IDENTIFY YOUR STRONG OPERATORS

COXSWAINS

Identify Your Strong Coxswains.

What is a Coxswain? They are the Operator. They are the Captain. They are in charge of the Crew. They are in charge of the ship (Rescue Water Craft). It is important to identify your strong Coswains for a variety of reasons:

1. Reduction of liability through competence
2. Teaming (building a cohesive unit)
3. Safety at Sea
4. Operational Integrity
5. Mentoring
6. Operational Acumen

MANAGEMENT

When you can identify the strength in your Operators you have a distinct advantage to identify the complimentary deficiencies in your team. This is something that needs to be conducted periodically.

How can you make an assessment?

1. Review the condition of the Rescue Water Craft(s)
2. Review the condition of the trailering and Transport equipment
3. Quiz the Operators
4. Skillset assess monthly the technical ability of your team
5. Rate the level of competency and assign the rating in the database
6. Describe the shortcomings and capabilities, make improvement on both!
7. Assign degrees of performance related to service work

If you have an Operator that is identified as problematic in techincal skills, but is high in managing equipment, perhaps a reassignment is necessary? Where are their strengths? What are they comfortable doing? What are the uncomfortable doing?

Provide an honest counseling session regarding performance, executive and completion of all tasks. Ask them if they would be willing to take on another level and manage that specific area of the program. Correlate that with documentation that will verify their factual performance and related success or defaults.

It is important that an administrator oversees and inspects the performance of the team, leaders and program guidelines.

K38 Jet Ski Training

STRENGTH

Strength is a needed ingredient in program management and sustainability, but how do we measure strength?

Is id conducted by setting a program and essentially abandoning it year after year because its always been that way or do we determine to investigate the program failures and success?

That begins with the personnel in charge. Whether administrators, operators, crew or mechanics the teaming aspect is critical for future safety as well as present safety and program sustainability.

Make a commitment right now to review your Rescue Water Craft program.

Interview your team.

Ask them what they think is working well and what areas they would like to see changes.

Be courageous and represent integrity, as you may be saving one of your team members reputation or your own.

Care About Your Team

PROGRESS IS EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

...Otherwise the door is open for a mishap.

Don't wait until you have to learn from a lesson.

Take the lessons now and make a plan. A solid plan.

People do not have to get hurt, Rescue Water Craft do not have to be damaged to learn a lesson.

Today there are service providers such as K38 who have gone through the scale of difficulty and formatted procedures that
protect reputation, reduce risk of injury and accident and are on the frontline of knowledge.

If you do not have a subject matter expert on your staff who is invested in the Rescue Water Craft community and can represent 100 questions that are accurate about a Rescue Water Craft, 200 questions about the environment and 500 questions about how this lines up accidents, you may need to reach out and have your program reviewed.

Backing up and slowing down your program flow can save your department and your staff intense grief and discouragement.

Review your mishaps. The story is in the actions and the subsequent behaviors can be alerted.

Ask us how we know?

Good luck, we wish you a safe and noble program that you are proud of and your people are operating safely!

_______________________________
Posted: 10.27.2018

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.

VHF Radio Use for Rescue Water Craft

MARINE VHF RADIO

Let’s take a very quick basic overview of the use and function of a Marine VHF radio analog technology. Keep in mind there is a lot more to know FOR VHF Radio use, so use this guide as a precursor for further educational benefits by conducting your own research. VHF band is by law intended for use by mariners.

TERMINOLOGY-Marine VHF radio refers to the radio frequency range between 156 and 174 MHz VHF signifies the ‘Very High Frequency’ of that range. So that leads to what is MHz? Megahertz is used to express microprocessor clock speed. The unit is occasionally used in measurements of bandwidth for high speed digital data, analog and digital video signals and spread spectrum signals.

CHANNEL 16-Here in the USA, on a hand held Marine VHF radio Channel 16 (156.800 MHz) is reserved for distress messages only. It is not to be used to make contact with other mariners. You also would not conduct your radio check on this channel! Channel 16 is monitored by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and they will issue weather, hazards and restriction placed on navigation alerts when they are needed in your area of operation (AO). There are 50 different channels available with select defined roles by the FCC. Once contact is made on Channel 16 the USCG may redirect you to another channel.

