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Thread: Swamping in logjams...

  1. #1
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default Swamping in logjams...

    I've encountered 2 sunken jetboats in a logjam in the past 3 days. Apparently on the first one, all the passengers managed to get out on top of the jam and the captain wound up swimming, the second time, both captain and his wife (the single passenger) got flushed under and through. Both times the boats got flushed under and through in a seemingly innocent location with not nearly the water flow you'd expect needed to do this damage. If the captains reflexes had been quick enough, they both stated might have been able to actually safely beach their boats high and dry to the left, but they thought they'd just bounce off the logs and spin back upriver. Thank God everyone was wearing life preservers, and had matches and firestarter in their pfd pockets... they said it was miserable enough as it was waiting for help with a small fire... I did this same thing when I first started boating and its scary, with potential to kill someone. Both boats had seasoned captains... I'm cutting out this particular logjam tomorrow, (this is too close twice in a row) but in any case, please remember that being stuck high and dry is a very preferrable option to many things... (flushing through a log jam being one of them) Please don't let this happen to you and yours.

  2. #2

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    Interesting story. What's the name of the river if you don't mind sharing. I have come upon a couple log jams which weren't nearly as bad as this one sounds. Good luck with the chop job.

  3. #3
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default I'd rather not say just now...

    I'm actually heading up with one of the unfortunate fellows tomorrow to retrieve his boat and I've already had half a dozen opportunists quizzing me about "salvage rules". This guy's had a bad enough day already without a bunch of folks wanting to second guess his decisions and reflexes and trying to get ahead a bit on his misfortune. I just wanted to point out that, kind of like a head on collision... if you have ANY other choice besides letting your boat smash up against a logjam ANYWHERE... don't let go of the throttle till you are high and dry and so stuck it'll take three days to get off the dry solid ground... you'll be far better off than flushing!

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default By the way...

    I'll post some pics tomorrow night... part of my point is that this log jam aint nearly "so bad as this one sounds" either! Small channels and small logs can work wonders on your aluminum together...

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    They are lucky they flushed out of the jam rather than get stuck in or under it. I flipped a raft on a sweeper with my boys when they were young and let me tell you, it was an experience I rather not go through again. Fortunately for us we all made it out but not everyone is so lucky. As hard as it would be to intentionally damage my boat by beaching it I have to agree, high and dry is much more preferred. Always have an out.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Default

    You can replace boats and gear...... People, not so much!!! Good to hear all made it out, Chris Keep up the good work and all the assistance you give out!!

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    Default swamped jetboats

    Chriso: I sent you a PM, thanks! Mike

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default Photos of log jam

    Here are a couple pictures of the jam before we cut it out.

    First a shot of the rootball that screens the danger as you are coming downstream:



    Then the "not so scary as I'd think it should have looked" jam:



    A closer shot of the "heart of the matter":



    A shot from the downstream side, doesn't look like its had 2 boats under it in the last 4 days does it?:


  9. #9
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default And a couple more pix of the "fun" stuff...

    And finally a couple shots of the "fun" part (I hate balancing on that slippery crap with a live chainsaw in my hands):






  10. #10

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    Chriso,

    I dont know you, and I dont know what river you are working on. Thank you. Seeing the results of good people like you makes me hold my chest a little higher and be proud to live in Alaska.

    Now, I might would have helped you out, but there aint no way I'd been out there on those logs!

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    A big thanks for your efforts, and for the pics too..

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    Default observation

    Chris
    I just completed a BST observation on this job that we will discuss when I see you next time.
    Bob

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    CHRISO, SEEMS LIKE "THE BEARS" EYES ARE WATCHING EVERY WHERE YOU GO. LAST PICTURE ONLY PARTIALLY DOWN LOADED ON MY COMPUTER??????
    PAT
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  14. #14
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default Ouch! That hurt Bob!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperbob View Post
    Chris
    I just completed a BST observation on this job that we will discuss when I see you next time.
    Bob
    Cant get away from them "Bears" even on your off time just trying to help can you!

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    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm new to this whole river boating program, but could a guy just throttle on and hit the log jam head on? It might damage the hull and outboard, but that might be better than hitting the bank and finding an un-seen rock, or coming to a sudden halt from pegging the bow into a high bank.
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  16. #16
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreen View Post
    I'm new to this whole river boating program, but could a guy just throttle on and hit the log jam head on? It might damage the hull and outboard, but that might be better than hitting the bank and finding an un-seen rock, or coming to a sudden halt from pegging the bow into a high bank.
    I think you could have in this case. You'd have caught some big air time and it would have thrown you hard to the left and you may have wound up high and dry anyway but thats still better than going under the jam. Or you could have goosed it hard to the left and shot up an easy incline onto gravel and been stuck as well. I think the point these guys were making (and I can sort of see it when I looked at the thing at first) is that it didn't look that big a deal. When they told me the boat had gone under and I walked up to check it out I almost called BS, but its deeper than it looks and far more powerful.

  17. #17

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    You never want to be on the upstream side of a logjam because there is a very strong undertow there that will suck even the largest riverboat under. It is hard to fathom the power of the undertow until you actually see what it can do in person I watched a a large raft sucked under a logjam luckily the people were not in the raft when it happened. To get an idea how hard it is to sink a raft take a 12" ball and try to hold it under water, it is tough.

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    Default unbelievable, and good job

    Just amazing what a log and river can do to anybody. WOW! You're right, it doesn't look that bad initially, but start looking at the options and speed of the water. Sure glad it was not me.
    An after the fact thought, but could you have worn a safety rope to keep you in place? Hate to see a guy trying like heck to help, then get drug uner that stuff.
    As for salvage rights, maybe the CG friend can tell us more, but my undestanding is just cause you find it doesn't mean you get to keep it. Some of the rules have to do with pirating and encouraging people to do the right thing.

  19. #19

    Default thanks for doing that job.

    I know the people who went under that...haven't heard the whole story but I'm sure glad they made it out safely.
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    Thumbs up

    Good, no excellent pictures to share on this site with other boaters.

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