ETHANOL AND YOUR RESCUE WATER CRAFT

Ethanol in the United States is a big problem for our rescue water craft engines.

The problems with ethanol in other countries may not exist due to the corn based fuel we are using here in the USA.

Ethanol is a big concern for us as it acts as a solvent, is not good for long term fuel storage and gums up breather vent hoses for our fuel tanks. Inspections have increased and so have expenses.

Now we must purchase of marine grade fuel additive. One more problem to manage!

Storage needs to be limited of fuel for a period of 14 days in storage cans.

Make sure you are using a Marine Grade Fuel conditioner.

Fuel pumps can easily be destroyed, fuel filters clogged with the toothpaste looking ethanol.

Gaskets, rubber and the interior of fuel lines and storage cans are problematic.

No matter what it boils down to, it’s money. You need to update your RWC annual budget and calculate how many gallons of estimate fuel burn to expect. Then do the math for fuel additive to fuel use and determine what your budget will require.

More time and money to manage, inspect and maintain hourly logs.

Most importantly this becomes a safety issue and a liability issue.

This is one action your department cannot afford to ignore.

Be careful with gummed up fuel ventilation hoses, the fuel tank needs to expand and contract with atmopspheric changes, such as heat or cold. Make sure you remove the seats prior to starting your Rescue Water Craft and allowing any low lying fumes to ventilate prior to engine start.

You are going to have to add in additional budgetary needs to cover the expense of a fuel stabilizer.

Add this check on your department inspection logs and make sure that you maintain efficiency with proper use and care.

These suggestions are to help you maintain a safe operation of your Marine Unit. However, please conduct your own research and update annually your program to compliment any changes in our Rescue Water Craft community.

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!

Content Creator – Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

TOWING THE LINE

Towing the Line.

Saving time, resources, logistics and manpower.

Anyhow, its much easier to tow a few of them than to have multiple operators at times.

We do this often in a few of our training grounds as well, because logistics can really impede on the clock!

Tension is your friend, not shockloading the tow line. This can be a bit of a struggle like in this photo with swell. Each craft will have a ‘step and pitch’ to its hull length and the oncoming water action and height.

It is important to have a solid understanding of the following:
1. Connector point hardware
2. Breaking strength of line
3. Towing speed (safe speed)
4. How its going to end

I oftentimes tow alone with four Jet Skis, as well as load them onto a single 4 place water vehicle trailer.

Taking my time and being methodical helps, but also thinking ahead, not where I am at presently or behind me where the craft are dragging. It’s important to be relaxed, calm and sure.

This can save time and resource management with low personnel available.

If by chance the towing vessel takes on debris into the water intake and a hand clearing of the water intake screen doesn’t solve the situation, its not too hard to switch out with another towing boat as long as its not sidelined as well.

Look down the line.

Observe your idle speed.

Observe the length of your tow string (boats).

Think about using a pivot point to slowly draw the craft towards you at a stopped position.

If trailering draw them towards the trailer bunks and let the forward section of the craft rest on them until its time to fully load and secure. One at at time…

If its a shoreline, secure a landing zone that has about 30′ feet for you to draw each bow up onto the shore.

Do not tug too hard on the lines, draw them slowly and steadily.

Practice! You may find this is a simpler solution for some situations you have to operate with.

Thanks for listening!

Shawn Alladio – 6.15.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

DO NOT USE HIGHLY FLAMMABLE PRODUCTS ON YOUR RWC ENGINE

Never use any type of anti corrosive spray that say ‘highly flammable’ in the Information section.

I have come across far too many of my k38 students who have been given poor advice by others.

This advise could be dangerous or even deadly.

This is why the manufacturer’s of Personal Water Craft give direct advice and guidance for the types of products
they would like clients to use. Many ignore their safety warnings and place themselves and their crews at risk for explosion or injury.

The second threat is to the exhaust cooling rubber hoses. If the hoses lost their structural integrity they will fail. This means a Rescue Water Craft can take on water suddenly and sink. This could end up as a total loss.

Your preventative sprays are to be used with a cooled engine after washing down the engine compartment or completing the fresh water rinse/flush of the exhaust cooling lines.

Pay attention to all your actions and research the information and get other opinions if you are learning.

It does not require much effort and you will do better with your program in many ways.

Shawn Alladio – 6.14.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

K38 COLLECTIVE

Imagine the nautical miles our students have covered and how many times they could have driven around the world since we began in 1989?

Over 37,000 hours of training. 350 Rescue Water Craft used.
When we do the math by the hours and add the Rescue Water Craft fuel tank capacity.
The weight on board and the conditions, we start to see the circumference of the world navigated!

Let alone our Never Quit Challenges, in 6 days we had 1,600 miles covered with 10 watercraft at one time underway!
Add in the truck hours, the trailer hours, tire replacements, bearing kits, and the perspective broadens.

