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Water Rescue Awareness. Some quick statistics King County in 2006 31 people drowned 31 people drowned Of these 21 took place in open water Of these 21.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Rescue Awareness. Some quick statistics King County in 2006 31 people drowned 31 people drowned Of these 21 took place in open water Of these 21."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Rescue Awareness

2 Some quick statistics King County in 2006 31 people drowned 31 people drowned Of these 21 took place in open water Of these 21 took place in open water Most occurred in June and July- almost 30% of them in June. Most occurred in June and July- almost 30% of them in June. WA State in 2005 104 unintentional drowning deaths. 104 unintentional drowning deaths. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for Children ages 17 and younger. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for Children ages 17 and younger.

3 continued Costs: Costs: One drowning death can be associated with up to $3 million in total costs, according to the National Safety Council.

4 Basic characteristics of moving water Powerful Powerful Relentless Relentless Predictable Predictable

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

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

7 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

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

9 Helical & Laminar flow Laminar Flow Helical Flow

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

11 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

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

13 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

14 Rivers in Flood

15 Classifications of water Are in reference to that particular body of water based on normal flows and are not compared to other water systems Are in reference to that particular body of water based on normal flows and are not compared to other water systems Are used in relation to describe the conditions for recreational use of that particular body of water Are used in relation to describe the conditions for recreational use of that particular body of water Only apply when that body of water is within its banks Only apply when that body of water is within its banks

16 Categories of swiftwater Class I Class I Class II Class II Class III Class III Class IV Class IV Class V Class V Class VI 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

17 Rivers in flood Most rivers have a normal water level or range of normal levels of flow depending on dry spells, recent storms or spring run off but the river flow stays within its banks and is relatively predictable. Most rivers have a normal water level or range of normal levels of flow depending on dry spells, recent storms or spring run off but the river flow stays within its banks and is relatively predictable. Floods, however, are outside of the usual range of river conditions, because in flood, a river overtops its banks, begins to flow through the flood plain and in the process becomes less predictable and more dangerous. Floods, however, are outside of the usual range of river conditions, because in flood, a river overtops its banks, begins to flow through the flood plain and in the process becomes less predictable and more dangerous.

18 Rivers in flood continued The size and power of the river are both greatly increased, as is its carrying capacity The size and power of the river are both greatly increased, as is its carrying capacity Almost all of the river hazards become much more dangerous during a flood and there are often additional hazards due to the flood Almost all of the river hazards become much more dangerous during a flood and there are often additional hazards due to the flood Flood waters are laden with debris, which can clog intakes and foul propellers on rescue boats Flood waters are laden with debris, which can clog intakes and foul propellers on rescue boats Trees and other large heavy objects join the river’s flow Trees and other large heavy objects join the river’s flow

19 Rivers in flood continued Water flows through things on the flood plain like trees, fences, brush and debris, which greatly adds to the danger of being “strained” Water flows through things on the flood plain like trees, fences, brush and debris, which greatly adds to the danger of being “strained” As the river flows through “civilized” areas like streets, fields, and neighborhoods, the danger of contamination from pesticides, fecal matter, dead livestock, and ordinary household as well as industrial chemicals greatly increases As the river flows through “civilized” areas like streets, fields, and neighborhoods, the danger of contamination from pesticides, fecal matter, dead livestock, and ordinary household as well as industrial chemicals greatly increases

20 Rivers in flood continued Eddies and eddy lines become a danger Eddies and eddy lines become a danger –Eddies are wide –Eddy fences are high and can become difficult to cross –The eddies themselves are rapidly-moving whirlpools from which escape is difficult

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

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

23 Basic communication on the water One whistle blast One whistle blast –Attention on me Two whistle blasts Two whistle blasts –Attention upstream Three whistle blasts Three whistle blasts –Attention downstream Four or more whistle blasts Four or more whistle blasts –Attention on me, either myself or someone else is in trouble

24 Rescuer Safety Considerations The search of moving water is at best difficult and challenging. Such activities present great obstacles for swiftwater rescue teams and often expose searchers to the threat of personal injury or death.

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

26 Safe and effective search operations near moving water depend on proper... Preparation Preparation Training Training Equipment Equipment

27 Hazards include... Water hydraulics Water hydraulics Strainers (barb wire, tree limbs, log jams, debris) Strainers (barb wire, tree limbs, log jams, debris) Slippery, unsure footing Slippery, unsure footing Topography (access, cliff faces, drop-offs) Topography (access, cliff faces, drop-offs) Manmade obstructions (dams, bridges, debris) Manmade obstructions (dams, bridges, debris) Cold water Cold water

28 The safety of all personnel must always be the highest priority!

29 Rescuer/entrant priorities 1. Rescuer/entrant 2. Fellow team members 3. Victim 4. Property

30 Always use the SANE approach to swiftwater rescue! S imple approach S imple approach A dequate backup A dequate backup N ever take chances N ever take chances E liminate the “beat the water” attitude E liminate the “beat the water” attitude

31 Any waterborne operation must be treated the same if the water environment poses a hazard to personnel entering the water. Any waterborne operation must be treated the same if the water environment poses a hazard to personnel entering the water. The situation does not have to be a rescue situation to be dangerous to the entrants. The situation does not have to be a rescue situation to be dangerous to the entrants.

