USE IT

It's now what you know, is how you use what you know when its time to launch your Rescue Water Craft.

You may know what your operational goals are but are you capable of executing them under pressure?

Its easy to do a drill, repeat a drill, say 'good job' and close the day.

When it suddenly gets real, knowledge is only an extension of actions addressed under duress.

That's where the chaff is separated from the stalk.

It requires a lot of repetitive corrections with the unknown. Team work is essential because your teammates can remind you where you are dropping off and how to stay in forward motion. Always work with the elements at hand, not in opposition.

SECONDS AND FEET

What can you do to get ready?

I have a simple formula that will help you.

Count.

Starting counting in 'SECONDS AND FEET'.

This is how we measure our training performance of our Coxswains.

It's not about time, its about forward movement.

Are they smooth?

Is the Coxswain maintaining a level boat?

Are the keeping the Rescue Water Craft stable by using proper balance techniques?

Is the Coxswain and the Crew steady? Are they working together or opposing each others vital actions?

Be Consistent in Behaviors and Constantly Asses, Critique and Correct.

KEEP THINKING

KEEP THINKING and KEEP MOVING!

Both of these behaviors reveal the mind of the Coxswain, their determinations and the exposure of their accountable actions.

You can evaluate these behaviors in a step by step method of risk.

1. Are they maintaining a watch?
2. Do they use effective helm management?
3. Is their throttle modulation accurate and safe?
4. Are they making a safe contact approach with the survivors in the water?
5. Did they secure their stop appropriately?

If you answered a hearty 'no' to any of these, you have some good work ahead of you!

The good news is you just modernized your program!

We thank you and your survivors will be eternally grateful for your safe management and professionalism.

Remember: A moment for safety will save a lifetime of regret.

____________________

Posted 1.13.2019

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

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.

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.

LEARN

The Value of Training is the admission of the necessity for improvement. Training is also a vital extension of preventative maintenance.

If something isn’t quite working out as expected, address it.

This applies to the physical actions of Coxswains as much as it does to the tools they need to administer their program success.

If you have a team mentality that will do things the way they have always been done, maybe its time to inspect that closely. Everything in our world is moving forward, but water rescue has been stagnant in product development or new training updates and that is not good!

Admit where you or your program is wrong or flawed. Don't skirt it, don't ignore it and don't give it an excuse or delay. Fix it, and fix it strong and sure so that you do not suffer a casualty or loss. (or worse).

Making admissions in the errors of program or equipment use is lifesaving, its your life and your teammates. It starts with the most simplest of your tools.

Learning is about review. Its about sustainability and performance measures.

1. Itemize the needs
2. Deduct the problems
3. Fulfill the Solutions
4. Evaluate the results.

You cannot learn until you start taking some corrective actions. Its not just on the water where things go wrong, its starts with the program and long before you head to the boat ramp to launch.

You can start with something as simple as your engine cut off switch and lanyard.

Are you sure you are using the correct engine cut off switch for your Rescue Water Craft?

INSPECT

You need a minimum of 6 engine cut of switches or 'kill switches' as some refer to them.

The generic slang is simply using the word 'lanyard' to shorten the sentence structure.

It is a lot to say 'grab your engine cut off switch lanyard', but that is the correct term.

So, go get them right now. I'll wait for you...................

REPLACE

Broken, cracked or damaged, its time to replace like this engine cut off switch

Welcome back!

How many do you have in front of you? One of three?

Here is a solid suggestion for you.

1. Emergency use for the RWC (in case of emergency only)
2. 1 for the Coxswain
3. 1 for the Crew Member
4. 1 on board for replacement in case of loss or damage underway.
5. Additional 2 spares back at the marine unit location to replace the damaged ones.

Okay, you you need at least 6 engine cut off switches honestly.

Well if you don't have replacements you may have to take your Rescue Water Craft out of service until new ones arrive. That could takes weeks on order during the peak season.

How do you inspect them?

Just like any other sensitive equipment:

1. Breaks, fractures, splits or cracks
2. Lanyard frayed or worn
3. Long term age (yeah replace old gear)
4. Make sure you are using the correct key to begin with!

Engine Cut Off Switches should be specific to the Make, Year and Production model of the Rescue Water Craft you use.

