[env-trinity] Trinity Journal- River rescue on Trinity

Emelia Berol ema.berol at yahoo.com
Thu Apr 5 20:24:50 PDT 2012

Kudos to TAMWG member Dave Steinhausr for his role in  this rescue! The river was raging that day, very high with a constant stream of large logs floating down ... we were watching the stretch in Willow Creek between Camp Kimtu and the mouth of Willow Creek ... thrilling but very dangerous.... emelia berol

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On Apr 5, 2012, at 6:13 AM, Tom Stokely <tstokely at att.net> wrote:

> http://www.trinityjournal.com/news/local/article_50d10d02-7e59-11e1-99d0-001a4bcf6878.html 
> River rescue on Trinity
> By Amy Gittelsohn The Trinity Journal | Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 6:30 am
> A kayaker got into trouble in the high-flowing Trinity River last Friday afternoon but was rescued by rafters.
> The kayaker, a Humboldt State University student named Camrin Dengel, was reportedly making the Pigeon Point run with two other kayakers when she got caught in churning water at the bottom of a rapid. She inhaled some river water and was forced to abandon her kayak to get to shore – the opposite shore from the highway.
> That was when, as luck would have it, Sheriff's Search and Rescue members James Mitchell and Nick Walker happened by. Both men have worked and volunteered as river rangers.
> They'd planned that day to check the area for river hazards such as tree "strainers" that can hold a kayaker underwater.
> "We're cruising down toward Big Bar and we see the ruckus going on," Walker said, with two kayakers on the highway side of the river and the other stranded on the opposite bank. Between them, the Trinity River downstream of the North Fork and Canyon Creek tributaries was running at about 15,000 cubic feet per second.
> "They tell us they're getting ready to have her swim across," Walker said. "I told them 'No. Stay, we'll get a raft.'"
> A swimmer could easily become exhausted in that kind of current and drown, he said.
> In fact, Walker and Mitchell needed one more rower to enact a rescue. "The water's too powerful," Walker said.
> The Trinity County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol also responded, as did Dave Steinhauser and Dana Hord of Trinity River Rafting with a better raft. Steinhauser was "the perfect guy for the job," Walker said.
> The trio put in above the stranded kayaker and ran the river, picking her up and getting her to the other side.
> "We were very grateful for super Dave for showing up," Walker said.
> He noted that he and Mitchell had considered making the Pigeon Point run in kayaks that day but decided against it.
> Mitchell said Dengel and the other two kayakers had made the run quite a bit over the summer, but not in these types of flows.
> "At those flows there are logs floating down and other hazards," Mitchell said. "Thankfully, everything went well."
> It appears the trio underestimated the river flow based on information from a Web site that had not been updated that day, Steinhauser said.
> Dengel's kayak was lost in the incident.
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