4yo on Flipped Raft
So, it's time now for me to get on my rafting soapbox. Read this article and tell me what is wrong...
RAFT FLIPS, SENDS SEVEN INTO THE RIVER
A commercial raft flipped near Salida East Campground in the Arkansas River about 3 p.m. Tuesday, throwing seven people - including a 4-year-old girl - into the river. About a mile downriver, on the north river bank, rescuers found the missing 4-year-old with another juvenile and three adults including the river guide. They all self-rescued from the river moments before rescuers arrived, Chaffee County Sheriff Tim Walker, reported. Stephen Thompson 30; Janice Thompson, 51; Kenneth Thompson, 56; Crystal Thompson, 29 and two unidentified family juveniles, all of Fort Worth, Texas, were rafting with a Canyon Marine Rafting Co. guide. Walker reported Stephen and Janice were able to exit the river on the south side of the river. Stephen ran to U.S. 50 and flagged a motorist who called 911. Within minutes of the 2:31 p.m. emergency call, about 30 rescuers, some in kayaks and rafts, were along riverbanks searching for victims. Search boats from Salida Fire Department and Colorado State Parks were deployed from the Salida East boat ramp. Janice Thompson was rescued from the south bank of the river by emergency responders who used a rope and basket system to get her to a waiting ambulance. Five victims exited the river on the north bank where there is no road. "We used boats to take blankets and medical supplies to the victims on the north side of the river and then used all terrain vehicles along the railroad tracks to rescue them," Walker told The Mountain Mail from the scene. They were transported by ATVs to ambulances waiting near the livestock sale barn east of Salida. Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center personnel reported they treated and released four victims from the incident for being cold and wet. Other victims were not taken to the hospital. During the rescue, a heavy thunderstorm made communication difficult because of thunder, heavy rain and hail battering rescuers on both sides of the river. Other responders included Salida Police Department, Chaffee County Fire Protection District, Chaffee County Search and Rescue, Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services and Arkansas Valley Ambulance of Howard. In a press conference later, Walker said he has been asked if he has authority to close the river, but said he doesn't. "I can't just shut down the river. That's the state parks (personnel) job," he said. "But I can remind people to use common sense and make sure they are ready to get out of the river, because chances of going in at these water levels is pretty good." June 14, a raft flipped in almost the same location dumping multiple people into the river. Colorado State Parks rangers heard calls for help and rescued two small children hanging under the inverted raft as it was swept downstream.
Courtesy: The Mountain Mail
First of all, what the heck is a 4 year old doing on a commercial rafting trip on a river that is flowing at more than 3000cfs? Seriously. The Arkansas River is not a toy that needs to be played with right now. Honestly, it takes a lot to flip a raft. A lot of times, rafts flip when they hit holes or rocks. And a 4 year old should not be rafting a run with holes! I think it is the raft company's decision, on how old a child needs to be, but 4 years old is way to young for the Arkansas right now! And I hear the kid floated a long ways, before being rescued. That's because 4 year olds don't understand how to swim aggressively to the shore!!! That's insane! I just wanted to throw that thought out there real quick and see what everyone else thought.