Snatch recovery death.

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 17:44
ThreadID: 21246 Views:6721 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Not a 4WD recovery but a timely reminder.

Man killed by flying hook

A 30-year-old Queensland man has died after a metal hook from a piece of towing equipment dislodged and struck him in the stomach.

Police said the man was helping friends with landfilling work at a private property in Lake Cooroibah, on the Sunshine Coast, yesterday when the accident occurred.

They said his friends were using two mini tip trucks when one became bogged. A snatch strap was hooked to the front of the bogged truck and to the rear of the second truck.

"It appears that while attempting to tow the truck the bolts securing the metal hook have sheared off, catapulting the hooks towards the man standing about 10 metres away from the trucks," a spokeswoman said.

"He was struck in the lower abdomen, causing severe injuries."

The man was taken to Nambour Hospital and then to Royal Brisbane Hospital by helicopter, but later died.

Accident Investigation Squad officers are investigating.
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Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 21:25

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005 at 21:25
3 words... "Rated Recovery Point" it should be taught that towing hooks are not generally strong enough for recovery work.

Feel for his family... he probaby thought he was safe 10m away, far enough away that the strap/rope/cable wouldn't reach him. Dangerous things recoveries, unpredictable too.
AnswerID: 102580

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 06:59

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 06:59
I loath bloody snatch straps.

>3 words... "Rated Recovery Point"

Rated for what? What are the forces exerted when snatching in any particular situation? Sand - mud - how bogged is the vehicle, how heavy is it?

How "rated" is the point after 2 years / 5 years / x years?

How "rated" is it after 1 snatch / 5 snatches / 50 snatches?

I know snatch straps are regularly used without incident but I strongly believe they are a constant accident waiting to happen.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 360302

Reply By: Member - Michael- Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 11:08

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 11:08
The above highlights the old saying ' Use the right tool for the job '.
It's my understanding, and I may be wrong, but when I first bought my Patrol and did a 4WD course the instructor stated that snatch straps are for recovery from sand and that winch extension or recovery straps, tow rope or drag chains are for recovery from mud and other situations.
It would appear that the wrong equipment was used in the recovery, snatch straps are elastic and rely on a sudden tug which is converted to energy which in turn yanks the vehicle free from the sand. If it is in mud then a different form of recovery is required as the suction created by the mud has to be overcome, by using a snatch strap and ' snatching ' the vehicle will only result in equipment failure and in many cases serious injury/death to person or persons or at the very least serious damage to one or both vehicles
May the fleas of a thousand afghan camels infect the crutch of your enemy and may their arms be too short to scratch.

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AnswerID: 102641

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 16:56

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 16:56
Ok, I can see where you comming from, however I've been stuck in mud and have had to be snatched out (as there was no winch). We of course dug around the front of the vehicle first and of course tried to tow more than SNATCH first. I think that's the key more than anything.
Even in mud it is neccesary to have a little jolt to break the suction, just like in sand it's just common sense that needs to be taken into account. Start of with small or no run up and see if that can get you loose, then gradually build up. Don't go at it like a bull at a gate and go a million miles and hour on the first attempt.

There are some other factors that increase/decrease the safty of snatch recoveries also. The two things I RARLEY (if ever) have seen other 4wd'ers do or use when doing recovers are the two simplest.

1. Use a bridal / load equilizer. This is SO important as it lowers the strain on the recovery hooks and at the very least gives you some kind of reduncancy. If one hook gives way at least the other hook has a chance at stopping somthing flying away.

2. Use somthing to weigh the snatch down, even a frigin floor mat out of the car if you have to, so if the snatch does go flying it at least will have somthing to drag it down to the ground and just break legs instead of heads! It should be wrapped around the snatch IN THE MIDDLE.

My 2c.

FollowupID: 360346

Reply By: Rob M- Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:17

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 21:17
Don't know if anyone noticed, but on Brisbane news services it was stated that the vehicles were both rentals. Say no more.
Rob M

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AnswerID: 102708

Reply By: Footloose - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:25

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005 at 22:25
Today I had some work trucks on my property and one got stuck on a slope. The other tried to tow him out with a rope which broke. They were spinning tyres, bits of wood under under tyres were flying etc(no they didnt jack it up and put stuff under, just put it behind the tyre) .
Using my recovery chain and two rated D shackles the operation was successful. But my heart was in my mouth with one bloke started casually standing between the two trucks. One lurch from the rear truck and....had a similar thing happen next door when I was a kid, bloke got between his truck and a light pole...end of story.
These guys were great workers but dreadful drivers, they should of known better.

Now for the sermon.

You are not invinvible because you've done it before.
Stop and think. Don't be in a rush to do a recovery.
A recovery isnt the time to show your mates how hairy chested you are.
Any recovery can be dangerous, use the right gear and use it properly.
Learn the right way before you have to do something that you're unfamiliar with.
If using a snatch strap, put something on it, expect that things may come adrift and act accordingly.
If you don't have to go there , don't.
When in doubt, don't.
And finally , 4wd is for getting you OUT of trouble, not into it.

AnswerID: 102726

Reply By: Karsten from Birdsville Studio - Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 11:55

Friday, Mar 18, 2005 at 11:55
We had a case out here a couple of years ago where a girl was sitting on the bull bar of a 4x4 whilst being snatched........When the strap flew off she had both her knee caps broken from memory.
AnswerID: 102903

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