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Old 04-19-2006   #11
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
More details in

The key part is:
The raft hit what's called a hole, and Hansen fell in. A fellow guide grabbed his arm and she, too, fell in, said Modesitt, who was on the raft at the time.

The other guide who fell into the water quickly surfaced. Modesitt threw Hansen a rope, but it missed. Hansen then came out of the hole, and a member of the group swam out to him and pulled him to the river bank.

Attempts to resuscitate Hansen were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at Valley View Hospital.
Since someone jumped out to him when he came out of the hole, I guess he was unconscious coming out of the hole. Perhaps he swallowed water in the hole or hit his head. He must have been in the hole for a bit.


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Old 04-24-2006   #12
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Has there been any more information on this?

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Old 04-25-2006   #13
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 49
Rocky mountain news has more information, but they still don't know what happen. He had a helmet, wetsuit, etc. They haven't mentioned a head injury yet and he was in the water for no more then a minute. They think it was no more then a minute in the water, but with the situation it could of been longer. I don't know, Its sad
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Old 04-25-2006   #14
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Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516

Marty's can be super sticky. What were the flows that day? There's a real similar hole below South Canyon at Dinosaur just before the Tibbets takeout on I-70. Victims have been observed in both these holes rotating on the long
axis of their body just spinnin at a high rpm. At flows above 3500 I've seen rafts hang out in that hole for an hour or more. Having worked in emergency sevices for nearly 30 years I've observed quite a few drownings on scene and in ER. They're strange creatures. Old folks survive, young die. Cold water kicks some people right into cardiac arrest. Near drownings...i.e. people who take a bad swim seem fine for a few hours then try to and do die. This one sounds like bad luck to me. Wrong place at just the wrong
time. Feel pretty bad for his wife and kids. I'm sure his mates that day are going over and over in their heads wondering. Keep you CPR up to date and
do what you can to minimize those risks I guess.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 04-26-2006   #15
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3
This is from Brad Modesitt, owner of Mountain Whitewater Descents. I wanted to clear some things up. I was sitting right next to Jason as he fell into the smiling hole on the sixth run. Another trainee also fell into the hole, but she flushed out quickly.

Jason and I had already done a trip down Gates of Lodore in March and a trip down Westwater in April. He already had classroom training on how to get out of a hole and he had read the Complete Whitewater Rafter by Jeff Bennett.

Jason was wearing polypro top and bottoms, 3mm wetsuit, NRS booties, kayak splash jacket, Protec kayak helmet, and class V PFD. He had accumulated 30 hours of river time.

Jason stayed in the hole for approximately ten seconds. When he flushed and surfaced, he was face down. A 3rd year guide and Rescue 3 Swiftwater Technician, swam out approximately ten yards, flipped Jason over and swam him to shore. I met them as he reached shore and the two of us and one other carried him up the bank. He was not breathing and had no pulse. Rescue Breaths and CPR were started immediately. The time from him going into the hole and the start of CPR was approximately one minute. Within another minute, a car on the Interstate using OnStar was notified of the incident. We had people running either direction to use the highway call boxes and on the other side of the river a passing train was waved down. Paramedics were on scene quickly from Glenwood Springs. We performed CPR continuously until the Paramedics arrived, and they continued to the hospital.

We had first aid kits with CPR masks in pelican cases in all 3 rafts and a large EMT trauma kit in the shuttle bus. Another guide of 6 years, did have to use his river knife to cut the strap off holding his pelican case to the thwart. The strap was a little tangled and it was just faster to slice it. We had already started CPR, but the third guide was bringing a backup first aid kit because he was unclear about what was happening other than CPR being performed.

I have been a guide for 13 years now and accumulated 16,000 river miles. I have been trained in EMT, OEC, and WFR. I was a Beaver Creek Ski Patroller during the 99-00 season. I have current basic 1st aid and CPR instructor cards. In the last 6 years I have certified people in CPR over 125 times. I was trained in Swiftwater Rescue by Les Bechtel.

It is my understanding that the preliminary Coroner report is asphyxia, (drowning) with no evidence of trauma or broken bones, and a negative toxicology screen.

Why this happened we may never know.

Our hearts and thoughts have been with Jason's wife and daughter and the rest of his family.
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Old 04-26-2006   #16
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 41
Brad, thank you for taking the time to post this. No one wants to hear of anyone dieing on the river and it's always harder when there are unanswered questions as to the "how" and "why". In this case, like you said, no one will really ever know, but at least for you, those involved and everyone else aware of this death, it's clear that every precaution and safety measure was taken to keep this from happening and to resolve the accident once it occured. It's beyond frustrating to do everything right and not have things work out the way we want them to. My heart goes out to you, everyone involved and especially his family.

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