|Some details on the Yuba River incident: The victim was a 71 year old male and very large. He was sitting in the front of his son's drift boat when it struck a snag "broad side". The victim was thrown from the boat, but was able to cling to a tree 20 yards down stream. His son was not able to reach the victim, but positioned the boat downstream of his father. The victim was able to drift down to the boat. Not able to pull the victim into the boat, the son rowed to shore. At some point the victim went unconcsious. |
An air ambulance was on scene within 15 minutes. Due to the terrain it was forced to land hundreds of yards away. There was not enough personnel on board to carry the victim to the helocopter. There was no land access, even with quad runners. A local swift water team deployed a raft up stream. By the time they arrived, unfortunateky the victim had expired.
This was a sad incident without question. It should make each of us reflect on how prepared we are when we head out for our next adventure, whether it being out in a panga in Baja (has anyone ever seen a PFD in a panga?), running the maze of waters in the fog and wind in Dan's home waters of the delta, or drifting or wading the many trout streams throughout our great land. My job for the past 26 years in Law Enforcement has been water rescue/recovery. I routinely fish Baja, the delta and Nor Cal streams and rivers. Even I at times can get complacent as to the dangers that are out there. This father and son had drifted the this portion of the river many times, and were very familiar with the conditions. We forget that most of us have long ago passed the age of 18, and we can't swim 10 miles against a current in 50 degree water. Let some one know of your plans (and stick to your plans!!!). 1st aid kit, cell phone in a dry bag and a few other items could greatly increase your chances. With current designs of the inflatable PFD on the market, they are comfortable and effective. I have witnessed hundreds of of tragedies, including this one. Each and every time I complete an emergency response I pray that it will be the last.