At some point in a SAR op, it may be necessary to cross a body of water that is too deep to simply walk across. On Feb. 1 of this year, I received my 'trial by fire' in this area. Since the water temperature on that day was 38 degrees, I'd rather say it was a 'trial by ice.'
My instructor is a non active-duty Force Recon Marine, so after a classroom session, I did an eight-minute exercise in the water that was essentially the same exercise he went through while in the Marines. This included ingress, back and forth across the pool to simulate moving across a large body of water, egress, and then debrief.
I had to pack a change of clothes into an Alice pack and ensure they were waterproof, otherwise I would have to change from wet clothes into wet clothes.
Needless to say, it was a stimulating exercise, but I learned a lot and now know how to deal with this situation.
I've had to manage several water crossings in field exercises since then, although thankfully nothing more than knee high.
And, if you want to see what it's like when the exercise is complete, just click on the image for an expanded view. I'm happy to report that in addition to completing the exercise, I was able to change into completely dry clothes :)
Founder, L-5 Imaging