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Old 06-15-2015   #11
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 276
I think the frustration comes from the fact that probably 90% (+) of ropes thrown didn't need to be thrown, and I would bet that of those lost, very few fall into the 10% that were really needed. I can honestly say that I've never witnessed a well executed, necessary throwbag deployment. I've seen many situations become considerably more dangerous for a swimmer and those around them though.

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Old 06-15-2015   #12
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
Just how does anyone recommend he go get his rope when it could be anywhere in the next 100 miles of low visibility muddy river?

Doesn't seem like anyone on this thread was actually there, but yet you are accusing the guy of deploying the rope when he shouldn't have and leaving the scene.

High and mighty are those of you who could never misjudge when to throw, then never lose a rope, and of course if you did lose it, you would find it right away. Those three Swiftwater instructors know if they didn't get it right away, it could be lost forever. They were lucky to be right there.

Nice supportive river community down on the Ark, eh?.
I agree. We all know its a shit situation, thus the posting. Folks can be pretty harsh on the Buzz not knowing circumstances......

"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 06-15-2015   #13
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Thanks Bruce for calling folks out on this.

I've been thinking a lot of the same myself. Everyone seems to have a story that the rope wasn't needed (there's a strainer right about where it happened), or that they left it without actually looking hard, or something. About the only thing I see for sure is that someone in the party the OP was with bagged the swimmer who then got tangled in the rope and so the person throwing the rope let go of the rope. Sounds like a pretty honest mistake to me, and one that would've gotten a swimmer out of the water if they hadn't gotten tangled. And now the conscientious OP who at least warned folks about the hazard is getting hammered tag team style for not getting the rope out, when it could be anywhere under the high muddy water. And searching for it could also put folks at risk.

Great hindsight and Monday quarterbacking from everyone. Now do y'all have any suggestions on good ways to fish out a rope from high, swift, and turbid water? Maybe you know where the OP could get some long grappling hooks to drag the river with? What do you recommend, that he come back with scuba gear?

Also, don't you want other folks to put up alerts when they lose a rope? The kind of public flogging going on right now is not very conducive to people coming forward when they screw up.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-15-2015   #14
Miller Time's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 288
Thx Bruce and Andy. Easy to throw stones huh? At 4k id like to meet the superman who can x ray vision a rope in zero visibility water moving 15 mph.

While it's not funny the risks have now gone up for everyone lets not pretend we were on the bank watching it unfold. A well placed rope with a properly trained operator can save lives - I've seen it a lot actually. How many flush drownings have we seen at this kind of high water? A lot more than rope entanglements from previously deployed bags. Yes, it is unfair that someone else can take your life from you. You risk yourself to stupidity every day driving the interstate or riding your motorcycle with no helmet (now you're the idiot).

I'll take notes of which guys in this thread don't want me to throw my bag for them 9 out of their 10 shitty swims. I just hope none of the first 90% of the incidents don't end your life cause I'll have to re-think your statistics. Who does that kind of math on the fly in the middle of a rescue? How about we all stick to judging our own mistakes.

SYOTR rope in hand

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Old 06-15-2015   #15
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 184
I pulled a deployed rope out of Boulder Creek last week. There was no post warning of its presence on MtBuzz. Let's focus our attention on removing hazards when we see them to make the rio safer for all or warning others of hazards that we cannot remove (which OP did here).
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Old 06-15-2015   #16
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 276
If you've got that many people swimming in places where the rope is required to keep them alive, there is an issue far bigger than ropes. I'm well trained in SWR, and practice with ropes regularly. I'll gladly accept that there are many situations where a well executed rope can be a life saver- I'm just saying that far more often, ropes get thrown poorly to people who should just get on their belly and swim.
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Old 06-15-2015   #17
jspoon14's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 115
This has been weighing very heavily on my mind and I do not take this lightly. We had multiple swimmers in the water and it was a long swim for most. We scowered the river for the rope extensively but was not able to locate it with the water being high and very laden with sediment. I am not sure what else we could have done. I will contact AHRA, i did not think about that thank you for the suggestion. I will make every effort to recover the rope. I was not the one that lost the rope. I am trying to do the write thing and inform the community of the hazard. I am fully aware of the hazard that this causes and the danger to other boaters.
Whitewater Spoon
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Old 06-15-2015   #18
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
Originally Posted by wyosam View Post
I think the frustration comes from the fact that probably 90% (+) of ropes thrown didn't need to be thrown, and I would bet that of those lost, very few fall into the 10% that were really needed. I can honestly say that I've never witnessed a well executed, necessary throwbag deployment. I've seen many situations become considerably more dangerous for a swimmer and those around them though.
My experience is nothing like this. I've successfully and necessarily executed throw bags on many occasions without endangering others while in fact helping people, prob at a 90% success rate. There have been times when not throwing was a better option. Just consider every incident on its own.
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Old 06-16-2015   #19
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
I never said the rope shouldn't have been used because I was not there. I agree it's a bit strong to presume to know what happened. Throw ropes save lives and I'm glad boaters are using them down there right now.

I do firmly believe that if you lose a rope in the river you need to look for it and come back and look for it again the next day. Yep, you might not find it, but you need to try with several runs down the river - not just a quick search at the moment of loss. When you can announce "we have searched exhaustively and are unable to locate the rope" then you have done everything you can. When you announce "we didn't see it, but it should just be floating in the eddy so we went home to Denver" you deserve to be told how you should have conducted yourself - and your crew needs to return and make an effort to find the hazard!

I've lost a non-deployed rope on the Ark before. I posted it here and went back to the river multiple times until I knew it had been found. I've known fellow guides to take days off work to search for a rope. It's important. Sometimes shit happens and a rope gets lost. Post it, call every user group you can to report it, and hunt for that thing!

To the OP: you did the right thing by posting. Sorry you have to take heat for it, but your crew doesn't deserve the tender treatment some of your neighbors are suggesting. The rope thrower needs to get back up here and look for it again.
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Old 06-16-2015   #20
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Bruce, Andy, spot on. I get that we want to take a situation and try and prevent future occurrences, but I don't get "rope shaming" in a thread designed to disclose a mistake and advise of a potential hazard.

On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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