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Old 05-26-2005   #1
Focus on your own damn family, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 241
Near Drowning at Pueblo Play Park

Three Members of the Pikes Pike Whitewater Club had finished their run at the Pueblo whitewater park when they noticed a raft above number six heading downstream toward the dangerously sticky number 7. James Sprouffske was just getting out of his boat so Greg Horton and Chris Brobin ran up above number seven and began violently motioning the raft to move river right to avoid the hole. The raft was pilotted by a man in his early thirties and three girls aged ten to fourteen. They had no lifejackets and no helmets or cold water gear. It clearly fit the definition of a K-Mart raft.
Greg and I(Chris) were able to get their attention and they did finally try to move toward shore, but at 2200 cfs it was too late and the group plunged into the hole. The raft flipped and the two older members of the party quickly flushed out. Jim S. ran up and began trying to throwthem a rope, but they were too far away. Finally after five minutes of recirculating the two youger girls were flushed out and rescued.
This was one of the most serious thrashings I have seen in twenty plus years of boating.
The seventh hole at the play park is quite dangerous at high flows(I have reports is also sticky at low flows).
Chris Brobin

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Old 05-26-2005   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
If you are at the park and see someone that shouldnt be there please advise them there is a dangerous hole in there and try your best to talk them out of running it. Watching those 2 girls in that hole was one of the worst times of my life. I dont ever want to see that again.

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Old 05-26-2005   #3
Focus on your own damn family, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 241
Greg, i forgot to mention that a couple of boaters below number two tried to warn them. That and the veins popping out of our necks should have been enough of a warning.
Good boating with you by the way. Lets do it again.
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Old 05-26-2005   #4
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Fools will find the tools to get others that trust them hurt............
Don't do anything, just stand there.
rasdoggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 113
good job Greg and Chris. Those two girls are very lucky.

Sounds like they need to re-work that #7. I take it that these features are for the man-made playpark. If so, they need to fix it to not be so terminal.

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Old 05-27-2005   #6
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11
"Management" at the park?

Would the City of Pueblo (legally) be responsible for accidents on the new park? How do park developers deal with that element of risk? Is it merely like a neighborhood playground, where you "assume your own risk"?

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Old 05-27-2005   #7
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I have no idea but the designers made a huge miscalculation when they created #7, very nasty hole, almost bank to bank.

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