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I almost drowned


mikedx
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I am posting this link only for people to PLEASE not to make the same mistake I did. I am certainly not proud of what I did. Keep in mind that you can't do what you used to 10 years ago.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.asp?ID=7748

 

I want to publically state that I was warned in advance about traveling the way I did and that I accept full responsibility for my actions.

 

For anyone who would like to tell me how stupid I was, you may do so without reprisal from me. I'm just happy to be alive. I really think it might have made the difference that I attended church that particular morning.As for caching, I plan on going again tomorrow. Hey, the GPS followed me.

But I will never, NEVER, take any more chances on a river.

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Here's the text from Mike's log for those of you that are irritated by unsolicited music eminating from a cache page while you are trying to read a log. (like me)

 

quote:
September 1 by mikedx (57 found)

 

I almost drowned (seriously) doing this cache. I parked next to the river (on the same side of the cache) about 0.77 miles upstream. I hiked down the side and crossed the river at a low (shin high) point. I treked down that side of the river till I got across from the cache. I took my GPS, pencil, geocoin, and compass and placed them in two ziplock bags and carried them in my mouth. I crossed the river (waist high) a little ways upstream. I walked along that side of the river to the launch site, then up to the cache, which I found real easy. I decided to just swim across from the boat area to save from backtracking 150 feet and about bought the farm. I kicked out to about half way trying to do a backstroke (I can't swim forwards). The water was warm at the edge, but got so cold in the middle that I started to hyperventilate. So I'm out in the middle of the river flailing. I can't get anywhere cuz the shoes I were wearing were old and the soles were loose and kept fighting against my stroke. I also couldn't get enough air by having the bag in my mouth. At this time, I really thought that I was going to drown. I wish I had some moment of insight to share during this near death experience, but all I could think of was that I was going to die and who would end up finding by drowned body. I spit out the bag with the GPS knowing that $150 piece of equipment was worthless to me if I wasn't going to be around to use it. I cried out loud for help for the first time in my adult life, but the only boat was too far away and around a bend in the river. I still couldn't get anywhere with those shoes on. After almost giving up, I fought my instincts and went to the bottom to take off my shoes. I really don't know how deep it was. I then relaxed, and did a dead man's float on my back. I calmed down, and slowly made my way back to the shore. Oddly enough, the GPS stayed afloat in the ziplock bags, and followed me due to the paddling (the stream velocity was negligible). Same thing for the old shoes.

I take full responsibility for my actions and admit I was duly warned against this method of travel. I think someone did hear me call for help, and He helped me through this experience.


 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Z:

Here's the text from Mike's log for those of you that are irritated by unsolicited music eminating from a cache page while you are trying to read a log. (like me)


 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

---------------------------------------

Friends don't let friends NOT geocache.

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Here an ''across the river'' one that I did. I planned to take a swim but didn't. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_logs.asp?ID=33053&N=Shuttle+Craft+Charlie+%2D+Centauri+by+Hazard

Aug 20 I looked at it and back away. Went back at a later date with a different approuch and claimed a find. Sometimes safety is a subtle judgement.

 

A little advise. If you get yourself in trouble in water, dump the shoes first and quickly. They just weigh you down.

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I'm so glad you pulled through.

 

I recently placed a cache (Hogback Ridge) in Indiana which has always been a favorite place for me. It wasn't until I read your story that I was reminded that both my cousion and I had nearly drowned (twenty years ago) on the very spot. We attempted to do what you did -- cross the river to save time/cut distance.

 

Basically we underestimated the distance, current, our own ability as swimmers etc. Your story brought the fear of that moment rushing back.

 

Hopefully someone will read your experience and think twice before doing the same thing. I know I will.

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Like everyone else reading this, I am so very glad this had a happy ending. It is very scary just to read your account. This is probably a good reminder to us all to stop and think twice before doing some of the risky things we do (or think about doing) when trying to find a cache. Thanks for sharing your experience....and thanks for making it back to tell about it.

 

Alchemist2000

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Just some rules of thumb to remember.

1. ALWAYS wear a life preserver in a swiftly flowing river.

2. Do not try to stand up in a swiflty flowing river, wait until you can float to a calm spot and swim to shore. Your feet can become stuck between rocks and the river can knock you down and hold you down.

3. If you become disconnected from your river vehicle, float downstream FEET FIRST until you come to a calm spot and swim to shore.

4. Never go down a swiftly flowing river alone and without telling someone where you are going and when you can be expected back.

5. Always wear secure shoes to keep the broken glass and fishhooks out of your feet.

6. Don't try to swim it, bring an inner tube! @$10 at your local tire shop.

7. If you should be heading downstream without a paddle or a boat and you cannot find a calm spot, get downstream of a big rock and stand in the eddy, where the water curls back upstream, so you don't have to struggle and you can regain your strength until someone comes by, or you can feel brave enough to move on. The sun shining on the rock on a nice day will give you a place to warm up also (been there).

8. Should you get stuck in a hydraulic wave (standing wave, turning over and over) cover your head, dive to the bottom and the river will bring you up downstream, probably bruised, but you'll get air.

9. Never without a life preserver!!!!

It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature! Use caution when playing in the elements.

I'm glad you are safe now.

Planet

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I had a kind of scary experience one time when I was in the Army reserves. I was on a night patrol with a section (8 guys) and we came to a river. We setup security on our side and the point guys went across first. The first guy in almost lost his rifle so we decided to sling them to go across.

