How not to cross a river in a CJ-8 (or anything)

Moabite

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Moab
State
UT
#21
While one of the IKs would have been faster and more maneuveable, the raft might have been a more stable platform to reach the guy and perhaps even pull him in. Stay upstream from the Jeep and there is VERY little danger in that situation on the Dolores. I saw no rapids in the video. At least get out there and assess the possibilities and risk rather than stand around and jeer. Grand County SAR would spend the entire river season searching for bodies in the river if people were not willing to take some risk and rescue others in trouble. Rescues have been happening many times every day on The Daily stretch of the river above Moab during this season's very high water. We are most often never even called, though we do hear about some of them.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#22
While one of the IKs would have been faster and more maneuveable, the raft might have been a more stable platform to reach the guy and perhaps even pull him in. Stay upstream from the Jeep and there is VERY little danger in that situation on the Dolores. I saw no rapids in the video. At least get out there and assess the possibilities and risk rather than stand around and jeer. Grand County SAR would spend the entire river season searching for bodies in the river if people were not willing to take some risk and rescue others in trouble. Rescues have been happening many times every day on The Daily stretch of the river above Moab during this season's very high water. We are most often never even called, though we do hear about some of them.
Great that’s true but my point still stands. The speed of that water, my boating knowledge and having absolutely no clue what’s around the bend that’s just a couple hundred yards away would have kept me right there.

If I was you and or had been on that water before, absolutely, but I won’t generically blame these people with no knowledge of their skill or ability :shrug:

As an example, without rescue training how could anyone know what you said about little risk if you stay upstream? That the raft would be preferable to the kayak (not doubting you but almost seems counterintuitive from a maneuverability perspective to my unskilled self)?

What if the dude couldn’t swim, panicked and jumped onto an unskilled kayaker, capsizing them both? Then what if there’s rapids around that bend?

If you think you can help, help no question, but I’m still of the “don’t compound a bad situation if you have no clue” thinking and we don’t know anything about these boaters.
 
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don87401

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Farmington
State
NM
#23
After the Jeep stopped and if I could help get him out of the Jeep, yes I would be glad to launch a boat and ferry across the river to aid in that but I would not have just chased the stuff going down the river. Or if he had been washed out of the Jeep I would have been in a boat and after him.
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#24
To me it is 2 particular things that jump out. (1). If you can't swim well, what are you doing driving out in the middle of a river. (2). Never drive ANY vehicle into a fast moving stream or river that could be deeper than 18 inches of water because your vehicle will get swepted away. The final thing is unless you have 4 people paddling that raft you would be swept down river before you got across this river to the scrambler to make a rescue. I've been a strong swimmer all my life but with jeans and shoes that is very dangerous trying to get rescued or rescuing someone.
 

Moabite

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Moab
State
UT
#25
The final thing is unless you have 4 people paddling that raft you would be swept down river before you got across this river to the scrambler to make a rescue.
We can play "What if" games all day. After listening to the video more carefully, you at least hear one of the girls talk about getting "one of the duckies" or the "double duckie" (their inflatable kayaks) to go after the guy. At least someone in the party was trying to figure out how to help. The moron with the camera does nothing but profanely deride someone who is in a difficult and perhaps dangerous situation. The raft was a rowing rig...not a paddle boat. Anyone with average river skills in one of the IKs or one person with a passenger in the raft could have easily ferried across the river and still been well upstream of the Jeep...with the passenger pulling the Jeeper into the boat or at least throwing him some flotation or a life jacket. The raft would definitely have been the better platform. If they aren't that good or strong at maneuvering their boat, they have no business being on the Dolores, which is flowing well above average for this time of year. And I'd be extremely surprised if there was any person in the boating party who was not aware of what was "around the bend."

