It’s (finally?!) spring here in the Vail Valley. Even though the snowfall this year wasn’t exactly epic, we got a few good spring snowstorms that will make an impact on this summer’s rivers, streams, and creeks. As temperatures are on the rise, people are out on their bikes, and hikers are getting back out on (currently muddy) trails.
Swift water encounters may be dangerous at this time of year, especially, as unsuspecting hikers may not have planned ahead to cross bodies of water swollen with spring snowmelt. Waterways that are barely flowing in the fall may be treacherous to cross at this time of the year. Therefore, it’s important to check on local conditions before going out and to plan carefully for any potential swift water crossings by carrying rescue gear such as a throw bag and a personal floatation device.
I wanted to share some images of a successful throw bag rescue; even though this one focuses on a rafting situation, I thought that it would 1.) get you excited for upcoming rafting and kayaking, or 2.) remind you how to use a throw bag in any situation, or 3.) both 1.) and 2.).
Above right, there’s the raft on its approach (notice the foaming rapids and squirrely-looking boulders).
Now…dropping into the hole:
Whoa! Getting sucked in:
Rescuers get the throw bag to the swimmer, ASAP:
Rescuers hold their ground, and the swimmer swings to safety: