BlueWater Ropes Rescue 8

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0


Strength 22 kN
Weight 210 g
Length 6.5 in
Width 6 in



A must-have item for folks on rope! I work with two…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: retail


A must-have item for folks on rope!


  • "Ears" prevent girth hitches
  • Large enough to use with gloves on


  • Heavier/bulkier than smaller models

I work with two of these. The first is in my personal climbing bag, for use in my caving activities. The second is in the "Rescue Bag" on the high ropes challenge course I manage in central Illinois.

The primary advantage of a "Rescue 8" over a smaller Figure 8 are the protruding "ears" on each side. These ears prevent an unexpected girth hitch from occurring in the middle of a rescue. The large opening also also for an extra turn of the rope, when you need to support/lower 2 full grown adults.

In my program, we hook the 8 onto the belay cable, above the victim. The working end is attached to the victim; the running end is dropped to a ground belayer, who uses a belay tube (ATC) for added friction.

I've trained dozens of high ropes facilitators on emergency rescue take downs, and I wouldn't stock a rescue bag without this item in it.



My friend who does rescue still swears by these. We sport climbers just use an ATC

1 year ago

Sure, ATC's are definitely suited for a different application. Cavers tend to use Rappel Racks, which are better on wet, gritty rope.

1 year ago

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Manufacturer's Description

Visit BlueWater Ropes's Rescue 8 page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

Forged and double anodized for an extra durable finish. The BlueWater Rescue 8 is larger than a regular figure 8 and is designed specifically for rappelling and lowering heavy loads in rescue situations. The larger size allows for better control and heat dissipation. Designed for use with double 7/16? ropes and single or double 1/2? ropes and larger only. 7.4 oz. 6.5 x 6. 22 kN.

- Ramsey Outdoor

Designed specifically for rescue work, the Rescue 8 belay device by BlueWater Ropes features 2 side prongs that prevent an unloaded rope from slipping over the sides of the device and forming a girth hitch. Don't worry about toasty hands while belaying - an extra-large design dissipates heat while providing extra control.

- Mountain Gear

The BlueWater Rescue 8 is forged and double-anodized for an extra-durable finish. Larger than a regular Figure 8, the Rescue 8 is designed specifically for rappelling and lowering heavier loads in rescue situations. The larger size allows for better heat dissipation and use of larger ropes. The "ears" of the Rescue 8 help control the rope and make it easier to tie off. The Rescue 8 is designed for use only with 1/2" diameter ropes and larger.

- RockCreek

Considered the standard for rescue operations, this style of descender is easy to use and reliable. Popular with fire departments, search and rescue groups, and police special operations. Primarily for rappelling or lowering; may be used as a belay device but significant friction is encountered. Shape dissipates heat and allows for larger ropes. "Ears" help control the rope, reduce the risk of binding, and make it easier to tie off. Forged aluminum for strength; double anodized for an ultra-durable finish. Strength 10,000 pounds or 44.5 kN.