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Thread: Breaking Windows Underwater

  1. #1
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    Default Breaking Windows Underwater

    My question is, what way can you consistently, safely, break out a car window in order to rescue/recover a victim from a submerged vehicle?

    (Door Checked, Locked) This is with the full understanding that either the car door has been compromised by the accident, locked doors with windows up, or stuck in sediment.

    I'd like to keep in mind, the possibility of the victim being directly on the other side of the window, being cognizant of floating objects that could hit the diver once broken, and as always presume it's black water operations.

    Would appreciate input from other teams/divers from around the country on what you have used successfully.

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    Window break tool??

    I think the person would want out and may not care how you break the window

    Plus should break into many little pieces


    http://m245.photobucket.com/albumvie...jpg.html?o=431

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    @Fire49-victim has drowned.. there is no air pocket. I’m trying to see if anyone has actually used a window tool underwater. In theory it should work. Now factor in water resistance, zero visability etc

    I agree.. it should work, but has it?

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    Have tow truck pull car and body ?? May have a crime scene

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    Each submerged vehicle is treated as a crime scene, however in the first hour we operate in rescue mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Have tow truck pull car and body ?? May have a crime scene
    Yep. Here in Kentucky, the instant we determine there's a fatality it becomes a crime scene and we freeze everything until the coroner directs us on what to do.

    If the victim is alive, I'd be concerned about the rapid influx of water through a broken window. The force of it may catch him/her off guard and make survival difficult. If possible, I believe I'd start through the windshield first so that water would move in more slowly, then bust a side glass for a rapid opening. But you would have to get your retrieval plan in place before doing either.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    Current Rescue / Recovery time is 90 minutes

    Anything under 90 minutes is a rescue and should be aggressively worked by ALS providers.

    Now as for breaking the glass. A spring loaded center punch works, however, if not cleaned and maintained well the punch begins to wear out and become less dependable. By placing your dive knife between the bottom of the window and the weather strip you can get the knife under the glass. When you pull outward the glass will break.

    Your knife is out and ready to cut the seatbelt.

    The occupant has drowned and needs to be pulled out as quickly as possible. In over 20 years I have never seen an air pocket that would make any difference in the victim's survival. Even modern vehicles leak air like crazy.
    Biofish likes this.

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    Shouldn't a standard spring-loaded punch be the most consistent and safe way, even in the water?

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    You would think so. But with that said, how often does a spring loaded punch fail above water? i know I've had that happen more than once. As for the knife drawing psi against the window i like that idea.

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    Have you ever practiced the knife under glass technique underwater or used it in a rescue situation?

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    Interesting! thanks for the video post

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    Sorry haven't checked in for a while.
    I have broken windows twice on incidents using the knife like the woman used the headrest in the video. I have never had it not work.

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