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Posted By Discussion Topic: Rescue equipment

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Paladine
Aug-20-2016 @ 4:47 PM                           Permalink
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During my recent week out on the Broads, I encountered a team from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service undergoing some water rescue training. Part of the training involved the use of throw lines. Much is said on here about safety equipment, such as life jackets, CO detectors, bilge-blowers, etc., but I don’t recall seeing a discussion about the merits/demerits of life-rings, horseshoes and throwing lines (although I may have simply missed it).

On my previous boat, I had a life-ring, but read that being hit by one of those when you’re in the water isn’t very pleasurable, and can render the target unconscious, so, on my current boat, I have a horseshoe, which is somewhat lighter and head-friendly. I have considered a throw line, but thought that the extra buoyancy provided to the person in the water by the horseshoe made it a better prospect.

Having watched the NFRS training and having asked the instructor to test out my horseshoe in their training scenario, I have thought about it again. The horseshoe was OK at shorter distances, but the throw line appeared to carry further, and more accurately, at longer distances. In a strong wind and/or current, the throw line appeared to have a definite advantage.

Anyway, here are two short videos of the equipment in use and I’ll leave it to you to decide. The first one is of the throw line and the second is my horseshoe. The throw lines used were Safequip UK 20 metre lines (others are available). I won’t be getting rid of the horseshoe, but have ordered one of the throw lines as a supplement. I just hope I never have to use either of them in a real situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pm8PwjoyfQ&feature=youtu.be


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Paladine
Aug-20-2016 @ 4:48 PM                           Permalink
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In this second clip, you’ll see how the instructor coils the line. It is not coiled in loops, as these can tangle very easily. The line is laid back and forth OVER the hand, which enables the line to pay out without any knots or tangles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P45Ihmph9Hs&feature=youtu.be


"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Trevor
Aug-20-2016 @ 6:18 PM                           Permalink
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We had throw lines at the meet last year and some people had a go a using them.

Trevor & Deirdre

steve
Aug-20-2016 @ 7:29 PM                           Permalink
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Yep , hold my hands upto that one Trevor , I was one that had a few goes , learnt quite a bit also ,

steve and vicky

Bobdog
Aug-20-2016 @ 8:09 PM                           Permalink
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... which may be why the Broads Authority provide throw lines in canisters on all of their 24 hour mooring sites.

ruby
Aug-20-2016 @ 8:47 PM                           Permalink
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Yes but as Paladins says they are difficult to use accurately if you have not practised a lot  and remember you  will only get one shot at it. By the time you have hauled it back in , recoiled and taken fresh aim it will probably be too late.

I have tried the BA ones and it took all four of us doing the training at least four goes before we made any sort of a decent effort.  ( lines way short or straight up in the air were common )

To be useful I believe you must practice using them regularly. Their big disadvantage over the horseshoe is the recoiling time.

It is a bit like the difference between a musket and rifle in the napoleonic wars. Musket simple and fast to use but very inaccurate, rifle slow and complicated but very accurate over a longer range.

Have fun

Graham

Bobdog
Aug-20-2016 @ 9:25 PM                           Permalink
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Really?  Where did he say that?  Anything thrown depends upon the accuracy of the thrower, but throwlines are about as easy as it gets ... and I though this was what he said:

"I have thought about it again. The horseshoe was OK at shorter distances, but the throw line appeared to carry further, and more accurately, at longer distances. In a strong wind and/or current, the throw line appeared to have a definite advantage."

Uncle_Nobby
Aug-20-2016 @ 11:18 PM                           Permalink
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I see them as two different things.  I see the horseshoe (I have 2 on board), as keeping the person afloat, and the throwline (I have 2 onboard behind the horseshoes) as recovering said person.  

Yes, the throwlines do need practice, regularly.  Dead right about braining someone with the old plastic liferings.

Speleologist
Aug-21-2016 @ 7:29 AM                           Permalink
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I am in the perhaps unusual position of having real life experience of throw lines as both rescuer and rescued and can testify to their efficiency in the right circumstances. Having been trapped in a weir after a kayak capsize I was very grateful that the bank support crew had throwlines to hand. It was just a matter of grabbing it and being pulled clear. I've used them to rescue others in similar circumstances and also to reach somebody in a dinghy on a lee shore from a safety boat. They work and are very easy to use.

One observation I would make is the importance of looking after them. Both the bags and ropes are vulnerable to UV light deterioration. They are useless if not to hand when out and about, but when you go home put them away in a cool, dark, dry place. I have seen throw lines on sailing school boats which have been left out 24/7. The bags were falling apart and I have no doubt the ropes would be significantly weakened.

Robin
www.robin.me.uk
"Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo"

FishersHaven
Aug-21-2016 @ 8:07 AM                           Permalink
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Thank you Paladine, very interesting, particularly the way the rope was held. I also noticed that he dipped the rope in the water first, would that make it run better?
On the horseshoes: I recently had some 'man overboard' training using a horseshoe. It was blown by the wind at just the same rate as the cruiser making it impossible to let the boat be blown sideways towards it. Clearly that wouldn't be the case with a person, but I wonder if that, added to the difficulty of an accurate throw reduces their utility (throw upwind of the rescuee?).


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