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Our party lost a throw rope yesterday in Browns Canyon, below the last rapid in 7 Stairs. Please be on the look out and remove if found. The rope was diployed, it was let go when a swimmer go tangled in the line. It is a yellow NRS pro throw bag. Last seen river right and should have washed into the eddie, water we too muddy to track it.
 

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Any luck looking for your rope today? Widow Maker is a bad place for a rope to get stuck right now. Please tell us when you find it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We looked for it on Sat but that is the only day we were down there.
 

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Its cool bro......Oh no...wait it isn't. Just so you know, there are boaters who have lost their lives to ropes left in the river. I understand that shit happens but what do you have going on today that is more important than removing this hazard?

Everybody else, don't forget your knife.
 

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I think a lot of people need more training on when to actually use a throw rope. I was in browns saturday and sunday, saw a lot of swims, didn't see a single time a throw rope was necessary. It's pool drop... swim your ass to shore in the flat water.

I hate rope in the river. hopefully someone finds it in an eddy.
 

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JSPOON thank you for the update. That was the right thing to do. Did you contact the AHRA? That would also be the right thing to do. Did you contact all of the river outfitters that send their guides and guests down Browns canyon? That would be the right thing to do.

The one thing that is completely unacceptable is for you to post that your group put little effort into finding your group's now deployed throw bag, and "oh, it should wash into an eddy."

Having worked on the Arkansas for over 15 years, I am confused to where this rope was thrown from. Did you have an incompetent throw bagger standing on shore below Stair # 7, or did someone throw from a raft? I realize it is high water, and people swim. What your group needed to do was assess their individual abilities to self rescue. The eddy (not eddie by the way) you mention in your post is large and a swimmer can make it to shore or another raft, safety kayak, etc. if they have business being on the river at these flows. If you can't swim your butt off and make it to the eddies on both river right or river left before swimming into Widow Maker, then you shouldn't be on the river at these flows. There is no reason to have thrown that rope!!!

Four years ago, during the training of our rookies, I rolled out of one of the rafts, and swam to a fang rock in Widow Maker just above House Rock, and watched as all my trainees floated by. I put myself on this rock to see how they would go about rescuing me, simulating the place a potential guest might find themselves stuck in the main channel while still in the middle of a significant Class III rapid. As I waited for my trainees to come to my simulated rescue, I noticed a throw bag surging in the main current. The training drill stopped immediately. I was able, with the help of four trainees to follow the rope upstream to where it was chalked in the boulders of Meat Grinder. We were able to pull it out. All 70 ft. of it!!! There was the name of a highly respected company in the valley on it. Outrage was my first emotion. There had been no communication from them that they had lost a rope in the river. You could tell it had been in the main channel of Widow Maker for a few days time, if not longer, because of the build-up of algae on it.

We got off the river that day, and I kept the throw bag with me. I called the Head Boatman of the company that had lost their rope, and he seemed oblivious to the fact that it had been lost. That was unacceptable. He said his trainees must have lost it during a drill. Why the instructors, or a trainee did not stand up and announce that they had just created a major, possibly deadly hazard I do not know. My stance was obvious. I could have become entangled, a rookie of mine could have gotten entangled, or one of the hundreds of rafters (private or commercial) could have gotten entangled because of their stupidity of leaving a rope in the river, and not letting anyone know about it.

You did the right thing letting everyone know about the deployed rope. The only problem is, your group left the rope in the river, and now it is somebody else job to clean up your shit!!!

You might be right, maybe it will all work out, but that is not showing the river community (professional or private) that your group has a respect for the river, or understands the seriousness of the situation you've created.

Go clean up your mess!!!
 

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I, also, used a throw bag below #7 on Saturday.
I threw it to a commercial raft ,with multiple swimmers just before they were washed into the new strainer below the rapid.
I have my rope though, and that guide was very happy I hit them with the rope.
Using a rope when its needed can save lives. Using it when its not can endanger them. Losing a rope in the river is never ok. Practice when its not needed!

Be careful out there folks!

Have fun!

-Josh
 

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I think you should call your employer, take 2 days off, and come find your rope. Explain that you've added a potentially deadly hazard to the Arkansas River and you have an obligation to resolve it. Please post here after you've removed it or looked several times.

I don't come to Denver and leave landmines around your office.
 

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I just took a swiftwater class a month ago and someone in class (I wont name names, but you know who you are) stepped too far in water tossing bag and the bank literally dropped 4 ft. under surface of water and he lost control of rope. He was fine, but now rope in water, all three instructors where in water in an instant (calm town section, but high water) and had that rope out of water in seconds. I later come to learn that they lost a friend due to a rope left in water. Take time off of work!
 

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Get real folks

Just how does anyone recommend he go get his rope when it could be anywhere in the next 100 miles of low visibility muddy river?

Doesn't seem like anyone on this thread was actually there, but yet you are accusing the guy of deploying the rope when he shouldn't have and leaving the scene.

High and mighty are those of you who could never misjudge when to throw, then never lose a rope, and of course if you did lose it, you would find it right away. Those three Swiftwater instructors know if they didn't get it right away, it could be lost forever. They were lucky to be right there.

Nice supportive river community down on the Ark, eh?.
 

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I think the frustration comes from the fact that probably 90% (+) of ropes thrown didn't need to be thrown, and I would bet that of those lost, very few fall into the 10% that were really needed. I can honestly say that I've never witnessed a well executed, necessary throwbag deployment. I've seen many situations become considerably more dangerous for a swimmer and those around them though.
 

