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Thread: Medred on Deshka accident

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Medred on Deshka accident

    Interesting article by Craig Medred on the accident on the Deshka:
    http://www.adn.com/outdoors/craig_me...-7714325c.html

    Seems like this discussion came up here even before it happened. I don't like ever more regs either, but this has been a long time coming. Not sure what the solution is.

    Mark

  2. #2

    Default Tremendous Dis-Service

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat
    Interesting article by Craig Medred on the accident on the Deshka:
    http://www.adn.com/outdoors/craig_me...-7714325c.html

    Seems like this discussion came up here even before it happened. I don't like ever more regs either, but this has been a long time coming. Not sure what the solution is.

    Mark
    Of course we all read it. What he did as a journalist was completely unconciounable. All his readers received a huge bunch of his baloney. He did not even take the time to go to the scene of the accident but reported on it as though he was an eye witness. At that exact location there was enough room for ten 10 boats to safely pass. What his article did not address, was the real reason for the accident. His total disregard for the facts, will allow this senario to repeat itself again and agian. Oh by the way, the hyperlink on his articles for contacting him is also a bogus deal. NOT VALID ADDRESS
    I don't buy any of his holier than thou attitude. Remember he is a columnist and not reporter, therefore his articles are only his opinion, not fact.

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    Default The real reason??

    Akres,

    OK, I'll bite. What was the real reason for the accident? If you have something to share that will help educate the rest of us, please expand on your statement. I do agree that they can do a better job at just giving information to make us all safer, but when they don't I would say the next best thing is to share it here.

    Jim

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Medred article

    I read the article Bushrat quoted (the link worked fine for me), and it almost sounded like a copy of a discussion we had here earlier this spring! Folks, I've long held that the increased power boat traffic on some of our smaller streams, along with the airboat traffic, is going to lead to fatalities. Floaters are going to get run over, boats will collide, and people will die. I can't see any fix for this other than restricting powerboats on these smaller streams. If you have a fix, I'd sure like to hear it.

    Medred's biggest flaw is his strong opinions; this is a flaw many of us have, but the difference is that he has much more exposure. Maybe not for long though, this place gets a LOT of traffic, and according to one of our recent polls is read as far away as South Africa, Australia, and other far-flung corners of the globe. Craig has written some good stuff, and I'm sure he would be the first to admit that he's written some stuff he wishes he could take back. I don't know the exact circumstances of the accident he mentioned, but I do know that we're headed for trouble on those valley streams. Some of it is because some of the boaters are idiots that shouldn't be on the water at all, and some is because folks are plying waterways best left to floaters. When your wake hits both banks fifty yards aft of the transom, friend, it's time to find some bigger water.

    -Mike
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  5. #5

    Default Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan
    I read the article Bushrat quoted (the link worked fine for me), and it almost sounded like a copy of a discussion we had here earlier this spring! Folks, I've long held that the increased power boat traffic on some of our smaller streams, along with the airboat traffic, is going to lead to fatalities. Floaters are going to get run over, boats will collide, and people will die. I can't see any fix for this other than restricting powerboats on these smaller streams. If you have a fix, I'd sure like to hear it.

    Medred's biggest flaw is his strong opinions; this is a flaw many of us have, but the difference is that he has much more exposure. Maybe not for long though, this place gets a LOT of traffic, and according to one of our recent polls is read as far away as South Africa, Australia, and other far-flung corners of the globe. Craig has written some good stuff, and I'm sure he would be the first to admit that he's written some stuff he wishes he could take back. I don't know the exact circumstances of the accident he mentioned, but I do know that we're headed for trouble on those valley streams. Some of it is because some of the boaters are idiots that shouldn't be on the water at all, and some is because folks are plying waterways best left to floaters. When your wake hits both banks fifty yards aft of the transom, friend, it's time to find some bigger water.

    -Mike
    The Hyperlink I was referring to as not working, was the one Craig Medred uses in his articles, for his email address. Not the one Mark used as a vehicle for going to the article.
    Troopers are still mulling over details, so I will refrain from speaking further at this time. This is why accurate, real time investigating and reporting is so important. That is the time to reveal the facts and get them out in the open.
    Thanks for everyones concern here. The Deshka River is one of the most important transportation corridors in the Mat Su Valley.

