The man in the yellow hat.

Open Discussion
User avatar
unicorn
...
...
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:35 pm
Name: Ryan Hughes
Location: Fayetteville AR
Contact:

The man in the yellow hat.

Post by unicorn » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:34 pm

Brothers and sisters, I don't quite know what to say, but since there's conflicting information in the media, I want to get my account of the events of that day out there. — This is my version, the others who were there have theirs, but I don't want to speak for anyone else. So to that point, I'm not going to name anyone who was there, or relay second hand the accounts they gave me. All I will say is this: Each and every paddler with us on the river that day did everything in their power to come to Jon's rescue.


The facts as I saw them are these: Nine of us put on to the Pine Creek section of the Arkansas river Friday afternoon and had a pretty successful run down to Pine Creek rapid. Knowing that it was an extremely challenging rapid, and that the level was high, the entire group stopped to scout - and most of us decided pretty instantaneously to portage. Jon and a couple of other boaters decided to run it.

The portage is long. It runs along the railroad track for maybe a quarter of a mile, and leaves you pretty much blind to the rapid. We had just laid our boats down and were about to walk back up when one of the boaters in our group came into view trying to push Jon's boat aside into an eddy. Jon came bobbing down a few seconds later.

Some of us immediately jumped into boats and gave chase. I stayed on the bank and tried to help with a throw rope operation. As the water is moving extremely fast through the run-out, there was only time for one rope to be thrown. It landed just over Jon's downstream shoulder, but he made no attempt to grab it. Knowing at that point that something was terribly wrong, the rest of us jumped in our boats as quickly as possible and started paddling downstream as fast as we could.

At one point I passed a boater who had gotten Jon's boat onto the bank. I pretty much ignored that and kept up the chase.

About a quarter mile further down, I came upon another boater from our group - one of the initial chase party, who had clearly just been out of his boat, which was nowhere to be seen, and was up on a rock, trying to catch his breath. He gave me the signal that he was ok, but didn't know what was happening downstream. I paddled harder.

Coming around a bend in the river to what I would later learn was the numbers put-in, I finally saw Jon. Another paddler had a hold of him and was dragging him onto the bank. I eddied out as quickly as I could, and as I went to pop my skirt I could see that two of the paddlers had started CPR. I ran along the bank until I was close enough to take over rescue breathing, so that the other two people on the bank at that second could switch off on chest compressions. By this point, most of the group was there, doing what they could to help with CPR, cutting his gear off, making sure that 911 had been called, clearing a path, etc.

I gave Jon rescue breaths for 20-30 minutes before the Park Service got there and took over. Those of us no longer assisting with CPR cleared a spot on the bank so that we could get him completely out of the water, in order to facilitate the use of a defibrillator.

By that point the ambulance was on scene and paramedics had gotten down the bank. They took over and continued trying to resuscitate Jon for another 40-50 minutes before declaring him deceased.


——————


Those of you who know me know that Jon was one of my best friends — I rarely paddled without him, and we spent more time goofing off together out of the water than is probably healthy too.

I am utterly heartbroken by his loss. But I'm also thankful that I was given the opportunity to know and learn from him. Jon pushed me, not just to be a better paddler, but to be a better person.

He inspired me, as he took pure joy in almost everything around him — even the things the rest of us ignore and take for granted.

I'm going to miss him, but I'm also looking forward to seeing him again, inside of each and every one of you — because I know that if you knew him at all, he left a part of himself within you. (If you knew him well, you'd know that he'd make a bad "that's what she said" joke right now.)



Thank you for reading this, I hope it helps. I think it's maybe helped me a little bit to write it.


-Ryan
"The flower children have grown thorns" - Abbie Hoffman

User avatar
Ouachitoff
...
...
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:26 pm
Name: Chris H
Location: Maumelle

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Ouachitoff » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:50 pm

Thanks for the information, I had yet to hear a first-hand account of what happened. Is the thinking that he was already unconscious, possibly from an impact to the head, prior to the attempted throw rope rescue? I did not know him personally, but the kind words from his friends and those acquainted with him speaks volumes.
A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
- English proverb

User avatar
kru1
.....
.....
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:38 pm
Name: Kristian
Location: slow-town

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by kru1 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:55 pm

A big thanks to you, and the entire party for doing all you could for one of my best friends.

kru
I say, and I intend it emphatically, let the river be.
Thomas Hart Benton, on the Buffalo River

User avatar
magicmike
.....
.....
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 5:13 pm
Name: Mike
Location: Fayetteville

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by magicmike » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:24 pm

In football, they honor there fallen on their jersey. In that same spirit I plan to honor JFK on my boat. I ordered 10 of these. So I'll have 9 extras.-M-
Attachments
jfk_oval_sticker.jpg
jfk_oval_sticker.jpg (8.37 KiB) Viewed 3050 times
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

User avatar
paddledog
.....
.....
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:31 pm
Location: behind the camera
Contact:

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by paddledog » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:54 pm

Mike you only have eight left,
I get one.........
Fighting for peace........
Isn't that like screaming for quiet?

