Flooded Creek: What not to do!

This guy demonstrates “what not to do” when your local creek gets hit with a record flood. Things get real at the 6:40 mark.


The “what not to do” part…
…begins at 00:01. :open_mouth:

at least the guy was honest
He sounds pretty humbled in his writeup.

What not to do…

– Last Updated: Apr-25-13 4:16 PM EST –

What not to do at a flooded creek..........

Don't get into Billy Bob's Chevy 4x4 if he tells you,
"My Chevy will go across that; no problem"!

Damn! Did you see how fast that Chevy sank?
Yeah dude, that thing went down "like a rock"!


He is really lucky that he went over those last couple of trees and not into or under them. Water moving that quickly would have definitely pinned him. He should have realized after about 20 seconds that he would not be able to control the kayak going through the limbs and branches and he then should have quit.

Is this advice, or just the obvious
canned on youtube?

more balls than brains
He seemed to have a number of opportunities to head to a shore that he passed up before he dumped.

shouldn’t be called a kayak video
the video may as well been an inner tube for the control (or lack thereof)shown. It is videos like this that make the general public believe we are whack jobs.

I posted on his utube page, maybe we
can save his life next time. Here’s what I wrote, maybe others can add to it.

#1. Learn how to use the USGS River Gauges for the waterway you plan to use. The gauge will give you real-time conditions and tell you when it in flood stage. Paddlers everywhere agree not to run in flood stage because professional rescuers need to do their work unhindered, also the strainers can kill you. #2 Learn to lean, rudder and back paddle, basic boat control moves. #3. Find a group of experienced people to paddle with who you can bounce ideas off of. People who can tell you no.

This video does more good than harm
At one point he commented that he hoped to be able to rate his skills a few points higher after everything was over. Well, he did everything wrong in every new situation so it was clear he was in trouble from the get-go, and surely he doesn’t yet have any idea what techniques would have been better, so the only thing he probably learned was to be careful not to bite off more than you can chew regarding fast water. Hey, that’s a good thing.

I think it’s cool that he posted this. His comments show that he found it pretty humbling and that he had no prior idea what he was getting himself into. I’m sure he knows that had things gone a little differently he might have videoed his own demise. But he posted it anyway. Most of us have done stupid things, mostly prior to getting the experience (or often just the maturity) needed to assess what we were about to do. Many of us, like this guy, are lucky to be alive today on account of such stuff so I won’t call him an idiot or I’d have to call half the people I know idiots. He was just “uninformed”, but he’s certainly more informed now!

He was wearing shorts. The video said it was Chicago on 4/18/13 so I would expect water temps in the mid 40F range.So beside all of the other things he did wrong he had no protective clothing for the water temps. Wow is this guy on suicide watch now? If not he should be.

He didn’t mention anything in his report, but is his boat gone? Hard to tell if it was swept away or just pinned?

I still don’t see the point of posting
here. It’s almost impossible to learn anything from a total fiasco. Virtually everything is done wrong. Did anyone comment on the risk of using a paddle tie to your wrist when there is a high risk of pinning?

In 40 years of ww paddling, I have never run a river in flood. You don’t need USGS gauges to see when it’s in flood, you can see as soon as you are at the put in. When the river is spread way out among the trees, it’s either in flood, or it’s in Louisiana, etc.

One can tell he is a newbie within
the first few seconds.

Paddle leash position and even having one in that water, both his drip rings are between his hands, warm weather shorts, no spray skirt, and of all things, a rec boat.

Thank heaven he made it out alive. I believe he learned a very viable lesson and is fortunate to have survived.

Hopefully, he’ll seek out some training and paddle with experienced paddlers next time who will give him advice and may he follow it.

Some of the same thoughts
I agree about the person who says they posted there that this paddler should learn to read river gauges. One look at the creek would provide all the info you need, whereas the gauge does little good until you familiarize yourself with its history.

I didn’t see anything tied to the paddler’s wrist. It looked to me like the paddle was tethered to the boat, though in very peculiar fashion, and not something that’s wise in such conditions no matter how it’s done.

I didn’t mind the fact that it got posted here, other than it being the wrong forum. I bet somewhere out there, some newbie got an idea that this is “worse than it might look” as a result.

No boat control
… just forward strokes charging into whatever lies ahead. And that’s ultimately what took him over.

But on the plus side his paddle matched his boat.

I think it was worthwhile
I’m puzzled why this post has been criticized. OK, maybe it should have been in another section but I think this type of thing is instructive for newbies and even a good reminder for those of us who should know better but can be tempted by the surge of Spring waters.

I agree, this idiot is lucky to still be alive – the only thing that probably saved him was the shallowness of the creek and the fragility of most of the strainers. A similarly outfitted newb died here in western PA a couple years ago trying the same sort of rash “this will be cool” attempt on the flood swollen Youghiogheny.

Though some people find such escapades amusing, the concern I have is that the ones where the fool does not get lucky result in putting rescue personnel in jeopardy and, when they occur often enough, can lead to restrictions and exclusions being imposed upon responsible paddlers.

When I see people attempting stupid crap like this I will always stop and tell them not to do it. The rock climbing community went through a lot of access hassles and fights against regulation and restrictions back in the 70’s and 80’s when popularity of that sport drew reckless, badly equipped and untrained wannabe climbers to the cliffsides. Authorities will tend to paint everyone with the same brush, or rationalize that they need to regulate everyone to protect the foolish.

No need for the nasty comment
The guy clearly learned his lesson about cold water. When he was in the woods where the water was shallow and he stepped out, my thought was “That water must be freezing.” Well, right after I had that thought he got back in the boat and said “My legs are ice.” No doubt he hadn’t been expecting that, but he will next time. So considering that along with his other statements to the effect that he realizes that paddling there was a dumb idea and that he easily could have died, I see no need respond with stupid “suicide” comments. If you must say such things, say them about the people who post clips like these with bravado, not those who clearly have the attitude “take a look at my stupid mistake”.

Glad it was posted, too
I’ve added it to my library of “don’t do this” YouTube clips to show to beginner students. It ranks right up there with the GoBro footage of the clueless woman who swam at the top of Jawbone and just floated passively right into (and through) the sieve at Hydroelectric Rock.

He removed it.
Who can blame him?