Channel 16 should be monitored when you are underway in case a distress signal and request for emergency support is issued you can respond. Keep this channel open for those who truly are in need of lifesaving connectivity.

ETIQUETTE - Do not use foul language, do not allow children to handle your Marine VHF radio but do teach them how to use it properly for an emergency distress call, it is not a toy, and is monitored for transmissions that are forbidden. Keep Channel 16 open for true emergencies. Know the channels and their complimentary functions.

But most importantly, know your radio! You may want to place in a waterproof bag, and not all of them float. So we operate with them affixed to the front of our lifejacket, but not near our chest, off towards our shoulders. Marine VHF is not for shore use only for on-water, if used on land you are in violation of the law unless you have a special permit.

Don’t hog a channel, be mindful others may need to use it, it’s not a social device for communication but is intended to support safety at sea and navigational needs.

BATTERY-They have a self-contained antenna and battery pack. Normal range of battery life is approximately 8 hours, but it depends, some claim 20 hours of use, but for me, it’s dependent on location, weather and use of the radio. Batteries can fail due to corrosion of it the case is cracked of the cover not secure. Also make sure you use the proper charger and follow the charging instructions.

GPS

VISUALS-Being able to see the display helps to know which channel you are on. You can lock the channel in as well, we use iCom radios. Dot Matrix Display is helpful when choosing the menu functions, over a standard 7 segment LCD display. Dot Matrix pixilation count is rated for its screen resolution. Some are backlit brighter than others and the buttons as well.

GLOBAL-Some of the radios have a built in GPS that can send to the USCG your exact position in case of emergency. This provides you your Latitude and Longitude position. You can used stored waypoints with this feature for navigation. Some radios have Digital Selective Calling (DSC), it’s similar to using a device like Spot Locators as an emergency beacon. You just have to push down on a button usually lit as a red or orange emergency distress and it will send an automated digital distress message to the USCG and others vessels with radios in the vicinity. Channel 70 is Note that channel 70 is now authorized only for Digital Selective Calling, an emergency automated distress system mandated by international treaty; channel 70 may no longer be used for voice communication

This feature is great because you can store your emergency contacts. Some radios have other accessories such as different battery types or headsets. You can use your radio to hail Towing companies such as Vessel Assist, which is more reliable than using a cell phone due to dropped calls and on-water range, waterproofing and battery life.
K38 recommends you have a separate GPS tracking device. In case one fails you have a backup.

RWC VHF Radio

CARE

WATTAGE-There are limitations of range due to a transmit power of six watts. This is why you see some RWC operators in calmer waterways adding a larger external antenna to transmit from a high location. For our Rescue Water Craft use you can average a five watt transmit power to work at three to eight miles of range with variables. Switching to some models using higher watt output you may drain your battery quicker, so be careful on your settings.

Recreational Marine VHF radios for recreational boaters are limited to output of 25 watts so transmitters cannot be boosted and operate on a line of sight between stations, the higher the atenna the better the result. However our handhelds are limited.

BATTERY LIFE-Radio manufactures have a generic recommendation for battery life. 90% standby, 5% to receive and 5% to transmit at high power. Read the owner’s manual and you can have great tutorials on your specific brand model.

By having your radio with you on your person you can communicate when away from your Rescue Water Craft, which is a great safety feature for yourself as the Operator or Crew. Even better if the vessel capsizes and you are separated from the RWC you have a safety threshold to hail for assistance.

CAREFUL-Do not drop your radio! This is how irreversible damage occurs and can render the radio dead. Also any strikes to helm while underway can damage the lens or the housing and destroy your radio, so use due care! Never store your radio inside the glove box or any other compartment without completely protecting your radio from strike damage and breakage!

Make sure you use silicone grease to maintain an anti-corrosion base your battery housing for water or condensation inside the housing, mainly near the battery cover opening and the buttons and the antenna base. Apply silicone weekly to the battery terminals. Make sure the radio is dry before placing in charger.

