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Old 07-11-2007   #11
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 43
Thanks for the great responses.

Looks like most deaths are due to cardiac shock/stress/etc problems.

Anyone want to explain what a "flush drowning" is?

Interesting thoughts on how to approach a strainer as well.

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Old 07-11-2007   #12
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steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
flush drowning usually happens in cold continuous whitewater. if someone falls in and nobody can catch them they can get cold, weak, and eventually drown.

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Old 07-12-2007   #13
niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 96
time in a boat- time in the water

Originally Posted by liquidchaos View Post
A typical cause is a flush drowning from a laryngiospasm. all it take is a drop of water to hit the vocal folds causing a natural response of closing them off to restrict the water from entering the lungs. It has probaly happened to everyone, you just have to relax and take a deep breath through your nose. but if your swimming in unfamiliar territory relaxing can be hard causing them to take on more water and going unconcious. It is rare for rafters to have head trauma making them go unconcious.
Thanks for the explanation. I experienced the spasm you refer to here on a swim out of the dam above Golden- when I missed my line. I had never experienced this before and it is really tough to remain calm when it happens. We have a saying among the crowd I run with- your ability to survive a rapid often has far less to do with the time you have spent in your boat (especially for rafters) --as it does the time you have spent in the water working on your swim skills. I've had my kids swimming rapids since they were little and they are now in their twenties. My daughter Brooke took a swim above the tunnel on the Poudre at around 4+ on the gauge and she remained calm and composed until we could get to her. In my pre-launch safety talks, I talk about remining composed and trying to time your breathing so you don't start to cough and take on water. Easier said than done of course. I personally didn't know that you could breathe through your nose with this type of spasm- in my case I tried to remain calm until I could breathe again. I hope I don't have to use this in the future.
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Old 07-12-2007   #14
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by wayniac View Post
...We have a saying among the crowd I run with- your ability to survive a rapid often has far less to do with the time you have spent in your boat (especially for rafters) --as it does the time you have spent in the water working on your swim skills....
And Wayne runs with some kinda bad-ass crowd!

I like to work on my swim skills 02:30 while swimming a tag-line across the river. (At least last time was for a young lady in a bikini!)
Don't make me have to come get you...

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