Inspect after every single use.
Inspect annually.

Remember, this is part of your minimum Rescue Water Craft carriage requirements and the single most important accessory you can have while underway.

Now that you have the engine cut off switch done, go do the line and inspect every other item in your Marine Unit RWC Shed!

You are off to a good start!
__________

Posted 1.13.2019

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

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.

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.

INTENTION TO FAIL

INTENTION OF FAILURE

The intention of failure motivates others to fail. So the experience becomes familiar and then everything is okay in the worst possible way.

What is the answer for this?

The framework of the answer is in the validity of achievement.

Is achievement protected in the measure of repetitive failure so that only one element of the hierarchy cannot be disputed?

Some people don't want to succeed because they are only familiar with not forging ahead. Sometimes its due to budget, sometimes to political edges and sometimes its a personal problem. And sometimes its because of poor imitation.

Familiarity can become dangerous if its aligns with complacency. High risk operations require a higher level of accounting. Don't slack or back down, stay on the edge of concern and manage it. Slow things down if its getting too fast.

How about we focus on the definition of failure:

noun
1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success:
His effort ended in failure. The water rescue was a failure.

2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected:
a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.

3. a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency:
the failure of the team

SACRED TRUST

Don't assume everything will be fine. Know your team. Know your equipment. Risk is a real problem for us, managing it is even more severe. Take inventory and be honest. You will feel better and everyone will benefit from your leadership concerns

What is our rational purpose of the consequence of lifesaving? WE have several elements:

1. The Mindset of the Team and Leadership
2. The assets put in place
3. The management of the marine unit needs

We can outline in a practical manner the route of failure.

Its conducted by the review of our mishaps, the study of maritime history or the evaluation of other agency mishaps and an honest accounting of the pitfalls therein.

The paramount issue that faces our Maritime RWC culture is ‘what do to do about that? A discovery phase must be embarked.

One answer is to find the meaning of the utility of RWC purpose and effective us and the associated safety of those risks observed. We need to question but not miss the point.

We have to discover these before we are led away to another mishap by those who enforce failure by doing nothing at all to remedy it.

In our world we deal with suffering, either from malevolence, natural incidents, accident or ignorance, these are some of the instance of accident or peril.

We are a point of contact in that path, but recovery continues after tragedy for everyone. Hence, review, review, review!

Bearing the tragic consequence surrounding water rescue, is the notice of engaging in something meaningful, something sacred.

For those who lost their compassion they often choose the adversarial account of survivors, distancing themselves from the meaningful action that is worth the suffering and controversy to modernize a program.

Allow your survivors to teach you well.

Question a way of being that may need to be modified or retired. Courage to conduct actions in a manner that can reveal itself in the moment of risk that are relationship bound. You, your craft, your mechanic, your team, the survivors.
This is the price of experience.

COURAGE

Its even more important to question products, their structural failures and common sense red flags. If you have catastrophic failures with purchased gear, document the issues and contact the manufacturer with your concerns.

Ask for for remedial solutions. Make sure that it's not because you abused the product or mismanaged it, and if it is - address that head on with your team.

Taking responsibility with your own volition for the suffering and tragedy of those in peril while you are operating and work to remediate it as a conduit of good. You may be saving your own life first.

Here is what I tell myself when working: I am you and you are I. I am like the survivor and they are like myself. My experience is that I want to come home safely, not take reckless actions into emotion, but to be responsible for my actions and remediate accordingly to success.

I don’t want to place a barrier in my experience by jumping a wave with my RWC, operating in fear, not having technical control in confined spaces and on and on…

Reject the excuses of those who provide barriers and fail to bear the responsibility of leading properly. Question everything presented to you in the RWC training workups by conducting you own vigilance.

• Get to know the maritime community.
• Become knowledge of the ATONs
• Understand the mechanics of your Rescue Water Craft and appropriate maintenance
• Learn about atmospheric pressure systems and water conditions
• Investigate new technologies and products
• Become curious about private companies and their leading edges of real world experience

If you do not believe this is relative and reject it there is something wrong in your soul. There is a path of rejecting failures that would present to you your own.

Fear the lack of progress. It can cause great harm to you and others.