Do not bend the antenna! If the rubber is cracked, replaced the antenna immediately.

Rinse with fresh water! What I like to do is to evacuate the water from the microphone and button areas to try to reduce the signature of corrosion. Conduct a final post inspection by opening up the battery case and look for condensation or water invasion, cracks in the case and be sure to use silicone grease to maintain anti-corrosion practices.

CHECK! If you want to hail a second Rescue Water Craft or vessel here is some advice:

1. Before you splash your RWC, make sure your radio is fully charged.
2. Power your Radio ‘on’.
3. Set your volume and squelch buttons.
4. Conduct a Radio Check on Channel 9 (noncommercial and non-emergency channel)
5. Make sure you are both operating on the same radio channel, Ch. 1078 is good for some areas if there is not a lot of traffic, but then switch back to 16 when underway to listen for emergencies
6. You can also monitor your local weather broadcasts on your VHF radio
7. Push down the mic key for clearance to talk, it’s usually located on the side of the radio, then send your message and depress the key button.
8. Hail the second RWC pressing the mic key and holding it by stating the vessel name twice, followed by your vessels name: “K38 one, K38 one, this is K38 two on Channel 1078, over” release the key.
9. Once contact is made, and our conversation is completed “K38 two returning to standby Channel 16 or K38 two out”. Do not say ‘over out’.
10. Channel 9 is designated for the boat calling channel (156.450 MHz)

Don't leave shore without your VHF Radio

EMERGENCY

1. Securite-Securite-Securite: Warns crew or others about important safety information. Also used to issue warnings and meteorological updates. Such as towing someone with restricted maneuverability and you want others to avoid you.

2. Pan-Pan-Pan: Urgent situation but not at imminent risk. You are in moderate risk, and a hazard to navigation

3. Mayday-Mayday-Mayday: SOS distress signal. Sets Search and Rescue (SAR) in motion. Life threatening situation. You are going down, you have lost a man overboard or you are heading to the beach or rocks, imminent danger.

During emergencies we can rely on our volunteer Ham radio operators. Ham radio operators using their frequency will state ‘Break-Break-Break’ as the equivalent to a Mayday call, never use the term ‘Break’ unless imminent threat to property or life is present.

REFERENCE

Channel 16
International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.

Channel 70
Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)

Channel 1078
Non-Commercial. VDSMS (USA Great Lakes commercial channels 1079, 1080)

USCG INFORMATION: Frequencies are in MHz. Modulation is 16KF3E or 16KG3E.
Note that the four digit channel number beginning with the digits "10" indicates simplex use of the ship station transmit side of what had been an international duplex channel. These new channel numbers, now recognized internationally, were previously designated in the US by the two digit channel number ending with the letter "A". That is, the international channel 1005 has been designated in the US by channel 05A, and the US Coast Guard channel 1022 has been designated in the US as channel 22A. Four digit channels beginning with "20", sometimes shown by the two-digit channel number ending with the letter "B", indicates simplex use of the coast station transmit side of what normally was an international duplex channel. The U.S. does not currently use "B" or "20NN" channels in the VHF maritime band. Some VHF transceivers are equipped with an "International - U.S." switch to avoid conflicting use of these channels. See ITU Radio Regulation Appendix 18 and ITU-R M.1084-5 Annex 4.

These new channel numbers should eventually begin to be displayed on new models of VHF marine radios.
Boaters should normally use channels listed as Non-Commercial. Channel 16 is used for calling other stations or for distress alerting. Channel 13 should be used to contact a ship when there is danger of collision. All ships of length 20m or greater are required to guard VHF channel 13, in addition to VHF channel 16, when operating within U.S. territorial waters. Users may be fined by the FCC for improper use of these channels.

USCG Website

_______________________________
Posted: 8.28.2018

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.

Constitutional Value

What Constitutes Your Rescue Water Craft Value?

What is your fundamental Rescue Water Craft fact presented to you filtered to a specific point of your actions and your agency perception? Can you decide what reduction or increase you allow or is compromised? Value can be determined as personnel safety and competency, financial, the importance, worth or usefulness of your RWC program, your program principles or standards, the benefit, gain or merit of your program.

