Posted by Dick Pierce on November 04, 2005 at 10:13:24:
It is my sad duty to report that RC Forney died yesterday at Pete Morgan rapid on the cheat river. RC was paddling an open boat. The level was 3 feet. As he approached the entrance to Pete Morgan, he was off-line to the right. He hit the hole above the large rock on the right side of the entrance and then was swept sideways into that rock. He flipped and came out of the right side of his boat into the violent rectangle of water created by the four boulders that are just to the right of the standard line. His boat came down the rapid quickly, but we never saw RC after he came out of his boat at the top right of the rapid. When we started to look for him, we realized for the first time that there was a large tree parallel to the standard line and about 2 feet to the right. The tree is wedged into the severely undercut left side of the large rock on the right side of the entrance and into the other large rock at the bottom right of the rapid. RC left behind his wife, Dana, and 2 children, aged 4 years and 10 months. I will miss RC a lot. He was a wonderful person.
RC Forney’s body was recovered 11-5-05. A log the size of a large telephone pole was removed from Pete Morgan’s Rapid.
In this sport we as paddlers face known and unknown dangers. We also experience known and unknown satisfactions. There is personal satisfaction in evaluation of your skills vs. the complexity of moving water over under and through rocks and other obstacles.
There is satisfaction comes from the process of evaluation through execution of running a particular a drop.
Satisfaction also comes from the sensation of just “being and doing” things on the water (the non adrenaline kinda stuff).
A huge chunk of satisfaction come from the people we are with when we are on the water.
Every time we start a river trip, we are comrades on a journey.
We watch out for each other.
We TRUST that our paddling buddies will be there if and when needed.
Every time we start a river trip, we are comrades on a journey. We don’t often say it or think it but essentially we trust our lives to our paddling comrades and also to an element of the unknown, even when we set out on an easy or familiar river. We TRUST that our paddling buddies will be there if and when needed. But sometimes things happen that we have no control over. When recreating in natures wild rivers, there is always an element of the unknown, the risk that we can only minimize and not control. In our accepting these risks, there is a special bond between us that we, as paddlers, experience with an accident of this type. I am sure we all feel saddened
The recovery operation to remove the body of RC Forney from beneath a tree at Pete Morgan's rapid was successful today 11-5-05. The deadly tree (the size of a large telephone pole) was removed from the normal river left line, making this rapid open to run