VIDEO: Safety For Whitewater Kayakers, Part IV

The fourth whitewater safety video from Canoe & Kayak, Jim Coffey and Mike McKay, focuses on the qualities of a good throw bag and how to properly use this important piece of equipment for whitewater rescue. It is important to always carry a high-quality throw bag and to practice throwing technique outside of emergency situations. 

We recommend watching the whole video, but here is a summary of a few main points:

A good throwbag...

  • is strong and durable
  • has low stretch
  • has a floating rope

When you throw...

  • Throw upstream of the person in the water
  • Throw to and through the swimmer
  • Pendulum your subject into shore and away from hazards

Anchoring Technique

  • Choose a good location for your throw
  • Sit low to the anchor and use a body or dynamic belay 

  • Keep some extra rope so that you can release force on the subject

Catch and Receiving

  • Use the hand closest to the center of the river to catch and hold onto the rope. This will help maintain a good ferry angle and reduce stress on the anchor

Via Canoe & Kayak.