Risk management for Rider rescue


Risk management for Rider rescue

by David Dorn

Saturday, June 16, 2012


To Instructors,

Your duty of care requires you to ensure that your student can receive assistance in case of an accident. You have the responsibility to keep your student safe, and manage the risks. and you have the responsibility to seek help in case of emergency, provide first aid, an get your student to the next level of care.


Providing care and rescue in the kiteboarding environment:

Providing emergency assistance in the outdoor environment is challenging.

providing first aid /cpr on the water, and performing rescues from the water are difficult and haves its own unique challenges.

there are several major risk factors to consider, and some specialized skills and techniques that can be employed in these situations.


Accident prevention:

The best form of management is avoiding accidents in the first place. The instructor should manage every session, anticipate risks, and prevent accidents. Thinks like avoiding crowded areas, staying a safe distance from objects and hazards, avoid shallow water. and riding within the limits of the riders, equipment, and conditions. are ways to help prevent accidents. When an instructor sees a high risk behavior, they must quickly correct the inappropriate actions to prevent accidents.


Risk factors for outdoor rescue:

Risk factors include the extremity of the conditions;


  • Extreme Weather; cold, extreme high wind, extreme surf.
  • Proximity to rescue; how far or long it takes to get to a victim.
  • Ability to summon assistance;
  • and the Knowledge experience of the instructor.


Common Risks:

Kiteboarders take risks everyday. So much so that they are seldom aware of the risks and problems that they could have. However at any moment an accident could occur, and then the risks of being in a water environment are exacerbated. Simple problems become more severe on the water. A common problem like getting tired becomes critical if the person cannot retrieve their board or swim against a current or make it back to shore. Avoid getting too tired, or getting too cold, and in some cases getting hungry and low on energy, (especially with diabetics). Instructors should help students to manage these common risk factors. When a person is tired they cannot cope with the additional exertion of rescuing themselves or a long swim. When they are cold they are losing energy and the ability to react normally, or even think rationally. Low energy and hunger can cause a drop in responsiveness and/or endurance, which may be necessary to deal with an emergency, or survival situation. The instructor should manage these common risks for themselves too because they may need to do a rescue and swim for two people.

Other Risks are losing control of the kite equipment, or other technical emergency.


Assumption of safety:

People often assume that if they can swim then they will be safe in the water.

however this is not the case when they lose the ability to swim for any reason.

PEOPLE SAY “DONT SAIL OUT FURTHER THAN YOU CAN SWIM. What they should consider is how far can I swim if I am injured or unconscious.


Injury Risk:

The common injuries can occur at any time, and they include. Impact with the water or equipment. Entanglement chocking or strangulation. Either from their own gear or another rider. Impact with hitting an object or the sea floor. In the ocean there is also a risk of being bitten, stung, or envenomated by a sea creature.


Types of Injuries:

types of injuries include, lacerations (deep bleeding cuts), Broken bones, Sprains, Dislocations, torn tendons, broken ribs; Head/neck injuries; Chocking, drowning, inhalation of water.


Illness on the water:

Many people have medical conditions that are easily managed on land, but these conditions can become a major problem in the water. Fits and seizures are deadly on the water. For example: Loss of consciousness from a diabetic condition is potentially fatal too. Some people will have to take extra care to manage their medical conditions when entering the water. and take extra precautions. People with these types of medical conditions may need to wear better buoyancy aids, and always be supervised by another capable person. Or they may be limited to near shore activity, have a rescue craft attending them at all times, or simply not kiteboard.


Illness on the water (risks):

in addition to a person with a known medical condition, increasing their risk of death on the water. they also increase the risks to would be rescuers.

Any person coming to the aid of another puts themselves at risk of injury themselves.

people with high risk medical conditions should be careful when participating in group activities like group lessons, or advanced sessions, because the risk to the group is greater. and the safety of the group may be diminished as a result.


Manageable Risk factors:

The instructor has to manage the risks that they can control. The two biggest ones is their ability to summon help, and their ability to provide help.

Distance from Shore; the obvious factor is the distance from shore that you are riding. longer distances make summoning help difficult, and makes the response time for help to arrive longer. Remote locations; some areas are close to rescue services, and some are more remote. Accessibility factors; Instructor should always consider the accessibility of the practice area to emergency rescue. Rocky coasts, swampy muddy shorelines, shorebreaks or other limitations to access, are a barrier to the access of rescue services.

Instructors responsibility to ensure that every area that he takes his student has reasonable access to emergency services.

Altering behavior in response to the conditions: When the instructor has an awareness of the risk factor increasing, they should manage the activity on the lesson to reduce the risks. In cold water they should run shorter sessions, and stay closer to the boat. If they are in a remote location they should not attempt high risk techniques.


The Big Questions;

Before every session the instructor has to ask himself;

  1. Where can I get help?
  2. How do i get (summon) help?
  3. How do I get my (sick/injured/unconscious) student to shore?


What help is available?

before a session the instructor should have already evaluated the area, and know the location of the nearest hospital, nearest emergency access point (road). nearest lifeguard, nearest rescue boat. other emergency services. In addition to these services, the instructor should evaluate his safety assets in a given situation;

Lifeguard rescue training with jetski


Safety Assets:

A safety asset is any thing or person that can be used to increase safety in an emergency situation. Safety a