  6. #6
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default AKres, I don't see the cause for gripe

    AKres,

    Howdy---I just re-read the article and I just don't see why you lambasted Medred over it. It was an introspective piece in many ways, which was cool. He mentioned that after studying the deaths of canoeists and kayakers on hot days in cold water, that those numbers "faded to a footnote" in comparison to any stats on collisions among powerboats. He was implying that canoeing and kayaking were far more dangerous activities on their own according to the stats.

    Not once does he mention anything about the circumstances over this Deshka accident, only that it had been a long time coming and no "fluke." He didn't give any facts on that accident, other than that one word "fluke," so I don't see how he disregarded any. I gather you know something that proves it wasn't a fluke?

    I can verify that Medred's email address does indeed work. And if it doesn't, I'm sure a simple call to ADN offices will give you one that does; just tell them you are a reader who is having a hard time contacting Medred and they will give out his email addy (maybe he has another work addy). Like me, he gets a fair amount of hate mail for his opinions <grin>.

    I'm afraid I don't see what fault you find with this particular piece, other than an obvious dislike for the man's opinion in general.

    "This was coming for a long time. It was no fluke. The chances for deadly collisions has gone up steadily...."

    Well, fill us in on what you know and what your opinion is. I'm too far removed from that scene to know anything about it other than what I hear and read. I do appreciate hearing all sides. From the sounds of it, Medred had been researching boating fatalities, and was working on a piece on that when this accident happened. I agree that accurate reporting is important. I just didn't see Medred really mention any facts on this particular accident, only used it as a backdrop in conjunction with whatever piece he had been planning, to say that something like this has been a long time coming.

    I'd be interested to know if you agree with that, that something like this has been a long time coming. Like Medred, I hate to see more regs. We have similar situation near Fbks on the Chena river. Been close calls. So what's the solution, if any?
    Best, Mark

  7. #7

    Default

    Bushrat,
    As I attempted to convey in my original post, the article was void of facts, as you clearly pointed out better than I. It was filled with opinion and conjecture. Which I suppose is MO for columnists. It is also a lot easier to say I am forecasting rain, after a few sprinkles fall on my head, similar to the way Medred was able to foretell of the coming accident, after it has happened. I will go on record right now, and predict there will be more boating accidents in the future. See how really rediculous this makes the two of us (Medred and myself) appear?
    The solution can only be achieved by enforcing the laws we have on the books already and a great deal of eduction. As a past president of the Alaska Boating Association and an avid boater, my focus has been and remains an attempt to educate boaters in ettiquite and law. I have owned, built, bought maintained and operated cabin cruisers, dory's, skiffs, runabouts, canoes, rafts, jet boats, airboats and even floated moose out on inner-tubes.
    In cooperation with the Alaska State Div of Parks, we held regularly scheduled workshops and developed a comprehensive set of rules for navigating inland water ways. Posted them with very official signs at prominent locations and launches. They helped greatly, but that effort died on the vine, just as it was beginning to bear friut. Regretfully the rivers and lakes are becoming an extension of what is happening on the roads. This comes, in my opinion, from boat owners becoming operators simply by going down to their local boat dealer and purchasing a boat. The marine dealers of Alaska should share in the responsibility, by educating their patrons.
    As a final note, any article absent of fact(s) is fiction pure and simple.

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    Default

    I re-read the article and find the content to be typical Medred yak, but the article does contain some facts. He uses the Deshka accident to validate his concerns. It was not the focus of the story.

    I've re-read three Akres posts and can't find any facts. His first post stated we all know why the Deshka accident happened. Wrong. I don't know, but I'm interested.

    As the population grows, the probability of boat accidents grows. The same can be said of bear maulings, airplane accidents, car wrecks,etc. More people squeezed into the same space....

    I'd like to see a horsepower restriction on the tributaries of the Big Su and Yentna. Everybody would whine and cry just like they did when restrictions were first enforced on the Kenai, yet the end result at the Kenai was positive and people still manage to fish there just fine. With the growing population, it's only a matter of time before such restrictions become necessary. I'm ready now.

  9. #9

    Default Please Re-read Mr. Pid

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid
    I re-read the article and find the content to be typical Medred yak, but the article does contain some facts. He uses the Deshka accident to validate his concerns. It was not the focus of the story.

