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this is a cut and paste from the kayak idaho site:


"A group put-in in a rented raft on the North Fork Payette river, just above Otters Slide. Otters Slide is class V. A woman's body was recovered on one of the islands just downstream of Otters.

An male in an inner tube floating the SF Payette scenic stretch, from Alder Creek to Confluence, was caught in a log jam. The victim was helicoptered out after more than 30 minutes of CPR. Status unknown."



Here's what the Statesman said:


BANKS, Idaho — Two people are dead after separate rafting accidents on the Payette River.
Emergency workers in Boise County were called to the first accident Saturday afternoon, when a raft holding 10 people on a family reunion hit a rapid and tipped, throwing two teenagers and a 47-year-old woman.
The teens were able to make it to shore, but Sharon Irene Barclay of Lakewood, Wash. became stuck under a log and drowned. Boise County Chief Deputy Dale Rogers says the group was in the water for less than 10 minutes when the raft tipped about three miles north of Banks.
The second accident happened a short time later, when two men from Salt Lake City hit a log jam while tubing near Garden Valley. A 57-year-old man was sucked under the jam and drowned. The men were not wearing life jackets.


NF runnning about 2k this last weekend.

Prayers are with the families.
 

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I have sympathy for the victims and their families, however I have to ask why the media can't get something as simple as this correct:

...separate rafting accidents on the Payette River...
This is a raft:




This is not a raft:

 

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I was there shortly after the woman's body was found, the male was indeed in an inner tube, the woman was rafting on what I recall was a cataraft. Can't comfirm if it was rented. I don't know too much more about their experience, though it was a single boat trip on the Class V section of NF Payette (oither drowning was Middle Fork).
Rumors flying include kayakers who warned them strongly not to attempt the run.
Very sad.
And yeah condolences to the family.

Kim J
 

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe to get to the put in you drive right along the NF the whole way and would be able to see what you're about to raft. I've only driven that road once and its been four or five years, but I recall taking a look at the NF as I drove along and thinking that it was beyond my ability. Is it possible that they thought they were on the SF Payette?
 

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The most significant comment from that article, from the husband of the victim:

Thank you for your condolences. I just wanted to add a few details to this tragedy to help other people understand. Everyone was wearing life jackets. Sharon had river rafted many times. All on the raft except two had experience. The river was recommended by other local people. The store where we rented the raft told us nothing about the danger while he fitted us with life jackets, and didn’t even suggest we wear helmets. There were no signs classifying the river as IV or V level posted anywhere to warn us. Had we been given that information, we would have not taken the chance. The Sheriff even commented that they need to mark the river because of the number of deaths that occur. Unfortunately, there was a man from Salt Lake City who drowned just 15 minuets later on another part of the river. We entered the river on a calmer section, but once we hit that first rapid that threw my wife, one of my daughters, and two male cousins out, we knew we needed to get out, but it was too late. We were able to get my daughter and cousins back in the raft, but not my wife. It could have been much worst. But it is bad enough. Thank you all again for your comments. God bless us all.
I've got to wonder how clearly they communicated where they were going, or if they put on somewhere other than they intended. There's no way a rental company would have failed to warn them about running that stretch of river.

What a horrible situation.
 

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The most significant comment from that article, from the husband of the victim:

I've got to wonder how clearly they communicated where they were going, or if they put on somewhere other than they intended. There's no way a rental company would have failed to warn them about running that stretch of river.

What a horrible situation.
I wondered the same thing. I wonder if they were really wanting to do the Cabarton? That is still the North Fork, correct? They are very lucky no one else was killed or injured.

Skyman
 

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The most significant comment from that article, from the husband of the victim:

I've got to wonder how clearly they communicated where they were going, or if they put on somewhere other than they intended. There's no way a rental company would have failed to warn them about running that stretch of river.

What a horrible situation.
Rental companies would probably be expecting you to raft the Main Payette starting at the confluence of the North Fork and the South Fork Payette. This section is class II-III and relatively safe. I bet these folks mistakenly put-on on the North Fork Payette which is class V.
 

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Or were planning on running the Staircase section of the South Fork, and didn't turn right at Banks. It's a class IV run, and still not appropriate for inexperienced boaters, but that doesn't stop some of them from running it.
 

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i was up there and as we were coming down an officer called us over, so we split and went looking. We quickly ran down scanning the banks, and the two after us found her body as they were making a more fine tooth search. She was in a log jam in one of the islands after otters.

