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Old 07-15-2007   #31
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Ellen Gendler View Post
Yes, Bea was Jane's mother....and Jane is a 14 year old girl who had spinal surgery a year ago, so she was probably scared to move, not knowing if anything had happened to her back. I will give your post to jane, who will be so happy to know what you said, as she is trying to work all this out in her head. thank you sooo much from all of Bea's family and friends for giving us whatever information you have since none of us were with her at the time.

I was with Arkansas Valley Advertures (AVA) who was the first on the scene after the accident. The rafts evidently flipped just before we came through so we didn't actually see the accident. However it was our group that was involved in the rescue of Lynn, Jane and Bea. God had me in the group helping Jane.

From everything I understand, Bea was not under the water for 45 minutes. She received CPR for about 45 minutes. In case you haven't seen this post on this site, One dead in Arkansas River rafting accident - Topix, I thought I'd provide it.

Ok, I just can't get this whole series of events out of my mind - the images and memories keep replaying in my mind's eye. I will try to recount what happened on the Arkansas river that day based off my own observations and by piecing together what my family experienced. I hope this will help those of you who desire details and just more information regarding Bea. My 17 year old son and husband pulled her out of the river about a half mile south of our vacation property. Our involvement all began when my sister and I walked up the road beside the river to let our kids do some rock climbing. We positioned ourselves on some rocks above the river so we could watch the kids climb a rock area across the street. My sister suddenly noticed two people floating down the river without their paddles and with no raft in sight. When she heard the girl yell "swim mom!" she realized the two were in trouble and my two older nieces rushed back to our vacation cabin to notify my husband and brother to go out to the river and see if they could intercept the rafter(s).(Meanwhile the one rafter, Jane had actually been retrieved just about 30 yards down from where we were sitting and CPR had begun on Lynn.) When my brother caught sight of Bea floating along and approaching our property he threw a rope out for her to grab, but she was unresponsive. He said she actually looked rather peaceful. She was floating face up, feet first and had both arms crossed over her chest. Next my brother, my husband,my 17 year old son and my two nieces ran to our parked van and proceeded to drive down the road to locate an area where they might be able to intercept Bea again before she got too far. As soon as they found a somewhat safe area to pull off and access the river my son jumped out, worked his way down the rocks to the side of the river and swam out to a boulder near the middle of the river. When he caught sight of Bea approaching him he jumped off the boulder, grabbed hold of her and somehow managed to get her through some rapids and to the side of the river. My husband pulled her out of the water and my niece checked for vitals and initiated CPR. After about 3 minutes or so another raft was able to pull off to the side and they took over with the CPR until an amubulance arrived about 5 minutes later. My brother was the one who tried to keep her legs elevated and rubbed her feet in an effort to restore circulation. My niece stayed by her side and held her hand. Bea was not alone and was cared for and prayed for continually. We were devastated when we heard on Monday that she didn't make it. Our prayers and thoughts have been with her family and friends continually. This tragedy to a complete stranger has imapcted us strongly and her family and friends will be permanently on our prayer list. We can sense that Bea and Lynn were wonderful women and loved by many. We also sensed that God was indeed on that river and worked through all the circumstances and gave my son discernment and strength that only God can give. We'll always wonder why He let this happen to Bea and Lynn, but July 5th was the day God chose to take them home. God is the only one who can deliver peace in a situation like this; a peace that surpasses all understanding.
I hope that some of these details can help those of you who needed more info. and/or closure etc. This is as accurate as I could gather.

I hope this helps Ellen. We all wish Jane, Paul and their entire family and friends the best. God be with you. Feel free to contact me if you would like at

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Old 07-15-2007   #32
New York city, New York
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by aronaleah View Post
It was my family on the river. The most accurate article i have been able to find is ectionID=&S=1, other than that i can tell you that Bea, the woman that was taken to denver, did not make it. she died around 8:30 Friday night, her daughter (the other one taken to the hospital in salida) is doing fine, and so is everyone else that was on the trip.

Ed, thank you for everything that you did, we all greatly appreciate it.

We have heard that two other people died earlier in the day, also on the numbers section of the river, and with the same guide company. If anyone knows anything about this, i would appreciate anything you know.

Thank you,

Andrea--- I am one of Bea's close friends,and also a physician. When you say it was your family on the raft, were you related to Lynn? Were you on a raft that tried to help rescue Bea and Jane? Were Jane and Lynn on the water at the same time, and then Bea followed a bit later? We are trying to piece it together so we can make some sense of it for Paul, her husband. Our other friends, who were on the raft with her, got separated from Bea and Jane and are not sure of the details, either,. Thanks for your help. you can email me directly at
thanks--- ellen

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Old 07-15-2007   #33
New York city, New York
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by esp View Post
If anyone hears any additional info I would appreciate knowing about it.

I was one of the EMTs that responded to the call. One of the two survivors was actually down for about 45 min to an hour. She received good CPR for that duration. About half way to Salida she had a pulse and began to breathe on her own. Once we got her to the hospital she also had a decent blood pressure. She, however, was still unresponsive. They flew her to Denver, and that is the last of what I know.

Thought and prayers are with her and her family for a full recovery.

Ed- I was a close friend of Bea's and we are trying to piece together exactly what happened that day. Were Bea and Jane together when you saw them? Was Bea underwater for 45 minutes, or did she get CPR for 45 minutes? Jane has probably blocked out most of what occurred, and we are trying to have a picture so that Bea's husband, Paul, and her children will have a sense of the incident for closure. Everyone appreciates what you tried to do, and we know you must feel so sad that you weren't able to save Bea. She was the most incredible person; we were all lucky to have her in our lives.
You can contact me directly if possible---

thanks so much


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