Denver Post article - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-11-2016   #1
Denver, Colorado
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Denver Post article

Rafting company was on probation when 11-year-old boy drowned The Denver Post

Does anybody else think this article is an unfair attack on a good raft company?

One of the main problems I have with the article is how the author conflates a company who was on probation because of record keeping issues with the unfortunate death of the 11 year old who drowned because of a foot entrapment. It also gives the impression that raft companies are just a bunch of negligent companies who lie to customers and endanger their lives.

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Old 09-12-2016   #2
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I definitely think it's an unfair, one sided article. What happened to personal responsibility? I heard a mention of the article on 9 News this morning and thought that was a pointless, biased statement...
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Old 09-13-2016   #3
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Golden, Colorado
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Jennifer Brown is a hack with an agenda to push. Her articles are slanderous and calculated. She's hoping to sway public opinion to gain traction in litigation with those involved in the Durkee case.

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Old 09-13-2016   #4
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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I think that the increasing demand for commercial trips in Colorado is going to bring to the forefront multiple legal issues like this and most likely changes to the way regulations are created and enforced.

There is the long withstanding waiver principle. If someone can't swim, signs a waiver to go anyway and drowns, it is their fault.

Yet, If a guide service sends an old raft out with some questionable patches, one pops and flips everyone out, and someone dies, it is their fault.

What about the person who couldn't swim, signed the waiver and got on that bad patch boat that flipped ? The answer is that it will be a long, drawn out court battle with the most likely end result in more restrictions. Society will always sink to the lowest level.

Up to now there seems to have been a trust relationship between authorities and contractors. That trust relationship looks to be broken more and more as the demand increases and they get harder to enforce and contractors get more slack in their reporting.

It seems to me that river contractors should be crossing their 'T''s and dotting their 'I''s at the first opportunity they get in order to preserve their freedoms while they still can.
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Old 09-16-2016   #5
Old Guy in a PFD
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Indeed a hack job to sell advertising.
The reality is, no matter who that boy floated the Arkansas with, when his foot became entrapped he was done.
Even if someone had seen him go under right there, and tried to rescue him it would certainly have not been successful.

This is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the family. Nothing will ease that pain they now carry, but in the end it was an accident. The courts will now settle the issue, but the pain will continue.

All the rest is just fluff.
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Old 09-17-2016   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
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This is a really tragic story.

I think that a lot of people who sign up for commercial rafting are not honest with the staffers entrusted to save their lives or themselves.

It would be very plausible in my opinion that the staff did ask if the guests could swim and that the grandparents would lie about their own or their children's abilities.

We see it all the time, parents lie about their children's ages so the family can still all go rafting together.

Also, likening a bookkeeping violation to a safety violation is dis-honest reporting.

This is hands down my biggest fear by being involved in this industry and past time. I wouldn't want this outcome for my greatest enemy. You as a guide can only do so much, and things go wrong, because river's are wild, and guide's are human. There is never a guarantee of safety when boating, even on flat water or lakes.
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Old 09-19-2016   #7
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Tabernash, Colorado
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That article sounded pretty biased to me, and to have an agenda on it's mind. Any company could have had a boat get side way's in Zume Flume, regardless if there Guide documentation is missing paperwork.
This is a terrible tragedy, and my heart does go out to the family.

This is also a very good reminder for those still in the business to keep records to date always, it is one of the first things that will be looked at when a tragedy like this happens. Placing blame is a major part of the five stages of grief.

Keep your own copies of ALL training documents if you are a guide, it will make those yearly inspections way better for you if your employer can't seem to find paper work, and it may be your best friend in a court some day if something terrible happens.

I also wonder what's up with AC allegedly not having a trip leader on some trips. That part was a bit strange to me.
The times I did see AC on the lower Ark when I was a guide, they did seem to be a solid company.
So sorry to hear this, both for the victim, family, and guides involved, this is a guides worst nightmare.
We can't always agree, but we can still be civil to each other.
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Old 09-24-2016   #8
Portland, Oregon
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Another possible scenario is they actually told the company they wanted a beginner trip but the company put them on browns cause they didnt have a beginner trip that day. So put them in an oar boat and they'll be fine. Happens all the time in the industry and usually works out. I would've turned them away. Not even making money on that boat anyway.

it does sound like a fluke accident with no chance of rescue though.
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Old 09-25-2016   #9
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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It really doesn't matter what the details are. What matters is what is admissibly presented in front of the courts. luckylauren eluded to it correctly, It doesn't matter if it happens in a river or a lake, if things go south, someone is likely going to come trying to take a chunk out of your ass and the only 'facts' that exist are the ones that are admissible. Ignore this to your detriment.
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Old 09-25-2016   #10
Portland, Oregon
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Details do matter

I think the details do matter. It's true that sometimes custies fudge or don't tell the truth to get on a trip. But let's also acknowledge that it is common in the industry for companies to fudge to get people to do the trip that is easiest for the company and not always best for the customer. You are going to be more liable if the later is proved rather than the former.

Let's also admit that the guide f'up. I'm not saying that everyone is perfect but we should acknowledge when we make a mistake as well. Maybe not in a legal sense but in a guide standard sense. In a light oar rig you should be able to get down brown's without hitting any waves if you want to.

You are correct, that in the end, the courts will come to a resolution but that won't do anything for all parties involved in this tragedy. I stay awake some nights thinking about stuff like this and can't imagine remaining passionate about the industry if I was involved.
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