Lifesaving World Championships 2024

Manikins, obstacles and ropes – understanding Pool Rescue events

While some people’s minds instantly turn to the surf and sand when hearing about the Lifesaving World Championships, half of the event will be staged in the pool at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

Pool Rescue events have a more direct relationship with operations which may save lives, using a variety of equipment amongst a series of events.

Some of the world’s top swimmers including a host of Olympians hold or have held Australian and World Records in these disciplines.

LWC 2024 entries close on Friday 5 July – Click here to enter today!

In the first of two pieces highlighting the pool events, we break down the Obstacle Swim and Relay, Manikin Tow and Carry and the Line Throw.

Obstacle Swim
This event involves swimming under two submerged barriers (obstacles) each lap of the race. These obstacles are submerged at an equal distance from each end of the pool.

Obstacles simulate underwater hazards in an aquatic environment and swimmers must use skills of scanning, surface diving and swimming underwater to complete the event.

At the last World Championships, Australia’s James Koch and Lani Pallister took gold, with both swimmers targeting a place at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Bradley Woodward holds the world record in this event.

An Obstacle Relay event is also held.

Manikin Tow
The manikin tow simulates a non-contact rescue of a conscious patient.

Competitors swim 50m with fins dragging a rescue tube to the wall, then attach the rescue tube around a half-filled manikin held by a handler outside of the water.

The competitor then tows the manikin 50m to the finish.

Western Australia’s Harrison Hynes set the world record for the men’s 100m manikin tow with fins at the German Cup in November.

Manikin Carry / Manikin Carry with Fins
Similar to the manikin carry, however the manikin carry simulates the rescue of an unconscious submerged patient.

This event requires competitors to recover a submerged manikin and perform a contact tow. Manikins weigh approximately 40 kg when filled with water, meaning strength and technique are essential.

This event is held both with and without fins.

Line Throw
The line throw is a fast, dynamic and exciting pool rescue event which requires a mix of skill, accuracy and technique.

Teams must coil a rope, throw it to their patient, within their own lane, and pull them back to the starting wall.

The world record currently stands at just 8.99 seconds!

The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre plays host to the Pool events at Lifesaving World Championships 2024 with 15 days of competition between 23 August and 8 September. Click here to see the schedule of events across Interclub and National Teams competitions.