Throw Bags, Accessories and WorkShops "Gear For Life"

A Single Bank Stabilizat

A Single Bank Stabilization and Cinching Method w/ One Thro-Bag
                                                                                                         - Jim Simmons

In early fall of 2006 on Lee Creek, Arkansas several of us were practicing entrapment and cinching methods when Jim and Tim Jones hit on the idea of a single bank 'rope trick' for quickly stabilizing and cinching a foot entrapped swimmer. This quickly evolved into a rescuer two-step using one throw bag with both rescuers stationed on the same shore.

THE BASICS. Visualize two rescuers positioned on the river left shore facing a foot entrapped paddler about 30 feet from the shoreline. Rescuer #1 tosses a 75 foot length throw bag to extend it along the shore as rescuer #2 moves to the downstream end. Leaving 3-4 feet of tail at the respective ends, the rescuers coordinate coiling the standing part of the line while walking toward each other. As they come within 4-5 feet of each other the rescuers should each have half the line with a 4-5 foot section dangling off the ground between them. Rescuers should secure their free end with the non-throwing hand as they prepare for the throw. In unison the rescuers toss the coils so the loop encircles the paddler--a quick stabilization line just like dancing the Two-Step.
Normally, a rope is tossed across and beyond a swimmer in the river. In this Two-Step method the downstream rescuer must aim about a yard downstream of the victim and the other rescuer a yard or so upstream. This will insure that the 4-5 foot section of dangling rope will pass over and encircle the victim. The heart of the Two-Step is that both rescuers make their back swings and throw in unison, which prevents the coils from tangling as the rope unfurls over the victim's body (or gear).
Similar to other single bank cinching methods once the victim is lassoed rescuers change positions to creat an 'X' configuration for cinching the paddler. Placing a carabiner where the rope crosses and jiggling it down the line will help secure the victim or object in the cinch ( a small size tag line will prevent losing the carabiner if the rope deflects off the victim).

TIPS. Positioning one rescuer slightly forward of the other will keep the rope dangling between them from bumping into their legs, and one rescuer should call 'signals' so they can coordinate their backswings. If both throwers are right-handed one can throw with the non-dominant hand since the distance is not far (this just takes practice). This permits the rescuers to hold their coils with the 'inside' throwing hand as they face each other; however, the other way works just fine.
Give this fast, single throw bag two-step a try and add it to your rescue tool bag. It'll be quite useful on more narrow streams and in situations if a stuck person or object is not too far from shore and inaccessible by other means.

Jim Simmons, Jim Jones and Tim Jones, are ACA Advanced SWR Instructors and teach in the Red River Division of the ACA.
August, 2006; revised December, 2010
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