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Old    UncleJessie (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-18-2009, 1:25 PM Reply   
Yesterday I was involved in a very scary situation where a rider was face down and knocked out cold. Everything turned out ok, but this morning after telling my wife the story, it occurred to me that boat owners and riders should discuss what to do, and how to do it at least once a year. There are so many issues in play, that if one goes wrong, it could start a chain reaction that could lead to disaster. Here are a few things my wife an I thought about when your rider is face down.

1. FIRST, always have a spotter. I have been guilty of outlawing a few times and after yesterday, I won't ever do that again. Having four in our crew was a definate plus yesterday.

2. when turning the boat around, cut or unhook the rope. This may sound stupid, but the two things... the driver needs to not worry about wrapping up the rope on the prop... you may need to haul a$$ afterwords and he needs to get that swim deck to the rider as fast as he can. Not having to deal with the rope is a huge plus.

3. Get CPR training. We were moments away from needing it. In a worst case senario, if your boat happens to get tangled in the rope and you are with the rider and need to do CPR, use a wakeboard to support the rider and try to do CPR in the water. One person could support the rider on the board while the other pushes on the chest and does mouth to mouth. As I was swimming the rider to the boat and she was not breathing, I felt useless without the swim deck.... this made me think of options this morning.

4. Discuss the signs of when concusssions go bad. Our injured rider was pretty cognisant of her surrundings after she came to but within 10 minutes she was fading QUICK. By the time we got to the dock, she did not know her name. PAY ATTENTION to the person. Keep talking with them and constanatly monitor their condition. ANY signs of memory NOT improving and going the other way... call 911!!!!

5. if you have extra crew and someone is available while the rider is being pulled in, call 911. In our situation, all hands were occupied. From this experience, I think getting knocked out warrants a 911 automatically.

Not sure what else... but my point it... plan what you (and your crew) might do in a situation like this. I could not belive I was living it, but luckily everyone involved knew what to do.

Like my Dad always says... plan your work and work you plan.

Be Safe.

Old    lloyd murray (lmtwa)      Join Date: May 2001       10-18-2009, 2:10 PM Reply   
You are 100% right on! I have been thinking about this for years. One of my concerns is that many riders just have a driver (no spotter or anyone to help in the event of an emergency - except in CA).

Your idea of reviewing once a year is a great one. Several years ago we talked about making a video of some of these issues. But because we were afraid of down the road liability we never did. It takes a scare like you had to get your attention. Glad it turned out OK.

Maybe WakeWorld could sponsor such a thread (or a program). Invite the local paramedics and do a Q&A kind of thing.

I'd be interested in other input on what riders/drivers should think about and train for.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       10-18-2009, 2:51 PM Reply   
A couple things to add:

Get basic first aid training along with the CPR. And keep it updated, especially the CPR as it has changed recently - no more mouth to mouth, just chest compressions. The basic first aid will help you recognise and treat: shock, severe bleeding, injuries to the back and neck not just legs and arms. There are times when a person needs to be immobilized and not removed from the water till the first responders arrive. Heat stroke, dehydration (from to much alcohol) and hypothermia along with drowning are other cases where basic first aid will save a life.

Also know the lake. Know the coves/creeks you ride, what ramp you use or are near. Also keep the local Sheriff's number in your phone, in some areas, the sheriff's number is better then 911, example. There was a back country situation a few years back where help was needed. When I dialed 911, I got a 911 station in a county in the next state over. If i had not known exactly where I was on the trail (county and state park I was in) it would have been hard for the dispatcher to get me transferred to the right person.
Old    Dennis (dennish)      Join Date: May 2005       10-18-2009, 4:33 PM Reply   
Learn how to properly turn a fallen rider from a face down situation. Could have neck injuries that if turned improperly could lead to greater injury to spinal column.
Old    Isaac Gredinberg (extremeisaac)      Join Date: Aug 2005       10-18-2009, 4:35 PM Reply   
That was a really scary situation but I think everyone handled it perfect and all the right calls were made! I had a hard time sleeping last night thinking about the whole situation.. I didnt have a chance to say goodbye yesterday because we needed to start heading back to orwood as it was getting really dark really fast! .. Sucked to meet you on such crappy circumstances.
Old    UncleJessie (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-18-2009, 4:38 PM Reply   

Yea I hear you, I slept but kept dreaming about the whole thing over and over and over...

Next time we meet it will be under better circumstances for sure!

Old    David (whitlock87)      Join Date: Feb 2005       10-18-2009, 5:12 PM Reply   
We carry a VLF radio and we know what Chanel the lake patrol is on.
Old    Roddyrod (wakeslife)      Join Date: Jul 2005       10-18-2009, 5:55 PM Reply   
I have a question, how soon did you realize that the rider was knocked out cold after they crashed?
Old    Bill Sloan (bill_sloan)      Join Date: Nov 2007       10-18-2009, 6:09 PM Reply   
American Red Cross cpr course is usually offered all over the place and can be a lifesaver.
Work made us all take them and I'm glad for once that our extra training isn't pointless.
Old    Tailgate (tailgate)      Join Date: Apr 2007       10-18-2009, 8:27 PM Reply   
It would also be wise to have emergency contact numbers of your crew... I had thought about this the other day, if I were injured, I don't think anyone in my crew would know how to get a hold of my wife without going through my phone...
Old    Greg McNeill (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       10-18-2009, 9:07 PM Reply   
I got KO'd early in the spring and lucky for me the crew in the boat took care of me. Good thing is I don't remember it. Thanks Brad, JC and Jason for plucking my a$$ out of the water. Another reason to wear a CGA vest.
Old    Andrea Ensminger (parkgirl)      Join Date: Nov 2001       10-18-2009, 9:36 PM Reply   
Rod- Right away. It was one of those crashes where we knew it wasnt gonna be good. When the rider surfaced there was no movement and was face down floating, so we hauled back and 2 of us jumped in Bay watch style.

BTW...rider is ok and resting up now.

(Message edited by parkgirl on October 18, 2009)

(Message edited by parkgirl on October 18, 2009)

(Message edited by parkgirl on October 18, 2009)
Old    Isaac Gredinberg (extremeisaac)      Join Date: Aug 2005       10-18-2009, 9:42 PM Reply   
^^ she couldnt have been in better hands than you guys.. made the right decisions and fast! Hats off to you Scott and Mark..
Old    UncleJessie (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-18-2009, 9:50 PM Reply   
^^^I am going to make a phone list of emergency numbers for the lakes and rivers I ride at and keep it in the glove box and then I am going make copies for all my other friends with boats...

Time it takes to make the list... 10 minutes... time it saves... priceless!

Old    lloyd murray (lmtwa)      Join Date: May 2001       10-19-2009, 3:12 AM Reply   
There was a movement several years back, to put personal contact numbers in your cell under ICE (In Case of Emergency). ICE 1 ICE 2 etc. I have them in my phone but I'm not sure how many people know this.
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-19-2009, 8:29 AM Reply   
Mark, you say she is ok right? Very scary situation even as we sat at Orwood listening on the updates.

I have been in many similar situations and it sound slike you guys handled things perfectly. I would only add 2 things.

The person with the most experience (even if it is minimal), take full control. Not being afraid to make decisions and "boss' people around to get to safety is critical.

Second would be to do whatever you can to keep people calm and rational. The last thing is you need is a freek out or one person constantly spewing the negative and what we likely go wrong.

This may be a great incentive for us to have a Spring CPR/Training clinic at Orwood or somewhere. We can set up an ride like this weekend and have a class before hand. There are many professionals in our group that could help us with that.

Good work to those of you that were in the boat.
Old    Ronnie (dragginby)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-19-2009, 9:49 AM Reply   
I highly recommend you have the local EMS number. Dialing 911 from a cell phone is not always smart.... When you dial 911 in the Bay Area/Delta I believe it goes to the CHP station in Fairfield. That really won't help you out. When I broke my Tib/Fib on the delta the Dispatcher dropped our call 3 times saying she was recieving another call..... that was 911. Put the local numbers in your cell.
Old    mendo247            10-19-2009, 10:04 AM Reply   
Sounds like everyone did a great job. What a scary situation.
Old    UncleJessie (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-19-2009, 10:16 AM Reply   

I like your input. It was becomming clear to me we needed to make a decision and fast, and Scott and I were on the exact same page and it was easy. I could see where decion making by comitee is a bad idea.

The next day I thought about your second point... staying calm. This leads to my point of this thread. . Figure out (in advance), if something goes down, who is jumping in and who is driving the boat.

When there are two people in 3 person crew who knows how to drive, if one of those people is knocked out, who is diving in and who is driving...? your 3rd better have a clue about how to back that boat up if they are not strong enough to dive in and pull teh rider out!

The plan is the key... get your crew up to speed on driving, CPR emergency numbers etc. If everyopne knows what to do, staying calm will be way easier.

Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       10-19-2009, 10:17 AM Reply   
I think the most important thing that was done in this story, was that she put on a life jacket that would float her before she rode. The rescue efforts after she wrecked probably would have been for not without that jacket if she was ejected from her board. Glad rider is doing OK.
Old    RileyBangerter (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-19-2009, 10:19 AM Reply   
She is fine, Will have a headache for a few days and may not try a whirly for a while. I know hubby is petitioning for taking a break from wakeboarding.

You guys did the right thing by calling life flight he was very happy you did. When your wife and the mother of your child is knocked out you don't mess around!

We took them over dinner last night and dropped their Son back off and she had no memory of what happened. She is very grateful everyone handled the situation so well!
Old    RileyBangerter (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-19-2009, 10:20 AM Reply   
Coast Guard Approved vests don't look so bad after this!
Old    Jason Buffalow (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-19-2009, 10:28 AM Reply   
Give's me chills to think it was not that long ago that most of us were not wearing vests because it was not cool. Man what idiots!
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       10-19-2009, 10:46 AM Reply   
Glad to hear she's doing alright. Definitely a scary situation. She couldn't have been in better hands.

Lots of good points made here.

JB, that's what gets me with the arguments over pro's wearing vests. I don't care how good of a rider they are, they'll sink and die like the rest of us if they're knocked out.
Old    Eubanks (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       10-19-2009, 10:55 AM Reply   
So she had a CGA vest on? Man, it sounds like a scary situation. We had the same situation this summer but everybody was pretty chill about it. I guess others were staying calm but I was about to feak out!
Old    Karl De Looff (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-19-2009, 11:01 AM Reply   
USA Waterski offers a Safety Coordinator course. This position is required for any USA Waterski sanctioned tournament. The class is low cost and will teach the skills for handling a person with a neck/head injury in the water. I have taken it an it is a solid, basic course that taught the same basic skills that the USCG taught me in OCS. Well worth your time and effort.
Old    RileyBangerter (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-19-2009, 11:11 AM Reply   
I don't think it was CGA but it wasn't a comp vest either it felt like it had a little more to it than a guru, but wasn't as thick as a CGA. Don't know for sure but felt non CGA

Aren't CGA's also supposed to float you back down face up?

(Message edited by steezyshots on October 19, 2009)
Old    Shredtastic (seth)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-19-2009, 11:30 AM Reply   
I think they are supposed to float you back down face up, but without a board on. If you were unconscious without a board on your feet would sink and the vest would turn you so your face would be up. With board on, your feet float and with that wide stance the vest cannot turn you around.
Old    WakeMikey (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       10-19-2009, 11:31 AM Reply   
If someone rode behind my boat with non-cga, would that leave me liable? Dont want to start a flame war.
Old    UncleJessie (unclejessie)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-19-2009, 11:37 AM Reply   

- The Management
Old    Brian Miller (brianmiller)      Join Date: Aug 2003       10-19-2009, 12:01 PM Reply   
Sounds scary and sounds like you guys did a good job. That is a very easy situation to panic and head injuries are not to be taken lightly. Makes me think of that poor kid in Dallas who ended up in a coma after a bad fall.

I agree with a lot of the points. A lot of you know the Delta but for people like me and make it there only a couple of times a year, makes me think I should have a better handle on exaclty where I am and where the closest marina is. When we do go there we make long days out of it and can cover some ground.

The other thing is to be more consistant with a wave after a fall that everything is ok. Almost everyone I know waves when they take a hard fall but not on the easier falls. You never know which fall could do some damage.

Riley, Seth - just because it is cga it does not float you to face up. There are different levels of cga. An infant jacket with the big pad behind the head is designed to float them face up.
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       10-19-2009, 3:17 PM Reply   
Very scary situation indeed. I'm an EMT and can say that an unconscious rider face down in the water is a difficult rescue that I hope i don't have to deal with.

Taking precautions for keeping her back and neck is important since the nature of her injury is unknown and an action sport like wakeboarding could result in a neck injury. I remember reading about one kid who broke his neck attempting a raley and died.

Be sure to rotate the persons upper body as one unit and perhaps use a wakesurf to immobilize her upperbody while floating her to the dock.

I know the new cpr guidelines don't call for rescue breaths for non trained personnel but i would think a potential drowning victim would need some rescue breaths.
Old    Nate (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       10-19-2009, 3:51 PM Reply   
I like JB's idea of a CPR or first aid clinic. I think something similar was arranged, or at least almost arrange, a few years back.

Combining it with a bigger get together would be good, but could also be distracting. Something in the off season where it's not likely to conflict with riding opportunities might also be a good idea.
Old    Greg Nelson (greg_nelson)      Join Date: May 2009       10-19-2009, 6:15 PM Reply   
Great thread Uncle Jess, Thank god for the "heads up" performance this past weekend from the riders in the boat. I couldn't agree more Evan, she was in the best possible hands. The patient is doing well, a bit sore and woosy but she'll be good.

Thanks to all our friends & the boat crew especially!
Old    Knee Brace Boy (wstr01)      Join Date: Feb 2001       10-19-2009, 7:23 PM Reply   
Carry a handheld GPS so exact location can be relayed to emergency responders if necessary. You may know where "the big tree hangs over the water" is but the rescue personnel may not.

I always carry a GPS and cell phone in my camelback while riding in the desert. I think I'll do the same in the boat from now on.
Old    Ken (ghostrider_2)      Join Date: Aug 2004       10-19-2009, 8:05 PM Reply   
Taylor, Red Cross and AHA are different so it important to know that they each teach different. I've been a HCP/CPR instructor for AHA for the last 5 years (Navy trained) and we teach 2 breaths for 30 compressions. The lastest change was in 2005.
Old    Scott (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       10-19-2009, 8:12 PM Reply   
Yeah great job to all involved, I was hearing it go down over the radio knowing about the get together and hoped it was nobody from here---but I kinda had a feeling, glad Evelyn's doing well.

Drowning and near drowning victims for sure need some rescue breaths along with compressions. Compressions only is for single lay person CPR, studies found the time taken to stop compressions and give rescue breaths for sudden cardiac arrest was more detrimental than just continuing compressions (circulation) non stop. With two people it's different.

I think the main point should be picture this same scenario happen in your boat, would you know what to do if in fact they weren't breathing? If not then get a CPR class under your belt before next season, better yet before your next outing.

If enough people are interested we could get something going locally, if somebody had access to a pool we could cover turning over and moving possible neck injury patients safely as well.
Old    dennis engle (deneng)      Join Date: Feb 2005       10-19-2009, 8:31 PM Reply   
Call the local sherriffs dept. it is a direct number.
Old    Taylor Jensen (wakeboardertj)      Join Date: May 2005       10-20-2009, 11:29 AM Reply   
Thanks for clearing that up Kenny, made no sense to me why they would take rescue breaths out of the process. I can see it though for single person CPR for cardiac arrest.
Old    Small Light (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       10-20-2009, 1:20 PM Reply   
UJ, thanks for the heads up. I just looked and Red Cross does a 9 hour Adult/Child/Infant CPR/First Aid course. Only costs $45. I will be hitting that up this winter.

I've seen people knocked cold and want to be able to help. This is a great idea for everyone!
Old    Andrea Ensminger (parkgirl)      Join Date: Nov 2001       10-20-2009, 2:08 PM Reply   
Scott and I both have a CPR cert. and even though I certainly dreaded the thought I might have to use it, it kept me calm and confident knowing I could do it if needed.

Definitely a must if you are a boat owner I think.
Old    brock sampson (brock_sampson)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-20-2009, 5:53 PM Reply   
I keep a set of shears to cut bindings off of a rider should I need to- blunted point on the side that goes inside the binding and long enough to free a foot in one or two snips.
Wrestling with a board is too time consuming, and if they have a bad leg injury.....
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-21-2009, 9:25 AM Reply   
Shears are a great tool. Thats what I carry while diving. Much better than a knife.

I'm going to put a list of emergency numbers and info on using the hand held on a laminated card today. If I'm the one in the water, I don't know how well a novice would handle the basic communications in an emergency. It's often only my wife an small son.

I have a hand held that provides GPS coordinates and an emergency button to transmit the coordinates automatically. Great radio especially if you get out of cell coverage.
Old    B Fitz (jdrcrew8)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-22-2009, 3:16 PM Reply   
Glad to hear everything is OK.

When I had my boat I took a day off work and my friend/boat "first mate" did as well. My theory was that if something were to happen, we are frequently a long ways from help.

Was mentioned above but one of the first things that they teach you in the CPR class I took was for someone to take charge. Direct a specific person to call 911. Direct a specific person to do compressions. Direct a specific person to check pulse/do rescue breathing. This person should be forceful in their instructions, a life & death situation or potential is no time for politeness.
Old    Ken (ghostrider_2)      Join Date: Aug 2004       10-22-2009, 6:34 PM Reply   
Never thought of shears, I will add those to the boat tools/emer gear soon as I return home.

Taylor, they are always changing things and it is a pain sometimes keeping up with them.
Old    Dave Kiehl (dave27)      Join Date: May 2005       10-23-2009, 10:23 AM Reply   
Has anyone taken the time to figure out the emergency numbers for parts of the delta. I have not. If you have the numbers can you post them PLEASE!
Old    M-Dizzle (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-23-2009, 11:16 AM Reply   
For those looking to buy some shears, here are the ones I bought they can cut through a penny (I didnt believe it until I tried). 2777
Old    Hate2party (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       10-23-2009, 12:11 PM Reply   
one of the best threads ever, thanks Uncle Jessie for starting this. Rule #1, we always try to enforce and teach this....when the rider falls, the arm/hand goes up immediately letting the driver know he/she is ok. If not "POWERTURN" and get back quickly to your rider. And be prepared to jump in and get their head above water if it is under. Just a few I wanted to share.


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