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Video of the run

Here is a video of the river. It is a very serious run in a semi-remote canyon. Jennifer Watson was a very skilled paddler, 38 years old from Portland. Paddling with a group of ten she collasped while paddling, CRP performed, unsuccessful, and choppered out. Not sure if you really need more info than that. (heart/stroke/clot)

http://vimeo.com/10558155
 

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Spaghetti,
I am going to give you a big Shut the Fuck Up. Maybe you could give it a little more than a few days before you try to dissect this fatality.
 

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Sorry

FSM,

Sorry. I should have not come off as being so rude about it. When I was newer in the sport I too wanted to know everything about every accident and I read every one of Charlie’s AW yearly recounts going back to 1995, minus the last 8-9 years I guess. And, I read stories like Jenna’s and now I’m just sad. I feel for her family, maybe just a little differently now that I have started my own.

The reason I was short is that after reading countless write-ups, articles and postings about accidents I come to the realization that they are all sad and tragic and in hindsight it’s easy to judge and say… There really isn’t that many ways people die in moving water. Water can find a way to take us, weather can take us, exposure can take us, or sometimes our own bodies can fail us. Either we get stuck/pinned/broached, we flush, take trauma to the body, or something happens to us internally (you most likely didn’t know it’s coming with enough time to guess right).

More often than not the stories I enjoy reading and pursuing for content are the ones about how people beat the odds, pulled through, and stayed to paddle with us another day.
 

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FSM, I agree with learning from accidents but you seem to be chasing the ambulance a lot. Regardless of how it happened, how she lived her life is way more more important than how she died. Geoff wrote up about her life and it sounds like she was 10 times the badass as most of us on this board. Awesome to see she had seen so many of the world's rivers.


Here is Geoff's tribute:

"It's with a heavy heart that I share this news with the paddling community, and I post it here only because so many of you were touched by her wonderful heart. Jennifer Watson passed away this past weekend on the Little White Salmon in Oregon in a kayaking accident. This post is about Jenna's amazing life and not about the details of the accident, although I'm told that the crew she was with was an amazing group and did everything in their ability.

I'll leave you with a few thoughts about Jennifer, as she and I logged thousands of miles together on land and in water over the years:

From the day Jennifer was on a rafting trip and was inspired to learn to kayak, she was in pursuit of the joys of water, and she chased it from Georgia to Tennessee and North Carolina and on to Idaho and Oregon and Washington, and to every state in between and around the world. She chased it deep into the Grand Canyon and out again and also into lost worlds like the Colca and Cotahuasi canyons of Peru. She chased it through Himalayan gorges in Bhutan and chased it in the mountains of Turkey and Ecuador and Costa Rica. She chased it with a belief in her own strength and she chased it with friends who loved her for that strength. She chased it via helicopter in the dramatic landscape of New Zealand and looked for it among slow murky currents passing by the Bangkok fish markets. She lived with amazing intention and determination, and she shaped her life so she could chase joy. She chased it in the rainbows formed overhead in the showers of waterfalls dripping off a high cliff wall. She chased it through the swims and the pitons, she chased it through friendship and love, and she chased it through easy times and difficult times -- and she chased it always with such a gentle and giving spirit. In the end, I think (like many of you) that I was just lucky to share some of this chase with her, and I know that her smile came not just from the chase of joy, but from her finding that joy. Godspeed and good lines, Jennifer, and I will see you in the next eddy.

To all of her friends, thank you for being such good friends to Jennifer.

Geoff "
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really was not trying to be that way, and for that I am sorry. I have many friends that were close friends with her. Life is a very fragile thing, and the fact that this person lost theirs is heartbreaking. I was just wanting to understand the accident better. I am sorry if that came across as coarse. My heart goes out to this wonderful individual, and her family. Everyone that knew her seemed to love her, and said that she was a super solid boater. Be safe out there everyone. RIP Jenna
 

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The need to learn from accidents is something we all feel but there is a time and place for those questions. This thread is neither the time nor the place. Wait a while and give the folks that knew her time to grieve. Save the accident review for a future thread.

I will remove any future posts that follow the 'what happened' approach on this thread.
 

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condolences to the family, friends, and crew. If anybody needs somebody to talk to, give me a ring, never easy losing loved ones
 

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I've been rolling on this one for the week. I knew Jenna well as a close personal friend, and I know all the guys involved. As much as the woman and I will miss her, I'm very sad for the 9 men who were there who did everything right but couldn't save her.
 

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Time for Everything...

