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Old 07-10-2007   #1
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Grand Dysfunction, West Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Death on Westwater 7/6 - Tuber no pfd

Sadness. Condolences to friends and family.

Just got off the river an hour ago with oarboatman (Jake with the snout) and Rick kayaker. We put on in the morning as AB was getting ready for their Tuesday weekly custies and two other large private parties were rigging. Uncle Bill (ranger friendly on duty) during checkout warned everyone that we should be looking for a tuber who had snuck past the Ranger Station and was last seen Saturday; should be popping up anytime soon now that it's day 4 and the bloating begins.

Apparently a polynesian looking man was seen floating by a group at little Dee. Bill told us that the group had discussed with the fellow the overall danger, lack of pfd, rapids, etc., but man neither heeded warnings nor the invites of the prepared boaters to join their group. Hats off to you folks for doing that, btw.

Past all the rapids and at the last sandbank before the jumprock on the left (the diagonal one with the crack you climb up to two different heights...), basically two eddies before that, there were two boats run by officials who were near an upside down man in jeans, tan workboots and what looked like a flannel shirt. The smell was terribly strong. Big thank you to the Grand Junction sherriff, Moab EMT, UT state trooper with baaadaaass car, Ranger and other assorted folks who were helping with all the fallout.

Somber scene, and really sad. Many kids were in the custies and private groups. Bill and Alvin were at the station after the daytrip when we retrieved our shuttle car; they had just gotten the call of the recovery and were distraught and bummed. No one knows what happened between little D and that jump rock (Stan's Eddy was what Alvin called it maybe?).

... more news at 9 ...
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