted on an object in water is proportional to the surface area that is exposed to the force. Double velocity, quadruple the force River Rescue, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 1980

22 Pillow  Swelling on the surface caused by an underwater obstruction  Obstruction is usually just beneath the surface Rock or obstruction Pillow

23 Pillow

24  Created by water dropping vertically over an obstruction  The larger the drop, the more defined the hole Hole Rock or obstruction

25 Hole

26 Eddies  Caused by obstructions in current that extend above the water’s surface  Water flows around obstacle and reverses direction to flow upstream Eddy Rock or obstruction

27 Eddies

28 Standing waves  Wave stands in one place as it crashes into shallower water  Normally found in chutes, bends in river and downstream Vs  Increase in water speed as it descends chute

29 Standing waves

30 Upstream & Downstream Vs River right River left  Upstream V created by water hitting an object and going around it Upstream V Downstream V  Downstream V caused by water flows converging at point of least resistance

31 Curren t Downstream V

32 Upstream V Current

33 Moving water always follows the path of least resistance. This is generally the safest and least obstructed path of travel in laminar flow. “Look for downstream Vs”

34 Downstream V

35 Reading the river River right River left 1 Upstream V 2 Downstream V 3 Eddy 4 Standing waves 5 Helical flow 6 Laminar flow

36 Identify the hydraulics present...


38 Categories of swiftwater  Class I  Class II  Class III  Class IV  Class V  Class VI Few obstructions, very small waves Easy rapids up to 3 feet wide, obvious clear channels High irregular waves, narrow channels, requires scouting Difficult long rapids, turbulent water requires scouting, rescue is difficult Violent long rapids, scouting is mandatory, extremely dangerous rescue Almost impossible to navigate, rescue is almost impossible

39 What class of water is this?

40 Summary Moving water always follows the path of least resistance. Look for downstream Vs. This is generally the safest path to travel in the laminar flow.

41 Lesson 2 Hazard Awareness

42 Natural and man-made hazards are an ever present threat to the victim and rescuer!  Drowning  Entrapment  Trauma  Hypothermia

43 Swiftwater hazards  Debris Top/floating debris Suspended debris Bottom debris  Fixed obstacles Rocks, bridge abutments  Strainers Barb wire, tree limbs, branches, log jams, fences  Low head dams

44 What other hazards are associated with bridge abutments?

45 Strainers allow water but not solids to pass through

46 Fence lines create deadly strainers that often go unseen…

47 …or can become a formidable challenge. Always scout the river downstream!

48 Low head dam Backwash Boil Outwash Escape route Cross section of Low Head Dam

49 What are the challenges?

50 Other hazards...  Slippery, unsure footing  Difficult topography access, cliff faces, drop-offs  Environmental conditions weather, cold water  Bio-hazards flood waters, runoff from agricultural products  Local hazards?.

51 Summary Know your area and preplan!

52 Lesson 3 Preplanning & Equipment

53 Preplanning... …is the key to safe and effective water rescue operations! Preplanning saves time and lives!

54 Risk/Benefit Always consider the Risk/Benefit Analysis of every operation!

55 Accident Site Evaluation Preplanning Accident Site Evaluation  Low flow  Medium flow  High flow  Flood stage

56 Map and photograph potential accident sites during low water...

57 ...toprovide insight on what to expect during high water.

58  Record width, depth, velocity, river characteristics  Locate natural and manmade hazards  Record access routes, launch sites, high danger areas  Determine ability to control flow Accident Site Survey Preplanning Accident Site Survey

59 Sources for locating hazards and accident sites  Maps  Recreational users of the river  Local accident data analysis  State and local authorities –Army Corps of Engineers –U.S. Coast Guard

60 Preplanning sites  Rivers  Canals  Flood control projects  Washes  Flood areas

61 Personal Protective Equipment for Shore-Based rescuers...  Always wear a PFD (equipped with whistle & knife) in and near the water  Wear proper environmental protection  Have appropriate foot protection  Leather gloves for rope management  Helmet (when necessary)  Multiple throwline bags.

62  Thermal protection  PFD with knife & whistle  Helmet  Swiftwater rescue board  Hand & foot protection  Fins/mask/snorkel  Throwline bags PPE for Swiftwater Rescue

63 Swiftwater team equipment  Throwline bags  Line gun (w/ hearing & eye protection)  Tag line buoy  Multi-chambered inflatable boat  Rope rescue equipment/hardware  Communication equipment  Additional PFDs & helmets  Other specialized equipment.

64 SANE Always use the SANE approach to swiftwater rescue!  Simple approach  S imple approach  Adequate backup  A dequate backup  Never take chances  N ever take chances  Eliminate the “beat the water” attitude  E liminate the “beat the water” attitude

65 Summary Preplan and train with the proper equipment. The SANE approach ensures the highest level of safety.

66 “Swept Away” Video

67 Lesson 4 Fundamental Rescue Techniques

68 Self-rescue techniques  Anyone working near or around the water is a potential victim  Rescuers working in swiftwater environments must all possess practical experience with basic survival and self-rescue skills

69 Self-rescue techniques (defensive maneuvers) On your back Face up Horizontal posture Feet downstream Ferry angles Swimming in current (defensive maneuvers) Body positioning... On your back Face up Horizontal posture Feet downstream Ferry angles

70 Swiftwater maneuvering River left ferry angle

71 Swiftwater maneuvering River right ferry angle

72 Self-rescue techniques (aggressive maneuvers) Head first, swim/up and over strainers/hazards Avoiding entrapment (aggressive maneuvers) Body positioning... Head first, swim/up and over strainers/hazards Dangers of foot entrapment in strong current

73 Victim rescue  Scene assessment Safety first Evaluate Risk/Benefit  Victim contact make attempt to talk with victim  Always choose rescue methods that provide the highest degree of effectiveness while minimizing the risk to the rescuer.

