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Swift Water Rescue Class

Posted by Thomas Minor 
Swift Water Rescue Class
March 28, 2014 11:08PM
Hello everyone! I am happy to announce that we are putting together a swift water rescue class. This will be held June 7 and June 8, 2014. The first choice as location is the Rockcastle River, if for some reason, such as flow, the alternate site will be the Cumberland. I know this is a little early to be posting notice, but this should allow plenty of time for those interested in participating to get their ducks in formation and practice their knots; more about that later.

So, now the who, what , when , where and why.

Who: Jason Foley as lead instructor and a maximum of 16 students
What: Swift Water Rescue Class
When: June 7 and 8, 2014
Where: First choice is Rockcastle, alternate site , the Cumberland
Why: For me, it’s about being a good river partner; someone to count on should a situation arise. You can fill in this blank for yourself. Jason did want me to stress that this is not a beginner appropriate class. We may put on a class of that nature if there is enough interest.
Cost: $110.00 per person. This will also cover the insurance.

Other necessary points: Rescue gear, 15’ or more of 1” tubular nylon webbing and 15’ of 5mm or 6mm accessory cording to make prussiks and anchors. Two locking carabiners and a standard rescue throw rope. Jason said that if money is an issue here, buy the throw rope and we will make due by sharing. Further, practice the knots. The figure 8 family, figure 8 on a bight and a figure 8 follow through with a bend making the prussic in pairs. The butterfly, clovehitch and two half hitches would be useful as well. Learning tools are grots knots and our BWA website has a helpful link. Hanley has offered his expert service and will possibly host a class some evening before a roll session.

Personal equipment: PFD designed for whitewater use. (Rescue vest isn’t necessary, but if you have one, bring it.) Protective footwear – NO SANDALS! Canoe/kayak/duckie/SUP, paddle and whistle, helmet, spray skirt. A big area of concern for folks is the protective clothing suitable for extended cold swimming. Recommended is either a wetsuit or drysuit since we will be cold and wet for extended times, but another option is to layer up if that is what your budget dictates. Jason said he will do his best to come up with gear if that becomes an issue.

Lastly, the participants should have a good level of personal fitness and confidence and comfort in moving water for extended periods.
I know there will be many questions and I think it best if you post them since others probably have the same or similar inquiries.

Thanks and SYOTR
Tom Minor
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 29, 2014 12:42AM
I'm definitely in. Thanks for putting this together.

Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 30, 2014 01:48PM
When you say no beginners, I get it in the aspect that all partisapants must be decent boaters, but must students also already know all the knots as well? Will yall be teaching us the knots, or would that be annoying if were out there and don't know how to tie the knots? As I write this, my defenent conclusion is "yes" that would be annoying if we didn't know how to tie the knots.
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 31, 2014 08:29AM
Hey Tim

I am glad to see your interest in the class. Jason indicated that if a person has been on some moving water and has some boat control, they will be fine in this class. Also, he is hoping that participants will have spent some time, maybe 30 minutes plus, reviewing the mentioned knots, and being somewhat comfortable with the concepts and terms. More knowledge and practice is certainly better, but he doesn't expect knot experts. Thanks for a good question.

Tom Minor
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 31, 2014 09:00AM
Tim, I'm going to be doing at least two, probably three or more ropes and knots sessions to help get folks up to speed for this. (Tom mentions this at the end of the third paragraph).


Hanley Loller

"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 31, 2014 10:12AM
That sounds great! I'll start getting some gear purchased.
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
March 31, 2014 10:39PM
Is there a range of times in mind for the 7th & 8th? (I am also assuming the class will be two part rather than the same class offered twice.)

Also, is there a specific section in mind for the Rockcastle and the Cumberland if the circumstances cause the class to fall back to it?

Not to get too technicall (nor nit-picky), but is there a preffered size/weight locking carabiner(s)?

And finally, just to clarify, "not for beginners" means beginner boaters instead of beginners at SWR skills?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2014 10:48PM by kblack.
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
April 01, 2014 06:37AM
Since it will be likely that I am the co-instructor for the class, I'll answer some of these questions.

The Level IV ACA Swiftwater Rescue Class is listed as requiring 16 to 18 hours over two days. It requires every bit of that time and it is two long and busy days.

Water level will dictate where the class is held. The Rockcastle location Jason referred to as first choice is at Bee Rock CG. I haven't seen the Cumberland location.

There are some paddler specific pear shaped carabineers, but a standard locking oval will work just fine. I haven't seen a steel carabineer since I was in the Army, but stay with Aluminum since they don't corrode as bad.

Any of the climbing stores with have the tubular webbing and accessory cord. I personally like a 5mm for the accessory cord.

The criteria for the students is Class II boater with decent boat control, we do show you boat based rescue, or "interested persons". The interested persons means that the class is suitable for rescue professionals. As an example, I have taught classes that included some of the Rangers from the Emory Obed NRRA.

Larry Cable

"All skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the Flintlock of your Musket".
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
April 10, 2014 08:31PM
So where,how do we register? There's a ton of intrest from the vikings in the class. Are they invited as well?
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
April 11, 2014 08:47AM
I'm in. How do we register?
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
April 20, 2014 12:00PM
Hey Tim:

My primary focus is to have as many knowledgeable boaters on the water as possible, with that criteria, Vikings are certainly welcome to take the class. They will merely be required to pay the full price as they are not entitled to the BWA sponsorship. Another option would be for them to join the BWA, although that would not ultimately be much of a savings. So, pass the word, and as a reminder folks, get your check in the mail to me soon; the first 16 will fill the class roster.

Tom Minor
Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
May 11, 2014 07:42PM
To revisit/revive this, as of right now it is pretty much for sure I wouldn't be able to make probably most to all of the Sunday portion of the class on the 8th, so this would only leave a possible attendance for Saturday. Would it be allowable/beneficial to attend half the class? If so, would it be the whole fee?

I'm trying to make it work out if it's not too late. I'm thinking that at least partial "hands on" knowledge and training is more beneficial than none at all and would make me at least a little better than "dead weight" in a situation.

...or should I look elsewhere to find a class that I can fit to my schedule?

Re: Swift Water Rescue Class
May 15, 2014 05:16PM
Kevin, a little knowledge is better than none, and Jason is pretty much ok with you leaving whenever you need to, but the price will stay the same; still cheap. Hope to see you there.
Tom Minor
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