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Old 07-04-2012   #1
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
How to deal with tubers.

So I went on a local river, and considering it is the only thing going it was packed with drunk tubers. The group I put on near had three girls, and four guys. Here was their group, and craft.

One 300 lbs male pfd not buckled, and a 175 lbs male no pfd both on a full size air mattress.

One 175 lbs male no pfd, and one 125 lbs female on a two seater wal-mart chair raft.

Two 125 lbs female both with pfds, but on a full size air mattress.

One 175 lbs male river rat tube, with pfd.

Right off the bat they were falling into the river trying to stand up in swift current, and going into strainers.

I am a kayak instructor, swift water rescue trained, and a safety rep for an industrial company. Safety is in every thing I do so I decided to intervene.

I told them to avoid wood, don't stand up in the river, and at a bridge go right, and not left into a deadly sieve/strainer.

I was squirt boating so I took some extra time in eddylines, and tried to keep an eye on them. After one air mattress popped, and the two girls lost there air mattress they all swarmed the two seater chair raft. The 300 lbs male hiked out. I told them that that was not made for that many people, and it was not made for the river. By this point one of the males had consumed many beers, and decided to tell me to fuck off because I was scaring them. I told him that I had save two tubers from drowning last year, and a tuber drown two years ago. He kept interrupting me cussing me out, and I told him that I was talking, and he needed to shut up because others in his group wanted to know where to go. I guess his ego was bruised, and he got super aggressive. After him telling me I did not know what I was talking about I said if he thought it was safe to go left instead of right, and paddled away.

I saw many drunks with no pfds, going into strainers, and falling off slaming their feet down in swift water. I tried to give short sweet tips, and keep going. Some was well received, and some not so well.

At the take out there were people that could barely stand getting into the drivers seats of cars, and driving. I tried stopping some, and the told me to fuck off, and it seemed like I was not going to stop them with out a fight.

How do you deal with these idiots. Do you try to keep them safe or let them drown. Do you try to get them to buckle their pfd or let them sink to the bottom.

Sorry to vent just pretty pissed right now. Hopefully those girls, and the dude on the river rat tube made it down safe they were very nice, and like a sponge on the info I gave them.

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Old 07-04-2012   #2
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Nothing you can do bro it's mérica after all. Nice effort but sometimes natural selection is just that, the smart stay alive..

As far as drunk drivers Im not down with that shit. couple beers is different than piss drunk. I'd turn them in before they kill somebody else.. Maybe a DUI will fix how they think and drive regarding others life's.

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Old 07-04-2012   #3
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
It good to give them advice, if they don't want to listen then its Darwin's Law. Saw the same thing on the Ark today, lots of tubers and wal mart rafts, no PFDS, no shoes just a pair of swim trunks on, some hammered with dogs in the wal mart rafts. Its sad but it will take a scary event to get them to respect the river. As for driving, I don't like to get people in trouble but if they are hammered call the cops on them. A dewy may save their life and someone else's and keep them at home for a while.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 07-04-2012   #4
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
Crazy thing is a deputy showed up. I spoke with him saying I was about to call. This is a pfd river, there was underage drinkers, littering like crazy, and drunk drivers. He said is was trying to get troopers up there, and the rangers were coming. When I came down with my truck there was no sign of any law enforcement. Crazy. Towards the end I was just thinking I don't care maybe it would make an example. Crazy thing is even with that attitude I was still trying to help. Can't save the world.
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Old 07-04-2012   #5
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
No you can't save the world to many ignorant assholes
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Old 07-04-2012   #6
Len's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 99
at least you were squirt boating

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Old 07-04-2012   #7
LeftOfCenter's Avatar
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: '05
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 82
Speak Up.

Continue to speak up out of kindness. It's always possible that the ignorance you witness is just blissful (for now) and not intentional. Your words might make a difference.

Missing boy's body found, paddleboarder drowns in Glenwood Canyon |

Our thoughts and hearts are with these families.
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Old 07-05-2012   #8
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
I agree that if they're on a whitewater river, they should all have PFD's on, but I'd have just left them alone. Sounds like a bunch of stupid frat boy idiots. Not much you can do. Its their life.

Enforcement is starting to crack down on PFD's and drunks onthe rivers, though. My brother just got a $125 ticket for tubing with no PFD. It's state wide here that you need a PFD if you're in any water craft (tubes are included in this). Kind of ridiculous when you can stand up in ankle deep flat water in his case. Not sure I agree with his ticket, but it just shows that they are starting to crack down.

FYI, I never go tubing with a PFD. But the stuff I tube on has no strainers, wood, undercuts, and is flat water. Guess I'll have to start bringing one along to avoid tickets. At least I can wear it as a diaper if my tube pops I suppose.

The drinking and driving stuff, though.....I don't play that. Call the cops on them.
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Old 07-05-2012   #9
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Ughhh. You can only do what you can do. However, knowing that sometimes some participants in a group may not be familiar with moving water safety, please continue to speak up as you did. Who knows, your words may unknowingly save someone from making a fatal mistake. As for falling-down drunks getting into cars - call the cops.
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Old 07-05-2012   #10
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
This is even better:

Check out the photos. In a few you have a paddle raft of drunk idiots without PFDs, and a few pics later, you have 6 adults and two infant children on a cataraft, going down a decent class III rapid on the Main Payette (Mixmaster).

At least the latter group were all wearing PFDs.

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