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Old 05-15-2005   #11
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
Ryan's condition

Sunday Evening 7:00 P.M. I had a chance to see Ryan at Poudre Valley Hospital. He is currently recovering in the ICU. He seemed to be in good spirts when I arrived. He is awake and alert! He is not able to speak due to the treakea tube down his throat, however, he was able to comunicate by writing messages back and forth to family and friends.

His condition appears to be improving. The hospital ran a CAT scan and noticed that his brain looked good, but his lungs looked cloudy due to the water intake. The hospital is hoping that in the next day or two they will be able to remove his treakea tube.

The hospital is allowing gift cards, flowers, and good wishes sent to his room.

His family has been very supportive and appreciates the teamwork that it took to save Ryan's Life. His family wants everyone to know how thankful they are for the help that was given to there son. Thank You !!!!!!!!!

Ryan say's hi with thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-16-2005   #12
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
It was said he was in a playboat.
Would the pin have been as bad if he was in a different kind of boat?

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 05-16-2005   #13
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 168
Hard to say either way, but I can say that it wasn't the best equipment for the job. We are very glad to hear things are going well. He has some new friends that are conected to him in special way. Please keep the updates comming.
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Old 05-16-2005   #14
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
How experienced was Ryan?
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Old 05-16-2005   #15
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Pins can happen at really low flows in any class of rapid. The important thing is to watch your team while you progress down river and don't leave someone behind. That did not happen in this case, but it's a pet peeve of mine when I'm in the rear and no one looks back after a drop to see if I am still behind them. How many times have you been on a casual river and lost track of part of your group? Are they still surfing somewhere behind you, or did they go on around the next bend up ahead?
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Old 05-16-2005   #16
Charc in = charc out
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
To address a couple questions ... to the best of my knowledge, Ryan was not very experienced. This is not a dis. Nor is it to say that he wasn't capable of doing the middle narrows. However, I think that his inexperience combined with his size relative to the boat he was paddling (Kingpin) could have definitely played a role in how things happened. Perhaps if he were in a different boat he wouldn't have been so "submerged" during the pin. Perhaps he would have been better able to make the move around the rock ... speculation. I do think that for his first run of the year in a tiny boat, Bridges or even Filter Plant would have been a better call.

Schizzle's comments about being aware of your party is spot-on. Creeking is a team sport. If you're not paying attention to what's going on behind you, then you're probably in over your head.


I'd like to see more paddlers being more realistic about their skill level & the choices they make in running "hard" water. We've all been there, we've all gotten in over our heads whether on class III or class VI. I watched yesterday as a party hacked their way down through upper & lower narrows, giggling while missing nearly every line .. & I seriously thought we were going to have a replay of Saturday. Perhaps I was just edgy from the day before, but how do you politely say "Get a f###ing clue!". I for one do not ever want to be a part of another situation like Saturday.
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Old 05-16-2005   #17
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Originally Posted by ToddG
Creeking is a team sport. If you're not paying attention to what's going on behind you, then you're probably in over your head.
Isn't ANY sport in which your life may depend on your companions a TEAM sport?

This brings up an important issue - part of teamwork is having leadership that can balance the weaknesses and strengths of the individuals in a group, and having individuals who can remember their responsibilities.

The technical trip leader should set a run order that: 1) puts the more experienced boaters in lead and sweep positions, 2) puts experienced boaters near less experienced boaters in the middle so the novices can follow the lines of more experienced, and 3) ensures that if a novice goes for a swim, there's an experienced boater nearby to assist.

All should be working as a team and remember their assignments and responsibilities. This may require veterens to check their egos and be very mindful of their "shepherd" role. Importantly, experienced boaters have to accept that they may be required to pass up the chance to take a really sick line or to play in a hole that a novice is following them into. The experienced boaters should be paying attention to the lead & sweep boaters and particularly to any novices nearby.

A couple of examples of experienced boaters showing poor leadership:

1) I know a story of a hot kayaker leading a group into Sunshine Falls, then stopping to play while the others who couldn't see him from above followed him into a hole like lemmings. The hole would've been enough of a challenge for the less experienced boaters without first the leader, then the second, kayaks already in it. There was at least one really bad swim that could've been avoided and from what I understand, the swimmer never regained her confidence in Class IV water.

2) I watched as an experienced boater in a play cat made a really slick move at the top of Siedell's which his two novice rafter friends following had no chance of making. The lead boater stroked his ego but did so at the expense of his friends who both flipped their rafts. Ironically he'd been in too much of a hurry to stop and scout with the novices but was then delayed by righting their boats and regrouping.

No matter how good a boater someone is, if they can't look after novices and be willing to sacrifice some of their play experience for the sake of less-experienced companions, they still have a lot to learn. An experienced boater who is also an egotistical show-off can be more of a liability than an asset.

Be safe,

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-16-2005   #18
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Jackson, Wyoming
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Andy I disagree...I see the point your trying to make yet I feel It is YOUR responsability to make your own judgements regarding your level and safety...Like Todd said we have all gotten in over our heads,it's part of the learning curve we all strive to push past...When I go out with my creeking friends I don't look for the weak link in the group,I look and myself and make sure I keep my shit tight...Your life depends on your decision making for the most part(freak things do happen,yet for most accidents there was a mistake with an individual decision...Whatever it may be)Not your friends...The friends are there,so when something goes wrong you have options...But ultimately your decision effects you as your the only one in your kayak...What Todd was saying is in difficult(4+,5) water their should be NO sheppard role,the group should be comfortable enough to watch their ass and whats going on around them...Kayaking is not a team sport until the shit hits the fan..

As for being on a browns or royal gorge,waterton,play park I think most great boaters I've seen will help novices without blinking an eye...Paddle safe and nice job to the peps who were there for ryan....
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Old 05-16-2005   #19
Lawyer Scum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 45
True Heroes

Great Job to all of you who saved his life!!

I had a pin in the same section and I believe on the same rock about 10 years ago in a dagger cross fire in relatively low water. Fortunately my head was above water, and my paddling partner saved my butte quickly. AWA statistics posted here previously show the majority of deaths take place in class 2 water. Great feedback about what should happen and what did happen. You are all awesome. Don't let the second guessing that inevitalbly takes place on this forum make you think otherwise!!

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Old 05-16-2005   #20
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 66
First--helluva job to all those who took part in the rescue. This is one lucky guy considering that statistically speaking, CPR in a pulseless individual is almost useless. Odds of a good outcome are very slim so hats off to all of you sho kept your cool and saved this man's life.
I agree with all of the comments posted. I don't think that it's all team or all individual. YOU have to make the right decision as to whether YOU should be on that stretch of water, no one can make that for you, but....once you're on the water I think that we should look out for one another in a group and make sure that someone's not missing. This may mean a sweep position or missing some surfing opportunities ect. BUt, if you're not comfortable with that person in your group or taking on those responsibilities I think that you have a right to tell them that they should not be on that stretch with your group. I'm not a class V boater, not even a solid IV boater and so when I boat with my solid V buddies we have an understanding that it;s an educational/safety minded trip. However, I wouldn't be offended if they told me to sit it out b/c they wanted to play some more or do some harder sections and not have to "babysit". Teaching less experience boaters is how we can give back to the sport--we all had to learn. But, that doesn't mean we have to do it every time we're on the river--you have to be able to enjoy yourself too.

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