posted on Jun, 13 2010 @ 12:22 AM
Raft guide arrested after helping stranded rafter on Clear Creek
Clear Creek sheriff's deputies on Thursday arrested a rafting guide for swimming to a stranded young rafter who had tumbled from his boat on Clear
Ryan Daniel Snodgrass, a 28-year-old guide with Arkansas Valley Adventures rafting company, was charged with "obstructing government operations,"
said Clear Creek Sheriff Don Krueger.
"He was told not to go in the water, and he jumped in and swam over to the victim and jeopardized the rescue operation," said Krueger, noting that
his office was deciding whether to file similar charges against another guide who was at the scene just downstream of Kermitts Roadhouse on U.S. 6.
Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said Snodgrass did the right thing by contacting the 13-year-old Texas girl immediately and not
waiting for the county's search and rescue team to assemble ropes, rafts and rescuers.
"When you have someone in sight who has taken a long swim, you need to make contact immediately," said Bradford, a 15-year rafting guide and ski
patroller from Summit County. "This is just silly. Ryan Snodgrass acted entirely appropriately. These guys came to the scene late and there was a
rescue in progress. They came in and took over an existing rescue. To leave a patient on the side of a river while you get your gear out of the car
and set up a rescue system you read about in a book is simply not good policy."
OK. I can understand the rescuers on the scene telling someone who has no experience in swift water rescue to stay out of the water. You don't want
to have multiple victims. But this guy is trained in that type of thing. He is a river guide there.
This girl had been in the water for 30-45 minutes already. She had swam a half a mile in the current before she was seen. The rafting company had been
looking for her.
The police said it had been too long since she disappeared, and was no longer their rescue. The girl was in site. She was obvious close to shore. Had
I been on the scene, I might have strongly discouraged him for going in the swift water, but why arrest him? he saved the girls life.
It would have taken 20-30 more minutes probably to get the equipment set up. She was already probably very tired by then. His boss backed him up and
they both said they would do it again. Arresting a hero is just not good PR. I guess they wanted all the glory for themselves.....