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  1. #1

    Default Hiker Killed Fording the Kennebec


  2. #2
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    he attempted to swim it not ford it

  3. #3

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    Yep. Instead of doing a planned early morning crossing, he seems to have gone straight across right when a ton of water was flowing. Predictable outcome.

  4. #4
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    It looks like it can be forded until they get out in the deeper sections, by that time no choice but to swim. Water this early in the year would have been too cold, without a wetsuit he would have lost control of his limbs in minutes. Add in big variations in daily water level due to demand for power and makes it a risky idea.

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    he also didnt take the advice of a law enforcement officer......

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    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    It looks like it can be forded until they get out in the deeper sections, by that time no choice but to swim. Water this early in the year would have been too cold, without a wetsuit he would have lost control of his limbs in minutes. Add in big variations in daily water level due to demand for power and makes it a risky idea.
    I can't think of any bodies of water I would voluntarily enter that far north that early in the season.

    Good ol' hypothermia... rarely gets credit as it's often followed by some other calamity much more interesting.
    Bit like drunk driving into a tree. The tree is clearly the cause of death but...

    Sucks fer his family.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    It looks like it can be forded until they get out in the deeper sections, by that time no choice but to swim. Water this early in the year would have been too cold, without a wetsuit he would have lost control of his limbs in minutes. Add in big variations in daily water level due to demand for power and makes it a risky idea.
    It's hard to overstate how fast cold water disables a person. When i was in the Coast Guard I saw a man made utterly helpless in a minute or less. My crew had to drag him bodily into our boat. It's sobering to think of even decades later. (Police boat got him to shore and treatment where he recovered.)
    Last edited by Feral Bill; 05-24-2018 at 13:58.
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  8. #8

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    Instead of doing a planned early morning crossing,
    That info is decades out of date. Dam releases can happen at any hour of the day.
    Teej

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  9. #9
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    Ice out on lakes in the region was just happening when the deceased decided to go swimming. I used to WW kayak on occasion and the best water is with ice chunks floating in it in the spring. Even with the right gear getting dumped is quite a surprise. I have helped to haul folks out of the water in the spring who lost total control of their arms and legs in minutes. The upstream power plants are dispatched remotely by an operator somewhere far away, they play various power markets and that wall of water can come down the river anytime. There are also recreational releases that are somewhat timed for the whitewater rafters but that's just part of it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    he attempted to swim it not ford it
    a ford can, without warning, become a swim at that crossing - stop defending poor choices from your past.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    That info is decades out of date. Dam releases can happen at any hour of the day.
    Good to know, thanks for the clarification.

  12. #12
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    On May 8th. Wow. Dumb.

  13. #13

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    When I passed through at the end of August in 2012 and had to wait 2.5 hours for the afternoon canoe, I spent time exploring the riverside trying to figure out how one could actually ford across like I had read in older accounts. Never did see a good spot as everything in the middle looked to be over my head and looked to involve a lot of swimming. Water surface did look calm and the water level was consistent the entire time, so I did wonder if a strong swimmer could actually do it. But when I hear about people fording which implies actually walking across, I have a hard time believing it's possible, but maybe my timing was just really bad.

    I offer the family my condolences.

  14. #14

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    Ill think twice about not waiting for that canoe now...Didn't know it was actually a risk..Shows how ignorant I still am
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  15. #15

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    Cold water and exhaustion kills when panic sets in, in water temps he prolly would’ve made it no problem, although a little further down stream than most might like.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Ill think twice about not waiting for that canoe now...Didn't know it was actually a risk..Shows how ignorant I still am
    thing is it looks totally doable - the problems come in if an unplanned release from one of the 2 upstream dams happens and catches you mid-river - then all bets are off

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    The traditional thru hiker typically was northbound and went across in late summer. Depending on the winter, the lake storage was probably low so they dam owner timed their releases to match the demand curve on the grid that ramps slowly during the morning to mid morning. Therefore someone camping on the bank would see a fairly quiet river with many mid stream sandbanks. The water was a lot warmer than early May so folks tried and most succeeded and the unfortunate ones who dies or needed rescued just were unlucky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Ill think twice about not waiting for that canoe now...Didn't know it was actually a risk.
    Yep, the risk is exactly why the ATC provides a canoe ferry in the first place, due to hikers drowing over the years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2maine View Post
    a ford can, without warning, become a swim at that crossing - stop defending poor choices from your past.
    The water was high. He told authorities he was going to swim. Thats what article says. Thats all we know. No info on preparedness. He knew this ahead of time and knowingly tried.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-25-2018 at 13:14.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    The water was high. He told authorities he was going to swim. Thats what article says. Thats all we know. No info on preparedness. He knew this ahead of time and knowingly tried.
    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/ne...-20180525.html

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