Help me understand this Grand Canyon Heli rescue - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-12-2015   #1
Paul7's Avatar
Post Falls, Idaho
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Help me understand this Grand Canyon Heli rescue

A Grand Canyon (Mis)Adventure: Disaster at Hance – Beyond the Edge

The boat is pinned/stuck on a rock leading into Hance in the GC, long story short the group is unable to either unstick the boat or rescue the 2 people. In the picture the rock does not look terribly far from shore.

I'm a newer boater never have ran the Grand however it seems that a group should be ready for something like this? Granted best way to deal with it would be avoidance of the rock in the first place. Could they have swam the rapid with a throw rope rescue? Was there nothing they could have done to unpin the boat?

The other thing that baffles me is the boat unpins its self the next morning and it was not secured by a line. What would have been the outcome had they not seen the boat to rescue it such as in the night?

I'm not interested in shaming a party I would just like some help understanding such a situation to better my understanding.

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Old 10-12-2015   #2
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Steamboat, Colorado
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That is written weirdly and hard to know what really happened. Two people stuck on a pinned raft in the Grand is hardly a reason to call in NPS. They said they had experience so hopefully they tried to self rescue. If they honestly tried every scenario and then a few jerry rigged ones then maybe. I also wonder about trip participants that cause worry if they hit the water. Granted Hance would not be a pleasant swim, but it is still pool drop. Just seems like an overreaction to the situation I read.

If you can't reach the boat with one rope, use two.

Ferry a boat out off shore to get a rope to them, or derig to a paddle raft and paddle out to them.

Use a strong swimmer rescue to get people off the raft and not swim the entirety of the rapid.

So many options and plenty of time to try things with the scenario they described.

Take along a kayaker who can get to a raft pinned in the middle of a river and offer options
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Old 10-12-2015   #3
Uzbekibekistanstan, Mississippi
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Yeah...Hance Rapid is so Pool-Drop-like... it would only be a half mile swim.
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Old 10-12-2015   #4
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Thats one churched up article on Hance.
No one cares that you are a river guide
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Old 10-13-2015   #5
Eagle, Colorado
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"After 60 minutes of trying nothing, we had to call for the chopper rescue."
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Old 10-13-2015   #6
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Clearly, she if she'd dropped her souvenir rock as soon as they got pinned they would have been unstuck momentarily.
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Old 10-13-2015   #7
Evergreen, Colorado
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Here is a view of the swim. I'm 35 and grew up swimming in rivers, so I'd probably be comfortable with jumping off the raft and trying it with support at the bottom to pick me up, but it wouldn't be pleasant. And it sounds like they had some older people on the raft. When I went, it would have been a bad day to ask my Mom and Dad to jump into that and swim.
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Old 10-13-2015   #8
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I could careless that they relied on the NPS but what would have been the outcome if there was no such communication. I would guess that waiting for another party to help that had boats on the upriver side would have been the likely outcome.
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Old 10-13-2015   #9
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Summit County, Colorado
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I wouldn't want to swim Hance, hell I wouldn't want to be stuck on that rock at the top of hance, I wouldn't want a boat in my party stuck on that rock. That being said trying for an hour in my opinion would only be the beginning. That rock is out in the middle of the river and would be hard to get a rope to from land, but a little experience and a good safety kayaker can go a long way in my opinion.
Side note I hope the sat phone and I keep our distance when in remote locations
And sure lets call it "pool drop"
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Old 10-13-2015   #10
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
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It absolutely shocks me in this day and age that the author considers it might be her fault for picking up a rock. Of course you should not pick up rocks in a national park but how does that affect the line of the other boatman??? and also giving up after 1 hour is just pathetic. sad story all around.
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