What happens if you are trapped????

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c.blyth
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What happens if you are trapped????

Post by c.blyth » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:22 pm

I've just been watching videos on youtube of people being trapped i weirs and stuff.
What do you do?
hat techniques/pointers would you give?
Any advice would be great :D
cheers,

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Big Henry
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Big Henry » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:25 pm

Avoid the stickier weirs? Make sure there is suitable safety cover/you and your mates know what to do if it should happen.

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peakfreak
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by peakfreak » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:59 pm

What happens if you are trapped
Usually you s**t yourself and get taken to a dark calm place, which, when you return from it you have Dave @ TRCs grid smilling down at you (Love ya Dave BNIAGW)

Seriously though, if you are out of your boat and in a recirculating stopper, they say that you should go against all instincts and swim downwards, roll into a ball and the lower current should push you out.
I would suggest you get a copy of White Water Safety and Rescue by Franco Ferrero, there is some very good information of rescue techniques.
Last edited by peakfreak on Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MattBibbings
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by MattBibbings » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:23 pm

Go for the freefall position is what I have been taught and have practiced.

As recomended in Francos WWSR here. Nifty thing this Google books.

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AndyY
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by AndyY » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:23 pm

Get Franco's book and also get yourself on a WWS&R course, it will help alot to give loads of basic knowledge.

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Rick Foster
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Rick Foster » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:16 am

Man up?

slider
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by slider » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:33 am

Tut Tut mr foster, when someone asks for advice Im prety sure man up isnt helpful. Normaly the best way out of a stopper (in your boat) is the way you went in. One big paddle stroke and you shoot out the end of the feature. If the entry onto it was from upstream onto a closed ended stopper then you could be in for a bit of a spanking. Golden rule if your aprehensive, leave it its not going any where!!!

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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:59 am

The best place to get out of a stopper is where there is the least towback - out of the end or through a tongue of green water - or where it's more like a breaking wave than a full stopper. Edge the boat downstream and scull to the exit.

Before you go in, note where you can get out. If there isn't anywhere to get out, think very carefully about going in.

Being stuck in a stopper is caused by two opposing forces - the current coming over the drop is pushing you downstream, and the towback is pushing you upstream. But the water all has to go downstream in the end, so the towback on the surface is balanced by downstream flow beneath. In your boat, you're on the surface, so you are held by the towback. Quite often, if you swim, your reduction in buoyancy compared to the boat is enough to get you into the downstream flow below the towback, and you wash out. Sometimes just being upside down in the boat puts your body sufficiently in the flow to wash out. If you're swimming and you don't wash out, you need to get down to the green water that's going downstream, and make the drag on yourself as big as possible. Hence the advice to use the parachute "freefall" position.

Some stoppers, like the bottom one at HPP, will hold a boat quite strongly, but are shallow enough to stand up.

Chris

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Jim Pullen
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Jim Pullen » Sun Dec 14, 2008 11:43 am

Doesn't the freefall position just mean you float to the surface? If the towback is big and you can't get to the sides, you aren't coming out that way on your own. The next page of WWSR which isn't on google tells you about swimming towards the face of the green water, getting pushed down and then tucking into a ball and getting flushed out. I've successfully used this technique combined with a hard push off the bottom, but would rather not have had to!

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capsized8
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by capsized8 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:52 pm

Rick Foster wrote:Man up?
I wonder if this would be your answer to the question if asked to your face by a fairly young paddler on the river bank. I doubt it, why should it be different here? because of a certain amount of annonimity ?

Perhaps it would be something like --
" if you get stuck in there lad, grab a breath when you can, grit yer teeth, you might be in there a while, but when you come out you will be a man, if not a little limp or the down side is, you could be dead" -- like I said "I doubt it"

This is a request for a "heads up" on a forum that has a wealth of experience from a paddler (who I know to be a youngster) who I can only imagine is very concerned after watching beat downs on You Tube. c.blyth has embarked on his paddling career, and does compete in WW Racing, and although at the moment he would be on easier rivers, he is recognising that he is alone whilst racing.
This is a reasonable question, and regardless, deserves more than "man up" as an answer. Apart from being crass it also could suggest that -- "just get on with it, you will be alright" -- is the way to handle these features.

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Rick Foster
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Rick Foster » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:39 pm

Over it, you must have not noticed my tounge in my cheek.

ChrisBainbridge
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by ChrisBainbridge » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:15 pm

This is a worrying problem for all of us. Having had a friend caught on low force and recirculated, as well as several rinse cycles myself in various places I too have studied the various thoughts.

Firstly of course don't get in the situation, ie learn to read the river work out the retentive stoppers, etc. However shit happens and one day you will end up in a nasty stopper so spend some time in stoppers learning.

The thing to remember about a stopper is that you have 2 layers of water, the water from upstream which is flowing down the river and goes under the frothy white recirculating water. You either have to get into the green water flowing downstream or get over the white frothy recirculating water.

Ideally of course you want to stay in your boat. Small play boats have an advantage here as on big rivers, Nile, Zambezi size, the play boat will simply wash through the hole on many occasions staying in the green water and not being caught by the frothy water. A large volume creek boat on the other hand is simply so big that it gets caught in the stopper and will not wash through. However if you go upto stikine size rivers then even creek boats may wash through. The trick is to make yourself into a smooth a shape as possible. Take a big stroke on the ramp and then instead of lifting the paddle ready for the next stroke, leave the paddles tucked flat against the boat and tuck yourself down onto the deck almost like a roll position. This can be quite hard to begin with as everything in you is saying sit up and face the water but you want a really streamlined shape. I believe this technique of making yourself low profile so that you flush through is sometimes called melting a drop.

