Basalt fishing guide helps remove capsized dory from Roaring Fork River
Tuesday went a little differently for Raphael Fasi than usual. A fishing guide who owns Gone Fishing Colorado in Basalt, he and employee Evan Sale spent that afternoon extracting a roughly 15-foot dory — similar to a large canoe — from the Roaring Fork River behind their office on Two Rivers Road.
“I went and looked at it, and I was like, ‘Well, alright, let me grab some tools. I think I can get this guy out,’” Fasi recalled. “And long story short, we got er out.”
As the story goes, the dory was capsized last Sunday and became stuck on a rock in the middle of the river. Even the local fire department did its best to extricate the craft from the water, but there it remained until Fasi and Sale decided to take a crack at removing it.
Armed with a GoPro and a few tools, it took the duo about 35 minutes to free the dory. The trick was the use of a Handyman car jack, which they were able to get under the boat to lift it off the rock. With a simple rope attached to the craft, once freed they were able to haul it to shore.
The entire episode was condensed into a roughly six-minute YouTube video. Find it by searching “Roaring Fork River Boat Rescue 2017.”
“As soon it as came off the rock it was tangled on, it bounced down river very nicely. Everything worked right,” Fasi said. “It’s not my typical work day, but stuff like that interests me and I was surprised that nobody else was able to get it out.”
Fasi didn’t know who the boat belonged to, but found both a phone, long since drained of battery, and a set of rental car keys in a waterproof container. He called the rental car company, which was able to identify the customer, and like that Fasi was able to reunite the dory with its owner, a man from Glenwood Springs.
“I felt like he might be a little bit embarrassed, I’m not going to lie, that he flipped his boat in there,” Fasi said. “The moment really happed on the phone to be honest. They were super appreciative.”
Fasi said that outside of some cosmetic damage, the dory was still in one piece and perfectly functional. He was simply glad to have helped remove an unwanted obstacle from the river.
“I’m glad they are safe and alive and they got their boat back,” Fasi said. “We were being safe and smart about it and got it out of there. It’s good that it’s out of there. There’s no need for sunken ships in the river.”
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Those opting for the spring, like Aspen and Basalt, will begin football practice Feb. 25 and start playing games March 11.