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Old 11-29-2006   #1
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
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Swift water rescue on MSNBC video

Don't have any background on this, but I thought I'd throw it out there on a snowy Colorado day for discussion

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Old 11-29-2006   #2
Golden, Colorado
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She was pinned for 90 minutes, they said. That's a pretty good example of why you want to overdress for cool water. She's lucky her head was above water.

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Old 11-29-2006   #3
pnw, Washington
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better version on search videos for kayak rescue. great job of getting her off the rock and rolling her up. not sure about the letting her go part or the rope around the neck but i wasnt there.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 11-29-2006   #4
student wasted state, Colorado
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i am amazed she stayed in her boat the whole time
you know sometimes i wish i would have chosen something like baseball but, i didn't and i'm a kayaker so this is what i do." -Nick Turner (Wehyakin)
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Old 11-29-2006   #5
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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From Idahowhitewater forum

It was the Payette River near Banks. Go to this site to watch the
video. Hope this answers some of your questions. Have a great day.
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Old 11-30-2006   #6
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Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
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This happened on the Main Payette at around 1,200 cfs (lowish) in a class ~III. The victim had about 4 or 5 seasons of experience and she was with a group with over 40 years of experience. The rescuer is Conrad Fourny (Stikine veteran with the first run of V-Drive to his credit, Idaho legend) who just happened to be at the store in Banks when the 911 call came through. Conrad went down to the scene, borrowed a rescue squad drysuit, PFD, and helmet and got that shit done. I'm still trying to figure out why it took one passer-by to do what an entire rescue squad and the victim's own group could not.

Lesson: sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, or in this case your entire body cold and wet.
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Old 11-30-2006   #7
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Talked to Conrad yesterday. He said the reports are a little exagerated. She was only pinned for like 50 minutes. Long time but still a lot shorter than 90. Everybody and their dog picked up the video. We (Paddlinglife) linked to it at the Idaho Statesman. The above link was on NBC but there was also one on CBS (I think they had it first)?

Funny, this stuff happens a lot but it's never caught on video. To bad it takes a scary, dramatic situation like this for national television to pick up a kayaking video.

Conrad is a super-stud though. Great dude to paddle with............

PS........................And any armchair judgments on rescue attempts are ridiculous. We're all geniuses after the fact. Everytime somebody makes a save and its posted on this site, someone has some brilliant piece of knowledge they think they need to pass along.
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Old 11-30-2006   #8
pnw, Washington
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Smokey, if you are referring to me then get over it. I said I wasnt there but I will stand by statement that it was odd for him to let her go. Maybe there was a good reason but from the video I didnt understand. Wasnt judging at all, was more wondering about why it was a good idea. I think you are being a tad sensitive. I thought the guy did a great rescue and congratulate him on jumping out of the boat and onto the rock, very cool. Even had the composure to roll her up.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 11-30-2006   #9
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Who's being sensitive? I didn't mention any names..........
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Old 11-30-2006   #10
Self-Aggrandizing jackass
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The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
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I always approach these types of things from the point of view of : What can I learn from this to help save my life or someone else's.

I'm a second year paddler who hasn't yet taken a swift-water rescue class (but will come Spring).

These are the questions I raise: they're not specific to the video in question, but they were raised because of what I saw in it.

Why didn't she just bail out?
(I suppose the easiest answer is that she could not).
The reason I ask is that, rather than be pinned and fighting the danger of hypothermic shock (and the critical loss of strength and judgement that entails), my thought would be to get out and swim for it.

I say this in part because it doesn't look like that bad a swim, but who knows what's downstream - for all I know it could be a 60-foot waterfall or a sieve.

Next Question:
Didn't seem like rescuer talked to her much. Not sure why that is. There's way to much to theorize here, but how did he know she would even be okay to swim, and wasn't already hypothermic?

What would he have done if she were so hypothermic that she was in serious danger? I guess that's why I need to take a SWR class... I wouldn't know what to do there, but once that boat were unpinned, I'd be afraid she could not pull the skirt and exit the boat. Overall, she did seem calm and had the minimal self awareness to stay in the boat I would hope to see.

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