__________

Posted 1.13.2019

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

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.

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.

INHERITANCE

Inheritance is an extension of the past to ensure the future.

In 1973 the Kawasaki JS 400 was soon to make an appearance. The Jet Ski® was destined to revolutionize lifesaving and we didn’t even know it at that time. Not until 1974 were those waters tested. And Kawasaki got right to business!

Wake of Fame Inductee


Wake of Fame inductee Steve Stricklin who was working for Kawasaki during this time began showing the stand up Jet Skis to local southern California Lifeguards.

Visit: WAKE OF FAME AWARDS

GRANDADDY OF THE SPORT

Steve is the inventor of a towable accessory device (TAD) for Personal Water Craft which eventually arrived to the modern rescue boards used today. He affixed a piece of indoor/outdoor green carpet by using rivets to the stern boarding area of a JS400.

On behalf of Kawasaki Motors Corporation USA, Steve went to Huntington Beach City Lifeguards bringing with him one of the Jet Skis and gave them a demonstration. This was the very first interaction of public service agencies being exposed to the potential of lifesaving using this unique new power craft.

A Stand Up Jet Ski in those days required great skill to manage in the surf zone. Lifeguards took off on them kneeling in the tray area. Since lifeguards were surfers they had pretty good balance and picked up on them for their first demos quickly.

LEGACY

We’ve come a long way since those days. We inherited an incredible legacy from these early pioneers.

We owe it to them to maintain the same standards we received from them:

1. Know the Jet Ski®
2. Know the Environment You Operate in
3. Maintain the Jet Ski®
4. Don’t Wipeout and Don’t Lose your Jet Ski®
5. Head out Safe and Come Back Safe
6. The more you ride the better you get

When you inherit something valuable, it is up to you to maintain it and to look after it and ensure that you can pass it along to the next generation.

Lifesaving is a calling. It's practicality rests in the assets and tools used for the job and the mentality of those Coxswains and instructors manning the helm.

And don’t forget these immortal words of Brian Bendix Wake of Fame inductee and first generation Jet Skier:

“A moment for safety will save a lifetime of regret”.

__________

Posted 1.12.2019

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

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.

TRAGEDY BECOMES US

Tragedy Becomes Us.

Ahoy fellow Coxswains! How well versed are you in maritime law? Are you familiar with SOLAS? Are you familiar with the tragedies that led up to some of the SOLAS measures we enjoy today?

Remember, lives are often lost before we learn the value of risk. Lots of talk about risk management, but how ingrained is it as an action with your marine unit?

Same thing happens in our Rescue Water Craft community. Mainly because we have people who have assumed the helm but they are not mariners. If you are under the guide of a leader who does not understand maritime laws and rules, you may be at risk for a mishap and worse. Its time now for those who are not familiar with boating to get educated, and I mean now.

Perhaps someday you respond to a ship disaster at port within your jurisdiction or for mutual aid. Or from a fire, grounding or explosion due to terrorism. Or from a ship in distress (SOS) berthed outside the jaws of a harbor or along a pier in port.

ANIMAL RESCUE

Consider the disaster of the Morro Castle and how you would apply your own safety features for response. Would you deploy or not go? By studying historical events you can determine these measures as training guidelines and set up skills that could be practiced. Maybe you determine your'no-go' policy by review of maritime incidents!

Keeping in mind the practice of personal safety and leadership guidelines. Is it safe to go? Do you know what to do? Do you have the right asset?

The first thing you can do is question your instructors and the training platform presented to you. Does the program stack up to maritime rule and law and the best practices?

If not, you need to go around them and educate yourself to protect yourself from gross negligence. Let's take a close look at this disaster and the sequence of events.

The Threat of Marine Life During Maritime Disaster

Regarding this tragedy, we should all be familiar with as professional boaters because of the term 'risk management'. Many disasters at ports or at sea or training have been reported through the years and are offered for your easy access to view online.

Risk management and mitigation are terms used frequently, but do you know their origins and practical reminders for your unit today? It is a cornerstone of safety at sea practices. But remember those are bare minimums, for us we need to have exceptional standards and instructors who deliver appropriate content. Nobody dies on our watch.

