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06/15/2024 09:47AM  
Not sure how many can pull this page up? Curtain Falls happening

Sounds like a great bunch of people and family.
 
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06/15/2024 09:57AM  
How a Boundary Waters fishing trip turned tragic and led to an extraordinary rescue and search
While the victims are honored, a surviving canoe paddler and a rescue captain recount the Curtain Falls tragedy and its aftermath.

By Bob Timmons Star Tribune JUNE 15, 2024 — 9:08AM
Erik Grams stands with his damaged canoe June 13 at his home in Ham Lake. Grams was part of a fishing group that went over Curtain Falls in the Bounda
LEILA NAVIDI, STAR TRIBUNE
Erik Grams stands with his damaged canoe June 13 at his home in Ham Lake. Grams was part of a fishing group that went over Curtain Falls in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in May. Erik's brother Reis was killed, as was their good friend, Jesse Haugen.

Erik Grams saw he was at a point of no return. Then, in an instant, he was swept past it.

His canoe pulled into the mouth of a 30-foot waterfall, he was tossed into boulders and cascading current, on a knife's edge between life and death.

In seconds, Grams was thrown underwater at the base of the falls. Struggling and clawing to the surface in the current, he caught a glimpse of the sky. Then, after a gasp for air, he was thrust downward again, and a third time.

Grams had gone to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — and remote Curtain Falls on the Canadian border — in mid-May, along with his younger brother Reis and three companions. The brothers, sometimes with others, had taken many trips into the wilderness, and expected this one to be no different: walleyes on a stringer, campfires at night, stars bright in the sky.

Reis and Erik were in one canoe, and friends Jesse Haugen and Kyle Sellers were nearby in another. They were fishing on Crooked Lake's pool above Curtain Falls, where it dumps into Iron Lake.

Then, the lake's calm water turned the tables on their canoes. They went over the falls.

Struggling in the current, Erik fractured his pelvis. Briefly, he caught a glimpse of Haugen — but never saw his brother again.



"I was grieving while I was underwater," he said. "It was so bad and unbelievable.''

Now, more than three weeks later and more than a week after the bodies of Haugen, 41, and Reis Grams, 40, were recovered from the wilderness, their kin and friends continue to grieve. Services for Grams were Tuesday in Blaine. Haugen's life was celebrated June 6. Erik Grams, 43, meanwhile, and Sellers, 47, who broke a leg, continue to heal from their injuries.

For nearly 24 hours — from the early light of May 18 into the overnight hours of May 19 — a fishing trip with a long family history and so much promise had descended into an epic BWCAW rescue-and-search operation.

A beautiful day was breaking, and by about 6:30 a.m. May 18, the Grams brothers, Sellers, Haugen and a fifth friend, Jared Lohse, were on the water. Destination: Iron Lake, west of Crooked Lake and their connector: picturesque Curtain Falls. The group had spent the previous night camping on Nina Moose Lake after entering the BWCAW late in the afternoon at the Moose/Portage River north entry off the Echo Trail and northwest of Ely, Minn.

Good fishing was on the minds of the five friends. Erik and Reis Grams co-own Touchdown Tile in Blaine, where Sellers is employed. They've worked construction projects with Haugen and Lohse of Rock Solid Plumbing in Cambridge, Minn., which Haugen owned.

Reis, left, and Erik Grams with the bounty from a fishing trip.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ERIK GRAMS
Reis, left, and Erik Grams with the bounty from a fishing trip.
The Grams brothers had made near-annual trips to the Curtain Falls area for the past 17 years. Erik had even proposed to his wife, Laura, at the spot. Haugen had made five or six trips with the Gramses, and safety was always a priority. If the wind was up, they steered clear of the pool on Crooked Lake above the falls.

The group reached their Iron Lake campsite about noon on the southeast corner of Three Island, west and south of the falls. They ate lunch. Then the Grams brothers prepared their fishing gear and set off ahead of their companions for the moving water below the falls. Reis caught a few walleyes before he and Erik portaged around the falls on the U.S. side onto Crooked Lake. Haugen and Sellers showed up soon after, while Lohse, 33, of Cambridge, decided to hang back at camp.

A light, favorable wind blew out of the west as the men fished. Erik Grams said they always kept a distance from the edge of the falls, and this day was no different. "We were constantly communicating."

At one point each of the brothers had on big walleyes, but worked together to safely control their canoe while landing the fish. Haugen and Sellers were catching walleyes, too, when the Grams brothers took a short break on shore. With plans of a walleye dinner soon back at camp, they went back on the water for a few last casts.

"Twenty seconds later, hell broke loose," Erik recalled.

