Originally Posted by DidNotWinLottery
I think you hit it all on the head. No one wants to die, but why not die doing something you love. And its a risk we all take.
I couldn't agree more. I can only hope that when I am in my 70s I am planning my own trips, rowing my own boat, and who knows flying into remote rivers in AK. These guys would have been safer paying $10 K each flying into a backcountry fishing lodge, but you cannot put a cash value on backcountry adventures.
After reading the article, I couldn't help going into SWR mode and analyze problematic decisions that were made, then realizing I have done many of the same things, usually when fishing: boating with waders, not wearing my PFD (though I don't know whether they were or not), and most importantly, not having the nuts to cancel a trip you have been planning for months when it is clear conditions are not safe.
I thought it was telling in the article when one of the guys was thinking "we have no business on this river". We have all been there, whether it is boating, backcountry skiing, climbing. Often these trips turn out to be the most epic adventures, but I imagine many accidents/ deaths occur when we just can't bring ourselves to halt a trip in its tracks after so much planning, dreaming, or speak up if you have your doubts. Can you imagine - not only the months of planning, coordination, cash, then finding yourselves on the banks of a river that looks absolutely unsafe? It would be hard enough to unpack, load your truck and go home but imagine if you flew in and had to get on the sat phone and call off the trip. I hate to say it but I probably would have launched as well.
On my next trip, I will take the time to remind everyone, regardless of age or experience to speak up when there are safety concerns.