Moving Water Seminar
by Jim McLoone
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The river was running at about 3.5 feet with a water temperature in the low 70s. The day was sunny and the air temperature in the mid-80s, with winds N at 5–10 mph.
Of the sixteen people that I expected for the seminar, two cancelled on Friday, two did not show up, and the rest: Moira, Pat, Lyn, Ben, Martin Andy, Astrid, David, Marta, Denis, Deb and Tom arrived pretty much on time. Thanks to Astrid who brought in three new membership applications for Andy, David and Moira.
As advertised, we spent the first part of our day at Skinner’s near the shore studying water flow and talking our maneuvers. Jim deployed his fishing rod and bobber to demo current flow and to point out features that were a ways off. Martin took photos, provided safety and assisted with the presentations.
Part way through the morning Moira felt ill and her group left us to our regret.
We experienced strong current flow in a small chute that was also used to let folks enjoy a cold water Jacuzzi on a hot day. We walked down the length of the falls to check out the best line and decided that running about 50 feet from the PA side would be the safest route.
After that, everyone had a chance to work with a throw bag on a short distance throw with a slow moving victim. It was apparent that a lot more work needs to be done by our group before they are ready for primetime rescue work on moving water.
We moved back to the parking area for a two pm lunch.
After lunch most of our group decided to leave without running down to Narrowsburg for one reason or another.
Jim, Lyn and Denis enjoyed a leisurely two hour paddle to Narrowsburg. After running Skinners, we stopped to greet Mark, a volunteer from the National Canoe Safety Patrol, before moving down river. About two miles from Narrowsburg we were hailed by a National Park Service jet boat and asked if we had seen a reported comatose person on the shore. We had not, although we reported two sunbathers about a half mile apart on opposite sides of the river.
Arriving at the take out about five we loaded all three boats on Jim’s Suburban and arrived back at Skinner’s about six pm. There we saw a parking area busy with Police, Fire and EMS activity. We were told to park across the road at Lander’s Campground. After some delay waiting for all responding equipment to arrive, Lynn and Dennis were allowed to go in and retrieve their cars.
We were told that a boy was missing. I left to visit with house guests while Lyn and Dennis went down to the Lander’s beach to see what was happening. I learned later that they saw the body being brought in.
The most recent drowning I found on Google was that of an 18 year old Scout Leader who drowned last Wednesday by #9 RR bridge a couple of miles below Narrowsburg. He attempted to swim the river and had no PFD with him. He tired and drowned when his two friends were unable to reach him in time.
Today I received an email from Lyn with a link to the Record On Line story (see below.)
Our club policy on PFDs is a sound one. Please observe it when paddling or swimming.
|41-year-old drowns in Delaware River
COCHECTON - The Delaware River claimed another life on Saturday evening when a 41-year-old man attempted to swim across the river without a life vest, authorities said.
The victim was identified as Adriano Pacheco, a native of Portugal who was visiting family in Amityville, N.Y.
Pacheco is the fourth person to drown in the Delaware River since May. Eight people have drowned in local bodies of water this summer.
Rangers from the National Park Service said Pacheco and another man decided to swim roughly 50 yards across the river about 4:30 p.m. The other man struggled to reach the Pennsylvania shore and had to be treated at Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris for shortness of breath.
Pacheco went under half way across, in a section of the river just north of Skinner's Falls Rapids, authorities said.
Neither man was wearing a life vest.
"We were pretty lucky that it wasn't a double drowning," said Joe Hinkes, chief ranger for the park service.
The river was roughly 10 feet deep where Pacheco went under. Divers from Sullivan County recovered Pacheco's body at 6:12 p.m.
Check back with www.Recordonline.com for more details as they become available.