Letter: Companies should minimize river risk | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Companies should minimize river risk

I would like to take this opportunity to take issue with Jim Ingram’s comment that I was “making a big deal out of nothing” in regard to the rafting incident on the Roaring Fork River (“Oklahoma family safe after river-rafting trip goes awry,” The Aspen Times, June 28).

When I arrived, the guides were not even visible, and it was only after I carried the youngest member to the side of the river that I noticed the guides ferrying a raft across the river to commence a rescue. Their attempts to get a throw line to the log was not succeeding despite many attempts.

It was at this point that I went to use my cellphone to explain to my wife that I would be delayed getting to the takeout and what was happening. A guide asked if he could use the phone. Calls were made to the owner of Aspen Whitewater Rafting and the shuttle driver.

At that point I just decided that the best option was to carry the kayak back along the bank and paddle back to the log. At no time did the guides suggest lining the raft back up the river.

For Ingram to suggest that “people expect us to do everything, and they’re not willing to accept any responsibility for themselves” is an interesting comment to make when you are taking paying customers into a risk environment when they have very little skill or experience in that environment. After all, that is why they are paying for the experience — so as to minimize the risk for them and their family.

The raft trip on this section of the river is advertised as suitable for families. I take no issue with that as long as the safety protocols are firmly in place and do not mean a family has to go through the experience they did on Saturday. Mr. Ingram, I was there and saw the raw emotion from the family who were rescued; you were not there.

Brian Lodge

New Zealand

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