Distress Calls and More With a Pager System

I work as a raft guide in one of the most extreme commercially rafted sections of river in the United States. Gore Canyon of the Colorado River is a ten mile section of river surround by giant gneiss wall on both sides. The Canyon is full of class V rapids that must be expertly navigated or else the consequences can be deadly. While there are a few companies out there that run the section, my company is by far the best. One of the many reasons that we are the best is because we use a pager system to communicate not only with all the boats and guides in our trips but also in order to communicate with the office back in town. While ninety nine percent of the trips that go down Gore Canyon run perfectly smooth and create some of the best memories of our customer’s lives, once in a while something happens that ends up being scary. Recently, I was leading a relatively large trip of four boats down the river when, as first boat through a class IV+ rapid known as Pyrite, I noticed another company’s upside down boat on the side of the river. I tried to communicate with the crew of the raft who were standing around. Unfortunately, the wouldn’t respond. I quickly realized that there wasn’t a guide with the crew. As I had ran the rapid first, I was in a position to set safety for the other rafts on my trip. However, I felt the need to get to the other side of the river and make sure that things were okay. I used our pager system in order to communicate with the other rafts on our trip. In this way, I ensured that none of my rafts would run rapids without the proper support and at the time get to a spot on the opposite shore where the guides could safely secure their rafts and get down to the raft that appeared to be in distress. With pagers, I was able to make it happen very quickly. Then, I got to the other side of the river where I made contact with the other raft. My observation that the raft was without guide was correct. I talked with the passengers of the raft, all of whom were paying guests and was informed that the raft had flipped in the last rapid. There had been total chaos for a while, but eventually everyone ended up safely on shore. Unfortunately, all the paddles from the raft had been lost. The guide had decided to run down the shore in an effort to retrieve all the paddles and in so doing, left the passengers standing on the side of the river waiting. I used our pager system to let the guides from my trip know what was going on. I also paged my office for instructions. Only a few minutes later, I received a text message that told me that our office had cleared it with the other company to take their passengers down with us, which we did.

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