Submitted May 20, 2009

Survival equipment floated away when the raft overturned

I had an experience a few years back where a friend and I flipped our raft on a "widow maker" (a tree still growing from the bank but stretched across the river.) I was trapped under the raft temporarily and all of our equipment floated down the river. We were alone and two full days from our float plane arranged pickup. We had several experiences on our way to our rescue and are very grateful to those responsible. We are experienced outdoor folks and had all the equipment we needed but we did not carry the minimal stuff on our person - thus it floated away when the raft overturned. We ended up getting lucky several hours later and found the equipment including our rescue beacon, fire starting stuff etc. Making good decisions about what to bring will be all for naught if while you are in the raft you don't carry some really important stuff on your person so you'll still have what you need. The other note is that the so called waterproof bags are fine if it rains but not fine if they are submerged - they all leaked and rendered some stuff unusable.

Jack French

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