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Just how does anyone recommend he go get his rope when it could be anywhere in the next 100 miles of low visibility muddy river?

Doesn't seem like anyone on this thread was actually there, but yet you are accusing the guy of deploying the rope when he shouldn't have and leaving the scene.

High and mighty are those of you who could never misjudge when to throw, then never lose a rope, and of course if you did lose it, you would find it right away. Those three Swiftwater instructors know if they didn't get it right away, it could be lost forever. They were lucky to be right there.

Nice supportive river community down on the Ark, eh?.
I agree. We all know its a shit situation, thus the posting. Folks can be pretty harsh on the Buzz not knowing circumstances......
 

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Thanks Bruce for calling folks out on this.

I've been thinking a lot of the same myself. Everyone seems to have a story that the rope wasn't needed (there's a strainer right about where it happened), or that they left it without actually looking hard, or something. About the only thing I see for sure is that someone in the party the OP was with bagged the swimmer who then got tangled in the rope and so the person throwing the rope let go of the rope. Sounds like a pretty honest mistake to me, and one that would've gotten a swimmer out of the water if they hadn't gotten tangled. And now the conscientious OP who at least warned folks about the hazard is getting hammered tag team style for not getting the rope out, when it could be anywhere under the high muddy water. And searching for it could also put folks at risk.

Great hindsight and Monday quarterbacking from everyone. Now do y'all have any suggestions on good ways to fish out a rope from high, swift, and turbid water? Maybe you know where the OP could get some long grappling hooks to drag the river with? What do you recommend, that he come back with scuba gear?

Also, don't you want other folks to put up alerts when they lose a rope? The kind of public flogging going on right now is not very conducive to people coming forward when they screw up.

-AH
 

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Thx Bruce and Andy. Easy to throw stones huh? At 4k id like to meet the superman who can x ray vision a rope in zero visibility water moving 15 mph.

While it's not funny the risks have now gone up for everyone lets not pretend we were on the bank watching it unfold. A well placed rope with a properly trained operator can save lives - I've seen it a lot actually. How many flush drownings have we seen at this kind of high water? A lot more than rope entanglements from previously deployed bags. Yes, it is unfair that someone else can take your life from you. You risk yourself to stupidity every day driving the interstate or riding your motorcycle with no helmet (now you're the idiot).

I'll take notes of which guys in this thread don't want me to throw my bag for them 9 out of their 10 shitty swims. I just hope none of the first 90% of the incidents don't end your life cause I'll have to re-think your statistics. Who does that kind of math on the fly in the middle of a rescue? How about we all stick to judging our own mistakes.

SYOTR rope in hand


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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I pulled a deployed rope out of Boulder Creek last week. There was no post warning of its presence on MtBuzz. Let's focus our attention on removing hazards when we see them to make the rio safer for all or warning others of hazards that we cannot remove (which OP did here).
 

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If you've got that many people swimming in places where the rope is required to keep them alive, there is an issue far bigger than ropes. I'm well trained in SWR, and practice with ropes regularly. I'll gladly accept that there are many situations where a well executed rope can be a life saver- I'm just saying that far more often, ropes get thrown poorly to people who should just get on their belly and swim.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This has been weighing very heavily on my mind and I do not take this lightly. We had multiple swimmers in the water and it was a long swim for most. We scowered the river for the rope extensively but was not able to locate it with the water being high and very laden with sediment. I am not sure what else we could have done. I will contact AHRA, i did not think about that thank you for the suggestion. I will make every effort to recover the rope. I was not the one that lost the rope. I am trying to do the write thing and inform the community of the hazard. I am fully aware of the hazard that this causes and the danger to other boaters.
 

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I think the frustration comes from the fact that probably 90% (+) of ropes thrown didn't need to be thrown, and I would bet that of those lost, very few fall into the 10% that were really needed. I can honestly say that I've never witnessed a well executed, necessary throwbag deployment. I've seen many situations become considerably more dangerous for a swimmer and those around them though.
My experience is nothing like this. I've successfully and necessarily executed throw bags on many occasions without endangering others while in fact helping people, prob at a 90% success rate. There have been times when not throwing was a better option. Just consider every incident on its own.
 

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I never said the rope shouldn't have been used because I was not there. I agree it's a bit strong to presume to know what happened. Throw ropes save lives and I'm glad boaters are using them down there right now.

I do firmly believe that if you lose a rope in the river you need to look for it and come back and look for it again the next day. Yep, you might not find it, but you need to try with several runs down the river - not just a quick search at the moment of loss. When you can announce "we have searched exhaustively and are unable to locate the rope" then you have done everything you can. When you announce "we didn't see it, but it should just be floating in the eddy so we went home to Denver" you deserve to be told how you should have conducted yourself - and your crew needs to return and make an effort to find the hazard!

I've lost a non-deployed rope on the Ark before. I posted it here and went back to the river multiple times until I knew it had been found. I've known fellow guides to take days off work to search for a rope. It's important. Sometimes shit happens and a rope gets lost. Post it, call every user group you can to report it, and hunt for that thing!

To the OP: you did the right thing by posting. Sorry you have to take heat for it, but your crew doesn't deserve the tender treatment some of your neighbors are suggesting. The rope thrower needs to get back up here and look for it again.
 

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Bruce, Andy, spot on. I get that we want to take a situation and try and prevent future occurrences, but I don't get "rope shaming" in a thread designed to disclose a mistake and advise of a potential hazard.
 
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