Use of rescue equipment

When rescue equipment is available

If you think you could handle helping the person in danger, first check if rescue equipment is available nearby: a life ring and a heaving line – these are the best devices for rescuing a person in danger.

Use them as follows:

  • Before throwing the life ring, grip the handle of the heaving line or rope end with your weaker hand and do not let go.
  • If the person in danger is further away, you can make a longer throw using both hands. In that case, step on the handle of the heaving line or rope end before throwing.
  • Gather momentum and throw the life ring into the reach of the person in danger.
  • Try not to hit the person, to avoid additional injury.
  • Heave the person in danger onto the shore, but do not touch him/her before the person is firmly on dry land.

When there is no rescue equipment available nearby

If no special rescue equipment is nearby, one needs to improvise. Something can probably be found, that can reach the person in danger. It is important that the rescuer leave some object between them and the victim. The victim may cling desperately to the rescuer with such force that it may endanger the life or the rescuer as well.

When needed, the following objects could be used as rescue equipment:

  • Tree branches
  • Beach towels
  • Trousers
  • Belts
  • Oars
  • Or any other object which could reach the person in danger