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So how long do you wait to call 911?
ratherbyakin

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October 27, 2011 - 5:06 am
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It wasnt your footwear that was inadequate but your feet. Work on toughening your feet up and you wont need the booties. There is no reason to boat with booties, unless your coddled feet cant take it. In an emergency sore feet should be the least of your worries anyway.

n.ed

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October 27, 2011 - 10:00 am
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Well I was on river left while in the eddy against the cliff and I did not see eddies on river right. I was wearing sandals not booties and a strap blew out. When we landed I could have crossed the bridge to get to the easier trail on river right . I think I’ll toughen up my feet I’m going to send them to boot camp!

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Lincoln_R

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October 27, 2011 - 12:11 pm
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[quote author=ratherbyakin]
It wasnt your footwear that was inadequate but your feet. Work on toughening your feet up and you wont need the booties. There is no reason to boat with booties, unless your coddled feet cant take it. In an emergency sore feet should be the least of your worries anyway.

No amount of foot toughening will protect you against broken glass. Foot wear should be on every trip.

lsr

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Maurice

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October 27, 2011 - 12:32 pm
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[quote author=n.ed]
Well I was on river left while in the eddy against the cliff and I did not see eddies on river right. I was wearing sandals not booties and a strap blew out. When we landed I could have crossed the bridge to get to the easier trail on river right . I think I’ll toughen up my feet I’m going to send them to boot camp!

It may seem like I am berating a point but c’mon. The Shepaug on this day was below or barely runnable on the Upper. It was a fluid level below the confluence with the Bantam but a low class 2 even for a canoe. The "cliff" on river left is a steep embankment leading to the trail. Not eactly wild and wooly. The trail upstream of this point to the foot bridge is at river level. The trail on river right is a carpet of pine needles and at river level. . The flow of the river is mostly river left so eddying river left is a little tight for an inexperienced canoeist. In this situation you do not need to be an expert paddler. River right which would be easily attainable, you can paddle across a river? Simply pointing your canoe to the river right shore would allow you to parallel park get out an assess the situation. Hell, you could have paddled to the parking lot changed clothes, twisted one up, burned it and had a beer in the time frame you orginally described and still have had time to do a loop from the parking lot up to the foot bridge and back. You call 911 because you can’t paddle from one side of the river to another and your sandal has a broken strap??? Thats just lame. I know exactly how high the river was that day because I was hiking Hidden Valley, mostly the upper trails up to the pinnacle and back over the foot bridge that day. I wasn’t paddling because the water was too LOW. You seem to be in denial about your options. It may seem harsh but you failed to properly assess your situation and to take any corrective action before you called 911. The proper answer to your orginal question is you wait until you have a visual assesment of the situation and have confirmed that your companions need help and you are incapable of effecting a rescue. Please learn from this and try to take effective action next time.

n.ed

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October 27, 2011 - 8:11 pm
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Your right I made mistakes, and I am learning from it.
I should have, could have found an eddy on RR but It did not seem to be a problem untill I waited as long as I did. Mistake!

Water that was too low for you was a test of my paddling and problem management skills, and it seems also for the guy who swam.

As for river level The upper Shepaug was low but the Bantam had plenty of water in it.

I know you know exactly how high the river was because you were hiking. My judgment may have been clouded by being on the water but I would rate it a bit higher than you did. There were parts where the waves seemed bigger to me than at higher levels.
The water was plenty high for many folks but a hike can be nice too.

The last two sentences of your post do get to the heart of the matter. I do really appreciate the input.

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Lincoln_R

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October 28, 2011 - 9:32 am
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[quote author=Maurice] The proper answer to your orginal question is you wait until you have a visual assesment of the situation and have confirmed that your companions need help and you are incapable of effecting a rescue. Please learn from this and try to take effective action next time.

This suggests that there is a one size fits all anwer to this question. In this case, not calling 911 was the right call, but next time, it may not be. Remember that situations are fluid and hind-sight is 20 – 20.

In SWR classes we teach that there are only tools and techniques, not rules. You do what you are capable of doing and do it to the best of your ability.

I think that you made neither a right nor a wrong call (if the guy had drowned, we would be telling what a fool you were), but that you made your call.

lsr

lsr

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ratherbyakin

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October 28, 2011 - 6:35 pm
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Lincoln
You should tell that to my feet because I think they disagree with you, unless its a bottle neck or stray curved piece its usually not a problem. Its ok if you need footwear to be safe, its dangerous for people with unweathered feet to be barefoot in the woods. That being said you should understand that there are definite advantages to boating barefoot, it actually makes some terrain much easier to navigate. So saying that footwear should be on every trip is true, they should just be on your baby soft feet, not mine.

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Lincoln_R

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October 29, 2011 - 7:25 am
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People break bottles in the strangest places, and the necks and bases of the bottles don’t disapear. Where I work and play the problem was common enough that one of the required pieces of gear is an ammo can specifically for carting out broken glass safely. THankfully, the problem is not as bad as it was.

You also never know what is sharp (or worse) pointy on the bottom of the river. Wading in the river in the event of a swim or rescue is another event where good shoes (our guides don’t wear sandals on the river) are what should be on your feet.

At NWR, the rule is to dress not for the weather, and not even for the water, but for standing in the water for two or three hours holding the end of a rope. Good footwear is part of that equation.

lsr

PS Yes, I will admit it, I am a safety sally, a worst case scenario kind of guy.

Life is too short to stay inside!

whitewater girl

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October 29, 2011 - 12:45 pm
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[quote author=Lincoln_R]
People break bottles in the strangest places, and the necks and bases of the bottles don’t disapear. Where I work and play the problem was common enough that one of the required pieces of gear is an ammo can specifically for carting out broken glass safely. THankfully, the problem is not as bad as it was.

You also never know what is sharp (or worse) pointy on the bottom of the river. Wading in the river in the event of a swim or rescue is another event where good shoes (our guides don’t wear sandals on the river) are what should be on your feet.

At NWR, the rule is to dress not for the weather, and not even for the water, but for standing in the water for two or three hours holding the end of a rope. Good footwear is part of that equation.

lsr

PS Yes, I will admit it, I am a safety sally, a worst case scenario kind of guy.

I’m with you on all that…

scagrotto

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October 29, 2011 - 3:54 pm
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Me, too. One of the most fundamental rules in rescue is to not become another victim. That means that if you’re going to be useful in a rescue you need to be equipped with the proper equipment for the things you may need to do. That includes clothing as well as a throw rope and other tools. Even if your feet are tough enough to keep up with everyone else over rough terrain you’re not immune to the injuries that are entirely possible in a realistic rescue environment.

I know that a lot of boats don’t have enough room to wear sturdy footwear while paddling, but there’s room in the back of the boat for something better.

WayneM
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October 29, 2011 - 9:25 pm
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