Even driving up to where they put in you pass crunch and juicer. There is no way to miss it. i can't believe what they were thinking putting on. Sucks, but what can you do. People told them not to put on, you drive right pass two big rapids and like a mile of constant class IV run out. How clearer it can be spelled out, i dont know. Condolences, for sure. But, realistically, it should have been way worse - 10 people on a raft on the north fork.
 

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Thanks STB for saying what I was thinking. I was nearby the family as the Sheriff confirmed finding her body, ...very emotional, still haunts me.
But yeah, what can you do? Not sure signage works..the Kern has very blunt signs along a similar highway where there is some Class V water (in English & Spanish), and even a body counter, but still there are drownings each year from people who lack the ability and equipment for Class V water.
KJ

From STB
Even driving up to where they put in you pass crunch and juicer. There is no way to miss it. i can't believe what they were thinking putting on. Sucks, but what can you do. People told them not to put on, you drive right pass two big rapids and like a mile of constant class IV run out. How clearer it can be spelled out, i dont know. Condolences, for sure. But, realistically, it should have been way worse - 10 people on a raft on the north fork.[/quote]
 

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Comments setting up the lawsuit

Rental companies would probably be expecting you to raft the Main Payette starting at the confluence of the North Fork and the South Fork Payette. This section is class II-III and relatively safe. I bet these folks mistakenly put-on on the North Fork Payette which is class V.
I read the comment by the unfortunate husband, and while I send condolences to the family, either the individual is having a very difficult time dealing with their responsibility for the incident, or they are setting up their strategy for a lawsuit against the raft rental outfit.

Any raft rental occurs either inside Boise, or on the road along the Main Payette. Once one arrives at Banks, there's nothing but National Forest up Idaho 55 along the N. Payette. Additionally, the road is basically pinned up against the cliff, with a clear sight down into Juicer and Krunch, which both are clearly Class V at 2000 cfs.

Otter Slide rapid is somewhat hidden from view -- the road goes up and around a bench where IIRC (it's been a couple of years since I've run the NF) you can drive down to the river. It's not long from Otter Slide to the lower rapids, though, and there is no feasible trip that one can take that DOESN'T include running both, as there is no real accessible take-out for a raft until you get down to the Main.

It is a sad, unfortunate event, and I do indeed send my condolences. But the inability to take responsibility, while actively trying to blame the sheriff and raft rental outfit, does not sit well with me.
 

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My condollences to the familes. I live within a mile of where the inner tube accident occurred. With all of the tubers hitting that calm section of river, it's bound to happen. The log comes up real quick for inner tubers. I wish we could get the thing out, but it's simply too dangerous.
 

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New article with TERRIBLE advice

Woman drowns on section of Payette River where many experts won't go | News Updates | Idaho Statesman

FTA

• When swimming, lay on your back with your feet pointed downstream and do a backstroke. Your feet can be used to push off rocks or away from logs.

• To get out of the water quickly, do a backstroke at an angle against the current toward the bank. The angling action will move you faster toward the bank.
WRONG! when swimming - swim your ass to shore using a crawlstroke. It's time to end feet first.
 

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Here is what I sent to the authors

Dear Pete and Katy,

I don't know where you got your advice, quoted here:

" When swimming, lay on your back with your feet pointed downstream and do a backstroke. Your feet can be used to push off rocks or away from logs."

"To get out of the water quickly, do a backstroke at an angle against the current toward the bank. The angling action will move you faster toward the bank."

but this is KILLING people. it is old advice from old school raft companies and old school rafters.

If you don't want to DIE you must get out of the river, especially rivers like the NF Payette. How do you do this? with a crawl stroke (dog paddle) as fast as you can to shore. FEET FIRST KILLS. do not perpetuate this old school myth. ask any modern kayaker how do you swim and its to the shore as fast as you can using a crawl stroke.

who is your source?! who are these so called experts? I am going to kick his ass. people are dying from this so called advice.

- mania
 

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Here is some additional information:

The Barclay Family

I am including some of the relevant excerpts below:

"They got up there rented a raft and some life jackets from some random rental place. They didn't think they needed a guide because they have all been rafting before. So they drove up to the river where everyone was putting in at this place called Banks. However it was really crowded so they drove just up the rode a tiny bit and put in further up.

