Beyond Cold Water Bootcamp

HIGH FREEBOARD - PFD AND SINGLE SLING

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While high freeboard vessels provide increased rough water capabilities, in rescue extraction situations they can present a challenge to first responders and victims alike.  The rescuers have further to reach to grab the victim and it’s tougher to hoist the victim into the boat without scraping their body on the gunwale (which is obviously not recommended for hypothermic victim care). 

Here are two techniques for extracting a victim from the water with a high freeboard:

PFD Extraction
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  • Position the boat downwind with the victim at an appropriate retrieval point on the hull.
  • Two rescuers lean down and grab the PFD. (If too far to reach, grab the victim’s wrists and hoist until able to reach the PFD).
  • As the victim is hoisted, the rescuers should slowly lay back onto the deck pulling the victim on top of them to cushion the landing.
  • Once aboard, assess the victim’s condition.  If possible, package with a vapour barrier against the wet clothing and an outer wrap of insulation before securing for transport to shore. 
     
{rokbox size=|700 410| thumb=|images/stories/video_icon.png|}videos/high_freeboard.html{/rokbox} Click the icon to see a video demonstration of this procedure.
 







Single Sling  Extraction
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  • Position the boat downwind with the victim at an appropriate retrieval point on the hull.
  • Both rescuers lean down each grabbing one of the victim’s wrists. 
  • Without letting go, loop the sling around the victim and under the arms.
  • Using the sling, hoist the victim into the boat and allow the victim to land on top of you to cushion the fall.
  • Once aboard, assess the victim’s condition, and if possible package with vapour barrier against the wet clothing and an outer wrap of insulation before securing for transport to shore.