The brothers were positioned about 40 to 50 feet from the falls. Haugen and Seller's canoe was closer — and then got too close and was parallel to the falls. Attempting to move away from the edge, Haugen and Seller's canoe began to tip and then suddenly flipped before landing upright. Holding onto the craft's gunwales, Sellers disappeared down the falls. Haugen, meanwhile, managed to right himself and, chest-deep in water, appeared to have perched on a rock in the current at the middle of the falls, outstretching an arm toward the Grams brothers.

Slowly, Erik and Reis Grams inched toward their friend, closing the distance to 2 to 3 feet. Erik suspected their tumble was next. "I thought, we are not going to be able to pull off this impossible save." In that instant, Haugen moved toward their canoe.

In seconds, they were all sucked into the falls. The canoe ruptured, and the next thing he knew, Erik was submerged in 10 feet of water and trying to swim to the surface.

"I have revisited this so many times," he added. "Was there something we could have done?"

Jesse Haugen had taken several fishing trips with the Grams brothers.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ERIK GRAMS
Jesse Haugen had taken several fishing trips with the Grams brothers.
Grams has acknowledged none of the four was wearing life vests. "That's the one thing," he said.

The turbulence sucked Erik's running shoes from his feet. Struggling to stay afloat in the rapids, he grabbed hold of a flat rock on the Canadian side of the lower falls. His hip aching, he moved barefoot through brush down the shoreline for the next 15 minutes, yelling and searching for his buddies. He saw the stern of one canoe on an island and shouted. He heard a voice but didn't know who it was. He was prepared to make a 50-foot swim across the current when a solo paddler named Nick appeared as if from nowhere.

Erik climbed into the man's canoe, and they went to the island, where Sellers was wet, cold and suffering. Erik's own pain intensified — he learned later that he had multiple pelvic fractures. A friend of Nick's also appeared in a solo canoe. (Both men requested not to be fully identified and, through Erik, declined to comment.)

Using a satellite device, one of the good Samaritans reported the emergency, while they cared for the two injured paddlers. The St. Louis County Sheriff's office said it received the distress call at 7:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, below the rapids, Reis Grams and Haugen remained missing. The two rescuers were searching for the missing pair when Erik saw a return message on the satellite device screen. Could the paddlers make it out under their own power? He managed to type back: "Two missing."

BWCAW paddlers capsize in falls
Four paddlers in two canoes went over Curtain Falls on May 18 and were caught in Class V rapids at the base of the falls. Two of the paddlers, Erik Grams and Kyle Sellers eventually made it to a small island about a third of a mile downstream before getting airlifted out.
A map of northern Minnesota shows the area that the four canoeists traveled from the Moose River entry point to the Boundary Waters up to Iron Lake and eventually to Curtain Falls.
.

When the St. Louis County Rescue Squad and its captain, Rick Slatten, had a sense of the predicament, they scrambled to get Grams and Sellers airlifted out. The two paddlers were on a small island about an acre in size and about a third of a mile west of the falls, on Iron Lake.

Around 10:30 p.m., Grams saw the lights of a rescue aircraft. By about 12:30 a.m. May 19, pilot Grace Zeller landed a Department of Natural Resources helicopter on the small island and plucked Sellers for transport to Ely, and later to a Duluth hospital. One of the rescuers hung back with Grams, and the DNR pilot returned for them around 2 a.m. Grams was taken to Ely for treatment, before being taken by ambulance May 20 for care in Duluth. Lohse was extracted, too.

Haugen's body was recovered May 31; Reis Grams' on June 2. Causes of their deaths are being determined.

The incident and the rescue and search that ensued spanned 17 days. Slatten and his squad were familiar with the area. Yet, he said, this mission posed unique challenges. At one point, the crew used chain saws and other cutting tools to clear a landing zone to accommodate a CH-47 Chinook state National Guard helicopter to bring in the squad's swift boat and other gear. Poor weather also delayed and challenged the rescuers, who worked at times in and around Class V rapids where the falls descend into Iron Lake.

All told, 59 personnel were involved in the operation, whose cost hasn't been determined.

"This will rank among the top three rescue squad calls in terms of challenge and complexity," Slatten said.

Slatten said he and his team had to consider multiple possibilities while searching for Reis Grams and Haugen. The rescuers' focus was 1½ miles of water and shoreline. Searchers also got more details from Erik Grams to inform their strategy. The team used its swift boat — an inflatable-type vessel — drones, special remote-controlled mini-submarine devices, and even a K-9 unit.

Angie Grams said her husband, Reis, was where he was meant to be before their lives changed forever. Reis made his first trip to the BWCAW when he was 7 and more followed with his father, Bart, and other family members.

"He was instantly addicted," she recalled.

There were multiple trips most years. During their courtship, Angie got her first experience on the big water of Brule Lake. Now their boys, August, 10, and Teddy, 8, are veterans, too, and, she added, already determined to continue their dad's legacy by taking a planned trip in August.