74 As a rescuer...  Never tie yourself (or a victim) to a rope when working in moving water  Never tie a line across the river, perpendicular to the flow, in hopes of catching a victim  Never enter swiftwater wearing firefighter turnout or bunker gear  Remember, specialized ice rescue suits are not designed for swiftwater

75 Rescue Methods in order of preference...  Reach  Throw  Row  Go

76 “Reach” Method  Simple technique used when the victim is close to shore  Makes use of any object that can be extended to the victim for them to hold  Victim must be able to assist in rescue by holding on to object extended to them  Maintains high degree of safety for rescuer

77 Tag line buoy Reach...

78 “Throw” Method  Throw method is used when distance to victim exceeds ability to use the reach method  Method limited by distance and throwing accuracy of the rescuer  Victim must be able to assist in rescue by holding on to object thrown to them  Still maintains high degree of safety for rescuer

79 Water rescue throwline bags

80 There is a right way... …and a wrong way.

81 Water rescue throwline bags  Throwline bags are a highly effective tool in swiftwater rescue  Easy tool to master but requires some practice  Dynamics of throw bag use: stay on shore stay on the move coach victim  Terrain considerations/victim access

82 Throwline bags

83 “Row” Method  This method enables rescuers to close the gap between victim and the shore  Incorporates use of watercraft and allowing rescuers a safe approach to victim  A reach, throw or go rescue can now be attempted

84 “Go” Method  Most dangerous method of victim rescue  Requires approach and direct contact with victim in water  Last resort when reach and throw methods will not work or the victim is unable to help themselves  Places rescuer in greatest danger  Decision to “go” requires an accurate assessment of the victim and potential dangers of the situation

85 The “Go” method is potentially dangerous!  Swimming while trying to control a victim is difficult even over short distances  Know your own capabilities  Have back-up rescuer ready to assist. PFD and thermal protection Helmet Fins Swiftwater rescue board  Be prepared with proper equipment PFD and thermal protection Helmet Fins Swiftwater rescue board

86 Shallow water crossing  Single person  Multi-person line  Multi-person wedge

87 Multi-person line

88 Multi-person wedge

89 Summary

90 Lesson 5 Technical Rescue Systems

91 Swiftwater maneuvering River right ferry angle River left ferry angle

92 Technical rescue systems  Two-line tether  Four-line tether  High line system  Two-boat tether

93 Technical rescue systems Two-line tether

94 Two-line tether

95 Four-line tether Technical rescue systems

96 Proper tag line management Technical rescue systems

97 Four-linetether

98 High line system

99 Factors for tensioning a high line  7/16” (11.1 mm) kernmantle ropeFactor of 12  ½” (12.7 mm) ropeFactor of 18  5/8” (16 mm) ropeFactor of 24 Factor Mechanical Advantage = People

100 Tensioning examples  Using ½” (12.7 mm) rope …  With a 2:1, 9 people should be used 18/2 = 9  With a 3:1, 6 people should be used 18/3 = 6  With a 6:1, 3 people should be used 18/6 = 3

101 Technical rescue systems High line system

102 Technical rescue systems Two-boat tether


104 Four-line system with reach Two-boat tether with throw

105 Rescue hand signals...used where verbal communication is not effective  Team leader  Select good vantage point  Use whistle

106 Rescue hand signals Help-Emergency Also, give 3 long blasts on a whistle and wave a helmet or paddle over your head

107 Rescue hand signals Direction Point and hold indicating proper direction

108 Rescue hand signals Stop! Also, blow one long blast on whistle

109 Rescue hand signals “OK” Signal Touch top of head with a controlled and deliberate motion

110 Rescue hand signals Lengthen line (slack) Arms moving out from center

111 Rescue hand signals Shorten line (tension) Fists moving up and down from elbow

112 Rescue hand signals Near shore Arms moving backward and hold, indicating direction

113 Rescue hand signals Far shore Arms moving forward and hold, indicating direction

114 Take the quiz... #1 #3 #4 #2

115 Summary

116 Lesson 6 General Patient Care

117 Medical considerations  Hypothermia  Near drowning  Trauma C-spine care Cuts and lacerations Broken bones  Proper patient handling & transportation

118 Field management  Maintain local standard of care  Proper airway management/ ABC’s  Prevent further heat loss  Proper immobilization  Gentle handling  Proper packaging and transport.

119 A special note on hypothermia:  Water conducts heat from the body 25 times faster than air of same temperature  Hypothermia can occur in water below 91 0  Body core temperature quickly loses heat in cold water and hypothermia can have a rapid onset

120 Don’t let your approach spell failure... F ailure to understand moving water A dditional medical considerations I nadequate training in rescue techniques L ack of teamwork U nderestimating the logistics R ecovery and rescue E quipment not mastered

121 Course Summary

Download ppt "Swiftwater Rescue I. Water rescue emergencies present some of the greatest challenges and risks to the rescue professional. Life threatening situations."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google