    I've re-read three Akres posts and can't find any facts. His first post stated we all know why the Deshka accident happened. Wrong. I don't know, but I'm interested.

    As the population grows, the probability of boat accidents grows. The same can be said of bear maulings, airplane accidents, car wrecks,etc. More people squeezed into the same space....

    I'd like to see a horsepower restriction on the tributaries of the Big Su and Yentna. Everybody would whine and cry just like they did when restrictions were first enforced on the Kenai, yet the end result at the Kenai was positive and people still manage to fish there just fine. With the growing population, it's only a matter of time before such restrictions become necessary. I'm ready now.
    I honestly don't believe you comprehended what you read. Or perhaps you were reading between the lines. How could I possibly have stated I thought all would know how the accident happened? That does not pass the common sense test. Just did not state that.
    I also do not feel that you have a grasp on the reality of navigating the Big Su and Yentna Rivers, nor the multiple tributaries. I would be more than happy to follow you anywhere you choose, on any of these waters with a craft of limited horsepower, but I would not be riding with you. Friends, troopers and myself average about 10 to 15 search and rescue and disabled boat missions a week in this region. Horsepower has been my friend and I use it frequently.

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    Default

    Believe me, I have good comprehension and a total grasp of the concept. I've been running boats out there for 25 years, and been a property owner on one of the tributaries for 20 years.

    I've been very effected by the Deshka accident. I'm still interested in what you think was so obvious regarding the cause.

  11. #11
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the info

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres
    The solution can only be achieved by enforcing the laws we have on the books already and a great deal of eduction. As a past president of the Alaska Boating Association and an avid boater, my focus has been and remains an attempt to educate boaters in ettiquite and law. I have owned, built, bought maintained and operated cabin cruisers, dory's, skiffs, runabouts, canoes, rafts, jet boats, airboats and even floated moose out on inner-tubes.
    In cooperation with the Alaska State Div of Parks, we held regularly scheduled workshops and developed a comprehensive set of rules for navigating inland water ways. Posted them with very official signs at prominent locations and launches. They helped greatly, but that effort died on the vine, just as it was beginning to bear friut. Regretfully the rivers and lakes are becoming an extension of what is happening on the roads.
    Akres,

    Appreciate that info. Always interested in hearing about other orgs too, and what they are doing. Why did the efforts you mentioned die on the vine, so to speak? Sounds like just the thing Div of Parks and Rec and the AK Boating Assn. should be doing...so what put a stop to it?

    And I have to point out, Medred's piece wasn't devoid of facts at all, just devoid of facts about that particular Deshka accident.

    ABA probably has some of the same difficulties other orgs have in that the user group they represent has many bad apples. While you push for common-sense, common-courtesy rules to follow on the water...other guys and gals go out and either don't follow or aren't aware of any rules. So it lumps you in with the rest of the power-boaters. A shame.

    There are going to be management plans come into play, and you have a wide variety of user groups and property owners who want their say. I imagine powerboating isn't really a "right;" but rather a privilege. What say you on that Akres? Is it a right to pilot a jetboat with a big-block inboard on any AK stream, or is it a privilege?

    Best, and thanks for the info,
    Mark

  12. #12
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    Default Instead of....

    reducing the horsepower rating on the rivers; how about a madatory boating class for anyone running a boat or at least a large boat....I have ran boats for several years (new to airboats) and in a previous job I also had to do boating accident investigations. I think the whole idea of limiting horepower on the Big Su and tributaries is wrong and a knee jerk reaction. I think every boater/boat operator should have to know the rules of the water and take a boating education class, and if you operate a boat (jet, outboard, or airboat) with a certain horsepower engine then you need a boater operation class. Short of common sense being used by all boaters (power and floaters), this would be a good solution. Another option is a boat operator licensing program, might eliminate the problems....I know where I am from I enforced a thing called BUI..Boating Under the Influence..Once we enforced this law, and fined people heavily and put them in jail, the accidents went way down...NOT THAT THE DESKA ACCIDENT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH ALCOHOL, BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT ACIDENT NOR DO I CLAIM TO KNOW ABOUT THAT ACCIDENT.

    I think too many of us think we can run our jet boats, airboats, and outboards anyway we want, because this is Alaska and I always have...I tell you now times will change, I just hope we can still enjoy our jets, airboats, and outboards. Responsible boaters are a pleasure, and any unresponsible person is just wreckless...

