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Thread: Government Warning - Faulty Throwlines

  1. #1
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    Default Government Warning - Faulty Throwlines

    It's be a good idea to carefully check you kit, whichever make it is ...

    Government Safety Warning.



    MAIB Safety Bulletin SB2-2018: defective throwbag rescue lines.
    DCUK
    Can't ytpe or roopf read

  2. #2
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    It's hard to imagine what sort of production facility these ropes came from, the fault is that the ropes had been made up of several small pieces fused together to make a full length. This is criminal behavior, it couldn't happen accidently. It could be an employee trying to damage the company or just a homicidal nutter.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

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    It has happened before with a different brand. It is possible that the manufacturing spec does not include a load, but I suspect somebody looking at the waste rope and thinking we could improve our profit margin by fusing those bits together.

    Whenever I buy a new throwline I dump out the rope, retie it to reduce the loop at the bag end and examine the rope for defects.
    You don't stop playing because you get old - you get old because you stop playing.

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    And mark a rope in 5m lengths so you know how much you have in your hand or in the bag. One mark for 5m 2 marks for 10m etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    And mark a rope in 5m lengths so you know how much you have in your hand or in the bag. One mark for 5m 2 marks for 10m etc.
    You remembered! I'm impressed.
    You don't stop playing because you get old - you get old because you stop playing.

  6. #6
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    The short version, some idiots have made rescue lines from rope with joins in it. Lucky for them and potential victims it was discovered during rescue practise and not during a real incident.

    endquote

    At least we now know what the problem was
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  7. #7

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    I check my throw lines regularly. It's important to have confidence that when you need to use anything in a real life situation it perform as it should.
    Best Wishes.
    ScoutingSteve

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutingSteve View Post
    I check my throw lines regularly. It's important to have confidence that when you need to use anything in a real life situation it perform as it should.
    Exactly. Well worth getting them out regularly, and might as well practice the throws a bit while you're at it.

    Anybody know if there's a recommended "life" on throwlines, as there is on climbing rope etc? Obviously they spend less time exposed to UV etc, but I guess they must still deteriorate.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Anybody know if there's a recommended "life" on throwlines, as there is on climbing rope etc? Obviously they spend less time exposed to UV etc, but I guess they must still deteriorate.
    There might be but it's a little irrelevant. All plastics / rubbers degrade over time due to environment; chemical contamination, dirt/grit, U.V., ozone and wear. You could have a 30 year-old rope that's been stored away and it'd be in better condition than the lump you've had tied to your boat for a few weeks.

    A close-up inspection including pushing, wiggling and twisting a small section should tell you if it's ok.

    If in doubt, throw it out !

    (or re-purpose it for a lesser task)

  10. #10
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    This is the bit that puzzled me from the Safety Bulletin ...

    "As the rope used for rescue lines in throw bags is not classified as lifesaving or safety equipment, there is no requirement for it to conform to any recognised safety or quality standards other than the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC."

    You have to wonder why on earth anyone would fail to classify a throw line as lifesaving or safety equipment, isn't that it's primary purpose?
    DCUK
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  11. #11
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    why on earth anyone would fail to classify a throw line as lifesaving or safety equipment
    I'm guessing that it doesn't fall into any of the categories that there are existing standards for, eg, it's not Personal Protective Equipment (because that protects from the hazard before it can harm you, rather than sorting out the consequences), it's not part of SOLAS (International regs for saving life at sea, because they are for ships or commercial boats) - not sure what other standards or rules might apply, but I think throwline makers would try to avoid them, eg, they might end up being forced to put a lifebuoy on the end, or spend £40k per design getting it tested for CE marking, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potty Paddler View Post
    This is the bit that puzzled me from the Safety Bulletin ...

    "As the rope used for rescue lines in throw bags is not classified as lifesaving or safety equipment, there is no requirement for it to conform to any recognised safety or quality standards other than the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC."

    You have to wonder why on earth anyone would fail to classify a throw line as lifesaving or safety equipment, isn't that it's primary purpose?
    My thoughts exactly ... I’d actually suggest that it could be an idea to point this idiocy out to presumably the BSI or whoever regulates this stuff in the UK now.

    I will be doing so myself but many emails are better than one.
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  13. #13
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    it could be an idea to point this idiocy out to presumably the BSI or whoever regulates this stuff in the UK now
    At the moment it's probably regulated by the EU - but who knows for how long?

    Please be careful what you ask for, because a standard won't necessarily be an advantage. Even if the right people are involved, there are standards for standards. It won't just cover quality of construction, it will cover length, diameter, floating or not, possibly colour, what's on the end, what's on the other end, etc, and it will definitely increase prices due to the cost of certification, which will be particularly onerous for the small numbers produced by typical canoe equipment makers. It would probably become illegal to sell any throwline that doesn't meet the standard, and it might end up being focussed on throwlines for beach lifeguards, etc, not canoeists. Something like Jeff Allen's innovative throw-tow could be outlawed, and the evolution of better throwlines will be slowed down - for example, if we'd had a standard 20 years ago, the changes which have resulted in a clean line rather than a loop on the far end might not have happened.

    The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC as quoted above, Sale of Goods Act and 'duty of care', if observed, should be enough to prevent sale of throwlines such as those warning covers. I don't know what legal action is in hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_B View Post
    At the moment it's probably regulated by the EU - but who knows for how long?

    Please be careful what you ask for, because a standard won't necessarily be an advantage. Even if the right people are involved, there are standards for standards. It won't just cover quality of construction, it will cover length, diameter, floating or not, possibly colour, what's on the end, what's on the other end, etc, and it will definitely increase prices due to the cost of certification, which will be particularly onerous for the small numbers produced by typical canoe equipment makers. It would probably become illegal to sell any throwline that doesn't meet the standard, and it might end up being focussed on throwlines for beach lifeguards, etc, not canoeists. Something like Jeff Allen's innovative throw-tow could be outlawed, and the evolution of better throwlines will be slowed down - for example, if we'd had a standard 20 years ago, the changes which have resulted in a clean line rather than a loop on the far end might not have happened.

    The General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC as quoted above, Sale of Goods Act and 'duty of care', if observed, should be enough to prevent sale of throwlines such as those warning covers. I don't know what legal action is in hand.
    i may be being simplistic and take your point but surely it is preferable that a bit of safety equipment should have an onus to meet the need to actually be safety equipment ... your helmet meets a standard, your BA meets a standard, climbing rope meets a standard (be it EC or UIAA) etc. Clearly this doesn’t as it stands.
    MarkL
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    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  15. #15
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    It's certainly important that it's fit for its intended purpose, but meeting a standard that doesn't quite apply isn't always helpful. You end up with a standard item that meets an envelope of requirements covering a range of uses, so will have features that are in some uses unnecessary, add cost and even make it unsuitable.

    If the RNLI had their way, we'd all wear lifejackets rather than BAs, and even some of our paddling BAs have features (like a chest buckle across the front zip) that (as the manufacturer told me) are only there because the standard says so. A BA that's designed to be comfortable with a drysuit may not be comfortable on the Tarn in summer and vice versa! Helmets are designed for being upside down a whitewater river, so not necessarily ideal for the use we give them in open boats.

    I admit to a bit of a hobby horse here; in my working life as a specialist design engineer I was unable to specify the product that I needed for the particular use I was designing for, because the standard controlled what could be sold. Even if the product existed (say, in the USA) I couldn't buy it here unless it had been tested and shown to meet the UK/EU standard - it wasn't that the product was inferior, just that the makers weren't prepared to pay for the certification because it was a specialist item and they wouldn't sell many.

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