This is not limited to the United States, we are a global company. But it is limited to outstanding professioanls who care enough to bring us into their story, one hour at a time, one kilometer at a time, and together we built the culture!

This is no small feat.

It happened because professionals cared about their work.

I thank each of you!

Shawn Alladio – 5.31.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

SOGGY HANDS

Scientific Laboratory tests have a theory that wrinkly soggy fingers improve our human grip on wet or submerged objects.

The grooves in the wet skin work to channel away water in the same fashion that rain treads in vehicle tires moving underway. People often assume that wrinkling is the result of water passing into the outer layer of the skin and making it swell up.

This directs to the change being an involuntary reaction by the body’s autonomic nervous system, the system that also controls breathing, heart rate and perspiration according to the study.

This creepy and distinctive wrinkling is caused by blood vessels constricting below the skin the study says, but this has been recently disputed. So far there is no accurate description of why our bodies experience this.

I have always said ‘these are my cadaver hands’. They bounce back within an hour when away from moisture. This also happens during sweating from high humidity, so it is some definite physiological response, but I am not sure why.

Since I am on the water for hours upon hours wearing gloves, all saturated with water, my skin goes ‘soft’ pretty quick. I always assumed it was from being ‘waterlogged’. The soles of my feet also experience the same soggy foot syndrome lol. My lips will eventually fall prey further after during long distance events.

I do know from experience having broken down at sea and been in the water for hours waiting for rescue that my soft skin that was exposed was aggressively and persistently attacked by small bait fish as a food source. They would burrow until the first epidermis layer was flayed away.

There is something to nature not missing a beat for an opportunity to survive from another living organism.

I am still waiting for a true scientific confirmation on soggy hands and feet.

Meanwhile, cover up when training and keep the bugs and leeches away from any open skin areas. Wear good Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You will feel better.

MAINTAIN THE TRAILER JACK

TRAILERS!

Maintain your trailer jack for safety and for economy.

Yes, they need your attention! There is something wrong with this picture? Do you see it! LOL

When it gets this bad, something is missing. There is no respect for the program. If there is no respect for the transport device, imagine what is going wrong with the Rescue Water Craft and the safety of personnel?

How much is your life worth? Don’t think trailer maintenance is not important. Getting on the road, a damaged trailer can kill others, your driver or you.

When I see items like this, I know my work is cut our and probably there will not be much I can do. It is up to the students to take 100% responsibility for their education towards capability.

When a trailer jack gets to this point, expect associated costs to soar for repairs.

When a trailer jack cannot be moved, that means the physics of the device are wasted and humans will literally bear the burden.

Back damage, trailer potential to fall on a foot and crush it, medical costs, time off duty and a lifetime of aches and pains. Is it worth it?

Get out your trailer check list and starting giving it some of your attention. #donotdothis

NEEDS
1. Grease Gun with marine grease (for the handle zerc fitting)
2. Anti rust product such as Naval Jelly
3. Fresh water rinse the trailer immediately after every use in salt water conditions (buy a galvanized trailer not powder coated)
4. Inspect the crank handle and spray down with silicone spray after every use
5. Make sure your wheel jack is compatible with the weight load of the trailer and that the tongue weight of the trailer is accurate.

Trailer Jack

Shawn Alladio – 5.30.2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

TRAILER BUNK DAMAGE

Yes this trailer bunk damage is bad. It doesn’t have to be this way.

This is from repeated use with trailers and totes.

When the end bunk on your trailer or tote is damaged, it will effect your Rescue Water Craft. When you push the RWC onto the bunk, the end points will bear the full weight load on that pivot point. That weight bearing contact point is going to create an immediate pressure point.

If there is any damage such as a broken piece of metal, exposed bolt, sharp edge of the trailer exposed, wood sliced or the bunk is bent, problems will be imminent and they may be hidden by the bunk location.

Make sure you have checklists for your trailers and totes and take them out of service until they are repaired.

If you have a failed bunk you will immediately begin to distress the bottom deck of the Rescue Water Craft hull.

Depending upon the constructive materials such as fiberglass, the gelcoat will fleck away and expose the fiberglass mat. This can lead to a delamination underway when the hull makes surface contact with the speed, creating ventilation to the damage area. This can be a costly experience and should be caught in your post operations check inspection.

Good luck!

RWC trailer damage

Shawn Alladio – 2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

RESCUE BOARD FRICTION

Unfortunately Rescue Boards (TAD-Towable Accessory Device) do more damage to our Rescue Water Craft astern due to vessel designs changing but the Rescue Boards designs are not adapting to the newer models. Do Rescue Boards work? Absolutely.

