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The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.
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Rising flood waters in metropolitan areas quickly fill drainage channels. Sometimes people fall into these channels and cannot stand or grasp any rope or rescue aid to pull themselves from the rapidly moving water. Seen in "rescue" and "weather" TV shows, ropes stretched straight accross a channel
fail when the the victim who might grab the rope is suddenly loaded with water against their body and has no strength to overcome the upstream column of water.
I propose a series of foam plastic floats attached to something like a volleyball net that could be positioned across such a channel to catch someone. It would be like using a ladder to rescue someone who had broken through a frozen pond. The net/ladder could be pulled along ropes or cables relieving the "caught" victim of going hand over hand to shore on their own. There are a number of ways to solve various issues (not mentioned yet):
1) heaving the first line accross, simple deployment
2) anchoring the lines to concrete, rip-rap, or soil (worst case), people, vehicles or other neaby structures like fences or guardrails.
3) keeping the assembly soft, light and low profile for drag against water.
4) keeping the assembly a simple kit of parts to be easy for any municipality to aford and to put together.
5) simple but usefull instructions for use, like positioning on a diagonal instead of straight across, to drive the victim to the downstream end of the ladder.
I consider that the other half-bakers will probably find one of these if it already exists or perhaps will provide genuinely usefull comments.
||With little loops in which an arm or leg can get purchase. I believe a big part of the problem is not in finding something to hold on to, but rather tiring of holding-on until a rescue can be completed.
||All it needs is a mechanism by which to detach the rope at one side.
||reensure - yes drag is an issue, thus the netting.
shz - Yes easily seen on the rescue shows, if the rescuers simply turned loose of the rope on one end it is easily seen that the victim which is still tightly holding a simple rope would easily swing to the far side where a rope end is still held/anchored, and thus a landing would occur.