This is one of our favorite evolutions in swiftwater rescue that is only achievable through the action of line capture with the Crossline Reach device or Remotely Anchoring the device directly within a group of obstacles fixed in the river.
Many swiftwater rescue situations require access of a rescuer to a specific site in the middle of the river. Applying these methods will allow in ma
ny cases for the creation and set-up of a loop or girth hitch around the obstacle on the far side of the current or in the middle of the flow.
During our annual Tandem Rescate (TR) Instructors training seminar in Chile these exact scenarios were produced and studied to further enhance the safety of rescuers. A series of photos will help piece the first part of this Blog Series together for all of you reading this in efforts to spread the knowledge of this effective "Fast Attack" method and also teach the individual how to train for these type of situations including the proper equipment needed.
The next series of photos demonstrates the creation of a mid-river/mid-current anchor. In this case a large boulder was used as the fixed object to anchor to.
Using a traditional River Rescue Throwbag the first toss is made out across the upstream face of the boulder allowing the line to rest on the upstream side and the remainder of the line and bag to float downstream of the boulder giving us a clear opportunity to capture the line with the crossline reach attached to the bitter end of our second throwbag.
The throw of the reach must be precise due to the current velocity and projected angle from shore. Once the line with the reach is crossed over the first line the reach is managed by hauling the line back in while automatically performing its secure clipping task of the first line and while the reach will slide down the line it has just clipped it will come to a stop at the Bag of the first line creating a stopper that will allow for hauling in the line for the next phase of this evolution.
Once the first bag is hauled in it is wise to remove the Reach from the system as it may be needed again in another task. We took a manual locking carabiner and clipped it to the end of the bag (prior inspection to the knot on the inside of the bag). then the same carabiner was clipped to the same line creating a loop or girth hitch that was quickly cinched around the boulder mid-river and our anchor was complete allowing the rescue to evolve either into a pendulum belay downstream of the rock into the eddy.
Having created a fixed line in the middle of the river allows us also to tension ferry from upstream and also with a downstream angle to egress back to shore.
The beauty of this method is it saves time and it can be done without putting a rescuer in the water.