However, the use of these (TAD) Towable Accessory Devices have assisted in the recovery of many persons in distress and we are thankful for their utility.  Let’s take a look at considerations of repair and contact points.

Inflatable type designed rescue boards/sleds are not approved for Rescue Water Craft (RWC) safety use due to stability and connectivity.  This discussion refers to fixed core rescue boards that cannot be deflated.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain your Rescue Water Craft and Rescue Board. This requires of Public Safety Agencies to have effective training and proper inspection lists to note when Rescue Boards or RWC’s need to be removed from service due to safety maintenance or repairs.

Some models of Personal Water Craft (PWC) interface to the various Rescue Boards or Towable Accessory Devices (TAD) do not interface well with the variety of Rescue Water Craft (RWC) hulls from year of production, makes and models.

Please refer to the Rescue Water Craft Association recommended RWC’s for 2018:

Approved 2018 Rescue Water Craft

It is not an easy interface for sure!  Make sure you are watching the attachment points from each use and inspect your hull for wear through the top deck. This requires your RWC Operators to understand what to look for, why it is important and how to inspect and maintain their equipment before a mishap occurs from negligence.

This is especially true for NanoXcel hulls in comparison to fiberglass/gelcoat hulls. These lighter hulls tend to have more flex and the newer models have a concave top deck astern. This is also true for some Sea Doo models.

  

Will this cause harm to your Rescue Water Craft? What should you be concerned about?

The center load bearing pressure point and the pivot from port to starboard along with how the Rescue Board is designed oftentimes do not have a complimentary fit. Problems may occur from compression indentations against the Rescue Board.  Remember, we are not permitted to drill only holes through the RWC hull and we cannot add any metal fittings on the top deck due to safety risk and liability.

Also take note of any entrapment from extension on port/starboard connector points of the Rescue Board, catch points and flexion caused by poor handle placement. These all lead up to contributing factors of friction and Rescue Board contact points to the RWC.

Think one word exclusively: PHYSICS

This means the pressure points from a rescue board are going to be pressed downward at the port/starboard sides and can wear completely through the top deck. This can result in a wear hole through the top deck surface

  

Bondline Molding damage and damage to contact point of the TAD Point of Contact

Remember: These are recreational Power Water Craft. They are not designed for Search and Rescue or Patrol work. They are designed for recreational activity use. (With the exception of the AlumaSki, Sea Doo SAR and RescueRunner which are occupational manufactured craft).

When you employ the use of a Rescue Board it will require of your agency effective ‘use, inspection and care‘ guidelines for liability and for safety underway. Failure to do so can result in loss of the Rescue Board, damage that cannot be repaired and budgetary needs for RWC maintenance and care. This can also lead up to agency liability issues.

Is this in your annual budget? Do you have maintenance repair items in stock ready to go?

K38 can help your agency set up your RWC program through professional consultation.

  

Friction points caused by the forces of action and unequal distribution of load, contact, drag or movement against he rescue board and the bond line or top stern deck.  Make sure inspections are thorough and replacement parts a readily available in your cache load maintenance gear.

Rescue Board

You may need to alter the material on the stern deck to raise up the void between the two substrates. Refer to your warranty first before you proceed on any modifications and adhere to the guidelines and rules of the warranty.

1.  Rescue boards can also pull off or damage the rail bond line or molding exposing the rivets. This can result in a safety hazard. Remove the RWC from service immediately if this happens.

2. Friction and impact can affect or damage the stern top deck or removable stern compartment covers on some models of RWC.

3. Re-boarding steps can be damaged or damage the underside of a Rescue board or cause a slight shock loading effect if the step makes contact on the underside of the rescue board and slides forward or back, this can result in issues with the center load bearing connector point.

4. Rescue Board friction pads or covers can splinter, break of fracture. They can even be ripped off the Rescue Board.
There are so many variables that come into play with physics and the actual weight load on the Rescue Board. Primarily it is the connective interface between the RWC and the Rescue Board that is most important.

 

Is your rigging causing harm or creating a solution? What are you willing to give up to gain?

There is no defining interface for rescue board use. It depends upon the make, model and year of production of RWC you have.

One thing is for sure, take some time to study the contact points, friction and how the Rescue Board is hooked up to the RWC to try to reduce the impending damage your RWC will suffer.

Shawn Alladio – 2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

Use at your own risk. Please take a qualified Rescue Water Craft training course and maintain proper records and respect all the PWC, RWC, PPE, and gear OEM manufacturer warning labels and cautions.

Become a member today of the Rescue Water Craft Association: JOIN THE RWCA

FACTS ABOUT BLEACH

FACTS ABOUT BLEACH #1

You need to effectively clean your gear, but what do you know regarding using bleach in some situations?

