Body in Blossom Bar - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-07-2008   #1
no tengo
 
mania's Avatar
 
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,853
Body in Blossom Bar

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=5318195&page=1

Quote:
Drowned Woman's Body Haunts Rafters
River Too Rough to Recover Her Body, Police Say

GOLD BEACH, Ore., July 6, 2008ó

Police say white water rafters going through the tricky Blossom Bar rapids on southern Oregon's Rogue River may see the body of a California woman who drowned there last week but cannot be recovered.

Rescuers say they cannot recover the body of Cynthia Lee Vontungeln, 52, of Irvine, Calif., because of treacherous conditions in the rapids on the Wild and Scenic portion of the river.

Vontungeln and Michelle Shillinglaw, 38, of Austin, Texas, were part of a large guided kayak party floating the 34-mile section from Grave Creek to Foster Bar, deputies said.

Both were wearing lifejackets, but their inflatable kayak hit a rock and capsized as they attempted to pass the Picket Fence set of rocks.

The rapids usually are categorized as a Class 4 on a scale of six, with Class 6 considered too treacherous even for experienced rafters to run.

Shillinglaw survived but Vontungeln became trapped between rocks and drowned. A witness said Vontungeln helped push Shillinglaw to safety before she was overtaken by the current.

A search and rescue team, including helicopters from Jackson County, could not recover the victim.

The Coast Guard will not recover bodies, only live victims, Curry County sheriff's patrol Sgt. John Ward said.

"The only way to get her is by helicopter," he said. "It's a narrow canyon, and it's just too dangerous. We've been in contact with her family, and they understand. They don't want us to risk someone's life," he said.

"There are reports from Paradise Lodge saying people are upset because they see her in the water," Ward said.

The sheriff's office had asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers whether water levels could be reduced to aid recovery efforts.

But the corps said water levels would have to be lowered by half, which could endanger boaters in three counties and cause a massive fish kill.

She was the second person to drown in the Blossom Bar area in June.

On June 1, a San Jose, Calif., man drowned while he and another man tried to swim across the river near Paradise Lodge after their raft had drifted away. He was not wearing a lifejacket.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

mania is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-07-2008   #2
God Amongst Men
 
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
 
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,994
ive heard of floating in eddies with dead cows, hogs, and sheep, and didnt the bible mention a run that had bonus pts for boofing the dead elk? but never seen anything like that, that would be pretty creepy.....

one of those moments where everyone shuts up and paddles a little bit faster

condolences to the family for sure
__________________
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
yetigonecrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008   #3
no tengo
 
mania's Avatar
 
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,853
yeah I don't like it. you would think a team of swiftwater rescuers could do the work. blossom is a class IV in my opinion - wonder if its routine to let commercial duckie custies run it?
mania is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-07-2008   #4
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by mania View Post
...you would think a team of swiftwater rescuers could do the work. blossom is a class IV in my opinion - wonder if its routine to let commercial duckie custies run it?
Yeah, you would think a swiftwater team could do the body recovery... especially if you can see her. I used to guide the Rogue and the company I worked for never let duckies run Blossom or even Mule Creek Canyon. I can only think of one or two companies that let duckies run it. Knowing that other people have drown in the sieve of the picket fence you would think no commercial company would let duckies run it. Tragic.
JHimick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008   #5
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHimick View Post
you would think no commercial company would let duckies run it. Tragic.
and if they do, how about some duckies that don't pop??? i'm picturing these folks paddling kmart-esque inflatables. sad story...
__________________
"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
tboner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2008   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,388
Isn't the Rogue where Orange Torpedos operates/operated paddling Sevylor Tahitis,unreinforced pvc and only semi-selfbailing[one poorly placed drain hole]?That is really sad ,if she helped the other gal she died a heroine.

