Buck, Thank you for your post. It's possible you might be a little high in the numbers, as it may be more like one to two river related fatalities per year. That includes what the Search and Rescue rangers at Grand Canyon call clutch-and-drop heart attacks that occur on the concessions trips while hiking in the heat.
One has to wonder if driving to and from the put-in/take-out is the most dangerous part of the Grand journey.
That said, I have been trying to report on river related fatalities and injuries at Grand Canyon for well over a decade. It is not an easy thing for me to do, and I do my best to be as civil and as tactful as I can. Yours and others points about needing to learn from what is happening is why I do this.
To the mudslingers, it's been 10 weeks since Mary's passing. drhughjorgen
said it very well. I too was lucky enough to call Mary "Friend" for over a decade. We worked together on a number of backcountry issues in Grand Canyon. I am typing this e-mail from the house Mary grew up in. Some of you may be interested to know that within two weeks of Mary's passing I had a very good understanding of the events on the trip, but it wasn't till another 6 weeks had past and i had spend another 20 hours or so researching this that I posted the report, after it was reviewed, re-written and approved for release by one of the trip participants.
We as a species don't look at death well. It draws out the best and the worst in some of us. We as river runners hardly look at our own injury and fatalities at all. I don't know why that is, but I do know that we do a disservice to the deceased and our fellow river travelers if we keep quiet and tell others to do the same.
Please note that as of this time, no one is saying the report I released is incorrect. Am I God's gift to investigative journalism? Heavens no! Is this report incomplete? Certainly. It always will be. Is it complete enough to learn from? Absolutely.
Finally, I have posted this report on another river list where johnryan and rich are not members (yet), but over 600 other river people are. There were over 37 comments made by 12 folks. While the comments were robust and reviewed aspects of trip safety, not one post had anything bad to say about the written report or the person who posted it. Just sayin...