Safety Alert Royal Gorge - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-15-2007   #1
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 146
Safety Alert Royal Gorge

We were rafting today and witnessed "Royal Gorge Rafting" loose 3 customers in Sunshine Rapid from at least 2 different boats in a 6 raft trip. One of the guides tried to bag one of his swimmers while still 1/2 way down the rapid and somehow managed to loose his throw bag in Sunshine. So watch out there is a throw bag, with loose rope, stuck somewhere in Sunshine or maybe just below. The worst part was neither their video boater nor any of the guides took more then 30 seconds to "look" for their lost bag. With 3 swimmers in 6 boats I sure as hell hope someone finds the bag before their next swimmer does.

So the warning is two-fold. 1. don't boat with "Royal Gorge Rafting" and 2. watch out for the rope.

Sorry for the dis "Royal gorge Rafting", I understand shit happens, but to not take 5 minutes and look for the bag is inexcusable.

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Old 07-15-2007   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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this is incredible ...

while looking at the "royal gorge rafting" website under the FAQs: FAQ www.RoyalGorgeRaft.com

the answer to the FAQ,
Do I have to Know how to swim?



No! We have a trip suitable to meets everybody's needs. We ask that you tell us while making your reservation if you or someone in your group is a non-swimmer.
In addition we issue Type 5 high float Personal Flotation Devices (Life Jackets) which are designed to float you with your head above the surface of the water. During high water through the Royal Gorge it is recommended that you have swimming experience to be able to aid in your own rescue should you enter the river unexpectedly.
Every trip is preceded with a thorough safety speech to better prepare you for incidents that could may be encountered.


this is pathetic and an accident waiting to happen....with all the talk of the deaths this year, to still have a company that is willing to take a person who can not swim down a class 4 section of river.
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Old 07-16-2007   #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I don't see them saying they'll take you down a class IV if you can't swim. They say they have "trips suitable for everyone," not that you can go on any trip you want.

Who knows, maybe they do though. Really I think the decision should be the customer's, as long as the raft company is making him/her aware of possible consequences.

Just had a thought - is sunshine considered a IV? If so, I guess they will take you down a class IV rapid with no swim experience.
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Old 07-16-2007   #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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During high water through the Royal Gorge it is recommended that you have swimming experience to be able to aid in your own rescue should you enter the river unexpectedly.

this would infer that if it is not "high water" you don't need swimming experience. and i would say that sunshine is a class 4 rapid....
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Old 07-16-2007   #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffy View Post
I don't see them saying they'll take you down a class IV if you can't swim. They say they have "trips suitable for everyone," not that you can go on any trip you want.

Who knows, maybe they do though. Really I think the decision should be the customer's, as long as the raft company is making him/her aware of possible consequences.

Just had a thought - is sunshine considered a IV? If so, I guess they will take you down a class IV rapid with no swim experience.

Do you really think its should be left up to the customer? I pray to god that you're not a guide because I'm tired of reading about deaths on the Ark this year.
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Old 07-16-2007   #6
 
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Raft customers with or without "swimming experience" and other such policies aside... true, a lost throw rope can definitely cause a nasty situation, but before we go bashing those who were on the water that day, I would like everyone to think about the order of importance inherent in this kind of situation. In all of my river experience, the immediate safety and well-being of humans always far surpasses that of gear.... even if that gear could later cause a potential problem. I can only say this because I’ve spent many hours on the river with the photo-boaters of RGR: I wasn’t there, but I know they did everything they could to aid in the rescue of the swimmers, using there kayaks to get them back to the raft or to shore. Five minutes can put quite a distance between a swimmer and a rescuer. Also, they probably had another trip later that afternoon or early the next day and would try for gear recovery then.
As for policies, there has been a lot of talk about all the river deaths on the Ark, it seems to me that guiding companies definitely do need to take there job and responsibilities more seriously; but the thing that would make the most difference would be safety kayakers. It really only makes sense... as an operator, you could never guarantee that your customers could in fact affect a self rescue... so really, it would seam that small craft that could pull a swimmer back to the raft or to shore would be mandatory.
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Old 07-16-2007   #7
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It bothers ME that the said raft company wasn't the one putting a safety alert here on the Buzz. Stuff happens, but damnit, be accountable and do your best to alleviate a bad situation.

Odds are they could definitely lose a throw rope, but now it's in there, and they should be the first to say "Watch out, dudes, and we're sorry!"

We've already had the conversation about what raft companies should screen for, and why.
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Old 07-16-2007   #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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I'll be the bad guy:
1. Once a guide puts on the river, there is no COMPANY to blame. He/She is responsible for the folks on his craft.
2. Anybody who puts shit (fish hooks, rope, pesticides) into the river is responsible for the results of said action.

Nobody's questioning rescuing swimmers, we're questioning the leaving of hazards.

I personally am requesting that guides continue to prove that the incredible amount of responsibility that is given to them continues to be well deserved.

I'm sure you will,
Kombat
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Old 07-16-2007   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8
Get the facts!

Call Royal Gorge Rafting right now! 719 275 7238! I run Royal Gorge Rafting and was personally on that trip yesterday! We had one swimmer from one of our rafts and that person was unsuccessfully rescued via throw bag. It is true that the bag was in the river but it is untrue that we lost it! We would have reported that to the state parks and alerted boaters. I personally sat at the bottom of Sunshine rapid and watched for the throw bag as did our guides and support kayaker. We first off made sure or swimmer was o k and then retrieved all of our gear via rafts and kayak.

The nearest boaters were notified about a potential rope in the river and they just kept on floating. So NO THERE IS NOT A ROPE IN THE RIVER AT SUNSHINE RAPID FROM ROYAL GORGE RAFTING and before you start slandering a professional outfitter get the facts! I do not understand how one swimmer became 3?

Its not a "dis" if its true.

Please call me James Whiteside at 719 275 7238 at any hour to answer any of your questions before you start the rumor mill. I have been guiding the Arkansas for 15 years and our company is nothing but professional not to mention the only company that has kayak support with every single class 4 trip. Every RGR guide is an avid kayaker as well as a commercial river guide and we never compromise the safety of our clientele! PERIOD!

Buenas Noches,

James Whiteside
Royal Gorge Rafting &
Costa Rica Adventures
719 275 7238
www.RoyalGorgeRafting.net



Quote:
Originally Posted by rivervibe View Post
Raft customers with or without "swimming experience" and other such policies aside... true, a lost throw rope can definitely cause a nasty situation, but before we go bashing those who were on the water that day, I would like everyone to think about the order of importance inherent in this kind of situation. In all of my river experience, the immediate safety and well-being of humans always far surpasses that of gear.... even if that gear could later cause a potential problem. I can only say this because Ive spent many hours on the river with the photo-boaters of RGR: I wasnt there, but I know they did everything they could to aid in the rescue of the swimmers, using there kayaks to get them back to the raft or to shore. Five minutes can put quite a distance between a swimmer and a rescuer. Also, they probably had another trip later that afternoon or early the next day and would try for gear recovery then.
As for policies, there has been a lot of talk about all the river deaths on the Ark, it seems to me that guiding companies definitely do need to take there job and responsibilities more seriously; but the thing that would make the most difference would be safety kayakers. It really only makes sense... as an operator, you could never guarantee that your customers could in fact affect a self rescue... so really, it would seam that small craft that could pull a swimmer back to the raft or to shore would be mandatory.
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Old 07-16-2007   #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 76
SWEET, my apologies.
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