Here's what I tried when I got stuck in the hole for 20 minutes. I do not recommend it - the left to right current pulled me straight into the hole. I was trying to get some right to left momentum but couldn't even keep my line.
I take back anything I said regarding lawsuits - law sucks. However regarding the decision to call the NPS - I still back whomever had the impulse to make the call.
I deserve a crapload of criticism for my run at Hance - it was stupid. I was scared - there's a lot of ugly water downstream from there, I have a current SWR and am not afraid to swim a lot of crazy shit, but Hance is a dangerous proposition.
I think the trip leader, group, captain and all involved can be criticized for having gotten into the situation in the first place, for writing a bad article, for not having any plan once they were in that situation, etc. However, with the group scattered a half mile downstream, which happens at Hance because there's a 3/4 miles or more of strong current/whitewater before you hit a "pool" (watch
From Hance to see how long it took to get the raft pulled over and imagine swimming it!) the situation was very dangerous for the newbs trapped on the rock.
In the end everyone was safe and unhurt. Good call making the sat call in my opiniom, great work by the NPS getting the people to safety and leaving their raft out there. Had there been a more pressing emergency I trust the NPS would have made the right priority call.
Had the sat call been delayed are you sure afternoon thunderstorms would not have made heli rescue impossible? Are you really certain high tide would release the raft and the trapped people whom you know are not very experienced would have been on it when it came free? In short are you certain the bravado "leave the newbies out on the rock" decision some are strongly advocating would not have led to serious injury or potential death of one of the group members??
The top of Hance is a scary place - I'm glad everyone is safe and well, and I applaud whomever had the balls to make the sat phone call. I will boat with you anytime as you've demonstrated that you don't let your ego cause you to make decisions that could endanger the lives of your group members.