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Old 01-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Death from fall and possible life saving device

Hey guys, received some sad news last night. A member of our high school ski team fell of the left last night from about 30 feet and unfortunately didn't make it. He had a seizure, and even though the bar was down it could not save his life. It's been a pretty traumatic day for our small town. In the wake of this tragedy I had an idea, what if Ski jackets had some type of built in harness with a loop on the outside that could be attached to the chair via a carabiner or similar device? Is there anything currently out there like it? I can see some obvious problems with this but what do you guys think?

Rest in peace
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i am sorry that the kid died. i feel for his family.

he had a seizure while riding the lift? if so i would imagine something like that is a million to one shot - that someone who gets seizures would have one while on the lift - and you can't really do anything to prevent something like that save from not riding the lift.

i guess if you knew you were prone to seizures or blackouts a harness like you suggested isn't that bad of an idea (although it could not be built into the jacket safely i don't think), but it would have to be voluntary.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah a seizure on the lift,a freak accident. No previous medical history or anything. You're probably right about the built in part not being safe. I'm wondering about the legality of physically strapping yourself to the lift though.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it might be legal for you to do it if you wanted to, but there is no way it could ever become common practice at ski resorts.

as for the harness, its just that for a harness to hold you in to anything it pretty much has to go between your legs like a climbing harness.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonboarder View Post
yeah a seizure on the lift,a freak accident. No previous medical history or anything. You're probably right about the built in part not being safe. I'm wondering about the legality of physically strapping yourself to the lift though.
Sorry for your loss.

The only thing I can see as possibly working for connecting to the chair would be what many equestrians (event riders, jockeys, etc) have been using and basically it's an inflatable vest that inflates when the rider is tossed from the saddle. It has a connector/ripcord kind of device that triggers the inflation once the connection is severed (riders connect to a point on the saddle). Here's an article about it Equestrians? Latest Safety Option Is the Air Bag - NYTimes.com

Biggest thing is that you MUST remember to properly disconnect it when unloading from the lift normally, otherwise it will engage. I think motorcycle riders use them, too. However, I do not know how much protection it would serve in a 30' drop. I guess it's better than nothing, though.

EDIT: Riders who wear these vests have walked away with minor injury even when having their 1200lb horse fall and roll on them...perhaps it could provide protection in a significant drop?

Last edited by EatRideSleep; 01-05-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Terrible tragedy and please understand that I don't say this to be insensitive, but sometimes shit just happens. It doesn't mean that every time something bad happens that we need to rush out and create more nanny rules.

Honestly, I think what was suggested by the TS would create more problems than it would prevent. I can just see gapers now being slung around the turn and hanging there in the air like morons after they forgot to detach themselves from the chair before hopping off.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear about this what happened and wish his family the best.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShredLife View Post
it might be legal for you to do it if you wanted to, but there is no way it could ever become common practice at ski resorts.

as for the harness, its just that for a harness to hold you in to anything it pretty much has to go between your legs like a climbing harness.
This is more along the lines of what I was thinking. I agree that more than likely it won't become common practice but If it was an approved safety device specifically for this purpose I think that for people with physical disabilities that still allow them to ski/snowboard but can cause seizures, fainting spells etc (even though this kid didn't) it could possibly save a life. I don't know, probably not practical but its constructive grieving I guess.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
Terrible tragedy and please understand that I don't say this to be insensitive, but sometimes shit just happens. It doesn't mean that every time something bad happens that we need to rush out and create more nanny rules.

Honestly, I think what was suggested by the TS would create more problems than it would prevent. I can just see gapers now being slung around the turn and hanging there in the air like morons after they forgot to detach themselves from the chair before hopping off.
You're completely right and not being insensitive at all, this is the main problem that came into my head as soon as I thought of it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is not a common thing at any ski resort anywhere. Hypothetically speaking, having a harness that you could attach yourself to the chairlift is probably going to end up being more dangerous than not having that system. Not too mention the scenario Linville came up with. Even if it's painfully easy, if there is a way to fuck it up, people will find a way to do it.

I'm sorry about your friend, that is really horrible. Death related falls from a chairlift just don't happen very often. Pretty sure years go by between this type of thing happening again.

RIP.
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