One of the things you learn in the rescue business is that seconds often count. The moron on the cell phone seemed more interested in getting his next viral video than in trying to decide if he (or anyone nearby) were even capable of helping. It's irrelevant if the guy is a total neophyte or an experienced river guide. He never even considers trying to rally help. Not helping someone in danger because you are incapable of doing so or because it is too dangerous is one thing. Not even considering some type of attempt is inexcusable. There was a piece on the local TV news within the past week about an accident where no one stepped up to help the victims. Everyone stood around taking cell phone videos until an ambulance arrived. Sad, but true.

And FYI...if you try to drive across the Dolores at the normal crossings just upstream from the Colorado near Moab, don't do it if the water is above, if I remember right, about 500 cfs...or maybe it is 300 cfs. The figure is written on one of our maps on the wall of the SAR building. If anyone needs to know, I can check next time I go to town. The Dolores is currently running over 3200 cfs. Check the flow at the Cisco/Dewey station: Dolores river at Dewey
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#26
I used one of those rafts with a good friend for 3 days on the John Day river in Oregon just a few years ago and you can control them pretty well going down river slower than the current, but going straight across or upriver is pretty futile with that type of current. 500 cfs is not much water. The river that is about 600 ft from my front door has been at flood stage for about 4 months now at about 1,250,000 cfs. :)
 

Moabite

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Moab
State
UT
#27
I used one of those rafts with a good friend for 3 days on the John Day river in Oregon just a few years ago and you can control them pretty well going down river slower than the current, but going straight across or upriver is pretty futile with that type of current. :)
Respectfully, that is just not true. Or perhaps I should say it depends on the river. On a river such as the Dolores at the current flow, it is not hard to ferry across and not be that far downstream when you reach the other side. Yes, it takes effort and you have to know the proper angle to take. It is simple in flat water...and the Jeep was crossing in flat water...and the Dolores is a narrow river. I have been lucky enough to have spent months and months and months (perhaps years) on the Colorado and Green Rivers in rowing rigs, including two 35-day private trips through the Grand Canyon, numerous 7-10-day Cataract Canyon and Westwater trips, and hundreds of trips down the Daily stretch of the Colorado upstream from Moab. Ferry angles are one of the things we teach our SAR members if they do not already have that skill. We just finished teaching ferry angles on the Colorado which was running 40,000 cfs a couple of weeks ago...down to a bit over 30K now but still more than double the average flow for July 2. Gradient actually plays more of a role in water speed than cfs. If you are on any river, ferrying should be a skill you need to have.
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#28
I have that skill. Grew up on the Rouge River in Oregon 50 years ago. But you are talking about professionals on the river, and those people on the banks and in the river are not that, they proved that the first minute of that video. Gradient actually does not matter always, it depends on the river. The river outside my door is actually 8 ft below sea level and flat as can be and the current is probably at least 12 mph, it's the quantity and volume upriver creating the speed. Just saying
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
#29
The cross sectional area plays a much larger role in determining water velocity of a river when discussing cfm flow rates. If the 2 rivers have the same cross sectional area, then gradient comes into play.

You can flow a lot more water through a 100’ diameter pipe than a 6” diameter pipe. The speed of the water could be the same, but the cfm would not.

In the end, I think this is an example of what NOT to do in a Jeep AND on the shore when witnessing an incident like this.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#32
No they are not, on the high seas it's a whole other mater. At the time this one had the potential highest value of a salvage operation. NASA External Fuel tank for the space shuttle out in the Gulf of Mexico in 1995. image.png
 

walkerhoundvm

Typical Know-it-all
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Cave Creek
State
AZ
#33
I have nothing interesting to add, but I went up to telluride this morning (after staying in canyonlands last night) and the San Miguel was flowing pretty damn quick. I'm staying with relatives on the Arkansas near Canon city tonight and tomorrow and it's impressive, but not as high as it was a couple weeks ago. I guess Colorado got a little more snow this year or something. What'd they say, like 600% snowpack or something? Wow.

E - I also think it's borderline criminal to sit there and videotape something like this without even so much as throwing a life jacket. We're arguing over physics and geography and there's a guy in the river who could've flipped and gone under. A person, who may have done something stupid and almost killed himself; every one of us for sure has done something like that, what'd we think if that was all captured on video with some guy laughing. Would you rather be "that guy on the video laughing" or "that guy on video who dropped his camera and sprang up to help."

