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 Post subject: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:50 pm 
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We are working up a short presentation, this time intended for kiters, as opposed to lifeguards. Kiteboarders can have excellent mobility and sight lines to both detect the need for rescue and aid it in coming about. Kiters may not be aware of the hazards such a rescue may pose to themselves, violent victim panic for instance. Lifeguards are trained to try to detect and deal with such hazards whereas we may not be. Despite that, kiters will try to help others when in need, it is human nature after all. Just calling for help, standing by near the person or passing him your board might make a crucial difference. So, I thought a short guide on video might help things out. We intend to spread it around the Internet once it is completed. Nothing will replace a well trained, equipped and backed up professional lifesaver but sometimes we may be all that is available and nearby.

I have lots of ideas on things to do, avoid in such rescues as does Gio, the professional life saver working on the presentation. I was hoping to hear stories of successes, problems and the like to help out with the content of the presentation.

Thank you,



p.s. - I would rather not dwell on the accident in St. Lucia but more on the good we might do, which happens on a regular basis anyway. The goal is to improve the odds for success by the approaches chosen along with some key foreknowledge of things to avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:08 pm 
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The whole point to that orange floatation device lifeguards carry is it give it to the panicky drowning victim so he has that to grab onto instead of the lifeguard. Using your board in the same way sounds like good advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:12 pm 
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SaulOhio wrote:
The whole point to that orange floatation device lifeguards carry is it give it to the panicky drowning victim so he has that to grab onto instead of the lifeguard. Using your board in the same way sounds like good advice.


That is what I was thinking particularly if it has some flotation. With normal, smaller volume twin tips it might be indicated to have the person grab a footstrap while you tow slowly him, to keep him streaming above the surface. There are advantages and some key disadvantages to having a kite flying while you attempt this of course. Each situation can vary along with the aids and hazards. Calling for help before or during your response may make an important difference too with ideally lifeguards or other watermen on hand to help.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:18 pm 
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What a great idea.

Some positive press would be a big plus to the public image as kitesurfing is still seen as a dangerous and reckless activity in some areas.

I also think that on demand flotation as in some sort of emergency self inflating impact vest would be a great idea for both those situations where the kiter gets in trouble in the water or land and gets dragged or when you want to assist another swimmer in distress and need the extra buoyancy to ensure you can both keep your heads above the water.

It should also have a flasher to indicate a distress situation and as an aid to locating you in the waves.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:39 pm 
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It's a good idea. My thoughts as a kiteboarder, lifeguard and competitive collegiate swimmer would be to have the kiteboarder assist by handing off a flotation device to the drowning swimmer. If not trained as a lifeguard there is a lot that can go wrong and you don't want to end up with 2 victims. And for the record I have had a kiteboarder save me too..I was filming a couple of riders with my gopro and the riptide started to pull me out from shore. One of the riders recognized me struggling and pulled up down wind of me and told me the grab the back of his harness which I did. He dove the kite back and forth and dragged us both in. It was a great learning experience which I will certainly use if ever attempting to rescue a swimmer.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:42 pm 
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jb92563 wrote:
What a great idea.

Some positive press would be a big plus to the public image as kitesurfing is still seen as a dangerous and reckless activity in some areas.

I also think that on demand flotation as in some sort of emergency self inflating impact vest would be a great idea for both those situations where the kiter gets in trouble in the water or land and gets dragged or when you want to assist another swimmer in distress and need the extra buoyancy to ensure you can both keep your heads above the water.

It should also have a flasher to indicate a distress situation and as an aid to locating you in the waves.


I put together the "Way To Go" forum some years back with the intent of congratulating the rescuers while putting out some positive press for kiters. There is no good reason not to continue the effort.

http://fksa.org/forumdisplay.php?f=35

Gio asked me about the normal flotation offered by kiting harnesses, very little, or other aids. Many kiters go with little in the way of supplimental flotation.

I learned of a neat device, a portable inflatable lifeguard buoy at the last USLA kiter orientation we put on in December, see below. It is manufactured by http://www.qsaverescue.com/en/products-19649742 It packs down into a small waist belt compartment as you can see. Not sure how many might carry one of these for "what if" but it is good to know such products exist.


