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  1. #41
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    As a retired paramedic, and one who has been hauled into court for acting against a patient's wishes, and acting in their best interest (the court eventually agreed with us), I have to ask. At what point do you draw the line. If I, or the police, took it upon ourselves to deny a person's free choice, and restrain them when they choose to do something foolish, we would never be out of court.

    To lay this, on the police's feet, when the family did nothing to stop the person from going out and hiking 2000 plus miles, knowing that he would be facing danger and be required to make critical decisions, is entirely unfair. The family knew of his background and potential tendencies, the police did not. Do you know how many people the police encounter who, on the surface, appear to be making irrational decisions. They are not babysitters, or medical personnel who are responsible for monitoring and ultimately determining a person's mental status, particularly without he benefit of history.

    It is NOT something I would want, and not something I accept, having big brother feeling responsible for my decisions.

  2. #42

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    The police are not mental health professionals.

    Nor were they likely the first people who had a opportunity to intervene in the chain of events. Simply the last.

    If the person had an known mental condition that affected decision-making, why were they allowed to be out there?

    Completely rational people, make deadly mistakes and miscalculations every day as well.

    Given what we were told about the victim's background, a triathelete had the water not been very cold it might not have been impossible. It's at least plausible to believe that the victim rationally believed they could do it.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-26-2018 at 13:07.

  3. #43

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    Simply make it illegal to ford the river. $5,000 fine and 1 year in jail. If you die, your family is responsible to pay the fine and all associated retrieval costs. It would be easy enough to put in electronic surveillance on the Caratunk side to enforce the law. The first person they nail would pay for the system.

    What if the shuttle is not yet in operation? You have to walk around to the bridge.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Simply make it illegal to ford the river. $5,000 fine and 1 year in jail. If you die, your family is responsible to pay the fine and all associated retrieval costs. It would be easy enough to put in electronic surveillance on the Caratunk side to enforce the law. The first person they nail would pay for the system.

    What if the shuttle is not yet in operation? You have to walk around to the bridge.
    People know the risks.
    There's no way to get there and not know the risks.

    Last time I checked all manner of pfds and pack rafts and such are also available.
    People choose not to use such , or the ferry, that's on them.

    Despite severe warnings that it kills
    People still smoke
    67% of smokers die of smoking-related illness
    That's substantially higher than the percent of people that die from fording the Kennebec
    Perhaps we should arrest smokers? Make it illegal?

    Or better yet let's just let them live with their choice, or not.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 05-26-2018 at 14:51.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    People know the risks.
    There's no way to get there and not know the risks.

    Last time I checked all manner of pfds and pack rafts and such are also available.
    People choose not to use such , or the ferry, that's on them.

    Despite severe warnings that it kills
    People still smoke
    67% of smokers die of smoking-related illness
    That's substantially higher than the percent of people that die from fording the Kennebec
    Perhaps we should arrest smokers? Make it illegal?

    Or better yet let's just let them live with their choice, or not.
    +1

    Every year at least 2 or 3 people die at Kaaterskill Falls in the Catskills (google it!) despite signs at the bottom that starkly warn of the dangers and stating in no uncertain terms that the trail is closed. Yet they go right around the fence, clamber to the top, slip on the slime-covered rocks and fall a couple hundred feet to their deaths.

    You can't stop people from doing stupid things, and occasionally they pay the ultimate price.

    And sometimes people who aren't doing stupid things get killed. Stuff happens.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  6. #46

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    Thank you for your kind and considerate response. It is greatly appreciated.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    This is Michael Camiso’s sister. My brother was not inherently reckless, stupid or “rash.” He was a disabled veteran, who suffered from a TBI resulting in mental illness and early onset dementia. He had stunning moments of clarity. Before his injury and illness he was a brilliant, beautiful, healthy man who competed in triathlons. He trained in far harsher conditions in Fairbanks, AK, and undertook scouts and Rangers training. While he was ill at the time that he journeyed for the SECOND time along the Appalachian Trail, he was trained, fit and ready. He trained for HOURS a day for months before he began, and he trekked farther than many have had the pleasure of enjoying before he tragically lost his life trying to ford the river.

