02/28/10 130 W, 1 I - + 11 - 4 This Afternoon's Swift Water Rescue

Raleigh and Falls fire units on the Neuse River, responding in the vicinity of 3320 Canoe Brook Parkway. Dispatched as a drowning for Engine 22, EMS 15, Medic 93, and District 3. Kayak overturned in water several hundred feed upstream from behind that location. Boater found clinging to tree in midstream. Rescue 1 and boat trailer, USAR 801 (swift water rescue unit), and Battalion 1 added to call. Falls units also responded, along with additional EMS resources including EMS 66. Rescue 1 and USAR 801 responded to Falls Lake canon launch area, below dam. Boater reached by Falls firefighter in second craft. Two recovery points established downstream, behind Canoe Brook Parkway and at Capital Boulevard. Boater and firefighter brought to waiting units at first recovery point. Dispatched about 3:30 p.m. Pics soon. Click to enlarge:

They had the same thing down here this morning in Fayetteville. A guy was on the Cape Fear River and needed some assistence (forgot what the original call came in as) Pretty strange huh????
ENG3INE - 02/28/10 - 19:18

did the person not have a pfd on? how are you stranded needing rescue in something as small as the neuse around here? float to the bank and walk back to get your boat.
boater - 02/28/10 - 19:58

Boater: The Corps of Engineers is letting a lot of water out of Falls Lake right now. When they do that, it causes the river below the dam to flow extremely fast and to rise higher than normal. There is no way that the guy that was in the tree could have swam to the shore because the water was just to fast and too cold.
marcus - 02/28/10 - 20:18

Please educate those who have no idea; is it common practice to send a “rescuer” to the victim without a tag line or water rescue helmet? Those that were there, please enlighten us.
H2OAwrnessOnly - 02/28/10 - 20:50

I am not a fan of the blogs, but I will come forward on this one. Twas I that stole, well commandeered a canoe kayak boat. Use my bad call as a lesson. Not a good idea. The plan was not to “Rescue” the victim, but to simply “assess” the situation and the victim’s medical condition for the Rescue Boat. At the moment the call made seemed a good one. Make no mistake, I am not above admitting IT WAS NOT. Lessons learned (I hope all will learn these lessons from this not so good situation)

- Though the water may seem calm but elevated in some areas, it may be moving faster in other areas. This should be taken into account.

- From the information and the perceived situation, the decision to go recon the victim from the water, I made. Lesson point being, no matter what the perceived situation may be, the reality may be different. Always plan for it to be different. Have a back up.

I will now once again “retire” from the blog as I am not a fan. I just felt I could admit my bad call in the hopes that someone else may learn from it. Stay safe guys. and other than my bad idea, a great job was done by all. The guy got rescued, his boat was not so lucky, but everyone went home.

Graney (Email) - 02/28/10 - 22:14

From the pictures only, and not pointing fingers, but for learning purposes:
the type of PFD that the Falls FD firefighter had on does not facilitate a tag line. You can see the cow-tails on the RFD rescuers PFD’s that are meant for attaching a tag-line to, and allows the rescuer to release themselves from the tag-line if needed.
And yes, they should have had at the minimum a water rescue helmet on, just remember not a fire helmet.

Typically the best thing to do at an awareness level is to provide downstream safeties that have throw bags in place in case the victim comes free from the tree.
In addition everybody who is within 10 feet of the water should also have a PFD and helmet on. Actually getting in the water is the last resort on water (especially swift water) incidents.

As with confined space incidents would-be rescuers often become part of the incident, and the proper equipment and training are critical to ensure that does not happen and that everybody goes home safe.

Glad to see that some of the training that was conducted over the past two months by members of NC-TF8 got put to use and the end result was positive.
CFP 7021 - 02/28/10 - 22:25

Nothin’ like an early morning on the lake in brisk February…good job guys!
Silver - 02/28/10 - 23:14

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