Educate our Friends with "What if?" - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-09-2009   #1
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 97
Educate our Friends with "What if?"

The drownings this season are ALL Tragic. With sympathies to the families and loved ones of the vicitims, I would like to post a couple of points. First, as boaters, before we head out to the adrenaline rush of a specific section of river, we might do well to consider the "What if?" factor in choosing Who we invite or allow to go along. As many of us know, a change in volume, either up or down, can make a huge difference in danger levels on any river section. So, for example, "If my significant other (who is a rookie) goes out of the boat in Shoshone or Westwater at x cfs, how dangerous is the swim going to be?" In answering this question, we might do well with judgment to ask her to sit this one out, if the swim has the potential to result in the worst case scenario. Second, the experienced boaters among us need to take it upon ourselves to educate our friends about specific river sections and how things can change with volume levels. It always saddens me to read of river drownings that possibly could have had different outcomes, if the trip leaders would have given some serious thought to "What if?". Thanks for thinking.

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