SOLAS

Regarding Admiralty Law: The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is an international maritime treaty which sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of merchant ships. The convention requires signatory flag states to ensure that ships flagged by them comply with at least these standards.

The current version of SOLAS is the 1974 version, known as SOLAS 1974, which came into force on 25 May 1980. SOLAS in its successive forms is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.

The first version of SOLAS Treaty was passed in 1914 in response to the sinking of the RMS Titanic, which prescribed numbers of lifeboats and other emergency equipment along with safety procedures, including continuous radio watches. The 1914 treaty never entered into force due to the outbreak of the First World War.

NEVER FORGET

The devastating fire aboard the Morro Castle was a catalyst for improved shipboard fire safety. Today, the use of fire-retardant materials, automatic fire doors, ship-wide fire alarms, and greater attention to fire drills and procedures resulted directly from the Morro Castle disaster.

The tragedy spurred the U.S. Congress to pass various maritime laws designed to prevent future disasters and to U.S. acceptance of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty, which is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships.

If we respect our history, we shall not repeat it. But if ignorance of history and a disrespect for the lives lost before our watch, we may repeat failed behaviors.

Education is the way to stay ahead of mishaps, coupled with personal discipline and a conviction to safety for all.

Now, get out those books and lets start studying!
__________

Posted 1.12.2019

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

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.

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.

TRANSFORM POTENTIAL MISHAPS TO RELIABLE OPERATIONS

Transform potential mishaps to reliable operations by focusing on your factual goals and program needs.

No agency needs to learn from a mishap. Accident prevention is a reliable management policy. Our first goal is to prevent them from happening by possessing the fundamental knowledge base of boating safety.

Oftentimes programs are set up to fail due to a poorly aligned budget, but this may only be one element of the problem.

Sometimes the failures are from a lack of procedures that are enforced or training modules that are not helpful to the goals.

There is a lot of responsibility to manage a maritime boating unit. For Rescue Water Craft that responsibility is exceptionally high due to the nature of calls these unique small power boats will be employed.

UPGRADE

Training does not have to be emphasized as 'on-water' a lot of updates can be done by review of material.

I spend a lot of time emphasizing annual upgrades! Stay current and understand any changes to boating laws or rules in your area.

Update your team with quizzes that keep them primed for boating safety when not on the water, such as knowing the ATONS. Aids to Navigation for both coastal or inland waterways.

When you conduct training assessments on the water, be sure to correct any mistakes and be constantly vigilant as the scrutineer of safe boating practices.

A maritime background in boating is a legacy heritage to protect so that the new water rescue community understands first hand this is not rescue, its boating handling! There is a significant difference and that is lost in translation.

Emphasize: BOATING

MANAGE

Have monthly review meetings regarding your program. If you program is only seasonally prepare a management policy for weekly updates to review any mishaps.

Why? We are seeing an increase in mishaps and we should be witnessing a decrease in these areas of operations. It's because of the rollover in agency personnel, not properly training up the next Coxswain generation, not having proper documentation to transfer or its outdated and incorrect.

The good news is these are very easy solutions to tackle.

__________

Posted 1.7.2019

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

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.

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.

MAYBE YOU ARE NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH

Maybe you are not trying hard enough? Effort needs evaluation. Evaluation needs honesty.

Have you put together your operational metrics?

Do you know what goals you need to achieve? How are you going to sustain those and translate them into operational maintenance? Well one way is to try harder but in another direction, such as maintenance review of your Rescue Water Craft program.

Perhaps you may need to review your vetting process for team members? Can you conduct remedial updates for the vetting process and items needed to ensure safety of personnel and competency? Yes you can and you should!

RETURNS NOT DEFICITS

Returns not deficits mean your program is healthy.

This means your management process is functional. But if it isn't and you need to take on remedial action, its not difficult to increase your capability.

The good news is you can do this anytime but its preferable to have an annual review process in place.

REVIEW

Editing program management needs to be an annual process that begins in the last month of the year. You can easily construct a review program by looking at all your response records and any mishaps that occurred during that time or recurring mechanical issues with your Rescue Water Craft.

One area that you can make improvements on is your skills assessment.

