My heart goes out to both families. As rafters/kayakers we all know the seriousness of wearing a PFD. Others mustn't perceive the river dangerous. I suppose if no one ever told you how easy it was to die on a river, you might think it's easy.
That wave train right before the bridge in South Canyon IS fun but I could see how an ill-equipped person could get injured (or sadly in this case die). That a 13-year-old boy lost his life takes my breath away. As a mother, I can imagine nothing worse than that.
We too have seen tubers in cheap Wal-mart floats & weak tubes put in at South Canyon & wanted to say something to them about the folly of that choice but I didn't because I thought, "Not my business".
Now I think I will say something with kindness, love & diplomacy, as no one wants to be scolded or insulted.
My thoughts and prayers are with both families.
Perhaps the county should put up signs that advise NO TUBES or FLOATS & remind everyone that PFDs MUST be worn & that people HAVE died on these sections of the river. It might give everyone pause & might save a life.