Dan Draz Posted April 23, 2008 Report Share Posted April 23, 2008 I've been a member for a little over a year now and cannot recall seeing anyone post on this issue so I thought it important to start a thread on this topic. A couple years ago, I had the unfortunate pleasure of having to assist in the search and rescue efforts of a river steelhead fisherman who was missing and had not returned home from a river fishing trip. The man's car was found in the parking lot at a location someone suspected he might have gone to but he was nowhere to be found. There was no fishing tackle found in the car so the theory was that he had gone fishing somewhere and was out on the river. The search teams scoured the river very thoroughly for quite some time over several weeks and never found him. They looked from the point they suspected he had entered the river at and worked their way downstream which seemed like the logical thing to do if someone was going to float away... they would be downstream and not upstream. The body was not recovered during that search. About a year later, a fisherman saw some tackle floating in the water and when he went to check it out discovered a body wedged between several logs. When the police arrived, they determined that it was the fisherman they had looked for a year earlier. However, no one ever thought to look upstream because there was no suggestion that is where he would have been going. That said, I have fished rivers all around the Pacific NW and am now fishing rivers in Illinois. It is always advantageous to fish with someone else but I realize most of us tend to be fishing "loaners" and often capitalize on a couple of hours when we can get out on the river by ourselves. If you are going by yourself, be sure to tell someone where you are going. The other day, when I was heading out solo, I told my wife what my fishing plan was, where I was going to drop in at, what the streets were, where I was parking the car and the area I was planning on fishing. First river area and second river area as a backup, and how long I was planning on fishing. Another ISA member knew that I was out fishing and had some similar information since I'd discussed it with them prior to going. In the event something happens which triggers some type of search and rescue, now several people are informed and have solid information to tell the people where to go start looking. While the Pacific NW situation might have still ended the same with the same result, there is a chance someone could have found the person earlier while they were alive or they would have found him earlier even if it still ended badly, saving the family and loved ones much aggrivation. A little communication goes a long way... What other suggestions do you guys have for river safety things you do? Let's kick it around. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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