Originally Posted by Haggardphunk
PFD will keep you on top but in big water like that you only have a few minutes of swimming and hoping to squeeze in breaths here and there until your body is totally exhausted and you start swallowing water. Based on his age he pry swam and became exhausted quite quickly. It happens to experts who are in great shape too.
Just saw a YouTube video yesterday of some gal that sent it in to 7News.
Scary video: Raft overturns in Class IV rapids under Royal Gorge Bridge - 7NEWS Denver TheDenverChannel.com
They flipped in the Gorge and she was wearing a GoPro. She swam for like 6 minutes. Actually, she didn't swim, she "assumed the position" and just let the river carry her a LONG way before she got out. There are a couple of times she goes right past some pretty calm water, on her back, and not doing anything to get into the calmer water and out of the river.
The story ended well, everyone in that raft made it out alive though.
Moral of the story - swim like your life depends on it and get out!