These values are interpretive. To the extent of which is perceived by the group or measured by the instructor cadre and the expectation of the public for a reliable service to be performed. We care about your reputation and your program. We have posted information to rally the community to take responsibility and contribute to reducing the injury accident rate by competent behaviors. First you have to know what you are doing for it to be a secondary benefit.

I have said before ‘Safety Means Danger’, and this means that each of us are placing ourselves in grave danger. Grave is an Old English word for ditch and in the sense of burial ‘graf’ is a Germanic language for grave meaning for heavy or gravity, if we base the saying ‘grave danger’ in etymological roots for us we can use it as a reminder to be prepared to avoid the grave through mistake. Of course this is my interpretation and you are welcome to select your own.

How do you rank?

The facts we have are in the domain of education and distributed through information outlets entrusted to instructors. Or for the modern push we can say for those who view YouTube videos and attempt to imitate what they best determine to be the ‘facts’. Is this reliable and if so how do we account for leveraging the facts to interpret if they are determinable for our increase of safety and our reduction of danger?

Risk management is a solid aim, its truth lies in the details. For this we must remain constantly vigilant for our personal safety and to ensure our program stays in step with current changes in our equipment.

Yes, accidents will happen and so can injuries. There are RWC answers and information that is credible that can assist your department in mitigating these risks significantly. Conduct effective RWC research and do your homework, both at the inception of a Rescue Water Craft program and with an annual review. You will feel better knowing that you applied your best effort to the facts at hand.

Perception and facts can be targeted by groups, hubris, and the individual who reduces the structure of facts to a single point of values in the agency, community or individuals facts. How are these gauged? Usually after an accident or an injury. So once again, conduct effective research and be prepared to present facts vs. perceptions when the occasion arises.

Rescue Board Training and Inspection

MANAGEMENT

Any accident is a story that tells our behavioral trackline. Typically a lot of mishaps can be prevented simply by incorporating an effective preventative maintenance and inspection program. Often the facts are obvious, but ignored. Such as a crease in the rescue board or its anchor points are frayed, or the Rescue Water Craft hours are not maintained according to the manufacturer recommendations for inspection, replacement and care.

Compromise eventually catches up to us. It’s not easy to maintain a Marine Unit. It requires a lot of dedication towards program management, team building and a strong knowledge base.

Unfortunately often due to the demands of budget limits many programs are greatly reduced or in the process of reduction from a functional structure. Time is a big part of the Rescue Water Craft structure. Applying the appropriate amount of time to create a rule based program and to enforce its governing principles is key. This will require that effective checklists are generated for not only the Rescue Water Craft, but all the accessory equipment, training and maintenance needs.

If you are open to a suggestion, think about the amount of time allocated for maintaining your program. List the following:

1. Annual budgets: Vessels, accessories, maintenance, training
2. Replacement budget for losses/damage
3. Training hours focused on ‘training with purpose’. Make sure you are training for the results you can expect in the field. Forget YouTube videos for a while and look at your agency or neighboring agency past incidents and revisit the actions of the survivors you worked with and start from there.
4. Practice the ending! The transport, care and extrication of your survivors and gear.
5. Join the Rescue Water Craft Association and get connected with Subject Matter Experts
6. Attend the WaterRescueCon-the only RWC conference in the world.

When you take the lead, you are helping an entire team, their families and the public at large. There is no greater accomplishment knowing that you have spread a protective layer over many, including yourself. Not easy, but you can do this!

_______________________________

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.

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.

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.

 

RESCUE WATER CRAFT RESPONSE FOR KITES

Rescue Water Craft Kiteboarder Recovery

Kites, Wind, Water and You

May 21, 2018 - Just a reminder, not a formal tutorial.

Shawn Alladio

Photos: k38 Italia

Rescue Water Craft Response for Kites, some reminders and suggestions, however training is required to reduce liability at sea.

How will you use a Rescue Water Craft to recover a kiteboarder and their equipment?

