Sunday, April 24, 2011

Recreating on the Jordan

Today's headline whopper:

No, that wasn't about some hanky-panky here in Israel by a young couple on the shores of the Jordan River but a boating accident in Utah:

MURRAY — A day following Wednesday's near tragedy in which a Boy Scout was rescued from a raging river at flood level, a commission issued a press release advising people of risks involved with recreating on or near the Jordan River during the ongoing runoff.

The Jordan River Commission's release stated the spring is the wrong time to use the river for recreational purposes; citing cold muddy water and high flows that push large debris hidden in the mirky water. Spring water temperatures can cause hypothermia and almost instantaneous blackouts, the release states.

The release called for extreme caution and advised Jordan River users to know the potential risks, safe entry and exit points and dangerous areas of the river. It was a waterfall that tipped the canoe of a 14-year-old Scout, 16-year-old Venture Scout and an adult leader.

Before being tipped, they were about to exit the river to walk past a small waterfall near 4600 South and 500 West when a branch they were clinging to broke. They were swept over the falls and their canoe flipped, said Murray Fire Marshal Russ Groves.

Kelby Merrill, 16, and the adult swam to shore while the boy clung to a branch to a branch of a tree growing in the river for about 30 minutes before members of a swift water rescue team pulled him from the river.

"Our victim actually began getting recirculated in the current. It's a recirculating current, it's like a washing machine," said Murray Fire Capt. Joseph Treadwell.

No, that's not re-creating as in procreation but recreating as in recreation, having fun.


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