The rules of swiftwater

I would like to touch on two points: the cable and swiftwater rescue standards.

As a former raft guide, certified Rescue 3 International swiftwater level 2 technician and whitewater enthusiast both in closed and open boat for over 15 years, I have to question why a fixed cable was introduced into the rescue environment on the Goat River on the day Sheila Sweatman lost her life.

I would like to touch on two points: the cable and swiftwater rescue standards.

The fact that the RCMP gave the go ahead to use the cable shows their lack of understanding of river rescue techniques; had the RCMP been trained they may have thought twice about giving the go ahead to use a steel cable. Rescue techniques may have changed since I was certified under Rescue 3 International but moving water is moving water; that never changes nor do the rules around swiftwater.

The second thought I have is why there needs to be BC swiftwater standards? There are global standards with Rescue 3 International who have been audited independently to be “compliant with NFPA 1670 standard for technical rescue in high risk environments including swiftwater, ice and rope rescue.” Why not adopt their international standards?

I would encourage both law enforcement and firefighters to get swifwater training. It will only aid them in their jobs alongside search and rescue groups, even if they never get in the water during a rescue they will have a better understanding of how moving water works and rescue techniques around swiftwater. We are surrounded by fast moving creeks and rivers here in the Kootenays; it only makes sense.

It is sad that Sheila had to be the second victim. It is something every river rescue professional wants to avoid; losing one of their own. Let’s hope Nelson Search and Rescue and other regional search and rescue groups throughout the province consider adopting the Rescue 3 International standards in the future and apply those standards consistently.

Dana Diotte

Nelson

 

Just Posted

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Foster care is ‘superhighway to homelessness,’ youth advocate tells Nelson audience

Katherine McParland grew up in foster care and lived on the streets

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Ignoring climate change poses potential catastrophe for B.C.

Fisheries scientist says ‘extraordinary challenges’ in water management lie ahead

Grow ops left in legal weeds

“I think people are going to get a big surprise that it’s not going to change things much.”

Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

Even though pot is legal, you can’t smoke in the car

B.C. teens fined for possession of pot on legalization day

The pair received $230 fines for smoking pot in public

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nurses deliver 24,000 anti-violence postcards to B.C. Health Minister

Nurses delivered thousands of postcards to the front steps of the B.C. legislature, each carrying a message for violence prevention

Nova Scotia works to stop underage online cannabis sales

The government cannabis retailer moves to prevent workaround of online-age verification

Carr, Morneau off to China next month to deepen commerce

Carr says Canada and China aren’t embarking on formal free trade talks

Most Read