    There was no ferry the day that my brother lost his life. A police officer reportedly told told him that the ferry could not run because the river was at flood levels. My brother then informed the police officer that he intended to cross on his own. This officer told my brother that he couldn’t, that it was too dangerous. Michael was a paranoid schizophrenic, an unfortunate byproduct of his brain injury. He reacted confrontationally, erratically in conversation with the officer, BECAUSE he was a paranoid schizophrenic. What did that officer do, in the face of a clearly irrational man, who told him that he was going to cross even though they told him he couldn’t? They LEFT. My brother was a human being with a tragic illness. He was also a hero with the type of fortitude, spirit and heart that most men NEVER achieve. EVER. My family is utterly heartbroken, and the world lost a beautiful man with an indomitable spirit. Unspeakably tragic, particularly where authorities apparently knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that an irrational, paranoid man intended to enter the raging waters of a river that he surely could not survive, and they did nothing.
    So sorry for your loss.
    Formerly uhfox

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  8. #48
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    Another news article on the tragedy: http://www.nj.com/burlington/index.s...ian_trail.html

  9. #49
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    I always challenge authorities so I guess it's my job to do so here. Crossed the Kennebec 3 times in '04 as the #1 NOBO. Steve was still alive in those days but didn't run the ferry that early in the year. Swam across to get a feel for the river, swam back to get my pack, swam my gear across. Definitely cold.

    Lesson learned in this effort: don't wear shoes if you think you have to swim. I know this seems like a mundane tip but it is something I've learned and had to use quite a few times since. I've been going to Glacier NP quite a bit for my hiking and I have to cross the Flathead River which is substantially larger. If you think you can ford than unbuckle your pack (hip strap and chest strap!) and crocs. If you got to swim than strip down to underwear and that's it (test your pack and make sure it floats!) River crossing is one reason I switched from Osprey to Hyperlite. I loved my Osprey(s) for more than a decade but their crap when it comes to water.

    I don't recommend ever crossing the Kennebec by swimming, but if you are in trouble (for whatever reason) and you need to swim, don't wear your hiking shoes/boots to cross rivers and be sure you can jettison your pack in an instant.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Thank you for providing missing details.
    There is not a person here that is not sorry about your brother.

    Everyone just wants to learn from others experiences, and it takes discussion to do that. While such can come across as insensitive to the victim or family, its purpose is to help others avoid similar. There always will be people who choose to cross on their own.
    this ^^^^^^^^^

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    This is Michael Camiso’s sister. My brother was not inherently reckless, stupid or “rash.” He was a disabled veteran, who suffered from a TBI resulting in mental illness and early onset dementia. He had stunning moments of clarity. (snip)
    There was no ferry the day that my brother lost his life. A police officer reportedly told told him that the ferry could not run because the river was at flood levels. My brother then informed the police officer that he intended to cross on his own. This officer told my brother that he couldn’t, that it was too dangerous. Michael was a paranoid schizophrenic, an unfortunate byproduct of his brain injury. He reacted confrontationally, erratically in conversation with the officer, BECAUSE he was a paranoid schizophrenic. What did that officer do, in the face of a clearly irrational man, who told him that he was going to cross even though they told him he couldn’t? They LEFT. My brother was a human being with a tragic illness. He was also a hero with the type of fortitude, spirit and heart that most men NEVER achieve. EVER. My family is utterly heartbroken, and the world lost a beautiful man with an indomitable spirit. Unspeakably tragic, particularly where authorities apparently knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that an irrational, paranoid man intended to enter the raging waters of a river that he surely could not survive, and they did nothing.
    Unfortunately, the police can't do anything unless an actual crime is committed. (which is why I suggested making fording the river illegal) While crossing the river at that time was reckless, he wasn't doing it with the expressed desire to commit suicide, although that's what it amounts to. The police did their job, they told him not to do it and he did it anyway. While your brothers death was tragic, don't go trying to blame someone else for his death.

    Given what you say about the state of your brothers mental health, it sounds like he was losing the ability to make rational decisions and probably should not have been allowed to do this hike alone in the first place, especially at that time of year in that part of Maine.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #52
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    Nikki, thanks for letting us know more of the details and also a little about who Michael was and how he spent his life. I am sorry for your loss.

