Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-08-2009   #11
FrankC's Avatar
Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by bluesky View Post
FrankC, you might have the wrong section in mind. The Pine Creek section of the Arkansas is "only" a V- around 2000 cfs. A swim in there is guaranteed to be fast-paced and frightening, but only rarely fatal.
Well I heard it is considered a Class V swim at least, which by definition would mean extremely life threatening.

FrankC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #12
oh yeah
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 535
i tried to raft pine creek at 2100 a number of years ago. we thought we had it but in retrospect we weren't even close. i remember hitting the hole and feeling the raft simply disappear. and then the chaos ensued. i might give pine creek a class V rating in the 2000's. on par with rigo, no?

danger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #13
bluesky's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 297
A swim would be nasty indeed. I have to say I've always walked around the big meaty hole at those levels. An unanticipated surf in one of the triple drop holes downstream convinced me I've made the right decision so far, too.
-Τὸ χόβερκράφτ μου εἶναι γεμᾶτο χέλια!
bluesky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #14
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
New article posted on 9News, bolded emphasis mine (I'm refraining from commenting). Awful tragedy - my thoughts are with Nakama's and Spicknall's families.
BUENA VISTA - The two victims of Tuesday rafting accident on the Arkansas River have been identified and the Chaffee County sheriff says neither had rafting experience. Jimmy Nakama, 40, of Littleton, and Thomas Spicknall, 36, of Centennial, died in the rafting accident.
The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened around noon in the Pine Creek Rapids, a class five rapid, near Buena Vista. Class five means experts only.
Survivor David Buckely, 42, of Franktown, has 25 years of rafting experience and was the captain of the raft. He told the sheriff's department that he had rafted in that area several times.
"I told them, 'It's big,'" Buckley said to Chaffee County Sheriff Tim Walker, referring to the river.
Walker says aside from Buckley, none of the other occupants had any rafting experience. While they were all wearing life jackets, their helmets were in their vehicle after they each declined to wear one.
The sheriff's office says the rafters put in near Highway 24 north of Buena Vista and Nakama and Spicknall were thrown out as they reached the first set of rapids just after entering the river.

Buckley and the fourth rafter, Abbigal Dodson, 26, of Englewood, were still in the raft and were able to rescue one of the men from the river.

"The two remaining occupants of the raft were able to grab one immediately," Walker said.

The two tried CPR while they were in the raft.

The second man was washed down the river for seven miles. He was found by river rescuers after a search and he was also unresponsive.

One of the men was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was taken to Heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida where he was also pronounced dead.

Chaffee County Coroner Randy Amettis confirmed that the two victims were wearing life jackets.

The four people were not with a local company, but were operating a private raft. They were employees of EMSC, an emergency medical services corporation which owns Greenwood Village-based American Medical Response. They were all support staff, and not EMTs or paramedics.

"The EMSC family suffered a tragic loss Tuesday," William A. Sanger, chairman and CEO, said. "We all are shocked and saddened at the deaths of our two colleagues.
"Both were long-time employees of the company who were loved and respected by their coworkers. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones."

Nakama's father-in-law, Jim Roth, says his son-in-law died on what he thought was a recreational rafting trip with an old friend whom he trusted.

"Jimmy was a much loved husband, father, son and brother. He was the center of a small but close family, he was loved by the people he worked with, the people he went to school with, the athletic teams he coached and the neighborhood in which he lived. His death has left a terrible hole in the center of all our lives.

Roth says Nakama had floated with Buckley twice before and considered him a competent rafter. It was Nakama's third time rafting in his life.

"He trusted that friend to be knowledgeable of the river and conditions, he trusted him with his life and now he's gone," Roth said.

Roth says rafters should take proper precautions before attempting to float down any rivers.

"Do not float the river without examining the river, the flow, the recommendations of the state and local agencies that manage the rivers, the experience level of the guide and the equipment used. Don't maximize excitement at the expense of safety. It's dangerous," Roth said.

Nakama was born in Littleton, graduated from Littleton High School and the University of Colorado and Roth says his son-in-law is on the wall of fame at his high school.