I think collectively we've started losing compassion for our fellow man.
 
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OGRES

Legacy Registered User
LIFETIME
City
Suwanee
State
GA
#34
I have nothing interesting to add, but I went up to telluride this morning (after staying in canyonlands last night) and the San Miguel was flowing pretty damn quick. I'm staying with relatives on the Arkansas near Canon city tonight and tomorrow and it's impressive, but not as high as it was a couple weeks ago. I guess Colorado got a little more snow this year or something. What'd they say, like 600% snowpack or something? Wow.

E - I also think it's borderline criminal to sit there and videotape something like this without even so much as throwing a life jacket. We're arguing over physics and geography and there's a guy in the river who could've flipped and gone under. A person, who may have done something stupid and almost killed himself; every one of us for sure has done something like that, what'd we think if that was all captured on video with some guy laughing. Would you rather be "that guy on the video laughing" or "that guy on video who dropped his camera and sprang up to help."

I think collectively we've started losing compassion for our fellow man.
I have completely lost compassion for people voluntarily doing stupid things putting themselves into danger.
 
City
White Rock
State
NM
#35
hmmm we crossed the Delores and barely got the undercarriage wet. I guess timing an location are all important
 

7jeeps7kings

Legacy Registered User
City
right near the lake
State
OH
#36
Don't mess with mother nature. I've river crossed and river run a decent amount and moving water is very dangerous. The river bottom is constantly changing, the current changes because of the river bottom change, and floating debris are just some of the things to be worried about. I am by no means an expert but have had my far share of river running experience. (Here comes my one time at band camp story).

Where I live the Chagrin river & Grand river and its tributaries flow around the land. There are lots of sand & stone deposits, bed rock, and water holes. The area I used to run was a weekly event for me at the time. The evening I'm mentioning started off as a nice outdoor birthday party with about 10 jeepers or so. We were all talking about how great the day/ night was and that it had finally stopped raining (its ohio...). Anyhow it was getting late and we noticed that almost everyone there had brought their jeep so we decided to go river run in celebration of our friends birthday. Forgetting that it had rained for the past 3 days.

Anyhow we got down into the river and I was in the back of the pack and noticed that a couple of the jeeps headlights and taillights had completely disappeared (They were under water. I had thought they had turned them off for night opts to avoid attention and local law enforcement). Luckily we made it around this bend in the river and to the nearest exit. We all got out of our jeeps in a amazement that no one stalled out and how high the river was and how hard it was flowing. (This is where the stupid kicked in on top of the stupidity of not having situational awareness: checking the river level before entering and remembering that it had rained hard for 3 days).

So my buddy and I both decided to cross the river even after knowing how lucky we were so far and how hard the river was flowing. So I followed him; he was in a 1975 cj5 (4" lift, 33" tires, v8) and I was in1982 cj5 (4" lift, 36" tires, 6cyl). We took an up river approach in an angle across the river towards a trail on the opposite side. Where we aimed to land on the opposite bank we did not end up. We did make it across but we ended up 50' down from where we were aiming. My 1982 cj5 floated a couple of times, the water was flowing over the hood, and the force of the water was pushing through the rust holes in the floor with enough force that it was making a water stream or spray like a garden hose up at me and my passenger. Luckily we did make it across but we decided to go around to meet back up with our fellow jeepers (a smart move). I was so happy at multiple points: when the jeep would sinking back or get pushed down towards the bottom of the river bed and the jeep would catch traction, and when my head lights came out of the water on the opposite side. A lot of bad things could have happen that night and it has changed my view of moving water forever!

We finished the birthday party down there at the river edge in amazement of what just happened, watching the river flow, and then we all gulped and swallowed our spit when two large trees with roots came floating passed us. If the timing on these two monstrous floating trees had been earlier it would have taken out every jeep we had in water that night had and most likely killed or injured one or more of us... It makes for a good story now but was a lesson we all learned that night.

