Steamboat Springs' Kevin Dombey Talks About Nearly Drowning
- This was a skilled and experienced group--they got to him quickly, communicated with him, and were prepared to pull him out of the river once he was free of the log.
- After assessing the situation, they immediately redistributed the crew so they had people on both sides ofÂ the river.
- The rescuers kept it simple. They didn't try to use complicated rope systems to pull him upstream from the log, which would have wasted time and most likely never would have worked.
- The lesson is not how they could have done a better rescue, but rather how they could have avoided this situation and not needed the rescue. It's common for some members of a group to run the drop without scouting because they "know the line." Usually there is no incident, but rapids can change overnight. A log can get jammed in a channel that was clear the day before.
- Even if you are coming to a familiar rapid, at least one person should get a good look at it to be sure there are no new hazards. If the lead boater cannot see the rapid from an eddy above, it's best to hop out and take a quick look from shore.
- Good communication and simple scouting tactics can prevent a huge percentage of river accidents. It's when we get complacent that things go wrong.
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