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Hatch rescue
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daviddk



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Hatch rescue Reply with quote

To all the people who stood on shore or sailed by the guy screaming for help yesterday at the Hatch, what the hell is wrong with you? His rig separated leaving him floating downriver in the swell about 50 yards from shore and I could hear him screaming from a 100 yards downwind. As I desperately tried to tack upwind to get to him I saw several sailors pass close to him and people on shore getting ready to waterstart just look at him as he went by. If someone is screaming for help and you`re on shore, don`t be a deer in the headlights and just stand there hoping someone else will get to him. Grab a rig and go. Better 10 people get to him than none. And for Christ`s sake if you see someone floating by themselves in the water don`t just sail on by. Anyway, he made it to shore, someone swam out and got his board and someone else towed his rig and ended up on Cheap Beach with it. All ended well.
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biffmalibu



Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Well put. Reply with quote

Apathy sucks, and USA is full of it unless there is emotional motivation, such as hate. However, I believe most windsurfers are not skilled enough or strong enough to have handled an effective tow-in rescue in those ocean-like conditions. And I think most windsurfers at the Hatchery know this too. Still, you are correct: there were probably SEVERAL excellent sailors who could have helped (at least stopped on a dime to provide flotation assistance).

Research shows it takes only about 20-50 seconds to begin a drowning process. This is survey data from a coastal lifeguard observing plenty of drowning situations.

Don't assume somebody ELSE will help!
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daviddk



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don`t think it`s apathy as much as it`s the deer in the headlights syndrome, freezing up rather than doing something in an emergency situation. Towing someone in is a bitch but letting them float on your board while waiting for help so they don`t drown is something anyone can do.
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dcfordo



Joined: 15 Jun 2006
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is called the Bystander Effect. And, apparently it is common.

It is an odd part of human nature where the larger the crowd the less likely anyone is to help in an emergency.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2425

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are the deer in the headlights people.
Then there are guys like my bud SteveYong, all 112 lbs of him, credited with over 20 rescues at CrissyField by 1996. I'd only done 12, but everyone came over and talked to me there by then, as the reputation get's around quickly.
You get good vibes by passing onto other's your good vibes.
Actually, haven't done more than 2 rescues since, since where I sail nowadays, it's easier to sail to shore (less than 2 minutes, commandeer a rescue BostonWhaler, and get back out there within 2 minutes. I've done that over 6 times, but never actually took the whaler, as the rec sup/Dayleaders want some action too.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2425

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh skill.....
In 1985, my 133 lbs g/f, fit model for Oneill Wetsuits, size 10, towed my buddy back across the mouth of FlyingTigers, easily 1/4 MILE, with her 8'3" glass board and 4.5 Gaastra wave sail in winds around 20 average. He'd lost his entire rig an hour before we got there.
I went for the rig, about a mile downwind.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the above, but must add that anyone who can't swim across the Columbia and/or keep his head in ANY conditions is ill-advised to play on it.

50 yards offshore? I often swim hundreds of yards OUT TO a windline just to play, and a helluva lot further back when the wind veers NW at dark. The so-called Roosevelt Swim Club very often deliberately swims back from Oregon simply as the going and well-spent cost of catching that last, full-blast, rock-steady, premiere suppertime-'til-9:30 session after the wind turns NW and the WA shoreline dead zone is 500 to 1,000 yards wide. Half of its members are on Social Security, and its oldest member launched solo from Roosevelt to rescue a kiter stranded at Arlington in nuking conditions. One of the younger members -- a kid in his 50s -- waterstarted at the silos, sailed back to Washington, stashed his gear, walked the mile back to Roosevelt, all in super-gusty 3.0 conditions ... all with one arm sticking up from his side at 45 degrees because that shoulder was so severely dislocated that it took a big surgeon and two bigger guys and a steel picnic table to reduce the dislocation.

Being in shape and staying calm pays huge dividends, sometimes including saving lives, our own or someone else's. Hie thine asses to the damned gym if ya want to play a challenging sport or in challenging conditions. Either that, or buy a good life insurance policy. It's too easy to drown before help arrives, even in a crowd, if we panic, give up, or can't handle the conditions when our toys break... all of which many of us have seen.

Mike \OO/
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2425

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda sorta have to almost agree wth Mike here....
Once I dragged this 220 lbs guy back to shore, about a mile. Took all my strength, dragging him and his gear, which he didn't want to derig for his own reasons. Wind died after he'd broken his mast top.
I'm 150, so can still say OK with my 82 liter wave board. He couldn't waterstart my sail, and his base didn't go into mine, nor mine into his.
Anyways, we get to shore, and he proceeds to take off his wetsuit top, and he's BUFF like a weight lifter. He was. And he wasn't the least tired, being dragged home atop his board!
I just walked away, remembering to leave him out there next time. Luckily, he quit windsurfing soon after.
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merriam



Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreeing with Iso and Zirt here. If you can't swim 50 yards you shouldn't be on the water. My concern is some people don't do enough to self rescue. Last week my petite wife towed in a guy probably 50% bigger than her and half her age through the swell with his full rig dragging in the water (I think he had broken his mast.) By the time she got him to shore she was so tired she couldn't sail the rest of the day. There are often ways to self-rescue even with broken gear by getting enough sail up in the air to body drag back. If that doesn't work (or no wind) next option is DE-RIG your sail, lash it with boom and mast to the board and paddle back. In dire situations, if no help is available, dump your rig and paddle the board back. We should be mostly self sufficient and only need help in cases of exhaustion or injury.
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tweeky



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
Posts: 256

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Hatch rescue Reply with quote

daviddk wrote:
...leaving him floating downriver in the swell about 50 yards from shore and I could hear him screaming from a 100 yards downwind.


Every rescue is different, there's a lot of judgement that has to come into play for things to turn out well, so I don't really want to criticize the guy, but would like to pass this on:

As a former lifeguard for many years, I'd just say don't underestimate how serious a situation like this can be. If you approach someone like this, and they really are panicking and freaking out, its a very dangerous situation for YOU as well as them. We used to say that a drowning person wants to be standing on your hand, 3ft out of the water. There are instances of small children who have drowned themselves and their would-be rescuers, often one of their parents, simply by getting a death-lock around Daddy's throat and Daddy can't get them off no matter what.

If you approach someone who is potentially drowning in the water, rule #1 is don't become a victim. Sounds obvious, but here's the actual reason. If you start drowning with them you:

-just blew their best chance for survival
-you've complicated the rescue for anyone else... now there are two people needing to be saved instead of one.

If someone is screaming bloody murder on the river, approach with caution. Talk calmly, clearly and give very clear instructions. For instance, place your board between yourself and them and say loud and clear "grab my board, hang onto my board". Whatever you do, don't put yourself beside them or attempt to assist them up onto the board if they are panicking. They are just as likely to latch onto you as they are the board. They won't necessarily respond to obvious logical suggestions. If you can get them to calm down, that's great, then you can just proceed normally. But during the freak phase, assume that they are going scramble right on top of you. If they are really panicking to a point where you can't communicate with them, just shove your board right into them.. chances are they will grab onto this mysterious but suddenly present solid object, and start to calm down as they realize they are no longer in immediate danger.
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