  13. #53

    Default Michael Camiso’s sister

    I am utterly speechless about the ignorance of some of the comments on this thread. First and foremost, my family DID attempt to convince my brother not to go back out on the trail. We tried MANY times to convince him to go back into the VA Hospital. Unfortunately, until and unless a mentally ill person states an intent to commit an act that is harmful to himself or others, a civilian cannot force an adult “not” to do something. In THIS case, the authorities have personally admitted to me, his sister, that they expressly told him he could not cross because it was too high, too dangerous. He then became belligerent and confrontational, as paranoid schizophrenics do. TRUST ME, when my brother had those moments NO sane individual would not recognize that he had mental health issues. A TRAINED POLICE OFFICER CERTAINLY would know. Now, I am an attorney. I am VERY well versed in what officials can and cannot do relative to the individual rights of adult people. I am ALSO very familiar with their legal obligation to prevent someone from taking an action that will almost certainly kill them. Imagine that a distraught man is standing on a bridge. He tells a police officer that he wants to leap to take a swim. The office says, hey buddy, you can’t jump, you will die. The man becomes determined, confrontational, paranoid, and says he intends to do it anyway. The officer will 99.9% of the time ABSOLUTELY take that person into custody. He stated an intent to act in a way that is suicidal, even if suicide was not his stated goal. According to the authorities, the river was at flood levels and attempting to cross was not only dangerous but impossible. The inevitable outcome was death. That is PRECISELY what happened to my brother when that officer DID NOTHING AND LEFT. For all of the Internet trolls who want to spout off about what his family could have or should have done, I hope and pray that you NEVER suffer the tragedy of watching a live one slip away into mental illness, be it the type of brain injury and associated illness my brother had, Alzheimer’s, dementia, or something else. If and when you do, remember this exchange. Remember that you so carelessly judged my family without truly understanding.

  14. #54

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    And for those who would criticize that my brother didn’t take the ferry, when the sheriff called to tell us they’d found my brother’s body, he advised us that the ferry was not running because the river was at flood levels and it was too dangerous for the ferry to run. There was no ferry for my brother to take. Again, people who don’t know the facts are quick to judge behind the anonymity of the internet and a computer keyboard.

  15. #55

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    Given that you are not one of my family members, your personal opinion on whether or not the police actually did their job that day is entirely irrelevant, particularly given that you are not privy to all of the details.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Every guidebook says do not ford.
    There are posters at every lean-to north and south of there that say do not ford.
    There are signs in several spots on both banks that say do not ford.
    We're told the hiker was spoken to in person and told not to ford.

    I believe the authorities did what they could, so let's not blame them.
    Given that you are not one of my family members, your personal opinion on whether or not the police actually did their job that day is entirely irrelevant, particularly given that you are not privy to all of the details.

  17. #57
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    Default Hiker Killed Fording the Kennebec

    I wonder if it would be appropriate to place a marker at the river to remember this man and to serve as a warning of the risk of death by drowning.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    he advised us that the ferry was not running because the river was at flood levels and it was too dangerous for the ferry to run. There was no ferry for my brother to take. Again, people who don’t know the facts are quick to judge behind the anonymity of the internet and a computer keyboard.
    That's incorrect. The ferry service didn't start their service until just a few says ago.
    There's not a person here that is not sorry about your brother.
    I'm wondering what else you were told that's false.
    Were you told where the officer was when he told your brother he shouldn't ford?
    Teej

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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkicam View Post
    Given that you are not one of my family members, your personal opinion on whether or not the police actually did their job that day is entirely irrelevant, particularly given that you are not privy to all of the details.
    nikki ... sorry for your loss . this forum is full of people that like to put their thoughts down and not care about who they are hurting in the process . please for your sanity stay away from it . i have watched this forum for a few days and have watched people talk about your brother with no respect and no respect for the family member that is on here asking you all to stop . man , i just do not understand how some people can gossip about a person that passed away and actually continue with insensitive remarks after the family member has asked you people to stop . get a grip on yourselves ...

  20. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    I wonder if it would be appropriate to place a marker at the river to remember this man and to serve as a warning of the risk of death by drowning.
    I recall that when Alice drowned there is was reported the NPS denied allowing a marker inside the AT corridor.
    Her family ended up providing the funds for a lean-to, I believe.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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