It was the longest day of Andre and Lynn’s lives. Lost for 8 hrs on the Colorado River north of the Imperial Irrigation Dam 30 miles north of Yuma, Arizona.
The couple’s idea was to spend a couple of fall days exploring the lakes and river on their jet ski before the river water and the air became to cool as winter sets in.
Even though the area they are exploring is in southern Arizona it can cool at night, even freeze on the odd occasion, although daytime is usually pleasant with plenty of sunshine.
Our group of six and three RVs camped next to Andre and Lynn. It was late afternoon, the sun was dipping behind the hills. We had just lit the camp fire for our evening ritual happy hour.
Conversations about the days events were well under way when someone noticed the couple camped beside us had not returned from their excursion on their jet ski.
‘R’, ‘H’ and I walked the campground talking to the other campers asking about the couple in the motor home next to us, no one had seen them. We reported to the camp host, he called 911.
The camp host reported back several hours later. A rescue helicopter had found their half sunken jet ski several miles up river.
The helicopter could not locate the missing couple and returned to base, a rescue boat was dispatched to continue the search. The couple were spotted and rescued from the river.
Andre and Lynn had spent 8 hours in the chilly waters of the Colorado River. If the water had been a couple of degrees colder the couple may not have survived.
The Couples Errors
All of us at one time or another take chances or don’t consider the consequences of our actions or in-actions.
Andre and Lynn were no different, they made several judgement errors that could have cost them their lives.
Andre was the first to admit they should have been better prepared for a 2 hour tour had turned into a disaster,……………. sounds like Gilligan’s Island (old farts will remember).
A list of some of the items that could have lessened their time in the water or at least made it more pleasant.
First off they should have been wearing life jackets and they should not have been traveling alone. A flight plan should have been filed or at least told to someone their plans for the day, or even a friend or two.
Some simple survival gear would have made the night more pleasant, a survival blanket, water proof matches for fire, that for sure would have caught the attention of the rescue helicopter and a first aid kit although neither were injured.
Dry clothes in a water proof container would have helped along with some snacks.
We should all consider how a ill planned adventure can so easily become a life threatening disaster. A few simple precautions and preparations could have made a world of difference.
Andre and Lynn caused a substantial expense for the rescue crews as well as a long tense night for the friends in San Diego and their camping neighbors.
I believe Andre and Lynn learned a valuable lesson the hard way and will not make the same mistake again.
I hope the rescue service learned some lessons as well, for instance the helicopter could have done a slower and more thorough search.
Also having a rescue boat closer than a half a day’s drive would be a great recommendation.
The main point in my conclusion is to be aware of your surroundings and your neighbors. If you plan an outing or adventure make a plan and proper preparations. Prepare for the worst.
Life can be a great adventure if we are well prepared.
I hope you have enjoyed my articles about the couple from San Diego.
When living the RV lifestyle good maintenance practices and indigents are can make the difference between a great trip or a disastrous trip as Lynda and I discovered this fall. Click here if you would like read about our calamity.
My next articles will be a continuation of our fall trip, our next stop is the Senator’s wash reservoir. I hope you will check back.
Thanks for visiting.
Gord B. 🙂