Natural and normally occurring events, floods, inclement weather, industrial areas, runoff, the list goes on! Your equipment and Personal Protective Equipment are exposed to harsh exposures. Don’t take this for granted, its a serious economical consideration for when to replace, how to care and what are the cause and effects of decontamination on specific products!

SPRAY AWAY
Sprayers come in all sizes, from handheld pump spray bottles to larger spray cannisters. Depending upon which one you use, the nozzle and interior pressure will result in good or poor spray control.

Sodium hypochlorite is the chemical compound we call ‘bleach’.

Bleach is used often for disinfection protocols employed by water rescue teams and for the purpose of cleaning rescue gear and other equipment.

It is used for bio hazard contact and a variety of contaminated aquatics. It is widely known for killing bacteria.

It is often used diluted and placed in spray canisters for spraying down gear/PPE in the field.

If you have responded to a disaster zone and have operated your Rescue Water Craft in contaminated water you may have a bigger problem than simply washing down!

The same goes for your personal protective equipment. Both may need to be destroyed.

You will have to contain and trap the water from the exhaust cooling system and dispose of it in a Hazmat situation.

Spend time now to prepare for the future

Hopefully you have not endured any issues from exposure, but your PPE may be a total loss. Prepare for replacement.

That begins with annual budget planning if you are in high risk zones for potential flooding. Make sure you price out by today’s economy a full replacement value on your equipment and PPE and have it prepared in advance. Emphasis is placed on this critical budget assessment repeatedly in this article from experience.

Rubber hoses and plastic may be destroyed on your Rescue Water Craft.

You may have to replace your seats as well and will need to clean out your bilge.

Budgets must be adjusted for ‘total loss’ or replacement.  There may not be recovery funds such as grants or disaster relief. Volunteer departments may be affected most for deterioration of PPE/equipment.

Plan on your agency disposable clause for gear for situations of exposure, loss or damage.  Make sure your budget includes this annually for a buffer so that your program can continue to thrive responsibly.

Not a feat for anyone, and could be very expensive to remedy.

This is one of the associated costs or risks of service work. Depends upon which way we look at the solutions.

Rule of thumb-everything is disposable and will be replaced, but not you!

Shawn Alladio – 2018

 

REVIEW
Chlorine bleach is a chemical that is a common household product with properties that make it useful for cleaning and disinfecting and may have from four to six % concentration or in some cases up to nine %. It’s a diluted mixture of sodium hypochlorite (the active ingredient) and water. Sodium hypochlorite is a powerful oxidizer. Oxidation reactions are corrosive and solutions burn skin and can cause permanent eye damage in concentrated forms.

In closed areas with poor ventilation use an appropriate mask and or proper PPE.

Safety handling recommendations:
1. Wear effective eye protection and clothing protection from spills
2. Use of rubber or nitrile gloves to avoid hand contact
3. Clothing will be stained if contact is made or fade colors and break down material
4. Use only in well ventilated areas, vapors will build up and cause eye or respiratory irritation
5. Vigorously wash hands wild mild soap
6. Have an eye wash rinse readily available in case of contact
7. It is corrosive to bare metals
8. Do not drink
9. Do not blend with other cleaning agents or ammonia, explosions can occur if sufficient quantities are
mixed
10. Follow all the applicable safety precautions and product label instructions

Have any questions? Join the Rescue Water Craft Association
and discover what your community is doing to modernize standards, safety and reduce liability!

Content Creator – Shawn Alladio cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.

 

EXPENSE VERSUS RISK

Expense is not a problem for a Rescue Water Craft program, its an asset against risk.

Effective training can prevent mishaps and reduce future problems. This only works if the department personnel responsible for the RWC program enforce the standards entrusted to them. If not, watch out, dodging bullets only last so long, eventually one is going to hit the target.

If you or your department can’t afford to maintain a marine boat unit, you may be heading into a whole lot of trouble real fast.

Don’t be seduced by photos or videos, look behind the curtain. How much does it cost to maintain a professional boating unit for one year’s service?

A pretty picture can be very costly.

Make sure you are evaluating and not creating a cult following. Look for the professional edge.

Evaluate so you can visualize and develop in your mindset what a professional program and action should look like.

If its too loud, it the water movement is too large, if the angles are to sharp if the body language is severe, instead raise a red flag and learn from the images. Glean the truth.

Don’t be seduced by your own nature, think of how you can defend all actions in a court of law.

Teach yourself how to be led to professionalism, don’t be a hack RWC operator.

We need a strong community. We are depending upon you to enforce the strength through professionalism.

-Shawn Alladio K38 Founder

2018

Shawn cares most about her community and the culture surrounding the safety of event service providers and Rescue Water Craft operators, working hard and dedicated towards protecting their reputation, distributing safety information and continuing to train these amazing individuals to the highest standards of care.