The river in the video looks like it is flowing naturally at the rate it's going. Im not familiar with colorado rivers so its just a guess. But as a rule of thumb here in ohio if the water is dark and brown beware its flowing.
7jeeps7kings
 
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Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#37
An amazing story, and it is amazing all of you made it. And a second time also. Sounds like a little alcohol was involved. :) Great story. Good for lessons learned
 

CJ-8_Jim

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
NW Chicago Suburb
State
IL
#38
There's so much wrong here it's unreal... caution for language in the commentary of the videographer.

What a coincidence seeing this video!

I met a guy this summer while I was camping and kayaking slot canyons on Lake Powell (Glen Canyon Natl Rec Area) who happen to be wheeling with this Scrambler owner in this video when this happened (i.e., when this was filmed)... he showed this to me on his phone. (That is, he showed it to me after my 7 & 9 year old sons voluntarily told him about me hydrolocking my Scrambler at Silver Lake a few years ago... LOL).

There is more to the story than what the video indicates... The guy who was camping next to us at Lake Powell who was there when that water crossing took place told me...
  • The Scrambler owner is the "nicest guy you could meet"... and that he regularly "gives his shirt off his back for others"
  • The Scrambler owner crossed the river the first time without any problems .... on the first river crossing he had his front winch hooked up across the river and had someone from the shore behind him winched to his rear. Despite the two precautionery winches, he didn't need to rely on them during his first river crossing.
  • During that first water crossing, the kayakers complained profusely (actually a different verb and adverb was used to describe it) about the Scrambler owner's winch lines creating a hazard for kayakers who could get clothes-lined by the winches.
  • So the Scrambler owner being the nice guy I'm told he is, he relented on the return water crossing and crossed without a winch line... (and of course you can see what happened).
I love to kayak and canoe (even volunteered with the USFS in the Boundary Waters 15 years ago), but I have to say I'm embarrassed by my fellow kayakers' behavior before and after over the winch lines and the disaster that followed.
 
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bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#39
What a coincidence seeing this video!

I met a guy this summer while I was camping and kayaking slot canyons on Lake Powell (Glen Canyon Natl Rec Area) who happen to be wheeling with this Scrambler owner in this video when this happened (i.e., when this was filmed)... he showed this to me on his phone. (That is, he showed it to me after my 7 & 9 year old sons voluntarily told him about me hydrolocking my Scrambler at Silver Lake a few years ago... LOL).

There is more to the story than what the video indicates... The guy who was camping next to us at Lake Powell who was there when that water crossing took place told me...
  • The Scrambler owner is the "nicest guy you could meet"... and that he regularly "gives his shirt off his back for others"
  • The Scrambler owner crossed the river the first time without any problems .... on the first river crossing he had his front winch hooked up across the river and had someone from the shore behind him winched to his rear. Despite the two precautionery winches, he didn't need to rely on them during his first river crossing.
  • During that first water crossing, the kayakers complained profusely (actually a different verb and adverb was used to describe it) about the Scrambler owner's winch lines creating a hazard for kayakers who could get clothes-lined by the winches.
  • So the Scrambler owner being the nice guy I'm told he is, he relented on the return water crossing and crossed without a winch line... (and of course you can see what happened).
I love to kayak and canoe (even volunteered with the USFS in the Boundary Waters 15 years ago), but I have to say I'm embarrassed by my fellow kayakers' behavior before and after over the winch lines and the disaster that followed.
I guess my issues are why he'd even attempt something like that when it required two precautionary winches and why you'd ever let bystanders control your own safety by not using the winches you thought the crossing required :shrug:
 

7jeeps7kings

Legacy Registered User
City
right near the lake
State
OH
#40
An amazing story, and it is amazing all of you made it. And a second time also. Sounds like a little alcohol was involved. :) Great story. Good for lessons learned
A little before and then a lot after... was a lot younger then. Now I don't even like to cross water puddles in the mall parking lot...lol
 
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