Friday, April 17, 2009

Raft Guide Rescue Rope Throwing

Part of being trained by the best raft guides includes rescue rope throwing, an essential skill for both raft guides and kayakers. Being able to hit your target can be critical in a rescue situation. Just ask the guy in the water! Here, students in NOC's Raft Guide School learn and practice on the Nantahala River.

Instructor Will Norris looks on as raft guide hopefuls toss their yellow rescue ropes into the Nantahala for a few practice throws. It's best to throw underhand or side-armed when throwing rescue rope. An overhand throw can get slowed down by wind or caught up in branches.

This beach is a great place to practice throwing. When on the water, it's important to make sure you're standing on a secure rock. You want to ground yourself and control your body as much as possible, to avoid being pulled into dangerous water yourself.

Rescue rope throwing is all about timing. Wind, current speed and whitewater hazards all need to be assessed within seconds. Remember to look downstream for a clear path to pull your swimmer to safety. Here, instructor Will Norris paddles a duck to simulate a moving target for the novice rope throwers.

Learn more about rescue rope throwing with NOC's kayak paddling school this summer.

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