Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

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andy g
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Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by andy g » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:31 pm

2 weeks ago whilst on a club trip with several intermediates and beginners we ran Mills Falls on a "scrape".

We found another group in the large eddy river right at the bottom, where one lady paddler had sustained a suspected dislocated shoulder. She was in a group shelter and being kept warm and as comfortable as possible.

Their cars were parked at Llangynidr, but their phones could not get a signal to contact their non-paddling shuttle bunny. We tried phoning and had similar luck despite being on several networks , so it must be something of a dead spot.

They asked my opinion about evacuation from the spot. I advised walking out from their current location up the rather indistinct path to the road (I had used this route in reverse about a decade ago when I was taking photos of our club whilst out of action with a fractured collar bone) . From there it should have been possible to get a better phone signal and to contact the shuttle car and get the casualty to medical care in the shortest time.

They thanked me for the information but decided to get the casualty into her own boat , and raft her up between two of their strongest paddlers and float down to the bridge at Llangynidr, and evacuate from there.

There is probably no correct answer to this , and I certainly don't want to start any arguments or blame games but in the interests of discussion only, which method would you have chosen to evacuate the casualty?

Andy

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morsey
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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by morsey » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:20 pm

You are correct there is not a correct answer.

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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by Terryg » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:53 pm

The lady in question is now recovering from a sprained shoulder.
Thanks to all who helped, or gave advice.

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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by andy g » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:03 pm

I am really pleased to hear that Terry. Obviously your method worked well, and your team co-operated to make it happen.

I just wanted to hear paddler's views on how to tackle such a incident, to see if there were any pointers we could use for the future.

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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by GrahamC » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:29 am

Whatever is best for the casualty. I don't know the river. It if it is gentle from then onwards and the raft is stable and the getout easy, floating down is probably less risky than climbing slippery banks where there could be potential for falling or jarring of the injury.

Good to head it worked out OK.


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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by jsymonds » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:59 am

Walk out to the road would have been my choice, especially as it was an upper body injury, its a few hundred meters walk from Mill Falls opposed to a 2km paddle/float with a damaged shoulder.

Not saying you made the wrong choice as it obviously work, just think the above method would have been quicker with less risk of further injury or issues to all involved.

J

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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by Poke » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:53 am

Yeah, morsey has the right answer!

I don’t know the river, but as has been mentioned above, there’s so many variables in play that a solution which might work for one casualty in a group on the day is different to a another casualty in the same group on the same day (or indeed the same casualty in a different group)...

All sorts of factors could have an influence: whether anyone in the group knew the path out, how well they knew the river downstream, how confident the ‘human sponsons’ are, the river levels, opinion of the casualty, how sure they were of getting phone reception at the road/whether shuttle bunny would have reception, size of the group, even the air temperature might sway the decision.

Sounds like the right option was chosen anyway.
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morsey
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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by morsey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:10 pm

Poke wrote:whether anyone in the group knew the path out
No evidence in this thread so far that any real awareness of the location and walk options is known by anyone contributing. Certainly not enough to present a polarised 'walk or paddle' scenario.


The group made their decision, glad to see the outcome is good, that's a result.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:10 pm

Well, there must be a road to the mill which you can access from across the bridge so there's a start and I guess they might have a land line if there is anyone in. The Talybont to Crickhowell road is just across the field RR but I guess not many know that, although some might remember the canal runs along there and the road follows the canal. In big water we once had a group walk off from the sharp left bend just upstream.

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Re: Evacuation from Mills Falls on R Usk

Post by DaveBland » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:15 pm

morsey wrote:You are correct there is not a correct answer.
Exactly.

The 'correct' answer is the one the group/casualty feel most comfortable with.
This will be a balance of skill, knowledge, injury etc.
dave

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