So you have got caught in the stopper and are now sitting there side surfing it and want to get out. Firstly LOOK. I was once caught at the top of silverback, where I didn't want to be, and my vision closed in on itself so that I couldn't see the exit. Afterwards I was told that I was about 2 feet away from the shoulder and the exit!

You are looking for the corners of the hole or a central weaker part. if you can get your boat to that area then you can often get out.

If however the hole is walled in and too steep to paddle out of you need to engage the energy of the green water. There are two ways to do this. First is to try for either a front or back loop. Plugging the bow into the green face will blast you back up and over the pile and may give you enough impetus to get out of the hole. The second way is as you go over deliberately extend your arms so that the paddles are now in the green water. Either the paddles will be ripped out of your hands or, hopefully, the water will pull you and your boat out of the hole. The top of HPP used to be perfect for trying both of these techniques especially if the gate had been set to give a really steep large pile when it could become quite retentive.

Try all of these techniques every time you go paddling. The more you practise the techniques the easier it will be to use them when you really need to. Also practise moving across a hole. Especially in a bigger boat this can feel more like planting the blade and then using abs to pull the boat past the paddle than it does normally.

Have fun

Chris

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Paul S Jr
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by Paul S Jr » Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:04 pm

ChrisBainbridge wrote:This is a worrying problem for all of us. Having had a friend caught on low force and recirculated, as well as several rinse cycles myself in various places I too have studied the various thoughts.

Firstly of course don't get in the situation, ie learn to read the river work out the retentive stoppers, etc. However shit happens and one day you will end up in a nasty stopper so spend some time in stoppers learning.

The thing to remember about a stopper is that you have 2 layers of water, the water from upstream which is flowing down the river and goes under the frothy white recirculating water. You either have to get into the green water flowing downstream or get over the white frothy recirculating water.

Ideally of course you want to stay in your boat. Small play boats have an advantage here as on big rivers, Nile, Zambezi size, the play boat will simply wash through the hole on many occasions staying in the green water and not being caught by the frothy water. A large volume creek boat on the other hand is simply so big that it gets caught in the stopper and will not wash through. However if you go upto stikine size rivers then even creek boats may wash through. The trick is to make yourself into a smooth a shape as possible. Take a big stroke on the ramp and then instead of lifting the paddle ready for the next stroke, leave the paddles tucked flat against the boat and tuck yourself down onto the deck almost like a roll position. This can be quite hard to begin with as everything in you is saying sit up and face the water but you want a really streamlined shape. I believe this technique of making yourself low profile so that you flush through is sometimes called melting a drop.

So you have got caught in the stopper and are now sitting there side surfing it and want to get out. Firstly LOOK. I was once caught at the top of silverback, where I didn't want to be, and my vision closed in on itself so that I couldn't see the exit. Afterwards I was told that I was about 2 feet away from the shoulder and the exit!

You are looking for the corners of the hole or a central weaker part. if you can get your boat to that area then you can often get out.

If however the hole is walled in and too steep to paddle out of you need to engage the energy of the green water. There are two ways to do this. First is to try for either a front or back loop. Plugging the bow into the green face will blast you back up and over the pile and may give you enough impetus to get out of the hole. The second way is as you go over deliberately extend your arms so that the paddles are now in the green water. Either the paddles will be ripped out of your hands or, hopefully, the water will pull you and your boat out of the hole. The top of HPP used to be perfect for trying both of these techniques especially if the gate had been set to give a really steep large pile when it could become quite retentive.

Try all of these techniques every time you go paddling. The more you practise the techniques the easier it will be to use them when you really need to. Also practise moving across a hole. Especially in a bigger boat this can feel more like planting the blade and then using abs to pull the boat past the paddle than it does normally.

Have fun

Chris
What a Top Post, some good reading there!

Paul.

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banzer
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by banzer » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:08 pm

Anyone familiar with the Crack of Dawn (the first crack anyway) on the Etive? Anyone been caught in the entry stopper? Thought so.

I have, once, and could not work out how to get out. The problem when paddling is clearing the diagional shelf which pushes to the right, when the exit is straight on / leftish. Messing up the entry almost invariably involves being pulled into the stopper facing the wrong way, to the no-way-out river right side.

Despite rolling up and comfortably side-surfing this for a while, my back paddle strokes were not strong enough to get out. Needless to say I ended up bailing.

Grade 6 Chris (aka FJF) says 'just drop an end and turn around, then forward paddle out'. How is this done? Chris, of course, never gets stuck in holes so I haven't been able to learn this off him. Anyone else managed to escape this particular stopper?

Rich.

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MattBibbings
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Re: What happens if you are trapped????

Post by MattBibbings » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:46 pm

banzer wrote: Grade 6 Chris (aka FJF) says 'just drop an end and turn around, then forward paddle out'. How is this done? Chris, of course, never gets stuck in holes so I haven't been able to learn this off him. Anyone else managed to escape this particular stopper?

Rich.
It's not Crack of Dawn but it is the Etive. Last drop of Triple. Check out Ross in the Green LL Hoss at 1.50 ish. He pretty much does what FJF was describing but it was more luck than judgement!

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