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GFE Tip 004

GFE Rescue Knot TrainingIn accordance with section 25 of NSTM 074, Volume 3, rescue training/drills must be performed at least semi-annually to maintain proficiency of personnel in the performance of their duties. The GFE Rescue Knot Training menu will direct you to data needed to assist training of your Gas Free Engineering Personnel in rescue knot tying.Also, the following web site provides animation for the different types of knots we use:


Overhand Knot

Image of Overhand Knot

This simple knot and its cousin the barrel knot can be used to back up another knot. All knots should be backed up.


Square Knot

Image 1 of Square Knot Image 2 of Square Knot

This knot is used in making a seat harness. Be careful to tie it correctly and not wind up with a "Granny knot."


Figure Eight Knot

Image of Figure Eight Knot

Figure Eight Bend Knot


Image 1 of Figure Eight Bend Knot Image 2 of Figure Eight Bend Knot Image 3 of Figure Eight Bend Knot

This knot starts out as a simple figure-8 and then the knot is retraced along the same path with the other end of rope.

Image 1 of Figure Eight Loop Knot

The finished knot.
Remember that it is important to always contour the knots appropriately. All knots should be also be backed up either with an overhand or half of a barrel knot.


Figure Eight Loop Knot


Image 1 of Figure Eight Loop Knot

This knot starts on a bight of rope. Then you tie a figure-8 with that bight.

  Image 2 of Figure Eight Loop Knot

The finished knot.


Bowline Knot

This knot is used to make a fixed (non-slip) loop in the end of a line.  It can be used as the leg-loops for a seat harness.

Image 1of Bowline Knot

This knot is typically taught using a "rabbit and a hole" narrative.

  Image 2 of Bowline Knot

The "rabbit" comes out of the hole, around the tree...

  Image 3 of Bowline Knot

And back down the hole.   The finished knot.


Tautline Hitch Knot

This knot is used when you need to create tension on a line, such as a guy-line for a mast or a patient tie-in.


Image 1 of Tautline Hitch Knot

First, pass the free end through the inside loop twice.

  Image 2 of Tautline Hitch Knot

Then pass the end outside of the loop, but around the rope with tension.

  Image 3 of Tautline Hitch Knot

Here is the finished, tightened knot.

Girth Hitch Knot

Image of Girth Hitch Knot

This hitch is primarily used to attach yourself to a litter.

Prusik Knot

This is tied very much like the Girth Hitch but with an extra loop.

Image 1 of Prusik Knot

This is the front of the Prusik knot,

  Image 2 of Prusik Knot

And this is the back. Contouring of this knot is very important, without it, the knot simply won't work well.

Water Knot


Image 1 of Water Knot Image 2 of Water Knot Image 3 of Water Knot Image 4 of Water Knot

The water knot is arguably the strongest knot you can tie in webbing. It is essentially an overhand follow-through.


Barrel Knot


Image 1 of Barrel Knot

Start with a two ends pointing towards each other and overlap them ~ 1 foot.  Pass the Right hand rope (the one pointing away from you) over the other and back under.

  Image 2 of Barrel Knot

Cross the same end over itself making an X.

  Image 3 of Barrel Knot

Pass the end UNDER the X and pull tight.

  Image 4 of Barrel Knot

Flip the entire works around and do the same thing on the other side.  When you're done, you should have two sliding knots like these.

  Image 5 of Barrel Knot

The finished knot.
Pull the outside ropes, and the two knots should slide together and the X's should mesh.   If they don't the knot is wrong and you should start over.

Sheet-Bend Knot

Image 1 of Sheet-Bend Knot

First take the larger diameter rope and make a bend as shown.

  Image 2 of Sheet-Bend Knot

Pass the smaller rope through the bend and around the back.

  Image 3 of Sheet-Bend Knot

Then pass the smaller rope under itself so that tension can lock it down.

  Image 4 of Sheet-Bend Knot

The finished knot.


Frost Knot

Image 1 of Frost Knot

First place one end of webbing within a bend in the other end.  NB: the different colors here are to illustrate technique, this knot is most often tied with one length of webbing.

  Image 2 of Frost Knot

Tie an overhand with the folded ends.

  Image 3 of Frost Knot

This will result in a loop with the short free end inside it.

  Image 4 of Frost Knot

The frost knot is used to tie an etrier (ay-tree-ay). A completed etrier is pictured.

Butterfly Knot

Image 1 of Butterfly Knot

Start by taking a section in the middle of the rope and making two loops, one big, one small.

  Image 2 of Butterfly Knot

Fold the large loop down over the smaller one.

  Image 3 of Butterfly Knot

Pull the large loop through the small loop from underneath.

  Image 4 of Butterfly Knot

The finished knot. This knot is used to put a loop in the middle of a rope. This knot does not decrease the linear strength of the rope nearly as much as other similar knots.


One Way Knot

This knot ties two ropes together in such a way that they will pass through a pulley in one direction.


Image 1 of One Way Knot

Start with a figure 8 in one end of one rope.

  Image 2 of One Way Knot   Image 3 of One Way Knot

The finished knot. This knot will only pass through a pulley in one direction because of the short tails which come out of the same side.  FYI you will still need a knot passing pulley to make this work, and this knot is not as strong as a barrel knot.

Bowline on a Coil Knot

Image 1 of Bowline on a Coil Knot

Start with 15 or so feet of the belay line wrapped around your torso with about 3 feet left over.

  Image 2 of Bowline on a Coil Knot

Create a loop in the long end of the line, just like you would for the regular Bowline.

  Image 3 of Bowline on a Coil Knot

Use the short piece on the other side of the wraps to finish off the bowline.

Image 4 of Bowline on a Coil Knot  

The finished knot.
This was often used long ago as an impromptu harness. This is not recommended today because of the availability of pre-fabricated harnesses and the ability to tie a much better harness from 1 inch tubular webbing. If none of those are available, however, this method is preferable to a single loop around the body because it distributes the weight much more across all those wraps.