 

It was April and the river was swollen from the spring thaw and very very cold. I had my wool sweater on and was damp already because it was a rainstorm already.

 

Now, I'm 6' tall and when I got to the middle of the river (Full kit, rifle, helmet, big heavy leather boots), it was all I could do to doggy paddle. A couple of times I just took a breath, dropped to the bottom and pushed off again. The river was moving so fast that for every meter I went forward I went downstream one too.

 

When I got to a shallower spot I turned around to see my buddy, about 8 inches shorter then me, going down for the count. I reached forward and grabbed the hand of the guy in front of me, and then reached back and grabbed by drowning buddy as he went buy. I'm not a strong guy but with the adrenaline managed to almost throw him up onto the bank with one arm!

 

To this day I have mixed feelings about the incident. I realize now we should have just found a bridge (screw the tactical implications.. it was just a Thursday night exersice. Besides we were supposed to walk into an ambush for another section practicing amushes) On the other hand I'm proud of the fact that we all made it across and that I was able to help a buddy who almost drowned.

 

As a footnote... we were a bit further along in our patrol and had to cross a little stream about 3 feet across. One of my other buddys decided it wasn't that deep and stepped into it. It was about 4 feet deep and the water was flowing pretty fast. He disappeared out of sight and popped up 20 feet downstream. We all had a good laugh over that one when we got back to the Armories.

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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Those of you placing caches please think before placing them. There ain't a hobby, or a game in the world worth dying for. So lets place em in safe spots.

 

For those of us looking for the caches let's use some common sense. I passed a cache up this summer because some yo-yo placed it on a cliff. I ain't climbing a shear cliff for a happy meal toy! icon_biggrin.gif

 

I am really glad that the original poster is OK. Sheesh, it's a game folks!

 

An Irish Toast:

"May you be in heaven a half hour before

the Devil knows you're dead"

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Those of you placing caches please think before placing them. There ain't a hobby, or a game in the world worth dying for. So lets place em in safe spots.

 

For those of us looking for the caches let's use some common sense. I passed a cache up this summer because some yo-yo placed it on a cliff. I ain't climbing a shear cliff for a happy meal toy! icon_biggrin.gif

 

I am really glad that the original poster is OK. Sheesh, it's a game folks!

 

An Irish Toast:

"May you be in heaven a half hour before

the Devil knows you're dead"

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quote:
Originally posted by Timothius:

There ain't a hobby, or a game in the world worth dying for. So lets place em in safe spots.

 

For those of us looking for the caches let's use some common sense. "


 

Listen, really there are no SAFE spots. This is the world. It is all risky. What is a small adventure for some is a fatal situation for others. The cache hunter really has to understand this! If it concerns you...don't do it!! You're guts are telling you to watch out. If you are the hider, please post common sense cautions.

 

4497_300.jpg

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I am truly amazed that you were able to keep your head enough to overcome the panic. Not being a good swimmer, I paniced once in the water so can appreciate your experience. I can think of other caches that I've been on where a slip could have ended up in death too. Personally, I think a cache placed on a dangerous slope is equally dangerous to one placed where there is not safe boat docking available. It is all a matter of being prepared. Looks like everyone knows that you learned your lesson and have spared you the sermon. icon_smile.gif

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

 

[This message was edited by Steve Bukosky on September 02, 2002 at 05:22 PM.]

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I am truly amazed that you were able to keep your head enough to overcome the panic. Not being a good swimmer, I paniced once in the water so can appreciate your experience. I can think of other caches that I've been on where a slip could have ended up in death too. Personally, I think a cache placed on a dangerous slope is equally dangerous to one placed where there is not safe boat docking available. It is all a matter of being prepared. Looks like everyone knows that you learned your lesson and have spared you the sermon. icon_smile.gif

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

 

[This message was edited by Steve Bukosky on September 02, 2002 at 05:22 PM.]

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Water is the one force in nature I respect utterly . I have a few caches around here I wouldnt wade too becuse the river they are placed on has a habit of eating a few people every year. There are also these wonderful pits that can just be a few feet to several 10's of feet deep.

 

I have had my fair share of encounters between boating and general outdoors goofing around to have learned a strong respect of the power of water.

 

Glad you managed to surive yours and pass the knowledge on to others icon_smile.gif

 

-Rober

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Water is the one force in nature I respect utterly . I have a few caches around here I wouldnt wade too becuse the river they are placed on has a habit of eating a few people every year. There are also these wonderful pits that can just be a few feet to several 10's of feet deep.

 

I have had my fair share of encounters between boating and general outdoors goofing around to have learned a strong respect of the power of water.

 

Glad you managed to surive yours and pass the knowledge on to others icon_smile.gif

 

-Rober

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quote:
Originally posted by Fundy Man:

Glad to hear everything worked out OK for you. Being a rookie to this , I was wondering how many of you search for caches by yourself?


 

When I'm caching in my home area, I'll go with my son if he feels like going, otherwise I'm on my own. Out of state finds are always done alone. I wouldn't mind going with someone who has the same enthusiasm, but it's hard to convince non-cachers searching for a box in the hot mosquito infested forest can be fun.

 

Around here, in out local group, I will occasonally see a post by someone or another inviting cachers for a group hunt. So far my schedule has not allowed this, but I think it would be fun to have some company once in a while, but not all of the time.

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