Thursday 5 August 2021
  • :
  • :

Quick Release Tow Rescues

If you have a quick release tow system and have been trained in its proper use. You can use it to help you perform a boat rescue.

Making use of a rescue vest and a quick release towing system on white water assumes you have taken a swift-water rescue class and have full knowledge of the practical uses of your rescue vest and its quick release system.

How to use a Quick Release Tow System

1. Drain the boat (as instructed in the previous chapter), to make it lighter and easier to manovere. A boat filled with water attached to a rescuer is extremely hazardous.

2. Attach the carabineer of the tow tether to the stern grab loop, as this is the end with the most floatation and will float a bit higher if there is any remaining water.

3. Make sure tether is not twisted around your torso or paddle when clipping

4. Set a ferry angle for the closest eddy or paddle to your safe rescue location

5. Paddle the boat to the shore and then unclip from the quick release tow system

If at any stage you need to disconnect from the boat in tow. Use the quick release buckle to release the tow system and boat from you and paddle away to safety.

Top Tips

Do not put yourself into danger! One swimmer is a challenge enough. Don’t make it two!

Attaching yourself to a piece of equipment in a whitewater environment or in the ocean can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you have completed the appropriate training and that the river section is suitable for such a rescue.

Remember you are the most important person in a rescue situation. Keep yourself safe and then if you can safely do so, help the other paddlers in your group, then the swimmer and finally and only if its safe to do so help rescue the equipment.

See the river safety section for more information on rescues and how to stay safe out on whitewater