The Lino Lakes family is always on the move, from outdoors endeavors to youth sports to family trips to state parks. Angie said they had visited 27, with a goal of visiting every one and of heading down along the Mississippi River later this summer. "We were always doing something," she said.

Reis and Angie Grams with their boys, August, 10, and Teddy, 8.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ANGIE GRAMS
Reis and Angie Grams with their boys, August, 10, and Teddy, 8.
Perhaps Reis Grams' most meaningful trips were in a different direction, in service to low-income people in Mexican villages near Ensenada, south of Tijuana. There he and his family have helped build homes through Walk the Talk Missions. He and Angie made several trips since 2018, and the family was together there last October.

"In the 17 years I knew Reis, I only saw him cry when he talked about Mexico," she said. "It brought him so much joy."

The tragedy is especially painful because Reis Grams and Haugen had been friends since they were kids. A father and husband, Haugen was an Army veteran, an angler and hunter, and a BMX racer. He was known for his "profound integrity and his patriotic heart," according to his obituary.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to support the families of Reis Grams and Haugen.

After the harrowing event May 18, Erik Grams received an arresting photo in a text from Nick, who came to his aid. Taken at 3 a.m., just after Grams was airlifted, the moon's glow radiates over Three Island and Iron Lake — a moment of transcendent beauty that belies the harrowing day. Grams has made several wall prints to share. He said the image has given him peace.

Like Angie Grams, he sounded undeterred about his commitment to a region that until May 18 had brought them so much joy. He plans to fix his shattered canoe and to stand in for his brother when Reis' family, including August and Teddy, takes their BWCAW trip in August.

"I feel like I am close to God in God's country," he said. "It's what we lived for, and we did it for that reason."

Reis Grams above Curtain Falls on a successful fishing day in 2019.

PHOTO: COURTESY OF ERIK GRAMS
Reis Grams above Curtain Falls on a successful fishing day in 2019.






 
06/15/2024 11:31AM  
Thanks for posting this, I would have missed it.

It’s amazing to me how far and how fast the paddlers that survived traveled once going over Curtain Falls. I added a map for reference in case people can’t get the pics from the shared article. I think they travelled 700-800 yards. In the radio interview it all seemed to happen quickly. I think one of the survivors said he came up for1-2x for breaths then ended up on the Canadian side near the Island where his friend washed up.




 
06/15/2024 01:16PM  
I’m pretty amazed they were able to land a helicopter on that little island - and in the dark! I’m wondering if that’s why the DNR went in? Maybe their MD500 requires less landing space than a larger helicopter like the State Patrol?
DNR helicopter and pilot
 
06/15/2024 01:40PM  
Jaywalker: "I’m pretty amazed they were able to land a helicopter on that little island - and in the dark! I’m wondering if that’s why the DNR went in? Maybe their MD500 requires less landing space than a larger helicopter like the State Patrol?
DNR helicopter and pilot "


That makes sense, I was wondering why they only took one survivor at a time? That must be all they could haul at one time?

T
 
06/16/2024 07:08AM  
From the article, here is a pic detailing where the rescue site was.



And an even scarier pic of one of the rescue crew searching Curtain Falls. Shows just how powerful and dangerous it is.

 
ManitouMan
member (9)member
  
06/16/2024 08:45AM  
Thanks for posting the link, much appreciated.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/16/2024 07:23PM  
Thanks for posting. Lots of lessons.
 
06/16/2024 08:37PM  
timatkn: "That makes sense, I was wondering why they only took one survivor at a time? That must be all they could haul at one time?

T"

The news article only mentions the DNR pilot by name, but from what I can recall it’s very common for a rescue helicopter or FS Beaver to also carry a county deputy (since the sheriff’s department is technically in charge) plus a medic of some sort. I’m guessing space must have been tight on that DNR helicopter.
 
BdubyaCA
member (22)member
  
06/17/2024 07:25AM  
billconner: "Thanks for posting. Lots of lessons."


very well said!

With the additional details, I almost have more questions than answers on the series of events that unfolded. So when the first canoe flipped, one guy went over the falls and another guy got stuck on a rock above the falls? or was it in the middle of the falls? so the second canoe essentially went up to the very edge of the falls to try and save them? incredibly scary situation to imagine yourself in.

very frustrating to keep hearing how "experienced" this group was yet they weren't wearing life jackets.
 
06/17/2024 09:32AM  
BdubyaCA: "
billconner: "Thanks for posting. Lots of lessons."

very frustrating to keep hearing how "experienced" this group was yet they weren't wearing life jackets. "


And fishing 40-50' from the falls. In cold water.

Be safe out there folks.
 
06/17/2024 09:56AM  
BdubyaCA: "
billconner: "Thanks for posting. Lots of lessons."



very well said!


