Briancon Gorge power plant incident - what would you do?

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Briancon Gorge power plant incident - what would you do?

Post by Poke » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Saw this video on facebook the other day.

Say you find yourself in the situation at about ~30 seconds into the video (i.e. you've not broken out upstream).
What do you do...

(... and from about 1:15, how do you get your mate out?)

No criticism sought of the guys in the video, just interested in what people's thoughts are from a WWSR point of view!
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Re: Briancon Gorge power plant incident - what would you do?

Post by DButler » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:26 pm

I actually had this happen a few years ago when I was guiding out in the Alps. Fortunately we spotted it in time, and portaged.

I think the team had a great try of getting their friend out - They could have tried pulling from multiple angles. This is so often forgotten, but can change the forces, allowing a swifter rescue.
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Re: Briancon Gorge power plant incident - what would you do?

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:24 am

We were paddling the Briançon Gorge (Durance) in France. It's a very calm and beautiful river. Two friends and I were the last ones of the group. Suddenly without any warning a jet of high pressured water came out of an hole in the wall and created an huge whirlpool which sucked everything towards the middle of the river. Passing it didn't work so we tried paddling towards an eddy which wasn't possible either. All three of us flipped over and found ourselves inbetween strong currents. One of the others and me made it to land quickly and noticed that our mate was still struggling. He was able to catch the throwing bag but still got pulled under water multiple times. After several turns around the whirlpool he finally got floated to shore. Luckily noone was seriously injured. Stay safe!

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Full link is on the youtube page.

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