View Poll Results: Darwin Vs. Education: To help and educate or let nature take its course
Educated and leave: Tell them they are an idiot, keep going 14 28.57%
Educate and help: Tell them they are an idiot, give them help getting down 22 44.90%
Let nature take its course: Smile, wave, and keep paddling 13 26.53%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-09-2005   #21
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
Darwin award anyone?

Solo boat, no pfd, no experience, improper attire, improper boat, unscouted rapids, general he-man attitude.

To rescue or not to rescue, is that the question?

I personally am sick of rescuing people, having done it so very very often, (3 rescues this year alone). But luckily it IS still America and people can do all sorts of stupid things if they so choose. Cell/Sat phones, improved maps, self bailing rafts, wetsuits and other technological advancements have ushered in a whole new era of river running. Why be prepared or properly equipped and informed when you can just call in a helicopter? Or swim it in your $1000 drysuit? Some peoples river attire costs more than my entire set up including boat.

But the solo boat thing really gets me. How many solo boat deaths are there a year? I was taught from day 1 you never hike, bike, hunt, fish, camp, raft, kayak, ski, rock climb, or do any other myriad of sports ALONE. This is a basic outdoor practice and not river specefic. It makes me wonder if these people also do other sports alone, and were just an accident waiting to happen somewhere.

Maybe we need some huge orange warning signs at every put in. Yea thats it giant fucking orange DANGER signs so all the wannabe's will turn back. LOL

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Old 08-09-2005   #22
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
I believe at least in Eagle County, I have seen signs like this at most of the popular put-ins. I know there is one at the putin by my house. I'm not sure how effective signs are... How many times have one of us cracked a beer walking by a sign that says "no open containers" or some of use skiers have either seen or ducked a rope or two ourselves. I guess when you do that though, you realize you are accepting a risk that you have been warned of.

That Numbers story is amazing! I think the difficulty of the river has a lot to do with how much of a scene I make. Had we been on the numbers, there is no way I would have kept going without at least trying to talk the guy out of it.

I think it is ok for tubers and kmart rafters, etc to float down our beginner class II type runs. That's what those runs are for. They should wear at least a pfd and some shoes. It becomes our job as "river people" to help out people on the beginner runs when we are out there messing around. The scary shit is when these guys are going down the Numbers or God knows what else not knowing what they are doing or have gotten in to!!! We definately have to talk to them then I think!!!!

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Old 08-09-2005   #23
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
The Pueblo ww park has a sign stating the law of requiring pfds at the upstream side of the ww park. I am going to make a recommendation that they put a sign at the takeout of the park as well but these signs are stiff if you know what I mean. Any ideas for a sign that would appeal to kids and boneheads and would get the message across? I am discussing this with Pueblo city council and was interested in ideas. Sorry if I am thread jacking but it seemed to fit.
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Old 08-09-2005   #24
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Carnage photos appeal to kids and might make boneheads take seriously....
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Old 08-09-2005   #25
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
My girlfriend and I were amazed at all the people swimming in the Salida play park without PFD's, this last Sunday. It looked like the normal thing to do, so we kept our comments to ourselves.
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Old 08-09-2005   #26
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Yes, sensibly prepared people are in the minority in some spots.

Philbob, I have to disagree on the statement about doing things solo. I think it is stupid to paddle solo, but camping, hiking, riding, etc. I think is another story. I do many of these things solo quite often. I think you have to be extra prepared, and maybe have more experience when doing the solo thing. (Once again, with the exception of whitewater). For example, I snowshoe solo quite often, but in places where I know the environment really well. I also carry a pack that is equiped with the minimum for me to spend the night out in the snow if necessary.

I think that solo is ok if you plan ahead and are smart about it (except whitewater). I even did a solo overnight backpacking trip once, and it was one of the coolest experiences I've had. I did call a friend who knew the area, told them where I was going, left a zip-locked itinarary on my truck windshield, brought extra gear and food, etc.

Anyways, solo is dangerous for the ill prepared and ill experienced or in places where problems are likely, like in moving water.
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Old 08-09-2005   #27
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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Can I vote for all of the options? I like them all, depending on the situation and my mood. But no really, I typically go for Educate and Help; it's the right thing to do, no matter how frustrating it can be a times.
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Old 08-09-2005   #28
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Signs signs everywhere a sign.......

Not only is there a sign at the Publeo park but there are signs on the S.Platte too and many times I watch floaters put on the river, sans pfd shoes helmet or common sence. Including the family with a 1 yo floating on Golden this weekend thinking that the pfd on the kid would help.
It has to do with the attitude of it won't happen to me, I am a good swimmer!!!

Now on to the boating alone topic.....
In SCUBA it has been a long standing rule to dive with a buddy, but lately there has been a push for solo diving. The argument being that I could be with 10 other people and if noone knows how or when to help what good are they?

Twice now I have been forced into a swim at Golden due to someone trying to help me thinking I needed a T-rescue while I was still trying to roll, yesterdays example is I came up under the guys boat and lost my paddle, the other I was knocked back over when the person ran into me and hit my head on a rock pretty hard.

Now I am not saying you should boat alone, just that you need to know the people you are boating with and wait till someone signals for help if your not with that person.
Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 08-09-2005   #29
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Boating alone

I must strongly disagree with both of you guys about conducting outdoor activities solo. I really don't mean to "hijack" this thread and maybe I should post it separately but...

Boating, hiking, skiing, backpacking, biking etc are all highly rewarding when conducted as solo ventures. Don't get me wrong, I'm about as social as they get and frankly I reached a point last year when I got plain sick of boating alone, but if you are keenly aware of your abilities and the challenges of the run you are about to take on I see no problem with boating alone. In fact, there are times when it is safer. Many of the times when I have been exposed to risk recently were because I was assisting in a rescue. Of all the times I have boated alone I can actually only think of once when I was truly at an abnormal exposure to risk.
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Old 08-09-2005   #30
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by benrodda
Another angle on this discussion.

What about law inforcement officer that feel a legal obligation to remove a person from what they feel is potentially a dangerous situation? I have read a ton of flaming on that issue alone. It is not all that differnt from this issue. They are just doing their job right? If you tell a person to get off the river then you are just like that cop. But ultimately I dont give a damn.
There is a huge diffrense between a cop telling you you can't go down a river because he thinks its dangerous and boaters helping dumbasses understand the risk. One is making a choice for somebody, the other is giving information to somebody.

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