Washington’s Husum Falls is a popular spot for rafters and kayak enthusiasts, but at 14 feet high, it can also present a danger to newcomers. Last Tuesday, a group of four rafters that attempted to go over the falls met with disaster when two men lost their grip on the safety lines. One of the rafters was sent into the water where he hit his head and was rendered unconscious. According to KATU, veteran rafting guide Russ Cole was nearby during the incident and quickly dived into the rushing rapids to save the rafter.
“At first I thought he was one of the people who doesn’t respond well, just overwhelmed by what’s going on. After I yelled to him a couple times I could tell he wasn’t turning over,” Cole said.
The guide was able to retrieve the rafter and haul him onto land. After 25 years of experience, Cole says it came naturally to him.
“It looks like it’s happening really fast to other people,” he said. “This is all slow motion for us,”
The rafter suffered no major injuries and woke up shortly afterwards. It just goes to show that guides–whether climbing a mountain or leading a hunt–must always be prepared for when things take a turn for the worse.