With the additional details, I almost have more questions than answers on the series of events that unfolded. So when the first canoe flipped, one guy went over the falls and another guy got stuck on a rock above the falls? or was it in the middle of the falls? so the second canoe essentially went up to the very edge of the falls to try and save them? incredibly scary situation to imagine yourself in.


very frustrating to keep hearing how "experienced" this group was yet they weren't wearing life jackets. "


If a decent swimmer is paddling on a flat, calm lake in the middle of July I get the no life-jacket thing. There are infinitely more higher-risk activities the average person does over the course of week in their daily lives. But you'd think there'd be conditions that would persuade 'experienced' paddlers in that category to modify their casual approach to life-jackets such as cold water, currents, wind or approaching weather for example. Fishing above a waterfall in cold water measures at or near the top of the list of those conditions in my opinion.

Steve Irwin - the Crocodile Hunter was also experienced.
 
06/17/2024 11:17AM  
With experience... it often leads to complacency.

If you look back on the recent BWCAW drownings more often than not they are experienced canoers.

T

 
06/17/2024 12:13PM  
Question from a non-fisher here: I've often seen people fishing at the bottom of rapids or below a dam or waterfall, but I don't recall seeing people on the upstream side of those places... Is fishing at the top a thing and I've just missed it?
 
Prospector
member (29)member
  
06/17/2024 01:40PM  
Could someone with knowledge of this kind of water please comment on how canoes could have been positioned 50' from the top of the falls? As the lake water is drawn into the current of the falls does non-flowing water really extend this close to the drop off? I'm guessing a lake dropping into a falls is different from a river flowing into a falls.

There have been some references in other news stories to the group using anchors. Is it supposed that anchoring was required to keep the boats from being swept by the current, or were they anchoring in more or less stationary water, just to stay in their fishing spot?

The news of this accident has been haunting. It seems that the group members became complacent in a situation of high risk, not easy to understand.
 
fenrirrr
member (43)member
  
06/17/2024 02:21PM  
Haven't been myself but photos of the falls remind me of an infinity pool. Looks deceptively calm–until it isn't.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/17/2024 07:18PM  
I did this route - PP to LISN - with my son at 13 and was never aware of the hazard here. And I'm with Argo - and admit there are times I'm in a canoe without a PFD on. However, I am one to never feel complacent and just assume all hell is about to break loose at every moment.
 
hobbydog
distinguished member(1975)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/17/2024 09:41PM  
Another 43 year old Minnesota guy missing in Jackson Lake, WY. 45 degree water, wind came up suddenly, no PFD.

Missing Minnesota man
 
BdubyaCA
member (22)member
  
06/18/2024 07:37AM  
hobbydog: "Another 43 year old Minnesota guy missing in Jackson Lake, WY. 45 degree water, wind came up suddenly, no PFD.


Missing Minnesota man "


solo 19 year old male kayaker from Wisconsin missing as of a couple days ago. Wear your LJs people

https://www.northernnewsnow.com/2024/06/17/19-year-old-missing-washburn-county-after-solo-kayak-trip/
 
Beast388
senior member (95)senior membersenior member
  
06/18/2024 09:22AM  


In the Boundary Waters, tragedy highlights work of all-volunteer rescue squad


“In the history of the rescue squad there have been 507 water fatalities,” Slatten said. “Only 14 were wearing life jackets.”
 
THEGrandRapids
distinguished member (386)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/18/2024 10:23AM  
Beast388: "


In the Boundary Waters, tragedy highlights work of all-volunteer rescue squad



“In the history of the rescue squad there have been 507 water fatalities,” Slatten said. “Only 14 were wearing life jackets.”"


damn... you knew the number was going to be a majority without lifejackets but 97%!
 
Willow76
  
06/18/2024 11:16AM  
My understanding is that no one was wearing a pfd despite fishing from a canoe within 50 feet of a major waterfall and 50 degree water temperatures?
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1373)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/18/2024 12:38PM  
Beast388: "


In the Boundary Waters, tragedy highlights work of all-volunteer rescue squad



“In the history of the rescue squad there have been 507 water fatalities,” Slatten said. “Only 14 were wearing life jackets.”"


I heard this and about fell out of my chair.

It always happens to someone else. Except when it doesn't.

Mike
 
06/18/2024 04:38PM  
Prospector: "Could someone with knowledge of this kind of water please comment on how canoes could have been positioned 50' from the top of the falls? As the lake water is drawn into the current of the falls does non-flowing water really extend this close to the drop off? I'm guessing a lake dropping into a falls is different from a river flowing into a falls.


There have been some references in other news stories to the group using anchors. Is it supposed that anchoring was required to keep the boats from being swept by the current, or were they anchoring in more or less stationary water, just to stay in their fishing spot?


The news of this accident has been haunting. It seems that the group members became complacent in a situation of high risk, not easy to understand."



