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How to use a Rescue Throw Bag or Water Safety Throw

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

A Rescue Throw bag or a Water Safety Throw is a safety equipment item that you should have handy when near or on any water. These devices should be used by a person who is not in distress to help someone who is in the water and cannot return to either shore or the watercraft. They are meant to be used in emergencies and are not for everyday use. 

Rescue Throw Bags

A throw bag is a rescue device with a length of rope stuffed loosely into a bag so it can pay out through the top when the bag is thrown to a swimmer. It is a standard piece of rescue equipment for water recreational activities. Bright colors make them easy to locate in an emergency.

Water Safety Throw

The Water Safety Throw is an alternative to fabric throw bags. It can

provide advantages over throw bags, particularly in windy conditions as traditional fabric bags tend to get caught up in the wind where the Fox 40 Water Safety Throw has an aerodynamic shell that sails through these conditions. It is colored bright yellow for easy identification.

How to Use the Rescue Throw Bag / Water Safety Throw

As the rescuer, it is important that when using the Rescue Throw bag or Water Safety Throw that you are in a secure position and are ready to handle the weight of the swimmer grabbing onto the device. Throwing the device to the swimmer can be done from the shore or from the boat.

When throwing the device, the first thing to do is to alert the target to your location and that you will be throwing them the rope. You can do this by shouting or using your whistle. With the Rescue Throw Bag, the rescuer can start by pulling out an arm length or two of the rope. With the Water Safety Throw, the rescuer starts by pulling the plug out of the device. Never tie the rope to yourself. You always need to be prepare to let go of the rope if need be. You want to throw the device past the person in distress with the line falling across their chest. It is always better to throw too far then too short. The person receiving assistance can grab the line of the Rescue Throw Bag or handle of the Water Safety Throw. Once gripped the person who is out of the water can pull the person in distress to shore or the watercraft. The person receiving assistance should hold the line across their chest and turn on their back. As the rescuer, if you miss on the first throw, pull the device in, coiling the rope at your feet or in your hand and throw again.


Practice using the device to prepare for emergency situations; don’t let an emergency catch you unprepared. It is important to inspect the device regularly to ensure components of product are in working order. It is also important to always wear a life jacket when near or on the water.

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