Most Kite Boarders are well versed in self-rescue and the warning signs of their activity relative to others in the water. They will often use their kite as a sail and drag themselves back to shore (safety) to depower and deflate their rig. They may even be using their kite as a float an/or a sail to draw back towards shore under wind power.

Not all Rescue Water Craft operators or crew are well versed in kiteboard activity and recovery.  Usually the Kiteboarding community has designated areas with high wind capacity and times of day they enjoy their sport. There are a variety of skill levels and equipment uses.

Does your agency have a policy for contact with kiteboards and their gear?  Two things to consider:

  1. Water Based Response
  2. Shore Based Response

Ask yourself a few questions, are the winds light or strong and growing stronger?  What is the direction of the swell, the wave height and spacing, shoreline configuration, hazards and any background or nearshore traffic?

An able bodied kiter can have their kite laying on the surface with little power, sometimes this is because the kiter has brought it down intentionally.  They may have a tethered safety line they are using to recover their bar. They will loop their safety line along with handle of their bar while the other lines to the kite will have slack and it will not be able to fly.

They will continue on wrapping lines on the bar depending upon if they have 4 or 5 line bars.  It is a slow process for the athlete at times.  You will see the kite draw in closer and they will possibly grab onto it or lay on it and be drawn back towards shore. Determine if they are in close and okay. You may not need to intervene; observe body language. Sometimes things don’t’ work out as planned.

If you are observing a kiteboarder in the water, try to differentiate between an assist or a rescue, and possibly no response. It’s always good to conduct a safety check and maintain visual contact. For instance, they may be dragging themselves back to recover their board using the kite as a sail. There are many different behaviors of self-rescue and trouble situations kiters can get into, this is only one for reference.

Know the causes of runaway kites and potential injuries both on water and land not just to the athletes but to the responders and bystanders. There are a variety of reasons kite boarders have safety issues underway or during prep to launch or recover. Kite boarders can suffer joint and ligament, dislocations, traumatic injuries, fractures and back and neck injuries. It would be advisable to prepare for transits with these type of injuries in mind.

Kiteboarding Safety

Know the popular Kiteboard areas and observe the times they tend to launch and their behavior on your area of operation. Spend some time observing their normal body language and deployment procedures.

Visit a local supply shop and inspect the gear and become familiar with it. If you have a popular kite zone in your area, prepare in advance for those difficult situations. Sometimes you can aid a kiter who is landing on powering down the kite to bring it down. In those cases you can communicate verbally or with sign language.

Or go and talk to them, invite them to come to your agency and give a presentation; ask them questions about response in case of an emergency. Check out their kite rigs, personal protective equipment and harness set ups and how to release their kite and secure their gear.

Know the signs of a kit in distress vs a kiter just going through reset formations, there is a difference. There are a variety of injuries or suspect injuries you may encounter, so be prepared.

INDICATORS

Sunset is usually a higher risk time as thermals change with the heat/cooling effect. Out of control looping kites are a warning signal.

Remember lines can be submerged, never cross the path line of the kite location to the downed athlete with the Rescue Water Craft.

Approach the kite itself from upwind or up drift not downwind, never grab the lines.  Lines can wrap, and slice under a load and it happens quickly. Once pinned you are now part of the problem.

Hopefully the kiter has unhooked from the lines first. Sometimes with an unconscious individual or severely injured this is impossible. You will need to go to a Plan B real fast. Ask the kiter if they are free of their rig. Distance of lines to note are up to 25 meters or 75’. Many variables apply, so its up to your fundamental knowledge of water, weather, kites and survivor behaviors.

If responding with a Rescue Water Craft, you must maintain craft safety as a maritime asset. This means first you protect yourself as the operator and your crew, along with your Rescue Water Craft.

You do not want the filament lines to make contact with the helm or throttle lever, let alone personal contact, and be mindful these lines will sink.

Make a quick assessment; is the kiter exhausted, are they unconscious have they suffered a traumatic injury, are they panicking? What you see is your best determination and that can change quickly.

Make sure you have a minimum of 2 tourniquets on board your Rescue Water Craft. Our operational standard is 4 and we have them stowed inside a waterproof Pelican case.