Image
http://www.Paddledog.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
kru1
.....
.....
Posts: 765
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:38 pm
Name: Kristian
Location: slow-town

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by kru1 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:53 pm

paddledog wrote:Mike you only have eight left,
I get one.........
No he has 258 left. Already made an order of 250 this morning.

kru
I say, and I intend it emphatically, let the river be.
Thomas Hart Benton, on the Buffalo River

User avatar
cpresoz
.....
.....
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:13 am
Name: Curtis Presley
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by cpresoz » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:55 pm

kru1 wrote:
No he has 258 left. Already made an order of 250 this morning.

kru
OK. I want one.
Curtis Presley
cpresoz@yahoo.com
479-685-3557
Fayetteville, AR

RobM
....
....
Posts: 384
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:16 pm
Name: Rob
Location: NW AR

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by RobM » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:55 pm

I'll take two for both my boats . :thumbup:
See ya on the water,
Rob

Chrissy
.
.
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:10 pm
Name: Chrissy Dennis
Location: Rogers, Arkansas

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Chrissy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:14 am

Ryan - thank you for your straightforward, yet thoughtful account of what happened. What a difficult and sad story to tell, but we're all glad that you shared. Hoping it has given you a little peace to write this. Thank you for doing all that you could do to save our friend. {{Hugs}}

Kristian (and Mike) - thank you for ordering stickers, I know I would like one.

I know Donny and I are relatively new to the paddling community, but you have all enveloped us as if we were long lost friends. Jon was an integral part of that. He was fun, talented, crazy, goofy, out-spoken, and bright. (And there are many, many more adjectives that could describe him...) Jon will be missed terribly, but always thought of fondly.
- Chrissy Dennis

ShayA
..
..
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:34 pm
Name: Shay
Location: DFW Texas

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by ShayA » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:41 am

Yes, thank you Ryan.
__________________________________________
Shay Allen

User avatar
Shep
....
....
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:32 am
Name: Paul Shepherd
Location: Fayetteville, AR

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Shep » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:56 am

Thank you Ryan. It means a lot to hear the stories from those of you that were there.

Lots more to tell you, but not sure of the words. Thinking of you and the others, and hope you feel the support you need right now.
Paul Shepherd

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats (said the water rat solemnly)." - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

User avatar
Roger
.....
.....
Posts: 1473
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: Right behind you!

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Roger » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:58 am

Thanks for the update, Ryan. Sounds like everything was done that was possible. :(

Mike, I would like a sticker as well.
I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself. Jose Ortega Y Gasset

The earth is like a spaceship that didn't come with an operating manual.
Buckminster Fuller

User avatar
magicmike
.....
.....
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 5:13 pm
Name: Mike
Location: Fayetteville

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by magicmike » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:09 pm

Roger - you get the last one.
Ryan- Sorry to have posted the stickers here, it seemed like a good idea at the time. My thoughts have been with you guys since I first heard. Thanks so much for the first hand account. Hang in there. -M-
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

User avatar
Ryan Center
....
....
Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:59 pm
Name: ozarkpaddler
Location: Winslow

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Ryan Center » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:46 pm

Ryan, I know it had to be tough for you to write this and I know without a doubt you guys did everything you could do to save Jon. When I heard about this, I wanted nothing more than to be with you guys that was there to find someway to help comfort you all.

User avatar
Joe Purdy
.
.
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:10 am
Name: Joe Purdy
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Contact:

Re: The man in the yellow hat.

Post by Joe Purdy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:40 pm

kru1 wrote:
paddledog wrote:Mike you only have eight left,
I get one.........
No he has 258 left. Already made an order of 250 this morning.

kru

Mr. Underwood...+1 for me please.
I wanna leave this world the same way I came into it... naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood...

Post Reply

Social Media

       

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest