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  • Rescue Swimmers

    After seeing the guardian the other day, I was wondering if rescue swimmers have ever been used in an irish context? And if not should they be? Also what was the standard crew compisition on an Aer Corps SAR heli?
    Im Ron Burgendy??

  • #2
    Pilot, co pilot, winch man, winch operater, afaik. feel free to corect me.

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    • #3
      I was wondering the same thing. The Idea of rescue swimmer seems a bit risky. I gather that the hi-line is the preferred method on this side of the pond if conditions make a direct winching difficult.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
        I was wondering the same thing. The Idea of rescue swimmer seems a bit risky. I gather that the hi-line is the preferred method on this side of the pond if conditions make a direct winching difficult.

        The hi-line?

        :confused:

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Orion View Post
          The hi-line?

          :confused:
          Just googled this and I guess it is what his majesty is talking about.

          http://www.asglobal.com/pdfs/HelicopterRescue_Mk4.pdf
          Support the Search Function.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Joshua View Post
            Just googled this and I guess it is what his majesty is talking about.

            http://www.asglobal.com/pdfs/HelicopterRescue_Mk4.pdf
            Thanks Joshua.

            Looks like a really dangerous and difficult operation. Requires a level of skill and courage that I and probably many more like me don’t posses.

            I’m genuinely in awe of these crews.

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            • #7
              winching onto vessels is the preferred way of inserting a winch man here, although the SAR crews did practice deploying/jumping from helis and swimming to casualties.

              not sure how often it was used operationally. though i wouldn't imagine much. why swim to the side of a ship and have to climb up the side to get to a casualty on board if you could be winched directly on? imagine trying to get up the side of a trawler, etc. in atlantic storms.

              i could only see rescue swimming as useful for individual casualties floating in the water and even then you could practically winch winch directly over them.
              Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

              And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

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              • #8
                On the subject of SAR operations in Ireland, I really recommend "Mayday! Mayday! - Heroic Air-Sea Rescues in Irish Waters" by Lorna Siggins (2004). Gives an excellent insight into the whole subject.

                Interestingly the USCG often use a basket to lift casualties, apparantly it is seen that lifting a casualty who has been in the water for a long time using a harness can make them worse - personally I wouldn't see how.

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                • #9
                  Rescue swimmers were mainly used in military SAR, rescuing pilots who eject into the sea. They go into the water to help them get out of their chute etc, rather than taking people off of vessels.

                  DeV - moving people who are hypothermic is a good way of killing them, they should be lifted in a horizontal position if possible, rather than vertically. The link Josh posted has a special harness designed to lift hypothermic casualties horizontally.

                  The same applies if you find someone suffering from severe hypothermia, don't try and walk them around to warm them up - it could kill them.
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

                  Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

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                  • #10
                    There were only two qualified naval divers who qualified as winchmen as well and so could practise the swimmer in the water job..due to internal politics they never served aboard Aer Corps helos...although both served as divers well after the qualification.

                    Lorna Siggins book is partly a very biased account of the Tramore incident ..thinly disguised..
                    Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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