At idle speed driving over lines you can consider the threat level of fouling your impeller to be ‘danger high’. So don’t do that.

Rescue Water Craft Approach

This is no easy task, consider the type of RWC you are using and your idle speed and athlete condition.

You may need to shut the Rescue Water Craft off and float/drag in the water alongside the athlete until a full recovery is made. Be mindful of which position your bow is in and subsequent threats under time and direction.

Stay clear of all filament lines regardless and do not grab the bar. Make sure you have your cutter ready with you in cases of an emergency.

If you are responding to a situation with a looping kite this one is tricky. It’s called the ‘death loop’. If you can make contact and deflate the kite that would be advantageous if a serious situation occurs. Remember two kites that are tangled, the athletes have no way to control the depowering of a kite.  You will see a spinning kite in these situations most likely.

Keep in mind with wind direction, velocity and athlete positioning they can get dragged and seriously harmed and you don’t want to become a part of that problem. Stay clear of the line of sight and line of drift, and think ahead!

Kites can impact others in the water such as swimmers, surfers or bodyboarding. They can run alongside piers or jetty walls or if offshore winds persist run away at sea. On land they can be menacing and deadly.

If nearshore grab the kite at the center bridge, along the leading inflatable edge if it makes it to land you may have to flip it upside down. Once again pull it downward rapidly and walk towards the tension of the lines against the athlete (if still tethered) and drag down to get the lift away from the inflatable bridge/sail.

MONITOR the Kite

Remember once a kite makes landfall there is a strong possibility depending upon wind conditions that the kite will pick up speed, you must act quickly and know what to do.

You need to know how to release the kite from an athletes harness at their midsection.  This can be very difficult with an unconscious survivor.  Typically you are looking for a red knobs to pull as a release (or cut the lines). Make sure the lines are not under tension and that you are both facing a positive direction relative to the wind.

Again be mindful of lines and their direct position to you, the Rescue Water Craft and the athlete. You may need to have several cutters as at this point. If you don’t have a safety tether attached to the cutter it’s possible to lose one overboard. Be mindful at this point of contact your own engine cut off switch. Secure it safely inside the chest opening of your lifejacket if you power off the Rescue Water Craft.

Approaches to the kite are best measured by contact with the leading edge of the inflatable bridge windward at approximately a 45 degree angle. Do you best to avoid the lines and keep a steady observation on the water and wind conditions surrounding the threat and athlete location.

MEDIATION

Immediately deflate the kite by identifying the location of the plugs.  Then in a lengthwise direction roll the kite and wind the filament lines onto the bar itself. Then return to the kiter location and assist in their recovery. Remember once again lines can wrap or snap or have already done this to the athlete.

Be mindful if you are heading towards shore or out to sea. Keep a watch regarding nearshore rip currents. Keep in mind that the kitesurfer may be pulling their lines in. Consider how much drift you will have from point of contact to boarding the kitesurfer and possibly their kit on your Rescue Water Craft.

Ensure you are mindful of when to power off the Rescue Water Craft. Ensure you have secured all the threat hazards. I like to use a 4 foot runner with a carabiner to put a fast lock loop around kite gear to help me with mobility and stowage. I usually have redundancy of these assets. These are to be considered to be disposable accessory devices. Make sure you have replacements readily available.

When you get underway you do not want to ‘wash away’ the kite gear. You can do this one qualified Operator of a Stage 5 category or a Stage 5 category crew. Secure the kite board, athlete. Do not operate above 25 mph under transit. Slow is Pro at point of contact!

At sea you will be setting the kite adrift (or it already is), so there is that secondary hazard for others and don't forget the length distance from athlete to kite.

There are a variety of quick releases usually marked red but not always.

Landing a kite: grab again at center bridge, make sure the inflatable bridge is lowered to the ground with skirts up and throw some sand on the flaps to weight it down probably 20-30 lbs. of weight.

Pull the inflator hoses, deflation valve or plug to depower the rig on land and stow it, watch out for those lines again.

You should all undertake specific training with these kind of rigs, watch those lines and be mindful of your water jet pump.

