UKC

/ DANGEROUS Throw Lines (water rescue)

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marsbar - on 03 Jun 2018

 

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/safety-warning-about-defective-throw-bag-rescue-lines

The short version, some idiots have made rescue lines from rope with joins in it.  Lucky for them and potential victims it was discovered during rescue practise and not during a real incident.  

Recommendation is to check all throw bags by running the rope through hands to feel for any joins lumps etc.  

I thought I'd post as I know some climbers also kayak etc.  I don't know if DWS uses these as well?  

The brand is RIBER but as other brands may have been made at the same place it is worth checking any brand in my opinion.  

Post edited at 07:04
NottsRich on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to marsbar:

I'm pretty sure that this same issue was highlighted a long time ago (maybe 10 years?). No idea of the manufacturer involved that time, too much of a hazy memory now. Hard to believe it could happen (again) though!

marsbar - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to NottsRich:

Lucky it was a pool session and not an epic. 

Howard J - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to marsbar:

This is the bit I find most surprising:  " As the rope used for rescue lines in throw bags is not classified
as lifesaving or safety equipment, there is no requirement for it to conform to any recognised safety or
quality standards other than the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC."

 

Paz - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Howard J:

> This is the bit I find most surprising:  " As the rope used for rescue lines in throw bags is not classified

> as lifesaving or safety equipment, there is no requirement for it to conform to any recognised safety or

> quality standards other than the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC."

Remember this the next time anyone says "Trust the private sector.  The private sector will do a better job as they're much more efficient, and of course they're responsible"

Post edited at 19:03
10
Mark1800 - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to marsbar:

Thanks for pointing this out, I'll check ours

DenzelLN - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Paz:

Not really applicable to ropes though is it?

Paz - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to DenzelLN:

Not as far as I know any specific examples of.  But to climbing gear in general it's definitely applicable.

FactorXXX - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to Paz:

> Not as far as I know any specific examples of.  But to climbing gear in general it's definitely applicable.

Be interesting to know who came up with the various standards and regulations applicable to climbing equipment.
Was it the UIAA in conjunction with the equipment manufacturers and they essentially came up with a voluntary best code of practice? 
Or, was it the EU, etc. enforcing it through EN standards?
I'm guessing that it was the former and that the EU, etc. have adopted those voluntary practices and made them 'official' via the EN standards for the applicable PPE. 

Paz - on 03 Jun 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

Probably.  Personally this is why I don't pay much attention to equipment standards.

But the UIAA took in contributions from people like the alpine club, and no doubt others.  It all seems totally obvious and basic now, but that's how they came up with stuff like the "UIAA Sharp Edge test" for climbing ropes. 

It's good that there is such a thing as the "UIAA Sharp Edge test"

Without such a thing, if we over did it, any climbing equipment company would reasonably ask: OK, do I really have to design a rope to withstand 1000 factor two falls over a diamond razor edge, (in which case I'm not even sure steel cable will pass) or is it still perfectly safe to have the official standard for ropes be very stringent and safe, but something a bit less than that?  Surely the rope is obviously f*cked after 50 such tests anyway?

Hopefully someone generous with insider knowledge share their insight, or even just some unknown hero with a free subscription to a standards website can do some digging into the paper trail and let us know.

Post edited at 23:48
graeme jackson - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to marsbar:

I'm pretty surprised these throw lines come with a loop at the 'rescuee' end. the BCU recommended removing the loops about 15 years ago as they'd been shown to potentially contribute to drowning if the victim got his hand stuck in the loop.

marsbar - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to graeme jackson:

Well spotted, didn’t see that.  

 

jimtitt - on 04 Jun 2018
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Be interesting to know who came up with the various standards and regulations applicable to climbing equipment.

> Was it the UIAA in conjunction with the equipment manufacturers and they essentially came up with a voluntary best code of practice? 

> Or, was it the EU, etc. enforcing it through EN standards?

> I'm guessing that it was the former and that the EU, etc. have adopted those voluntary practices and made them 'official' via the EN standards for the applicable PPE. 

The European Parliament issue the directive saying climbing equipment must conform to a standard and the private sector make an appropriate standard. (CEN who produce the standards is a non-profit organisation owned by the national standards authorities which are in turn owned and funded by industry). After Brexit it will be different

The UIAA sharp-edge test was abandoned shortly after it was introduced.

LouiseMcMahon - on 05 Jun 2018
In reply to Paz:

The various brands also work with the UIAA to develop new standards and update current ones as issues arise. BD's Director of quality talks about it here https://enormocast.com/episode-114-kolin-powick-uses-science-to-keep-you-alive/

Also, see Petzl's new side protection tests they are doing as an example https://www.petzl.com/GB/en/Sport/video/What-is-TOP-and-SIDE-PROTECTION-on-a-Petzl-helmet- which I'm sure they will be pushing to update the standard.

Post edited at 00:12

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