If you do not have an update to this in the past year here are some suggestions for your consideration. Pick one simple repetitive behavior you rely upon and break it down into a skillset for qualification updates.

Trailering and On-Water Performance

Most damage that happens to a Rescue Water Craft is from poor trailering habits. Don't allow your Coxswains to turn off the Rescue Water Craft ignition before the Rescue Water Craft bow touches the trailer bunk runners.

Failure to do so will permit the Rescue Water Craft to drift off target and strike either the metal rails or bend the bunk runners. The Rescue Water Craft needs to maintain its forward movement onto the trailer bunks until the centered hull loads up onto the bunks.

It is incorrect to use thrust that would disrupt the surrounding water area with reverse use due to how the fluid dynamics are distributed this could disrupt other such as at a boat launch, create unnecessary boat handling and or off center from over correction.

Practice
Trailering -backing up, launching RWC's, loading RWC's, tie downs to RWC/Trailer (5 checked off in a row with remedial corrections and notations on skill checklist per team member.

Ensure that your team members know how to use the trailer tie downs and that they understand a soft approach to the helm/throttle management in confined areas of use.

Emphasize the depth of water to protect the water jet pump.

Make sure that the bow of the Rescue Water Craft is secure on the trailer before launching and hauling out of the water.

Each rotation have them conduct a pre-check on the boat ramp with the bilge plugs properly inserted each time. Too many Coxswains are unfamiliar with their craft features and oftentimes over tighten the bilge plugs.

This is a good example of one skillset. You can create as many as are needed and unique to your area of operation and the make model and year of your craft.

Thanks for reading this article, and for caring about your reputation and those you work with. Let us know if you have any topics you would like covered in future articles.
__________

Posted 1.7.2019

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

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.

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.

KNOW WHERE YOU WILL END UP

Know where you will end up, because there are two ways to have an ending. Good and Bad.

You can look at it this way. Just don't drive the Rescue Water Craft.

Drive the Rescue Water Craft with purpose!

Our Coxswains operations are sustainable. They know where they are going and how it is going
to end and can position their craft accordingly.

They don't lose, they gain because they have hours of study, and skill set actions, they
put in the hard work during training and they outwork everyone else.

JOHNNY B

This is the operational behavior called the 'Johnny-B'.

Essentially the Coxswain will draw an imaginary "J" with the "B"ow of the boat with the stern as the delivery end point.

This is a standard in helm general maneuvering.

COXSWAIN

Notice how many rescue operations you have observed where the ending is close to negligence?

They cannot secure their Rescue Water Craft.
Their positioning is dangerous.
They don't have a plan for their survivors....and it goes on and on.

Why do people accept this?
Because they are not challenged to be great, they are appreciated to be mediocre.

Focus more on your endings and less on your recoveries! Why? Because anyone can recover others,
but only K38 Qualified Coxswains secure their endings and do not cause harm.

There is a distinct difference and we are the solution. Why? Because we care, and so should you.

__________

Posted 1.7.2019

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

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.

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.

BE GREAT NOW

Be Great Now.

It's a choice. Your choice requires of you to gain understanding.

The best route for you is to know mariners and surround yourself with those who are true Captains.

The rescue part is easy, anyone can do that, it may not be as special as you think if you are a professional Responder. Not when hundreds of rescues are performed by recreational operators all over the world every year.

Rescue, well that's the idea but its not the target, its not the essential element, but being a mariner, there is your greatness!

NO MYTHS HERE

COXSWAIN

Your goal is to become a Coxswain in the maritime community using a Rescue Water Craft. Anything less is dangerous.
You operate a boat, you maintain a boat, you launch a boat, you are a boater. But not all boaters are created equal.

Some try harder and give it their all. Because they are genuine and they care.
They care about themselves, their crew and the survivors they will serve.

This is great love, because taking care of your business first is thoughtful, its not distracted. It's not just a
paycheck, its your way of being. Your calling, your occupation!

Slow down your learning on the front side so you can wind up on the back side. Scaling your education is the endurance
of competency.

Posted 1.7.2019

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

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.

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.

FLOOD WATER SELF RESCUE

Dangers of Rising Floodwaters

Flood water rescue is not an easy subject to discuss due to so many variations of risk and locale. If you are a citizen and find yourself in a hurricane or torrential downpour, you have to take care of your personal safety first.

