Monday, July 16, 2007

Deaths on the Arkansas

The Gazette ran a Pueblo Chieftain story today about the unusually high number of deaths of rafters on the Arkansas River this year. The Arkansas is the most commercially rafted river in the United States. To date, this season, five people have died. The trend, according to the story, seems to be out-of-state, middle-aged commercial clients drowning after a raft flips in the icy, rough waters of some of the more serious rapids.
One of the BLM rangers quoted in the story essential said, hey, these are wild rivers, not amusement park rides. No one designed them to be safe.
It reminds me a lot of skiing. People assume since someone is charging you to do it, it must be safe, but people die every year.
It's interesting to me that no kayakers have died on the Ark. Perhaps because the sport requires a higher level of fitness, ability and experience.

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