The sadness of anyone's death is immense and within the grieving there is a time for everything. I agree that we need to learn what we can from these tragic events, yet the time for learning, especially through a public forum such as the Buzz, is not now. Let's grieve her death and love where she was when she died. Seek the support, friendship and love of your friends and family through this and the other challenges in our lives. The answers will follow and will be given in their important time. For now, share your love of friends and water often, and while you do so be as smart and safe as you possibly can. It's always a great day for the river.
 

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My condolences to those impacted by the tragic events.

After reading the link that Leland posted (thanks Leland) it struck me what a huge difference in response there was on professor paddle and mountainbuzz. The same thread played out on professor paddle, first guy asks what happened, and instead of jumping each others shit, telling each other to shut the fuck up, threatening to moderate and delete posts, blabbering on and on about now isn't the time... an informed person shared pertinent info that could potentially be very important for folks running the little white in the future. The fact that the PP folks could have a civil discussion, share important safety info, and pay tribute to what sounds like a wonderful person all in the same spot and time, shows that it can be done respectfully, contrary to the emotional chest thumping denials that it simply isn't the time over here.

To me, the "not now"... "its not the time"... response is wrong, or at best woefully incomplete. It seems like the knee jerk response that many play. My observation is that if info is not shared after an accident happends, that the detailed info that could benefit the community has a good chance of not fully coming out into the public. Maybe a few months later there will be a vague blurb on charlie walbridge's accident summary that notes a fatal K-1 entrapment, but in some cases thats it.

If I encounter a tree, pin, or hazard spot that was unknown, I try and tell the community as soon as I can to help inform other boaters. If someone dies as a result of the same situation, it should be hush hush and the info should be held out? Of course that doesn't make sense.

I think as a community we need to rethink the way we deal with the impact of fatalaties and accidents and we need to stop sweeping them under the rug in an attempt to delay or deflect the tough discussions that should take place for the community to learn and improve.

Kudos to the professor paddle folks for treading a delicate balance to share info while being respectful. I'd suggest that the folks here on the buzz take note of the example.

For the "not now" crowd... when is now? What's wrong with the way info played out on professor paddle (ie they shared the info when the buzz was still telling each other not now..)? How is the sharing of information as done on professor paddle in any way negative?
 

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AW has the official accident report up. Amazing bravery went down in there that day. It's 230 am here and it's hit close to home after reading it. Stay safe guys.
 

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My condolences to those impacted by the tragic events.

After reading the link that Leland posted (thanks Leland) it struck me what a huge difference in response there was on professor paddle and mountainbuzz. The same thread played out on professor paddle, first guy asks what happened, and instead of jumping each others shit, telling each other to shut the fuck up, threatening to moderate and delete posts, blabbering on and on about now isn't the time... an informed person shared pertinent info that could potentially be very important for folks running the little white in the future. The fact that the PP folks could have a civil discussion, share important safety info, and pay tribute to what sounds like a wonderful person all in the same spot and time, shows that it can be done respectfully, contrary to the emotional chest thumping denials that it simply isn't the time over here.

To me, the "not now"... "its not the time"... response is wrong, or at best woefully incomplete. It seems like the knee jerk response that many play. My observation is that if info is not shared after an accident happends, that the detailed info that could benefit the community has a good chance of not fully coming out into the public. Maybe a few months later there will be a vague blurb on charlie walbridge's accident summary that notes a fatal K-1 entrapment, but in some cases thats it.

If I encounter a tree, pin, or hazard spot that was unknown, I try and tell the community as soon as I can to help inform other boaters. If someone dies as a result of the same situation, it should be hush hush and the info should be held out? Of course that doesn't make sense.

I think as a community we need to rethink the way we deal with the impact of fatalaties and accidents and we need to stop sweeping them under the rug in an attempt to delay or deflect the tough discussions that should take place for the community to learn and improve.

Kudos to the professor paddle folks for treading a delicate balance to share info while being respectful. I'd suggest that the folks here on the buzz take note of the example.

For the "not now" crowd... when is now? What's wrong with the way info played out on professor paddle (ie they shared the info when the buzz was still telling each other not now..)? How is the sharing of information as done on professor paddle in any way negative?
I dont pretend to always be right but I disagree with your approach of a water hazard. If you encounter a water hazard or a death occurs due to it then post a thread in the correct forum and document it. I didnt see anything productive arising from the conversation that was going on at that point in this thread. But let me put it another way, what if someone was severely injured or died on a trip that you were on and someone posted it and then started questioning the trips skill level and abilities. These types of threads have turned into that in the past and it gets pretty ugly. I was possibly too heavy handed in my approach this time but I erred on the side of caution and other moderators disagreed with my approach so I will give more thought before posting in the future.
 

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I will admit that I definitely made an assumption that this was going bad.
 
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