Attachments:
File comment: The stowed inflatable lifeguard buoy.
inflatable buoy P1240587.jpg
inflatable buoy P1240587.jpg [ 171.18 KIB | Viewed 856 times ]
File comment: Doing the traditional bridge jump into the tidal rush of the inlet with the training candidates while shooting on the way down.
Jump 1b  fb.jpg
Jump 1b fb.jpg [ 501.32 KIB | Viewed 856 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:21 am 
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NHKitesurfer wrote:
It's a good idea. My thoughts as a kiteboarder, lifeguard and competitive collegiate swimmer would be to have the kiteboarder assist by handing off a flotation device to the drowning swimmer. If not trained as a lifeguard there is a lot that can go wrong and you don't want to end up with 2 victims. And for the record I have had a kiteboarder save me too..I was filming a couple of riders with my gopro and the riptide started to pull me out from shore. One of the riders recognized me struggling and pulled up down wind of me and told me the grab the back of his harness which I did. He dove the kite back and forth and dragged us both in. It was a great learning experience which I will certainly use if ever attempting to rescue a swimmer.


Thank you for your input. What sort of things, aside from a lifeguard buoy or flotation belt come to mind which kiters might have lying around on the beach. A pair of swim noodles, a flotation vest lying around or ?

I have done similar recoveries with windsurfers although using a kite leash or 1/8 inch line carried for that purpose. The recovery technique you described is similar to what some used in recovering several people from a swamped boat in good sized waves. More at; http://fksa.org/showthread.php?t=1448


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:50 pm 
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Ideally you want a USGC approved flotation device, otherwise you may have (and give) a false sense of security throwing a panicked victim something that floats but not be able to keep him/her afloat. On my boat I always have one of these out in the open: http://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-mari ... gQodamMACg

If someone goes overboard it's the first thing you reach for. Either to throw to the person in the water or to hold on to as you jump in to save them.

When I'm on the boat alone or if accompanied by someone who I know will not be able to help me if I go overboard I always wear one of these: http://www.basspro.com/Onyx-Manual-Infl ... 7499_Black

It may be cumbersome to wear on the water but not a bad idea to have with your gear on the beach should you ever need to attempt to rescue someone in the water.

Helping a person in the water while on a kiteboard is always going to be difficult. As a lifeguard you are trained to never take your eyes off the person in the water. This becomes difficult on a kiteboard as you likely need to make several tacks to get to them.

Happy to help if you have additional questions or need help. A few years back I nearly drowned trying to save my wife who was swept away from the boat by a strong current. I learned a lot by the experience and I'm grateful to be alive.


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:16 pm 
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NHKitesurfer wrote:
Ideally you want a USGC approved flotation device, otherwise you may have (and give) a false sense of security throwing a panicked victim something that floats but not be able to keep him/her afloat.
...
When I'm on the boat alone or if accompanied by someone who I know will not be able to help me if I go overboard I always wear one of these: http://www.basspro.com/Onyx-Manual-Infl ... 7499_Black
...


At Mohave , the rangers make you were a Us coast guard approved PDF ; a lot
of guys are wearing an inflatable belt devise like this :

http://supthings.com/shop/sup-black-inf ... -approved/

I wear a padded water-ski vest, because my fake legs weigh so much, and it doubles
for an impact vest.

If i ever see a swimmer in trouble, while i'm kite boarding ; i will remove my life vest, and
toss it to him or her. Then i'll let them fend for themselves. Essentially ((NO)) liability involved
for or to Me, with that move. My wetsuit will keep me afloat, with minimal effort, if i get in trouble
and i could remove my fake legs, if necessary.

Bille


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 Post subject: Re: Swimmer Rescue Aided By Kiters - Problems?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:05 pm 
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Ricki and Billie,

Great suggestions!

I like the idea of keeping the rescuer’s body away from a potentially dangerous victim in a state of panic, who might climb on the rescuer and drown the rescuer.

I have never tried to drag in a person by giving that person my board and then, towing in the person who is clinging onto the board... through the use of a board leash. It seems that this technique would solve a lot of the problems, IF the board leash was properly designed... the most important part of the design would be a quick release, easily accessible by the kiter. The second most important part of the design would be an “automatic” or “force-triggered” release, which would release the board from the kiter, in the case where the kiter went too fast and the victim was “fish-lured” down under the surface, and thereby had to release his grip on the board. See page 7 of the following thread for discussion about this.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2363763


I will add this idea, for discussion, on the board leash thread:


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