Well they weren't in the boat 5 minutes before they hit a huge rapid and it threw the whole back half of the boat out into the river. Josh fell out along with Jake and Sharon (Rick's wife). Jake and Sharon were holding on to each other and the boat until Jake was hit in the knee by a big rock and lost his grip on everything. Then Sharon lost her grip on the boat. Meanwhile everyone in the boat was trying to sit back up and grab the ores and get everyone back in the boat but until they realize that Sharon has floated a good 20 feet away.

The river was calm here though, so they weren't really scared for her and they kept telling her to turn around, face downstream and swim to the shore. But she just held on to her life jacket and floated. She didn't try to swim or anything. She wasn't scared she just looked like she was enjoying floating.

Well after a second the boat gets stuck on a big rock at the tip of an island and while they are trying to get off the rock Sharon floats down one side of the island and when they finally get off the rock they get sent down the other side. So they stop the raft on the shore because they thought for sure that she would have gotten out on the island. They call her and they don't hear anything so then they jump back in the boat to see if she kept floating down the river and they get sent into this huge set of rapids where Jared falls out and was under water for about a minute. Once they get out of that they are pretty worried because if Sharon went through that she would be in trouble.


So they pull off on the shore and start searching for her and running for help. Some kayakers jumped right in and start looking for her and pretty soon there are around 5o-100 people looking for her. It took an hour and a half to find her. We think she must have floated backward and hit her head on a log and then the log's current pulled her under and she drowned.


It was horrible. When her husband found out he passed out and hit his head on the cement. She was 48 years old and has 3 girls and 1 boy ranging from 12 to 24. Her husband Rick just returned from serving in Iraq. My heart goes out to Rick and his children. It just absolutely breaks your heart."
 

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe to get to the put in you drive right along the NF the whole way and would be able to see what you're about to raft. I've only driven that road once and its been four or five years, but I recall taking a look at the NF as I drove along and thinking that it was beyond my ability. Is it possible that they thought they were on the SF Payette?
You are correct. I used to live in Stanley and drove back and forth every week along that stretch of the payette just North of Banks. It can be flat out gnarly along there. The only way you could not see what you are about to drop into is if you came in from the North because it is deceivingly mellow near the put in.
 

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So Sad, So Preventable

What a mess. Condolences to the family and to the private boaters who volunteered to help with the response. Dealing with fatalities on your home river tends to put it all in perspective. Unfortunately, we get a lot of perspective on the North Fork.

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. There are a legion of places in Boise and on the way to the Payettes that rent "river rafts." No helmets required and perhaps a little confusing beta to muddy the waters, so it's no wonder that people convince themselves that they have carte blanche to shoot some big rapids. How dangerous could it possibly be if they don't require helmets? But, as previous posters have pointed out, to put in above Otters you have to stare at two very large and very class V rapids as you drive up the highway. There can be no mistaking, even for a lay person, that the North Fork is serious whitewater, no signs necessary.

What is most troubling is that the group knew after the first wave train that they were in bigger than expected whitewater. Yet, when they became separated from the victim they continued to float the 1/2 to 3/4 miles of class I/II to the lip of Juicer and then run that rapid. To be clear, the river does not go cranking right into Juicer, there is a significant amount of slack water between it and Otters.

What is most notable is that both of last weekend's drownings on the Payette were in class II or less and involved logs. Might as well have been the Boise River. For all the hand wringing about inexperienced rafters on the big rapids of the NF, the person who drowned was apparently intentionally swimming and making no effort to get back in the raft. They all survived the class V rapids, experienced or not.
 

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What is most notable is that both of last weekend's drownings on the Payette were in class II or less and involved logs. Might as well have been the Boise River. For all the hand wringing about inexperienced rafters on the big rapids of the NF, the person who drowned was apparently intentionally swimming and making no effort to get back in the raft. They all survived the class V rapids, experienced or not.
Unfortunately, a large population of floaters have no idea just how dangerous a strainer can be. Especially the casual rafters and tubers. They don't put together the fact that a river current and an object like a tree can combine to easily drown a person. I experienced this just a couple of weeks ago when a tree fell into the Boise River in the middle of the afternoon. To make a long story short, my companions and I spent close to an hour directing traffic and helping people get their boats and stuff to a shallow side channel to get around the tree. A large number of the people on the river that day either said something crass or looked at me like I was crazy when I told them the tree was a hazard that they really needed to avoid.
 
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