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Old 07-21-2013   #51
oregonrafting's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
This is the best perspective of Blossom. It shows all of the problem spots.

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Old 07-23-2013   #52
Was here
Kilroy's Avatar
Southern, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 80
I'm hearing both men died of heart attacks. Can anyone confirm?

Bad week for heart failures, coincidentally both being at the same location...

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." ~ Will Rogers
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Old 07-23-2013   #53
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
I understand that to be the case for Steve Hoyer.
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Old 07-23-2013   #54
malloypc's Avatar
Albany, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
I'm hearing both men died of heart attacks. Can anyone confirm?
Glad we carry an AED on our trips...

From Heart attacks blamed for Rogue River deaths | :

Heart attacks blamed for Rogue River deaths

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune
July 23, 2013 2:00 AM
GOLD BEACH Two men who died this month after rafting accidents five days apart in the Rogue River's remote Blossom Bar were killed by heart attacks and not drownings, the Curry County Sheriff's Department said Monday.

Medical examiner reports that the "stress of the events" of crashing rafts at the rapid's infamous "Picket Fence" set of rocks and getting knocked into the Class IV rapid contributed to their deaths, the Sheriff's Department announced.

Steven D. Hoyer, 57, of Spartanburg, S.C., was wearing a life jacket and helmet when rafters pulled his body from the river downstream of Blossom Bar on July 12. He was alone in his raft trying to free it from the Picket Fence when he somehow was thrown into the river.

Five days later, Steven Boyd, 66, from Walla Walla, Wash., apparently struck his head on a rock when he and two others were pitched into Rogue at the Picket Fence. Boyd and two others in the raft were wearing life jackets and the other two survived with minor injuries.
In both fatalities, the men were pulled from the river unconscious.

Blossom Bar, the signature rapid of the Rogue's Wild and Scenic section, is about 52 miles east of Gold Beach.
The thrill of negotiating a raft, driftboat or kayak through the multi-maneuver Blossom Bar draws experienced floaters from all corners of the country.

However, the rapid also has earned the dubious distinction as the most dangerous within the 34-mile, three- to four-day float through the Wild and Scenic section.
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Old 07-23-2013   #55
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
I was staying at Paradise for a lay over day when Steve passed away. A Jerry's jet boat driver was in a private jet boat on his day off and was at Volkswagen rock when Steve came floating down. The driver pulled him from the river, onto a rock, and his two companions started CPR while the driver came to Paradise for help. One person from my group is a life flight nurse from Bend and was taken within minutes to the seen where they picked up Steve and continued to do CPR for 45 minutes until they met the ambulance at Foster Bar. While I didn't know Steve personally I had spoken to him on the river the day before and he was very relaxed. My group helped Diane, Steve's girl friend, and her sister and husband back to Foster bar the next day.

I've spoken to Diane since, and was told by her, that through an autopsy was performed on Steve and he died instantly of major heart attack. She said had been suffering from heart issues for a while. It made happy to know he went quick and doing what he loved.
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Old 07-23-2013   #56
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Wow,I finally checked in on this thread only to find out that my ol buddy Steve died. I invited him on a MF permit once,after meeting him on a Yampa trip. He was always just a laid back,super nice guy that wanted to boat. I'll never forget the pile of gear on his boat for our MF trip. He and Diane and their dog were continuing on down the Main by themselves. That guy LOVED rivers. As cliche as it sounds, I'm almost certain that this is how he would want to go. RIP buddy
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Old 07-25-2013   #57
Garden City, Kansas
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1
Steve was on my MF trip a few years ago and met DiAnn on that trip. Steve had invited me to go on this fateful trip...How I wish I could have gone...maybe the dynamics would have been different. He loved the river and lived his passion. There will be a celebration of his legacy in Denver on August 3rd at AAA Inflatables at 5pm. My condolences to DiAnn with his family and friends. RIP my friend.
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Old 08-07-2013   #58
Olympia, Washington
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Is that video really him?

There was a video posted in this thread, and I wondered if it really showed the person it purports to show. I was left confused as to where or how he had died - from that video. And, it did not seem to fit with the reported facts in the news (alone on his boat and then somehow lost - with no mention of a rescue attempt).

I came here looking to see if anyone knew about that or not.

As for Blossom Bar, I agree with those who note a change in the rapid over time. When I started guiding, I started on the Rogue, and running Blossom simply required that you start far left, develop momentum to the right, catch the eddy and head into the chute. It seemed that the biggest risk was in mis-timing one or two pulls and not noticing and hence hitting the second rock (sort of in the eddy) and getting spun into the picket fence.

This year, we scouted it a long time (this was a few days before Steve died) and I finally asked my brother to row my empty boat for me. My shoulder hurt, and I felt queasy in the 100 degree heat. My ego did not like it one bit, but the way the water was going, it just looked like a LOT more water was running through the picket fence than I remember. He said that his boat (fully loaded) was the hardest he has ever had to pull to make a move in his life (and he has WAY more experience than most rafters), and that my boat was much easier as it was lighter.

My big brother started rowing for ARTA in the 60's and I started in the 70's and we have gone rafting whenever we could, like many others, ever since.

I does occur to me, that in my late 50's and with many of our ilk now looking like "Q-tips" , that we might need to attend to our heart health a bit better. I very much agree with the ideas shared earlier - lighter loads (i.e. water purifier instead of many, many gallons of water), humility (asking for help when we need it - that was really hard for me to do!), and having a turbo-charger in the form of two paddlers up front is a great idea too.

This rapid is tough and I was dumbfounded that a single guy with his two sons was going to run it without scouting it the day we went through. As it is, he let his 15 year old son paddle an inflatable kayak through since he was "experienced".

As my brother said that day after we got through, "If you get through and nobody was hurt, and you didn't lose any stuff, it was a perfect run".

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Old 08-08-2013   #59
Ashlandistan, Oregon
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 64
I saw that video as well and can confirm that it was of this unfortunate incident. I did not know Steve, may he rest in peace, and I don't know the poster, but I came through Blossom moments after this unfortunate situation. I did assist in getting gear back to the rescue party and re-flipping the boat and thus can confirm. As stated by the coroner Steve died of a heart attack, which after watching the video I would assume happened while swimming the middle or lower part of Blossom. Hope this helps in your understanding.
To anyone else involved may you be at peace as well.
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Old 08-08-2013   #60
Olympia, Washington
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Thanks for the information. A PM also told me more details of that day (only a few days after we went through).

Time for this "experienced rafter" to go get a check up and strongly consider adding an AED to our expedition medical kit.


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