Upwind or Downwind

RECAP

Not a training aid, please refer to qualified certification programs and visit a Kiteboarding club or shop for further details and important information.

  1. Approach the athlete with the kite in front of them and the wind to your back on a 45 degree angle, or conduct a Johnny B Maneuver. (Draw an imaginary J with the bow of your craft to your point of contact either port or starboard side)
  2. Contact with the kite is best done at the center inflated bridge, hold on tight while maintaining your balance on the Rescue Water Craft and do not let go. Keep in mind the rotational forces of your Rescue Water Craft and any windage against both the hull and the kite itself.
  3. Approach the kite downwind at a 45 degree angle, you can also position and let it drift towards your line of direction and make contact broadside. Keep in mind you may be making contact on port or starboard side so refer to your best practices and operational functionality.
  4. Once you make contact with the kite and have the rig secured you can complete a full circle rotation keeping the lines to your inside turn so you don’t cross over them and bring the kite back to the athlete. They may be able to get underway again if the rig is okay and they have no injuries or exhaustion, talk to them and ask them how they are doing, visible signs of injury or panic take to shore
  5. (Situation Option) Or the kite must be deflated and the athlete may have already have packed down, or the kite could be drawing free in the direction of the wind. Often a kite boarder will use their harness to wrap a deflated kite into a bungle for transport. Kites can be lethal if unsecured so keep it low to the water/ground and deflate.
  6. Your ending is the most important part, slow steady stable transport and a calm ending for transfer to shore, keep your bow out to oncoming wave energy or your bow towards shore in large bodies of water.
  7. Power down your Rescue Water Craft once you are in 2.5 feet of water

Reference Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOjMA9a0rSc

 

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Photos: K38 Italia

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.

A SWIM IN THE PARK

USCG RESCUE SWIMMER TRAINING PROGRAM

A Swim in the Park is a story from our friend David.

David Pu'u is a K38 alumni and also a friend. He has chronicled many of a K38 Way of Training course through his lens.

He is a professional photographer and husband to Donna Pu'u who owns Betty Belts which is also my jewelry sponsor. Both of these humans are outstanding representations of what is right in humanity.

Take a moment to get to know David................

Jet Pump

Instructor Shawn Alladio

ASTORIA

I found myself in a wary mindset as the Air Alaska jet lifted off an Arizona runway. Shawn Alladio and I watched the desert recede below us. We are both speed junkies, so found ourselves smiling as we accelerated into the blue morning sky on the last leg of our flight to Portland Oregon.

We were enroute to Astoria and our ultimate destination, the USCG Station at Tongue Point. Shawn sometimes invites me along as she engages her job as head of K38 Rescue, a global ocean safety and training organization, which is an internationally recognized specialist in PWC (personal watercraft, aka jet ski) operations.

Jet Pump

RWC Lifesavers

PARTICIPATE

This week, Shawn was on assignment to work with the USCG STAN Team, which consisted of Five Advanced Rescue Swimmers who were building a course for the USCG on PWC operations, a new direction for the Coast Guard.

I was wary, because I knew we would be working in the Colombia River foul area off Cape Disappointment which is a series of sand bars in open ocean. I also had seen the film The Guardian, which was shot where we were going, and which documented the life and death of one of the best Advanced Rescue Swimmers ever. Then there are the countless videos of Rescue Boat training I have watched, which were filmed there.

The Bar is an infamous and legendary training ground for the CG. It would be cold, have weather, and the conditions would be whatever the Northern Pacific decided. Knowing the ocean. I was thinking about this. The proverbial running into the pit, with the best watermen and operators in the world as they acquired new skills.

Shawn has mentored me well over the years. My deep understanding of the ocean and skill in it were morphing as age is want to do to one. And here I was, seated alongside a woman who would be supervising the elite of our country’s rescue personnel. I guess that is why I would call this an adventure: some unknowns existed, and conditions could be anything.

To read the rest of the story please go to:

A Swim In The Park

Is Cavitation the Problem with your Jet Pump?

