Recommended Posts

      Understanding the IRATA Syllabus: Passing a Small Re-anchor with a Casualty

      To avoid an obstruction/hazard, or to reduce rope stretch during a long suspended descent off a structure, you can rig a small re-anchor (aka re-belay) to re-position and control the rope system. One of the cons of this method, is that re-anchors are not compatible with lowering systems and so a rigged-for-rescue system can not be used from the highest anchors. Passing a small re-anchor with a casualty is an advanced intervention rescue and you will need a competent team on site (with key members easily accessible) to make this feasible.

      During your IRATA Assessment, L2 and L3 certifying techs will be asked to demonstrate competence descending with a casualty past a small re-anchor, with an offset of < 1.5 m.

      Your IRATA assessor will specifically be watching to ensure that you…

      • Practice good casualty management.
      • Avoid tangles with the re-anchor loops.
      • Maintain 4 points of connection through the transfer.

      Tangles are a minor discrepancy, and are something your assessor will specifically be looking for during this exercise. Do your best to avoid them with good rope management.

      As we practice this manoeuvre during your training week (and when you demonstrate it on assessment day), one of your colleagues will be acting as a casualty and feigning immobility. This acting role has its hazards. If you’re playing this role, you’ll need to move your legs frequently to prevent the onset of the symptoms associated with suspension intolerance.

      Additional resources to check out:

      TACS 6.8.6 for the source material for this blog.

      TACS 6.8.7 for rescues dealing with more complicated situations.

      Our blog post for Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Re-anchors

      ICOP Part 3, Annex G for more information on suspension intolerance.

      TACS 9.6.3-9.6.4 for a full list of major and minor discrepancies.


      This is part of an ongoing series, where we’re breaking down IRATA’s syllabus and clarifying exactly what ‘demonstrating competence’ and ‘demonstrating awareness’ means, and what will be expected of you on assessment day. As an IRATA L2 certifying tech, you’re expected to be fully competent with the L1 Syllabus. To return back to the IRATA L2 Study Guide or IRATA L3 Study Guide, click below:

      IRATA L2 Study Guide     IRATA L3 Study Guide