Earlier this year I was cleaning some wood out of Iliff 'Falls',a manky good sized drop on Cherry Creek that runs about 2 days a year,I pulled a piece of plywood out at the top and this dead Jack Russel terrier dislodged and bounced down the drop and swept away downstream,really freaked me out.No dead people or animals in the river please,makes you think,pretty sad.
cayo 2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008   #7
God Amongst Men
 
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
 
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,994
cayo-

i need to come down and spend a week sometime with you in denver just running all the urban shit. i dont care about water quality, there is something fun about bashing down man made slides and features that allures to me. ive seen hundreds of fun shit to go off in denver if it had some rain, you've probably got the beta dialed!
__________________
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
yetigonecrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008   #8
 
tyaker's Avatar
 
Jacksonville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 148
Hope it wasn't OTT

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayo 2 View Post
Isn't the Rogue where Orange Torpedos operates/operated paddling Sevylor Tahitis,unreinforced pvc and only semi-selfbailing[one poorly placed drain hole]?That is really sad ,if she helped the other gal she died a heroine.
I'm a former guide for OTT, and yes they run all/most of their kayakers through Mule Creek, and will allow good paddlers to go through Blossom. Now I DO NOT know if this company was Orange Torpedo or not, and I will not speculate without more information, but I do know that all of the head guides on the Rogue for OTT would not have allowed anyone to paddle Blossom without full disclosure of consequences and very careful safety monitoring. I personally have walked most or all of our guests on Rogue trips around the top of Blossom.

Since OTT was started in 1969, there have been zero river-related fatalities on any trip they've conducted. That includes the Main/Lower Salmon, the Klamath, and the Grand Canyon.

As for the torpedo's, as we call 'em, they are self-bailing, if you've seen any that have been produced in the last 10 years. True, the material is softer than other IK's, but most of the boats are well cared-for and will go an entire summer (or 2 or 3) without having any problems. They also paddle amazingly well, considering what they look like.

OTT is a great company. I've had issues with the picket fence as well, but nowhere near fatal. My heart goes out to the family as well. This will certainly change how companies run IK's down the Rogue, and elswhere.

Just my opinion, fwiw. -Tyler
__________________
4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions.
tyaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008   #9
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 17
It wasn't OTT and it wasn't run in a Tahiti. It was a solid whitewater IK. There are some companies that do not allow duckies through Blossom, Mule Creek Canyon, or even the fishladder at Rainie. Every trip is different and some people come to the Rogue with a lot of whitewater experience and some don't. If the guests are strong paddlers and have the ability to run it then we usually allow them to go and if not then we either put them on gear boats or do the walk. Blossom is around lunchtime on day 3, so there is plenty of time and other rapids to assess the paddlers abilities before this rapid. This woman had whitewater experience and was allowed to run the rapid with another person. What happened is tragic and unfortunate but it was not reckless on the guides to allow that. One of the guides then stuck his boat on the fence to try to rescue the woman but could not pull her free. The crew is extremely torn up about the events that happened that afternoon and will undoubtedly remember that moment forever. My condolences to her family and friends.
Most deaths on the Rogue are victims of no life-jackets or drinking (or both) but this was neither. Sometimes you can follow all the safety procedures but things can still go wrong. Be safe out there everybody
P.S. The womans body was washed out yesterday and recovered by the Sheriff's office.
Geoff773 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2008   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1
Just to follow up, this tragic incident was not with Orange Torpedo Trips. They still have their 0 fatalities in their 39 years of business. They make their guests well aware of the circumstances, and they adjust their organization to make the safest trip possible. They have one guide in an inflatable kayak for every 4 guests. They position the first guide in front of the rock where you are to make the cut, making it easier to see where to go in order to avoid the picket fence. There is always a lead guide, and another who follows the group. Therefore, they are in a very good position to help out if a guest does not make the cut. OTT only allows one person per IK because it is easier to rescue one person if they happen to fall out, and an IK is easier to m[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']aneuver with a single person.[/FONT] Two people in one IK through a rapid like Blossom Bar is not the safest idea.
With that said, accidents do happen and my thoughts are with the family and the guides. It sounds like the guides did their best to reach her, the circumstances are just very unfortunate.
Kara is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any body out there Kite Skiing? ryguy Winter Buzz 12 04-02-2012 10:00 PM
Body Pulled from S. Platte WhiteLightning Whitewater Kayaking 0 06-25-2008 10:53 AM
Boy's Body Found in Pueblo whitewater wife Whitewater Kayaking 6 06-27-2005 02:42 PM
Motorcyclist's body found on the Poudre holley Whitewater Kayaking 6 03-23-2005 11:01 AM
Embudo.......... any body up for it addicted to liquid Whitewater Kayaking 15 05-01-2004 02:04 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.