"Jimmy was a wonderful person," Roth said.

Roth says Nakama coached soccer and baseball. He left behind two children, Emmitt, 12, and Eva, 9. He is also survived by his wife Gretchen, known as "Grae."

The sheriff's office says the river was at about medium flow at the time of the accident, flowing at 1,840 cubic feet per second.

"This particular area, however, is pretty turbulent. My recommendation would be if you're going to raft that area, you do it with a commercial company," Walker said. "The river is running a little bit higher this year at this time of year as opposed to previous years because of the slow melt this year."

Chaffee County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeff Graf says autopsies on the two victims will be performed by 10 a.m. Wednesday in El Paso County in Colorado Springs. By 1 or 2 in the afternoon, they should have the cause of death.

According to Mary Lee Bensman with The Chaffee County Times, the river is very high and the area of the rapids they were in is a dangerous section to raft.

"I can't stress enough - if you're not experienced, to go with an experienced rafter, a commercial rafting company. Always wear your helmets, life preservers. Don't enter an area you're not experienced in," Walker said. "[This] is a very volatile section of the river. Not a section of the river I'd want to go down.
El Flaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #15
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Originally Posted by bluesky View Post
FrankC, you might have the wrong section in mind. The Pine Creek section of the Arkansas is "only" a V- around 2000 cfs. A swim in there is guaranteed to be fast-paced and frightening, but only rarely fatal. I would've worn a helmet though...
I'd call it class V around 2000 cfs. I swam out of Pine Creek hole at that level a while back and it was the WORST swim of my life. A man flush drowned in the same spot that same week I swam. It is a killer swim at 2000 cfs.

I was in top physical condition and an experienced kayaker with plenty of nasty swims under my belt already... and I felt like I needed full concentration and physical effort to survive that swim. I was under water for extended periods of time and I got SMASHED a few times. I was severely bruised and completely exhausted by the time I made it to shore. I'll never be able to paddle that rapid when it is meaty again because I know that if you swim and you do not immediately get to shore you are in for the beating of your life.

In the old days a guy I was paddling with said one of his friends swam Pine Creek and died from a broken neck. I don't know who it was or when it was but I can say that Pine Creek is a class V rapid when it is meaty and be pretty confident about that.

I think it gets underestimated by a lot of people, including experienced paddlers. I think the race down it probably isn't the best idea in the world in terms of the impression it gives to people who don't really know what it would be like to fuck that rapid up.
Ture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #16
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
My condolences to the families. Definitely a rough year for CO whitewater.
Rhynocerous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #17
Westminster, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 8
Declined wearing helmets... wow. To me, this says they didn't have any idea of the possible consequences. How sad.
littlebit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #18
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Wow, I will refrain from commenting other than wow. Condolences to the families.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
gh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #19
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 51
Heard about this on the radio this morning...Always sad to hear.

Hope everyone learns to put a helmet on after things like this happen.
Just dumb not to.
the_skin_eater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009   #20
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 68
I'm not sure helmets would have altered the outcome. More than anything, the lack of helmets seems to indicate a significant lack of judgment about the difficulty of the rapids they were about to tackle. Same could be said about the lack of wetsuits and the fact that a single boat with 3 novices was running class V apparently with no additional safety plans.

kerry edwards is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Incident on the Dolores TakemetotheRiver Whitewater Kayaking 4 05-12-2009 09:43 AM
Big Thompson Incident??? Nathan Whitewater Kayaking 2 06-11-2008 02:41 PM
incident on the gunnison? yetigonecrazy Whitewater Kayaking 36 06-03-2008 12:51 PM
Poudre Tuber Incident bosco Whitewater Kayaking 2 05-28-2006 09:31 AM
unfortunate tresspass incident onebakedpotato Whitewater Kayaking 14 07-14-2005 07:04 AM

» Classified Ads
Fluid Flirt (med)

posted by dlanci

Medium Fluid Flirt. Bought brand new in 2007. Great river...

Used Pyranha 9R...

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


AT kayak paddle

posted by marilyn anderson

AT kayak paddle approx 191cm

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:18 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.