Every river fatality is a tragedy, and I feel great sympathy for the families involved.
Having said that, I was extremely disturbed to see this story on 9News - maybe not so much the story, which just repeats the known facts, but this weird notion that "debate rages about rafting" as a result of this and the other fatalities this year.
9NEWS.com | Colorado's Online News Leader | Debate over rafting rages in wake of accident
I know I'm probably preaching to the choir on this board, but seriously - Colorado is all about altitude, slope and runoff. All can can have lethal consequences if not appropriately respected. The suggestion that seems to waft through this piece is that private boaters are too irresponsible to enjoy these sports, and that everyone should be guided by commercials (as if fatalities don't happen on commercial trips). I have little doubt that the commercials just love to read headlines like this, since they can be prone to looking down their noses (or worse) at private boaters, and any restrictions placed on private boaters just expands their business and eases their access. (Note: I am NOT saying they cheer over private boater fatalities at all - I don't deny their humanity, I merely question sometimes their attitude about sharing the river with us privates...)
Sorry if I sound conspiratorially hysterical here, but in my mind, as a near-twenty year rafter and someone who, to a fault, stays away from runs I don't feel comfortable doing, I get infuriated that some "debate" exists, or should exist, about private boaters running rivers.
There is no debate. Mother Nature offers her gifts, she invites us to enjoy and appreciate them, but bitchslaps those who don't respect her dominance. End of story.