32 Before any rescuer (entrant) enters the water always ensure that: Upstream spotters are in place. Upstream spotters are in place. Downstream safety/containment teams are in place. Downstream safety/containment teams are in place. Rescuers have all of the appropriate safety gear on. Rescuers have all of the appropriate safety gear on.

33 Associated risks to rescuers include... Drowning Drowning Entrapment Entrapment Hypothermia Hypothermia Blunt trauma Blunt trauma Cuts and lacerations Cuts and lacerations

34 Public safety personnel 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 search and rescue events.

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

36 Only personnel appropriately trained in swiftwater rescue should enter the water to recover any object. Only personnel appropriately trained in swiftwater rescue should enter the water to recover any object. Do not only focus on in water operations, many times victims exit the water on their own and need assistance but get overlooked initially because rescue teams focus on searching the water only Do not only focus on in water operations, many times victims exit the water on their own and need assistance but get overlooked initially because rescue teams focus on searching the water only Have preplan in place for appropriate action prior to object location. Have preplan in place for appropriate action prior to object location. The role of search teams is to facilitate clue location...

37 There is safety in numbers Never search alone; search teams should consist of three or more person/teams (optimal). Never search alone; search teams should consist of three or more person/teams (optimal). Searchers should have knowledge of self-rescue and victim-rescue techniques. Searchers should have knowledge of self-rescue and victim-rescue techniques. Exercise caution, continually re-evaluate the Risk/Benefit Analysis and be prepared to assist teammates in an emergency. Exercise caution, continually re-evaluate the Risk/Benefit Analysis and be prepared to assist teammates in an emergency. Be properly equipped. Be properly equipped.

38 Shored-based Personal Protective Equipment PFD with whistle & knife PFD with whistle & knife Environmental protection Environmental protection Gloves and boots Gloves and boots Throw line bags (at least 2 per person if available) Throw line bags (at least 2 per person if available) Helmet Helmet

39 Shored-based Personal Protective Equipment cont. Remember Remember –No bunker gear –No fire helmets If you have a choice between no helmet and a fire helmet, go with no helmet. Fire helmets are designed to protect from falling debris, not falling down. If you have a choice between no helmet and a fire helmet, go with no helmet. Fire helmets are designed to protect from falling debris, not falling down.

40 Thermal protection Thermal protection PFD with knife & whistle PFD with knife & whistle Helmet Helmet Swiftwater rescue board Swiftwater rescue board Hand & foot protection Hand & foot protection Fins/mask/snorkel Fins/mask/snorkel Throwline bags Throwline bags Water-based PPE for swiftwater rescue

41 Search equipment includes... Probe device Probe device Binoculars Binoculars Polarized sunglasses Polarized sunglasses Flagging & permanent marker Flagging & permanent marker Rope and climbing equipment Rope and climbing equipment GPS GPS

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

43 As a rescuer... Never tie yourself (or a victim) to a rope when working in moving water 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 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 Never enter swiftwater wearing firefighter turnout or bunker gear Remember, specialized ice rescue suits are not designed for swiftwater Remember, specialized ice rescue suits are not designed for swiftwater

44 Rescue Methods in order of preference... Reach Reach Throw Throw Row Row Go Go Helo Helo

45 “Reach” Method Simple technique used when the victim is close to shore 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 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 Victim must be able to assist in rescue by holding on to object extended to them Maintains high degree of safety for rescuer Maintains high degree of safety for rescuer

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

47 Water rescue throwline bags There is a right way... …and a wrong way.

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

49 Throwline bags

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

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

52 “Helo” method This method should only be used as a last resort This method should only be used as a last resort The use of helicopters, while effective for trained personnel (i.e. Coast Guard), may not be as effective for the average rescue operation due to the lack of training between the various agencies involved in the operation The use of helicopters, while effective for trained personnel (i.e. Coast Guard), may not be as effective for the average rescue operation due to the lack of training between the various agencies involved in the operation

53 Summary There are inherent dangers associated with moving water. Operating in such an environment can prove deadly for victim and rescuer alike. Preparation, proper training and equipment allow rescuers to accurately assess the Risk/Benefit Analysis of every operation.


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