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Old 06-18-2007   #21
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
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was it last summer or was it the year before that there was 11 deaths in CO alone?

bottom line- its a dangerous sport, and i think most people know that and acknowledge it. i think most people read these reports just so they can find out if they have lost a friend or a loved one- and not from morbid curiosity.

my condolences, and everyone be safe out there.

"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 06-18-2007   #22
Join Date: Nov 2005
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The rapid that caused the flip isn't the Milk Run. The Milk Run starts at Johnson Corner.

The rapid is the notorious boat chute on a diversion dam between BV & Johnson Corner. I've heard that this boat chute is tricky. I've never seen. Does anyone have a picture of it at this water level?

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Old 06-18-2007   #23
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The Ranch, Colorado
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Originally Posted by yetigonecrazy View Post
was it last summer or was it the year before that there was 11 deaths in CO alone?
My first year boating, 2005, there were a lot. I believe the Eagle, or was it the Yampa, claimed 3 in one day, plus a pair on another day, IIRC.

Id, if you go to the American Whitewater (cough cough JOIN cough cough) website, you can check all the fatalaties in any given region of the US. There aren't many, nation-wide, from my perusal (I guess I'm the really morbid one).

Interestingly, the last year I checked for, 2006, there were more fatalaties in Class 2-4 than Class 5. Statistics being what they are, that makes sense - more people doing those sections.

I don't have any problem recommending my friends raft any part of the Ark at all.
"self-aggrandizing jackass" - it says it right on the label
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Old 06-18-2007   #24
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Technically the section is the bv town run, everything says it is class II, III but that does not give the boat chute credit for what it is. I think this was a weird accident from what I have heard on it and I'm curious to see what the report comes up with. Be careful out there and respect the rivers.
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Old 06-18-2007   #25
golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
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I was there for the second half.

I have remained silent long enough. This is Class V+ to wright.

First everyone that I met at the site did all that they could. From the private boaters in the cat that gave chase to all of the WA personnel that supported the final outcome. The emt's / fire fighters / ambulance crew / were first rate.

Rarely do we as boaters (rafters / kayak er / ect) do we have access to such quick response as along the Ark. Many people take this for granted.

I learned very old school. Always respect the river, never try to beat it and never give up.

There is a lot of munusia out there on this this incident (as with most). Form the second hand knowledge I have (from the cat that gave case) the incident happened at the BV dam.

I was at WA's launch at JV. I threw a throw rope directly across the victims chest. (face up at the time). The victim was unresponsive.

My group topped off a boat and another person and I gave chase behind the cat. By the time we caught up to the other group (the cat) they had pulled the victim in and were doing CPR.

My point in all of this is you never know when you will be called on, always be ready, and know what you are in for.

For all of you 10- no 15- year boaters you have not seen enough. It is not about the Class of river you are running, it is about the RISK factors. (water temp, age, health, type of river flow ect...) Learn from others.

I wish the family of the victim the very best.
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Old 06-18-2007   #26
Winter Park, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
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To the friends and family of the victim, I am truly sorry for your loss.

From the 4 kayakers that were at the JV take out when the company came through later in the afternoon: we are truly sorry for invading in your time to debrief and grieve. We were not aware of what had happened earlier, if we had any idea we would have given you your space. We are sorry for invading during that time. Two of us are former guides and have both dealt with commercial deaths in WVa, it is hard thing for a company and a group of people (knowing how close you become with your co-guides). I don't pretend to know what you are going through because every situation is different. Now knowing some of the story we feel very dumb for not seeing the signs coming from your guides. Again we are sorry, and thank you for the ride.
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Old 06-19-2007   #27
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Leadvillian, Colorado
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with all due respect

To those of you that posted an inquiry concerning this or other recent grave incidents it is important to respect the nature of the situation. In what has become a very litigious culture please remember that emails or in this case forum posts are forever. It should be expected that those that were directly involved in a fatality are not running to their computer to report on the incident and so much of what you read immediately afterwards is heresy. I think you will find that many fatal accidents are reported on this forum as well as on Boatertalk in a timely fashion and without outside inquiry.

That being said the AW database is not a complete resource for whitewater accidents. The safety coordinator is diligent in incorporating information from these forum posts into the accident report database, but as you might expect some fatal accidents and near misses are never reported.

I write this only to encourage those of you that seek information for educational purposes to take the whole picture into account.

As conscientous whitewater enthusiasts many of us look for a lesson in the accidents that occur in our sport. This is not unique to riversport as many of you are familiar with "Accidents in Mountaineering" as published by the American Alpine Institute.

In regards to this accident I think it is fair to reaffirm that the breached structure known as the "Silver Bullet" is a very serious hazard and one not to be taken lightly whether being navigated commercially or privately. Hopefully we as a river community can work towards eventually mitigating some of the risk in this very unnatural hazard.

Might our best service be to take a moment to remember all the victims in this unfortunate incident and wish due prudence upon all participants of riversport.
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Old 06-19-2007   #28
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Originally Posted by Id725 View Post
So can anybody tell me -- is this an unusual season? Or are there a number of deaths every year on the Ark, and they're just getting more exposure this season?

As an avid kayaker and somebody always trying to get more people onto the river, I just want to know what I'm talking about so I don't mislead anybody.
So how rare or how common are these incidents?
AW came up with this: "We calculated a fatality rate of 0.86 whitewater fatalities per 100,000 boaters, or 2.25 private boater deaths per 100,000 and 0.45 commercial boater deaths per 100,000. The river with the greatest number of deaths was the Arkansas in Colorado, with 17 deaths in five years." These numbers came from study of 30 managed rivers that supplied data for 1994-1998.

So just over 3 deaths per year on the Ark is common based on the study data.

For reference you can check out a chart on boatertalk with fatality rates for other activities like driving, skiing, and various diseases:

aw link: American Whitewater - Whitewater is Safer Than You Think
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Old 06-19-2007   #29
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Originally Posted by Id725 View Post
So can anybody tell me -- is this an unusual season? Or are there a number of deaths every year on the Ark, and they're just getting more exposure this season?

-Mike Griffin

I think that whitewater deaths are just occuring sooner in the calander year than usual. Remember when the rivers peaked toward the end of June? Now they start to rise a few weeks earlier, so the deaths are still occuring around the peak flows, only the peak flows (Global Warming?) seem to happen sooner. By the time you are mentally ready for high water, it has come, gone or passing.

Now someone could look back into archives and find me totally wrong, (I'm going by fuzzy memory, not research), but that's how it seems to me.

"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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