Originally Posted by carvedog
I know that some of you will not like this but this is also the perfect pickle to carry and deploy a canvas sea anchor on a short rope. Could have saved the flip.
I don't think a live body jumping in the water holding a rope would be a good option. As you can see at the end of the downstream video, Dave was getting pulled under in the relatively calm water when he was holding the throw rope, despite trying to get onto his back.
Another member of our party and I were talking about it this weekend after watching the video and discussed the idea of a "drift sock" or sea anchor. IF they were able to get it out, rigged and deployed downstream, which would have been very tough while getting chundered in that hole, I think it could have done the trick. All theoretical of course, and full of lots of ifs (including having a drift sock on the boat).
Our group's next move was to ferry someone across to hike upstream river right and attempt a throw if the surf had continued even longer. The dilemma was that we thought the boat was going to flip and put us in swimmer rescue and boat recovery mode at any second, which made us reluctant to get someone out of position to help when it finally happened. Plus, there were already people in that ideal throw position to help; the film crew party.
As it worked out post-flip, a throw from river left got Dave, the gray boat got John, and the green and tan boats were able to capture the flipped boat before it got to Cove Creek Rapid. I'm not sure we would have been able to get it ashore and secured with only one boat/one person, so we ended up being in the right places when it did finally pop out of the hole.
As for the fly out, yeah, in hindsight, would have been better. We had the whole plan in place for flying John out the next morning. By the time the blood in the poo became group knowledge it was already dark, so even though we had a sat phone it was too late to get help that night. The next morning he told us the bleeding was done and he was ready to finish the trip, so we respected his request. He really is one incredibly tough dude. I'm sure I would have been beggin to get flown out after his ordeal and injuries.
Good to see you on here Captain Tappan!