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Spits Hot Fire
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People, it's with a heavy heart I write this right now. I hope it's not to soon to post this but I just want to get it out there, off my chest and and hope the rest of us come together here to celebrate a life taken too soon.

Our friend COUNT passed on the Big South Today. Anyone that knew him knows how passionate he was about rivers & paddling and what a heart that kid had.

Today was the hardest day of paddling I've had as a kayaker. I'm just at a loss. Not sure what to say exactly. I'm sure many of you will be too. Everyone knows Derk was a good kid.

I paddled away with more than a few tears in my eyes and made sure to hit every boof i could for him. Think of him next time your out there.

My condolences to his family, all his friends and everyone out there today. Keep it safe.

RIP COUNT
 

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Oh my God. I really liked him a LOT. He was a great guy and an important part of the Colorado kayaking community. I'm in shock. My thoughts go out to his family.
 

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It is a sad day. I was in the first group that came upon the scene, and it was one that I will not forget. RIP man.

Scott
 

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RIP,COUNT. You provided me with the opportunity of a lifetime this summer with a chance to paddle from the Middle Fork on to your Main permit. I didn't get the chance to paddle on with you,but the rest of my crew did. I know Yakrafter,Flowtorch a couple others and myself all owe you a big thanks for takin a chance on some strangers. Taken far too young.....RIP
 

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This is hard to read, I am so sorry to all those involved, his friends and family. Solid member of the boating community always willing to share his wealth of information from getting after it and paddling hard.
 

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Wow, this is such sad news, I am in shock. Derk was wise beyond his years, a kind soul and quite simply a really great guy. My gut is sick thinking about such a stellar person being taken from our reality like this. My condolences to his family and close friends.
 

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Kjirsten
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I don't know what to say. We were planning a run on the Rio Grande in Texas over Thanksgiving. I haven't had a chance to paddle with him in over a year. Dirk was such a warm, funny, caring person- as a rafter, he's the kayaker who made me know that I always want a kayaker on my trips. This has been a really hard year. My condolences to his family.
 

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This year has been such a tragedy. RIP bro and may you ride the rivers of heaven.
Does anyone know what happened or what went wrong?
SV
 

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I never met Derk. I have read many of his posts here and thought 'Maybe I'll boat with that guy some day.' Seems to me he was a good and sincere guy. I'm truly saddened to read this thread. It brings to mind a quote that sums up why we do what we do:

"... in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?" ~Sterling Hayden

May his soul hold all the wealth he dreamed. Tonight, I drink to a man I never knew. Cheers friends.
 

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Count was a great kid! I met him for the first time on the Main Salmon. He scored a permit and we supported him in a stellar trip. He will be misse greatly and his love of paddling/running rivers will not be forgotten. It is a sad day in when we lose such a young warrior. RIP my friend and may your spirit flow forever!! Count!!!!!
 

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Wow. I'm really sad right now. I met Derk a few years ago and gave him a bunch of maps for a Mexico trip he was planning. He was an enthusiastic, great kid who cared about the paddling community. A great guy. I don't know what happened today, but I can't believe the toll this sport has taken in recent years.

I'm thinking of Derk's family right now. I've seen this up close too many times now, and I know how completely devastating this it. I hope his family gains strength from this community - we owe it to Derk.
 

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It's is hard to find the words. Dirk texted me a few days ago asking me to come and run the Big South with him... I couldn't go because of work. I remember talking with him last summer about the run and how he was excited to get on it. I was jealous that he was going to be boating such a beautiful run while I was at work.

Every time I paddled with Dirk the trip was better for his presence. Rest in peace my friend.
 

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RIP Count. My condolences to his family and friends. I had only paddled with Derk a few times, but god dammit that kid was passionate about kayaking and that makes him a brother in my book.


Here is my understanding of what took place. Derk and another boater who wishes to stay out of the situation, (so if you know who it is please be respectful and not use his name right now). Put on the Big South today. As they approached Bouncing Betty Derk decided to run the rapid, yet appeared to be casually floating into it. Flows were probably about 120cfs out of Long Draw, which left the right side of the slot very exposed. It appeared that Derk was angled too far to the right and became pinned in the right side of Bouncing Betty. At this point the other boater realized that something was wrong and came over and began to get the boat free. Derk was still in the boat at this point. According to the other boater, this process might have taken up to three minutes.

Finally, the boater got Derk's boat free and at this point Derk came free of the boat and floated into the eddy. The other boater then had to ferry over and grabbed Derk and pulled him to shore and immediately began CPR.

No one could really tell if Derk was unconscious when pinned or why he could not get out of the boat, until unpinned.

To the other boater, you did everything humanly possible today and please please do not let this eat away at you.

I hope we can all take something from this, because I know that I run that rapid without so much as a second thought. I become complacent and that is when stuff can hit the fan. Today is just the worst case scenario.

If you look at Count's sig he has a Brad Ludden quote. I would like to think that if everyone was a passionate about kayaking as Derk was then the world and the kayaking community would be a better place.
 

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Man, sad news. Thoughts go out to friends and family. To the person that was with him, if you want to chat or talk, I've been there. Give me a shout
 

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I only met Derk briefly a couple times, but have read many of his posts on the buzz over the years and they were always a fun and interesting read. I was pretty shocked to read this news. He just went up and did a run that so many Colorado boaters head out to enjoy this time of year. Most people I boat with have spent some time on the water with Derk at one time or another and there's no doubt he was a major part of the Colorado boating community. My girlfriend used to be on a freestyle ski team with him when he was a teenager and always considered him a super nice, enthusiastic guy. We are both so sad to hear this news. Peace to all his family and friends.
 

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I just saw him the other day at the play park. I cant believe this. Ture and I took him down blackrock his first time 3 or 4 so years ago. He was so stoked after Rigo. I still remember his smilin face at the takeout. I've always run BB without a thought to that nasty looking right pin spot. What a damn shame. So young and full of life. . . He will be remembered.

RIP and may God be with you Count

KEnt
 
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