I’ve been to the falls many times over the past fifty years. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a chicken and always hugged the shore on the way to the portage landing. In normal water there is very little current above the falls.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/18/2024 06:21PM  
Beast388: "


In the Boundary Waters, tragedy highlights work of all-volunteer rescue squad



“In the history of the rescue squad there have been 507 water fatalities,” Slatten said. “Only 14 were wearing life jackets.”"


I'd love to see breakdown by month.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/18/2024 06:21PM  
Beast388: "


In the Boundary Waters, tragedy highlights work of all-volunteer rescue squad



“In the history of the rescue squad there have been 507 water fatalities,” Slatten said. “Only 14 were wearing life jackets.”"


I'd love to see breakdown by month.
 
HayRiverDrifter
distinguished member(933)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/18/2024 10:23PM  
This was a terrible tragedy. No judging how things went down, but I have always been trained to keep yourself safe when in an emergency situation. Starting many years ago in lifeguard training, we practiced escaping from a drowning victim that tried to take you under. Same situation if someone capsizes. Approach carefully because they may panic and capsize you. In any emergency, you are no longer able to help if you are injured or in immanent danger yourself.

From reading this last article, the second canoe was trying to help when the first canoe went over. This is a really hard situation and keeping your head is really difficult. If it were my Grandson and Granddaughter heading over the falls, It would be super hard to retreat, get safe, then try to help if possible.

Be safe out there, and in an emergency, keep yourself safe so you can help others.
 
scottiebaldwin
distinguished member (241)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/19/2024 01:55AM  
"You can choose to BE the ding-dong for not wearing your life jacket, but your family may have to HEAR the ding-dong of the Sheriff at their front door."

Truer words were never spoken.
 
06/19/2024 12:53PM  
As many of you know, I lost a friend of drowning on knife in 2001 we rescued one of my friends but my other friend drowned I was in the rescue boat it is very difficult to not get too close to who you’re trying to rescue so they don’t tip you also we had a rope and an extra jacket. Everything happens so fast I saw my friend go down for the last time I was tempted to dive into the water, but I did not put my life jacket on. I was moving so quickly to make the rescue. And I could have turned it into a way worse situation. Not a day goes by where I don’t wonder if I would have done something different or quicker the outcome would have been better. But for the last 23 years me and all of my tripping buddies always wear a PFD. Doesn’t change things but give me a little piece of mind.
 
andym
distinguished member(5373)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/19/2024 07:13PM  
I’ve been pondering this story for a few days now. Dealing with this sort of rescue is extremely difficult and I’m willing to bet that most of us have no idea what to do. I was both a lifeguard and trained lifeguards. We knew the range of conditions we were trained for, had the tools to do safe rescues under a variety of circumstances, and had training in when and how to protect ourselves and triage rescues.

But rescuing someone in what is essentially a whitewater situation is well beyond my experience and knowledge. We consider the BW a flat water environment but that isn’t completely true. What comes to mind is that whitewater paddlers carry throw ropes to help others. Maybe a throw rope could have allowed the assisting canoe to stay further back and tow the other person to safety. But the drag of the person in the water may have been too much. Maybe there are other strategies that we should know. What a horrible situation. My heart goes out to everyone involved and affected.
 
ManitouMan
member (9)member
  
06/19/2024 08:14PM  
Good MPR story:

MPR Story MPR Story
 
Someday
member (45)member
  
06/19/2024 08:15PM  
When you read one person went down the rapids, and the other standing in the rapids needing help who can possibly judge. Just need to take something away from this horrific situation like wear your lifejacket at least :( So sad.
 
06/20/2024 08:18AM  
It’s always easy to go back on these events and replay what should have been done different. It’s way easier to see the right decisions looking back though than “in the moment”. I think that discussion is good too…we can all learn from this event.

I wish the survivors some peace of mind in the future. I am sure they are replaying the “what ifs” in their head… and maybe they should, but eventually we need to move on in a healthy manner and not blame ourselves. I hope that happens sooner than later for them.

T
 
06/20/2024 09:36AM  
timatkn: "It’s always easy to go back on these events and replay what should have been done different. It’s way easier to see the right decisions looking back though than “in the moment”. I think that discussion is good too…we can all learn from this event.


I wish the survivors some peace of mind in the future. I am sure they are replaying the “what ifs” in their head… and maybe they should, but eventually we need to move on in a healthy manner and not blame ourselves. I hope that happens sooner than later for them.


T"


I'm sure trying to rescue him was a difficult thing to deal with in the heat of the moment. That's understandable. But putting themselves in that situation to begin with should be called out and discussed because doing so could save a life. Pretty much every story I read brought up how experienced they were, as if this could happen to anybody. I would argue that while everybody can and does make mistakes, this seems pretty egregious.
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/20/2024 10:26AM  
PLM wrote:
I'm sure trying to rescue him was a difficult thing to deal with in the heat of the moment. That's understandable. But putting themselves in that situation to begin with should be called out and discussed because doing so could save a life. Pretty much every story I read brought up how experienced they were, as if this could happen to anybody. I would argue that while everybody can and does make mistakes, this seems pretty egregious. "


You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.