    My two cents...

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    Smile Deshka accident

    I've read the threads and agree, there's a problem. How about some solutions?! I too am an avid jet boater and restricting HP isn't the answer.

    I believe that EVERYBODY who owns a personal sporting boat/watercraft over 15hp (i.e) should HAVE to take a mandatory boater education course/class. ALSO- if someone is new to boating and is going to buy one, then they too should have to take it as well before getting it on the water.There should be a freshwater and a saltwater version, whatever suits your fancy. After passing with a score of 70% or ??, you then recieve a certificate and a wallet card. Send a copy of the certificate/card to the Coast Guard and they send you your bow stickers.

    I had to in Oregon and I thought it was great info and training. I inquired on line and the state sent me this 50+/- page booklet on everything you could imagine. I read it and then took the 50 or 75 question test in the back. The test was one of those where you HAD TO READ EVERYTHING because it was worded in such ways that it almost fooled you and paying attention was foremost. I bet I re-read that booklet 10 times thoroughly before going over my answers one last time and submitting it to the state. Catch the drift?? I think it cost like $15.00 and I had my card in a week or 2. I kept the booklet handy as a reference when I needed it.

    If you're involved in a boating accident that was due to negligence, alcohol, drugs, or ?? on your part AND you have that card on you, you deserve to get hemmed up!! Why?? Because you had been trained/informed and you knew better, no excuses. Even if you're not in an accident, the information alone about right of ways, laws, requirements, markers, boater ettiquette and other pertinant info is excellent. It's really great for EVERYBODY!! It really helps you do your part in being responsible. (I believe)
    My .02 folks, what's yours??

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    Default

    Quotes from Medred.

    "Nobody, after all, needs a jet boat to fish or travel the Deshka, ..... It's convenient."

    "So how many people have to die in the name of convenience before something happens to change this?"


    And the last sentence of his article.

    "But how does anyone justify people dying in the name of nothing but convenience?"

    Nobody needs a car, airplane, motorcycle, snowmachine, atv, train, chainsaw, power drill or electric toobrush either. People get killed and maimed by these things everyday. There just to dang convenient. Lets face it, Americans are lazy and don't care about life or limb... What a crock!

    Last I checked we live in the USA and we ALL have the right and privelage to buy things that make life more convienent. These people did not die in a tragic accident in the "name of convience". Life is dangerous. Sometines bad things happen. We just had a tragic boating accident on memorial day weeked here in Fairbanks. A local firefigther and his family were enjoying thier freedom to run thier jetboat on the Chena river (in the name of convenince I guess according to Medred) and hit a sweeper or something and the mans wife and one of his children were killed. Alchohol was NOT a factor.

    Medreds statements are a disgrace to the victims and survivors of boating accidents and also our way of life in America. Where does he come off by making a statements like this?!?!?! He owes the families of the survivors an apology.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  15. #15

    Angry ADN

    Medred is a JOKE, how about #1 stop buying that rag of a news paper. The rivers and lakes are becoming all to dangerous, working the Deshka daily you would not beleive the near misses that go on. Unexperienced river runners, poor gear or no gear, ALCOHOL. AND IT IS NOT ONLY HERE. I live on a lake in the MAT-SU and rescue unpreparred boaters regularly. Yes it is time for some type of trainning/enforcement. What to do? I know the state is streched thin but come on there are only a few public access sights, once a week consintrate on these locals check equipment, ask general boating questions. it wouldn't take long to raise awarness. And yes I to believe if you apply for a boat Lic. you should take a test or DO NOT RUN IT!
    Everyone call ADN and ask that clown be fired!!!

    Gods blessing to all whom lost a loved one in a boating accident.

    Louie

  16. #16
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default So the fix is...

    ...mandatory boating classes that teach safety and skills etc., and more enforcement. Sounds good; would sure help.

    But it doesn't solve the dilemma of overcrowding of various user groups on certain streams. I think it's funny that some so vehemently disagree with Medred while making his points about the problems even more strongly, such as what AlaskaLouie had to say about the Deshka near-misses.