FLOW

Jet pump cavitation is oftentimes confused with the effects of ventilation regarding Personal Water Craft jet pump efficiency. For occupational operators this is a topic of interest for RWC use. We are looking at several aspects of jet pump security:

1. Aerated water conditions are Rescue Water Craft would operate in such as a surf zone or whitewater in a river
2. Damage to the jet pump unit and its components

Our Rescue Water Craft cavitation occurs when the results of extreme reduction in jet pump pressure on the back side of the impeller blades. This creates a loss of water jet pump pressure.

We enjoy two types of constructive materials for impellers, aluminum and stainless steel

Jet Pump

PWC Water Intake Screen missing bolt

Rescue Water Craft Cavitation

It is an interesting process that we cannot see while operating our Rescue Water Craft. We can feel the hesitation of the craft, loading up or stalling of the RWC as throttle modulation is applied at the helm. This is most apparent in white water operating conditions. Or if there is debris that is hung up on the water intake screen or beginning to ‘wrap’ around the driveline.

Water begins to boil at 212 degrees Farenheit. If we reduce the atmospheric pressure low enough, water can also boil at room temperature. These boils can effect jet pump efficiency underway.

As the Rescue Water Craft impeller begins turning through the water drawn into the jet pump at an ever-increasing rate of speed, the pressure on the back side of the blades is reduced, and if that pressure is reduced low enough, the water will begin to boil and form water vapor on the blades. This usually occurs near the outer or leading edge of the blade. There can also be damage to the jet pump guide veins on the backside of the impeller.

Jet Pump

Inspect your PWC Water Jet Pump for Debris

FLOW DON'T BLOW

Water vapor bubbles will migrate closer to the center of the RWC impeller blade within the Jet Pump. This is where the jet pump pressure is higher, and the boiling stops. The vapor bubbles will begin to implode against the impeller blade's surface.

This resulting energy release can be so strong that it can begin a process of chipping away at the impeller blade surface, leaving what is called a cavitation burn.

Cavitation can have a lot of different causes. Impeller nicks, dents or different types of damage to the leading edge of any of the impeller blades are often the highest contributing factor. If your Rescue Water Craft impeller no longer cuts through the water smoothly from the water drawn through the water jet, it will cause disturbances in the water flow, and this can result in the effects experienced from cavitation.

Ventilation can occur from the bottom hull of the Rescue Water Craft. At each training course or rescue episode we pre and post-inspect the bottom of the hull for any nicks in the gelcoat or substrate surface.

One of our inspection requirements is to check out the water intake screen, the pump tunnel, ride plate, impeller (both lead and trailer blade edges), pump guide veins to ensure there are no cracks, chips, breaks or scores. We also inspect the pump liner and are sure to fresh water flush after each use.

Typically the keel leading up to the dead rise of the bow is a key area for gelcoat damage from repeated groundings. Chines can catch the edge and fleck off small areas of gelcoat. Ventilation can be suspected to affect the jet pump unit if that area has any surface damage.

Jet Pump

Inspect your PWC Water Jet Pump Intake Screen for Debris

TRACTION IS SAFETY

Repeated groundings can change the blueprint of the hull bottom. It can cause a grinding away of the centerline of the keel. Not all agencies have the luxury of using boat ramps and trailers. Some must ground their RWC which results in the keel becoming misshaped over time.

Another problem we experience from ventilation is with the use of a Towable Aquatic Device (TAD) or what we commonly refer to in generic term as a ‘Rescue Board’. The more weight applied to the top of the rescue board forward surface, the more dead-rise against the bow will cause increased upward lift.

This is most noticeable when speeds increase or in rough water operations.

Our safety lies within our operational knowledge base. When we understand our pump efficiency and safety we can inspect, maintain and prevent further damages. It also helps us to determine when we have lost a pump or bearings to damage and need to ensure that we don’t stress the engine from overloading rpm.

Get to know your Rescue Water Craft. There is more to know than this story can tell. Start with the jet pump unit and review your owner’s manual for inspection tips. It really is the secret of our forward success!

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.

Jet Pump

Personal Water Craft Impeller Inside the Jet Pump Casing