I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.

In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning.
 
06/20/2024 12:41PM  
CoachWalleye74: "PLM wrote:

I'm sure trying to rescue him was a difficult thing to deal with in the heat of the moment. That's understandable. But putting themselves in that situation to begin with should be called out and discussed because doing so could save a life. Pretty much every story I read brought up how experienced they were, as if this could happen to anybody. I would argue that while everybody can and does make mistakes, this seems pretty egregious. "


You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.

I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.

In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning. "


Fishing 40' from the falls in cold water with no PFD is egregious in my opinion. These are not assumptions and not an attempt to be "righteous". This is what they stated they were doing and I don't think anybody here would condone it.

I already said the attempted rescue was understandable, even if it was, as some have argued, the wrong choice.
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/20/2024 01:27PM  

You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.

I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.

In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning. "


Fishing 40' from the falls in cold water with no PFD is egregious in my opinion. These are not assumptions and not an attempt to be "righteous". This is what they stated they were doing and I don't think anybody here would condone it.

I already said the attempted rescue was understandable, even if it was, as some have argued, the wrong choice. "



Good to hear you've gotten past the experience portion. I have not seen it noted that they were fishing 40 ft from the falls, only that they were fishing a pool above the falls (my history and opinion on that previously stated). Where did you see the 40 ft portion? Under what circumstances do you and the others you apparently speak for condone fishing above the falls? How far away, water temps, certainly PFD's. Isn't that where the learning would come from, understanding what portions of that could or shouldn't be done, under specific circumstances.

Arguing the semantics aren't helpful at this point. Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Past that not sure what experience evaluation or other learning point is available. "Calling them out" has been done...many times here and everywhere. We've identified the learning points, what further good does calling them out do, egregious in your opinion or not. Just don't see the point.
 
06/20/2024 02:11PM  
CoachWalleye74: "

You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.

I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.

In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning. "




Fishing 40' from the falls in cold water with no PFD is egregious in my opinion. These are not assumptions and not an attempt to be "righteous". This is what they stated they were doing and I don't think anybody here would condone it.

I already said the attempted rescue was understandable, even if it was, as some have argued, the wrong choice. "



Good to hear you've gotten past the experience portion. I have not seen it noted that they were fishing 40 ft from the falls, only that they were fishing a pool above the falls (my history and opinion on that previously stated). Where did you see the 40 ft portion? Under what circumstances do you and the others you apparently speak for condone fishing above the falls? How far away, water temps, certainly PFD's. Isn't that where the learning would come from, understanding what portions of that could or shouldn't be done, under specific circumstances.


Arguing the semantics aren't helpful at this point. Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Past that not sure what experience evaluation or other learning point is available. "Calling them out" has been done...many times here and everywhere. We've identified the learning points, what further good does calling them out do, egregious in your opinion or not. Just don't see the point. "


I said it needs to be called out as a lesson, because I felt they were glossing over that. When questioned I stated what the facts were, as relayed from the StarTribune story, and reiterated my opinion of putting oneself in that situation. It seems you didn't know what happened to begin with, so I don't know why you are taking issue with me for pointing it out. But I hope you found it informative. Again my intent is not to be righteous or demeaning, and I am sorry if it came across that way.
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/20/2024 03:26PM  
plmn: "
CoachWalleye74: "

You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.


I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.


In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning. "




Fishing 40' from the falls in cold water with no PFD is egregious in my opinion. These are not assumptions and not an attempt to be "righteous". This is what they stated they were doing and I don't think anybody here would condone it.


I already said the attempted rescue was understandable, even if it was, as some have argued, the wrong choice. "




Good to hear you've gotten past the experience portion. I have not seen it noted that they were fishing 40 ft from the falls, only that they were fishing a pool above the falls (my history and opinion on that previously stated). Where did you see the 40 ft portion? Under what circumstances do you and the others you apparently speak for condone fishing above the falls? How far away, water temps, certainly PFD's. Isn't that where the learning would come from, understanding what portions of that could or shouldn't be done, under specific circumstances.