    Rivers aren't like 3D airspace, where those going one direction can fly 500' higher than those going another. And many streams and rivers don't have 'two lanes' available. I think of it like the Taylor Highway after Jack Wade Jct. driving to Eagle...they say it's a two-lane hwy but it's really one and a half lanes. Put the most experienced dune-buggy racers on that highway, have them come from both directions...and accidents will likely happen. I'm petrified driving around some of those blind bends on the Taylor...I slow to a crawl, lights on, horn beeping. In a jetboat or airboat you often can't slow down because you'll get off step, and all you can hear is your own motor. Many wear hearing protection to boot. Some even play music.

    At some point we reach saturation levels where it just isn't safe. Like Snyd says, a lot of things aren't safe...and I agree, that's life, but some areas will likely require limitations beyond education and enforcement.
    Some will require speed limits, essentially, which equate to horsepower restrictions. Back when DNR was drafting a new plan for Chena River use, the subject of personal watercraft (jetskis) came up and a group got involved (American Watercraft Assn) whose motto was "Defending your Freedom to Ride!" or some such. Traveling at speeds up to 50mph on small streams used by various other rec users like rafters and canoeists and smaller powerboats is not a "right." There isn't really a freedom to ride wherever the hell you want, at any cost. But many think there is.

    All kinds of ideas have come down the pike, from hours-of-use impositions on powerboats (like no driving from 11pm to 7am) on some streams, designated "lanes" for upriver and downriver travel, speed-limit buoys...etc. On heavily used, crowded waterways, it is always going to come down to limitations being imposed in some form on the powerboat guys. It sucks, but it is what it is. I applaud the education, awareness, enforcement ideas...they are great and are sure to help. But they won't stem the tide of overcrowding that is causing the conflicts and danger.

    Selah,
    Mark



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    Default

    Mark, boy you aren't kidding about the jetskis on the Chena. Those guys just flat haul up and down that river. I'm talking right through town. They need to take that somewhere else. I spend a lot of time by the river running, walking, biking, taking my dog for a swim, etc. and I have seen some near misses. I've never been on the Deshka but it sounds like the Chena in the sense that a lot of people use the river from tubers to inboard jets. It seems to me like a statewide boaters or water user's license could be good along with proper, that is proper management of certain "high use" rivers and or lakes. I would be very leary of statewide blanket laws. Some lakes in the lower 48 limit powerboats to certain times of the day. Clubs and other organizations promoting saftey, awareness , etc. can help some also. I know that is what is happening regarding avalanche awareness. We (Ski Patrols statewide) along with other organizations have been promoting avalanche safety and awareness for all who use the backcountry from skiers to snowshoers to snowmachiners. Every year some die in avalanches but it seems that more and more snowmachiners are taking more of an interest by going to seminars, buying beacons, etc. I think it's working.

    In the meantime be careful on the rivers and trails. No matter what we do there will still always be others sharing them with us.
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    Default Yukon 800 race not on Chena now

    Here is an organization that has chosen to do something different in the name of safety. The Fairbanks Outboard Association chose to not start or finish the Yukon 800 on the Chena this year.

    http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,...337126,00.html
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    Default

    For everybody in favor of a Mandatory Boating Course would you feel the same if the Government required a Mandatory Fireams Course before you could purchase any firearm with a different course for each caliber or cartridge you wanted to buy? I for one don't. We don't need more Government regulations, we need more people with common sense when it comes to operationg water going vessels of any size.

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    Smile Solutions

    AlleninAlaska- Respectfully, (I'm not trying to bust balls here) I think that you might have over analyzed this a bit. NOBODY wants any more regulations brought upon them if it can be helped. You say that we need more people with common sense. That's true, we sure do. Some folks have it or they don't, plain and simple.Then what do we do with the folks that are already out there with no common sense and are utilizing the same resources as you or I?? Kick them off the rivers? Sounds fricking awesome!! But you and I both know that that will never fly. Would educating some of these people help or not? For the new boating enthusiast, would it possibly be considered preventative medicine for future boating accidents? There's nothing that we can do about the overcrowding on the rivers. It's not like the first 200 people at the Deshka landing (for example) gets a ticket stub and can go use the Deshka river? It's not a theater.. Everyone so far on this forum agrees that there's a problem. What do we do when being responsible, having common sense or basically giving a crap about other boaters goes out the window? Maybe a boating course doesn't seem so horrible. Until more enforcement comes along, I suggest people to take along a video camera and turn in these boneheads bow #'s.What do you recommend for a solution?

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