Dory Rescue

On or about April 22 a dory was parked in the right side of Deubendorf Rapid in Grand Canyon. We arrived there to camp just as the park rangers were preparing to extract the craft. Apparently the boaters and other rangers had tried unsuccessfully to get the boat out at the time that it was pinned. When we got there it had been on the rock for about ten days.
Evening of May second with 15K cfs running through the dory.
I think I heard a math whiz say that the boat had something like 40 tons of pressure on it from the river. If that is the case the Aluminum dory gets the prize for durability.
In the morning the parkies got busy pretty early taking advantage of the lower night time flows.
Cool hi-tech dry suits and radio equipped helmets.
The whole operation was conducted with the utmost attention to safety. The guy down stream has a river board, throw rope and is patched into the radio system.
A tight line is used to move people and gear between shore and the wreck.
The boat’s owner, who has had to extract this thing before, suggested to the park service that they use a pry bar with their winch to jiggle the boat off the rock.
The rangers hooked the stern to a big battery operated winch pulling directly toward the shore.. The bow also had a manual winching system pulling up stream.
When the hatches could be opened gear was hauled ashore on the tight line.
The ranger on board holds up the prize. It is not known if the rescue operation would have been attempted if this beverage was not known to be on board.
As soon as they could get the up stream gunwale out of the water the boat was bailed out as much as possible using buckets and a hand operated bilge pump.
After unloading and bailing the dory was winched the rest of the way in to shore.
It was a truly strange sight to see this great old boat flying out of the canyon.

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8 Responses to “Dory Rescue”

  1. Bill Langer Says:

    Those guys did an amazing job - very professional! And the maker of that boat should use it as an advertisement.
    But I’m wondering why the Park Service went to all the risk, time and expense to pull that boat out of there. Is that standard operating procedure in such a situation? Was it the potential danger to other river runners that mandated the removal? Has it been done before?

  2. larry hopkins Says:

    NIce job on the photos and story-very detailed and informative.

    larry hopkins

  3. Ted Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up and add the pictures.
    Great Job.


  4. Joe3 Says:

    Also………many thanks for the story and photos.

  5. Chris Says:

    Thise guys have extracted plenty of boats from the canyon, but maybe the first ‘Aluminum’ Dory.

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