Arguing the semantics aren't helpful at this point. Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Past that not sure what experience evaluation or other learning point is available. "Calling them out" has been done...many times here and everywhere. We've identified the learning points, what further good does calling them out do, egregious in your opinion or not. Just don't see the point. "



I said it needs to be called out as a lesson, because I felt they were glossing over that. When questioned I stated what the facts were, as relayed from the StarTribune story, and reiterated my opinion of putting oneself in that situation. It seems you didn't know what happened to begin with, so I don't know why you are taking issue with me for pointing it out. But I hope you found it informative. Again my intent is not to be righteous or demeaning, and I am sorry if it came across that way. "




Not sure why you'd say 'I didn't know what happened to begin with', simply asked where you found the very specific part of 40 ft. Regardless, you "called them out", good for you. I am apparently very confused by your intent, stated, statement changed, then stated again, or otherwise. One time it's questioning the term experience, then you feel like you/we need to "call them out" (whatever you mean by that), another its learning lessons, another its who knows what. The situation leading up to the event has been well documented...location chosen to fish, water temps, water levels, no pfd, etc. There are 3-5 threads on this board alone that state some form of the following summary lessons: Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Nobodies arguing with you about any points you are trying to make,m other than your reasoning keeps changing when your motive is questioned. What more do you want, need, or are trying to accomplish?
 
06/20/2024 08:35PM  
I wonder how many people here who are fanatics about wearing PFD's don't buckle up each and every time they get in the car. I'm a Firefighter/EMT and yell at guys on my shift to buckle up in the fire engine/Medic literally every shift... and lord knows we should know better....
 
06/20/2024 09:10PM  
CoachWalleye74: "
plmn: "
CoachWalleye74: "

You just can't get past the references to "experience", it seems. They experienced the BWCA for 15+ years, experienced fishing that area, experienced paddling, etc. You may not agree that they should have done things that they did, fine, but that doesn't change the fact that they have experience in the setting.



I've fished above those falls without issue. I don't recommend it, caution heavily against it, I likely won't ever do it again, but have experienced it. I've never read what actually caused the first canoe to tip, most talks about that it did tip and one person went over while one was pinned above and they other two came from shore in their canoe to attempt rescue. As I've said before on this, assumptions are being made and righteous paintbrushes applied liberally.



In the spirit of learning what was the part you feel is "egregious"? PFD non-use, fishing that area, attempting rescue? I can understand discussing learning opportunities, but not providing hindsight criticism without insight on differing options that could/should have been chosen doesn't accomplish learning. "





Fishing 40' from the falls in cold water with no PFD is egregious in my opinion. These are not assumptions and not an attempt to be "righteous". This is what they stated they were doing and I don't think anybody here would condone it.



I already said the attempted rescue was understandable, even if it was, as some have argued, the wrong choice. "




Good to hear you've gotten past the experience portion. I have not seen it noted that they were fishing 40 ft from the falls, only that they were fishing a pool above the falls (my history and opinion on that previously stated). Where did you see the 40 ft portion? Under what circumstances do you and the others you apparently speak for condone fishing above the falls? How far away, water temps, certainly PFD's. Isn't that where the learning would come from, understanding what portions of that could or shouldn't be done, under specific circumstances.



Arguing the semantics aren't helpful at this point. Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Past that not sure what experience evaluation or other learning point is available. "Calling them out" has been done...many times here and everywhere. We've identified the learning points, what further good does calling them out do, egregious in your opinion or not. Just don't see the point. "




I said it needs to be called out as a lesson, because I felt they were glossing over that. When questioned I stated what the facts were, as relayed from the StarTribune story, and reiterated my opinion of putting oneself in that situation. It seems you didn't know what happened to begin with, so I don't know why you are taking issue with me for pointing it out. But I hope you found it informative. Again my intent is not to be righteous or demeaning, and I am sorry if it came across that way. "




Not sure why you'd say 'I didn't know what happened to begin with', simply asked where you found the very specific part of 40 ft. Regardless, you "called them out", good for you. I am apparently very confused by your intent, stated, statement changed, then stated again, or otherwise. One time it's questioning the term experience, then you feel like you/we need to "call them out" (whatever you mean by that), another its learning lessons, another its who knows what. The situation leading up to the event has been well documented...location chosen to fish, water temps, water levels, no pfd, etc. There are 3-5 threads on this board alone that state some form of the following summary lessons: Fishing above the falls is dangerous and under most circumstances should not be attempted, always wear PFD's, and be aware of staying safe while trying to attempt any rescue. Nobodies arguing with you about any points you are trying to make,m other than your reasoning keeps changing when your motive is questioned. What more do you want, need, or are trying to accomplish?"


If you agree with my points and didn't know the whole story, why do you continue to argue? What are you trying to accomplish?

Never mind, you don't need to answer that. If you agree with my points there is nothing more I "need" to say so I'm done here. You can believe whatever you want about my motive, I don't owe you any further explanation.
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/20/2024 10:10PM  
Agreed, I've said my piece and will hold my peace.
 
06/20/2024 11:01PM  
I'm pleased to see people in this thread using the term Life Jacket. Not sure why it was ever changed but growing up Life in Life Jacket taught me to take them seriously.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
06/21/2024 07:29AM  
okinaw55: "I'm pleased to see people in this thread using the term Life Jacket. Not sure why it was ever changed but growing up Life in Life Jacket taught me to take them seriously."


