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Old 12-05-2013   #21
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 135
I have learned from this thread and are doing some things differently, on an upcoming Grand trip as a result. I am a long time member of a pilots forum, where we do have accidents and fatalities and this very subject of threads etc. comes up.

As hard as it may be for some involved, people learn from these types of threads and lives may be saved IMHO.

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Old 12-05-2013   #22
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Concerning the suggestions to delete: I completely disagree with Tom for posting this, it does seem that some good has come from it. As long as the immediate family doesn't object or contact the admins for removal, this thread should stand.

There are lots of people of marginal health who continue going down the river. Sometimes with tragic consequences. No need for finger pointing, no matter how oblique Tom, it is simply unnecessary.

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Old 12-05-2013   #23
CBrown's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 347
It is a sad reality that death and carnage are part of our sport. I have been around WW for the past 20 years kayaking and rafting and seen some scary stuff. I have always read accident reports and think information from those reports are helpful in many ways. I have taken that information forward with me and been able to avoid sketchy or fatal situations from that knowledge gained.
My heart goes out to those involved as well as the family and friends of the victim. I do not think reviewing the accident is at all goulish or disrespectful. It is what it is and if something can be taken away from this discussion that prevents a dangerous or life threatening situation in the future, then it is a discussion worth having.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 12-05-2013   #24
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Posting a trip report and "lessons learned" synopsis in a third party fashion for a trip one is not a participant on is in poor taste and disrespectful. Sometimes the assumed "greater good", especially on the internet, does not trump the importance of the individual experience. This is especially true when multiple requests have been made by the participants of the party. Deaths and major injuries can take significant time to process mentally and emotionally. Putting the information into the public perview in a internet setting, especially with an incomplete picture of events, can make those wounds worse.

We can support individual participants if or when they choose to personally post their perspective. Until then what is best for the individual can be best for the restraint and patience. In moments like this in life it seems best to defer to those who actually experienced the event in regards to disclosure. Not everything that happens is ours to learn from.

Phillip Rhoades.....the participant of one SAR that I can't imagine someone else writing a TR about. And the witness to another rescue/emergency that I have yet to writeup years later.
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Old 12-05-2013   #25
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I'm torn on how I feel about this thread. I did get info about the Rescue Rung as a result of the thread, but other than that there seems to be some incomplete information about this tragic event that has been posted. This is an obviously painful rehashing of events for some of those involved. When I step back and really look at what I might learn from this thread, it seems that there isn't anything new that we all don't already know. Bad stuff can happen on the river, some of that bad stuff can be avoided or minimized, some of it can't be. Getting a person out of the water quickly seems to be the main lesson I'll take away from reading the posts in this thread. To that end, I will investigate a rescue ladder for my raft. Other than that, the rest is just the way things go.......personal judgement calls. Do you cancel a trip because 7 out of 12 people cancel? Do you cancel because one boatman out of three is inexperienced? Do you exclude people who are over 60 or have health problems? These are questions that each person or group must answer for themselves. We can't presume to know the correct answer for this particular situation, with people we don't know. Flipping on the GC can happen to anyone, no one is immune to the fates and powers of the river.

I feel bad for those involved and pray that they can find peace and move past this tragedy.
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Old 12-05-2013   #26
Wheredat, USA
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 75
Tom's "River Fatality Review" is borderline irresponsible reporting. He didn't get a full accounting of what happened from all parties. Was there really such a rush to get it published by The Man Who Knows, at the end of a boating season, rather than be sure that it was an accurate account?

However, it doesn't hurt to periodically remind people to "Have a capable rower at the oars in all rapids".
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Old 12-05-2013   #27
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
I am an OLD OLD river rat who hasn't touched an oar for many years.
I'm on a Grand trip in August 2014; it will be my third.

I've thought long and hard about my age and fitness; the former is old and the latter is bad. I have no doubt this trip will be more demanding than my first two.

Never the less, I go because I love the river and want to experience the canyon one more time at least.

I will make sure that everyone on the trip and my family understand; I'm going knowing the risks, and accepting them. Do not grieve for me if we fail, I would rather die on the river because I over estimated my ability and underestimated the challenge, than to have sat home safe and dreamed what should have been.

To those who were on that trip and who now carry the wounds from it;
Find peace knowing that Mary was in a special part of the world with friends. I can think of no better end.
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Old 12-05-2013   #28
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883
Hi Schultzie,

In the abstract, a person's willingness to die in a place they loved, doing something they loved, sounds great. But it's tremendously hard to communicate the burden such a death would place on others. Even knowing the way you felt, other powerful emotions come into play for the survivors.

So you are right to talk to your trip companions candidly about your limitations. But there are no words you could share with them that would lay an adequate foundation for them dealing with your death on the river. The closest I can come is to tell them that it likely would be a dark shadow over their Canyon experience, and a longstanding source of pain and profound sadness.


Rich Phillips
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Old 12-05-2013   #29
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
An event synopsis and accident report are appropriate in my opinion. Carlie walbridge does 3rd party reporting of this kind, and he provides an incredibly valuable resource. Sometimes folks too close to the event don't have the heart to write and someone else does it for them. Accident reports and community info and learning save lives and should be shared.
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Old 12-06-2013   #30
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
My dad died a few months ago, I hadn't seen him in 10+ years and we weren't friends. I thought his death would be easy, it isn't. I still cry when I think of him, I couldn't go through the things I got from him for quite a while because of the sadness it brought. This was a man who I didn't share common views, friends or much time with as he left when I was a baby and I saw him only once a year until I was an adult and then very rarely.

Here's my point: I cannot fathom losing an actual friend who I cared about on such a wonderful trip and then trying to carry on with the daily chores on the river. Sometimes you roll the dice and things go terribly wrong, unfortunately the people left after you've gone have to still manage to get on with life. Dying doing what you love sounds great but when you're gone your crew has to somehow manage to go on. The only thing I've learned from this story is that sometimes people take chances and then things can go terribly wrong.

Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. - Voltaire
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