near misses

INstructor tips - Re-throws

Leading on from our near miss article, we would like to look at some of the different options you have to re-throw your throwbag to someone who is stuck in a hole if you missed the first time...

There are a few different options you have:

Having all four options open to you makes life a bit easier in a stress situation, and this is generally a question of prior preparation. Having a high level of skill throwing a bag accurately over the whole length of the bag, when standing on slippery river banks is as important as taking the bag with you. Remembering to get the attention of the swimmer by shouting rope before you throw, also increases the chance of success on the first throw.

A lot of river guides carry a waist mounted bag as well as one in their boat giving them two shots and a lot more rope in a rescue situation. However as one bag is normally quite short you might end up having to re-throw anyway if the swimmer is far away.

Filling the bag with water is the fastest way to re-throw a bag. However it does work best with certain types of bag and not at all with mesh ones. You also have to make sure that you hold onto the end of the rope which is often forgotten with this method.

Coils need some time and practice to learn. Both the coiling and the throwing techniques take a bit of getting used to and you need to find a method that works best for you. If the swimmer is in a hole then make sure that you are planning on throwing the bag end to him so that he can see it in the aerated water. Also don't throw 20m of rope at someone in a hole 5m away from you as the swimmer can easily get tied up in all the rope going round with them.

So now go out and practice your re-throws and hope that you never have to use them!