The dangers of rising floodwaters are as varied as the location and surrounding surface objects, vegetation and waterways.

In floodwaters there is not one way to say how a rescue can be performed. Self rescue has tended to be improvised by those in distress by the direct situation, many more positive ones are executed than tragic but its better to prepare in your mind now, instead of just winging if it ever occurs to you.

Rescue may not come to you immediately or for days, there is no rationale for this, its all subjective to the precise incident.

Oftentimes it depends upon the assets and training of Responders and their staging areas. Most will not be deployed if the risks could take their lives. This can also go for nightfall or hazardous weather conditions, upstream hazards or secondary imminent disasters.

Most often it will be you, your neighbors or your family conducting the initial rescue.

One thing to be mindful is moving current in water. This is exceptionally dangerous:

Look downstream.
Look upstream.
Look for a landing.
Look for debris.
How cold is the water?
How fast is it moving?
Are you a strong swimmer?
Are you alone or do you have people you are responsible for?
Will your pets stay or go with you and how?

How well do you know the surrounding area you are in? Do you recall any areas you could get to or that would be dangerous to move towards? Is there a chemical plant or waste water treatment plant?

Think about this and concentrate on what your intuition will tell you to do next. Your decisions are vital. Once placed in motion you cannot go backwards.

Will you be able to get onto a roof from the water line if the water rises quickly? Can you help others and pets? Do you have a ladder for water with no current? Is it wood or aluminum? Can you prepare and haul up water and survival items in advance in case of?

Do not go into the attic. You will find yourself trapped with no way out. This is not a good option for you.

Moving Water is Strong Water

If you have a lifejacket grab it and put it on, or find something that can assist for flotation. You will have to act fast, think clearly and strategize. Breathe, relax your thoughts so you can focus and keep moving. One task at at time by conserving your energies.

If you must go into the water or break free from holding onto a fixed object there is only seconds to set up action.

The best way to move from one area to another if it is determined to be safe in current - is to think how far downstream you will drift and what is that path.

Swimming should be done towards the shore anticipated, the angle of your body (ferry angle) will draw you much further away from where you are downstream. Keep stroking by setting an even pace, slow and easy. If you get a muscle cramp its okay, stay calm and you can work with it, just don't start any kind of struggle.


Do not swim into strainers (objects where water can pass through but not objects).

Do not put your feet down, swim on your belly head above water. Keep your body on plane with the surface, kick your feet in a steady slow pace, don't race unless its an emergency.

If you have to floatation device such as an ice chest, hold onto these objects in an upright position. If in the water and you can, float on your back with your feet up on the surface. OR await rescue in a safe dry place, high up away from threats and downed utility lines. If you see a line dragging in the water from power poles or utility poles, do not grab onto it.

When helping others the old quote was 'REACH-THROW-GO'. Now the new quote is 'REACH-THROW-ROW-DON'T GO". This mainly applies not during a disaster flood event, however the principles may apply in some situations and are noteworthy:

1. REACH: Hold on to the dock or your boat and reach your hand, a boat oar, a fishing pole, or whatever you have nearby, to the person

2. THROW: If you can't reach far enough, toss things that float for the person to grab

3. ROW: If you're in a boat, use the oars to move the boat closer to the person in the water, or call out to a nearby boat for help. Don't use the boat's motor close to a person in the water, they could be injured by the propeller

4. DON'T GO: Don't go into the water unless you are trained. Call out for help

Remember, even a strong swimmer can drown trying to help others. If all else fails, go for help!

Prepare for Survival

Remember your clothes and shoes can be ripped from your body. When take a step in water going towards shore, walk surely and place each foot securely before your shift your weight. You may trip or have debris knock you from behind, and you don't want to fall into the water. Take your time!

For our Safety Behavior it is very important to monitor risks first. If you don't know how to identify risks you need to educate yourself. You can go online and search for videos and articles that can help you.

Trainer responders are certified in water rescue for a variety of disciplines, you can take similar courses. You can get certified by a course provider for swiftwater or flood rescue from a company like Rescue 3

Posted 1.6.2019

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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.

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.