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Very sad. 58 year old man from Maryland. I question if people not from around here realize what they are getting into when they sign up for this class 4 run down slaughterhouse at high water.
 

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Had the same discussion today. First I think there should be either an honest talk with folks over a certain age or very big signs at the business warning of the effects of cold water shock and strainers/holes. I went commercial rafting a few times before getting into kayaking and had no idea what to avoid in the river. It looks like a big playground coming from Nebraska.. too early for the alligator Disney world reference..
 

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The unfortunate reality is that even a young healthy individual can fall victim to cardiac arrest due to cold shock:
"In the study, published in the Journal of Physiology, they explain how rapid submersion in cold water, combined with holding ones breath, automatically activates two powerful responses in the body which may interact and cause conflict at the level of the heart."
It's the nature of the game. Should companies and private boaters alike make sure that their crew is well informed of the inherent risks? Absolutely. To not do so, in my opinion, would be classified as gross negligence.
Additionally, how many folks hit that stretch with a private or a commercial boat on a daily basis and come out the other end just fine? While my condolences go out the family, it's unfortunately nothing more than a terrible accident.
 

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The unfortunate reality is that even a young healthy individual can fall victim to cardiac arrest due to cold shock:
I would agree with this. That's why I think gear like dry suits should be required for stretches with high probabilities of swimming combined with high water cold snow melt rivers. Yes, I know this is not a realistic expectations for taking custies rafting, but it sure could make a difference!
 

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Every time I get a crew that has no business being on a certain stretch of river I blame the registration people. What can we do as guides to get custies into the right trip? It's pretty hard to say no by trip time. There's plenty of great class III sections around that we shouldn't be sending the wrong people down class IV.
 
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