In my opinion, PFDs are more designed to be worn constantly, with bigger arm holes and more comfort, whereas life jackets are to be put on for emergencies, like when a plane prepares to ditch in water or a ferry starts to sink.
 
06/21/2024 12:45PM  
Barca: "I wonder how many people here who are fanatics about wearing PFD's don't buckle up each and every time they get in the car. I'm a Firefighter/EMT and yell at guys on my shift to buckle up in the fire engine/Medic literally every shift... and lord knows we should know better.... "


I'm a fanatic about wearing my PFD. I always wear my seatbelt too. Oddly, when people want to not wear their PFD in my boat, I ask if they would get in their car without wearing a seatbelt. That has worked every time so far.

Last year on a solo trip I dumped in some current and struggled mightily to swim to shore in the current. After the current had pushed me past any chance at getting onto the shore I realized how absolutely out of breath and tired I was. It took me about 30 minutes to get out of the water. I'm not sure how that would have turned out had I not been wearing my PFD.
 
06/21/2024 01:07PM  
CoachWalleye74: "Agreed, I've said my peace. "

It's piece.
 
06/21/2024 01:26PM  
Frenchy19: "
CoachWalleye74: "Agreed, I've said my peace. "

It's piece."


Teacher by chance? My sister is...seems like something she would post LOL. BTW I didn't know either. I at one time used to think another saying was "mute point" not "moot point"...never made sense to me...but I knew the meaning...then, you guessed it, my sister corrected me.

T
 
Someday
member (45)member
  
06/21/2024 01:36PM  
Ya, I guess I should have typed LIFE JACKET…
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/21/2024 01:40PM  
Frenchy19: "
CoachWalleye74: "Agreed, I've said my peace. "

It's piece."


Fixed it an added to it.

Thank you for calling me out on my egregious error. I have 45+ years of experience with the English language, but made this error, and have learned from the info you shared.
 
06/21/2024 05:50PM  
okinaw55: "I'm pleased to see people in this thread using the term Life Jacket. Not sure why it was ever changed but growing up Life in Life Jacket taught me to take them seriously."


I'm guessing it's because of lawyers. Manufacturers probably didn't want to be sued for the small percentage of people that died despite wearing a "life" jacket so they changed it to PFD which doesn't claim to keep your body alive, just floating.
 
06/21/2024 06:16PM  
The US Coast Guard recognizes 5 Types of PFD; 4 wearable and 1 throwable.

- Type 1 and Type 2 are the more traditional ones meant for emergencies on larger boats like billconner mentioned above. Think of this inexpensive orange things that went behind your neck and clipped in the front.

- Type 3 is what 95% or more of us wear in the BWCA, with foam on front and back.

- Type 5 are the special purpose PFDs, like most of the inflatables or duck hunting jackets with floatation built in. These typically have to be worn to be legal.

All the above are considered “Life Jackets” in Minnesota, though the word Life Vest would usually be more accurate since few have sleeves.

The other category, Type 4 PFDs, are the throwables. Life rings and seat cushions fit into this category. In Minnesota, all watercraft above 16 feet (except for canoes and kayaks) need to carry at least one throwable in addition to a type 1,2,3 easily accessible or type 5 worn for each person on board.
 
06/22/2024 12:26AM  
prettypaddle: "
okinaw55: "I'm pleased to see people in this thread using the term Life Jacket. Not sure why it was ever changed but growing up Life in Life Jacket taught me to take them seriously."



I'm guessing it's because of lawyers. Manufacturers probably didn't want to be sued for the small percentage of people that died despite wearing a "life" jacket so they changed it to PFD which doesn't claim to keep your body alive, just floating."


Yep .. seems so obvious now that you point that out. What an insane world we live in.
 
06/22/2024 11:34AM  
CoachWalleye74: "
Frenchy19: "
CoachWalleye74: "Agreed, I've said my peace. "

It's piece."



Fixed it an added to it.

Thank you for calling me out on my egregious error. I have 45+ years of experience with the English language, but made this error, and have learned from the info you shared. "


Me thinks someone needs to lighten up just a tidge. I was trying to inject some humor in a rather contentious back and forth, but I failed, apparently. Apologies.
 
CoachWalleye74
distinguished member (176)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/23/2024 12:50PM  
Frenchy19: "
CoachWalleye74: "
Frenchy19: "
CoachWalleye74: "Agreed, I've said my peace. "

It's piece."




Fixed it an added to it.


Thank you for calling me out on my egregious error. I have 45+ years of experience with the English language, but made this error, and have learned from the info you shared. "



Me thinks someone needs to lighten up just a tidge. I was trying to inject some humor in a rather contentious back and forth, but I failed, apparently. Apologies."



Seems reasonable. I was actually being a bit tongue in cheek, also, but that may not have come across.
 
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