Clean up your toys
September 23, 2013 6:15 AM   Subscribe

This is a story of boys following their mother's advice: clean up your toys when you're through playing with them. Recovering a sunk boat when its resting place is in a 6000 cubic foot per second current.
posted by 445supermag (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This story would seem to end as it probably began. With the well worn lines of "Here. Hold my beer. Now watch this."
posted by three blind mice at 6:19 AM on September 23, 2013

I sure hope they were standing well back when the cable broke. Snapped wire cables under pressure is a good way to get dead.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:23 AM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Until you've dealt with current you have no idea how much power there is in a moving river.

On a canoe trip down the Huron River (which is not exactly the biggest, fastest river in the world. We came upon an aluminum canoe that had gotten sideways against a rock about the size of two refrigerators in about 3 feet of water. At this point it was bent in the middle at about a 45 degree angle, with the open side of the canoe facing upstream. No problem, we said... we can pull that off and get it to the shore.

There were about twelve of us and we couldn't budge that thing an inch. This was about 25 years ago, that canoe sat there, wrapped around that rock, catching debris, seaweeds and beer cans for the next ten years, then it was gone... I have no idea who moved it or how....
posted by HuronBob at 6:34 AM on September 23, 2013

Interesting... Not to nitpick, but I wonder what was up with the snarky line about stimulus money... If they really did get some, for river clean-up or whatever, you'd think they'd be at least a little grateful. I got some stimulus money for my house, and I'm extremely grateful...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 6:39 AM on September 23, 2013

I Love when Buzz falls in and, shortly thereafter, they almost go under themselves due to a cable getting snagged somehow.. This is some epic redneck-aneering and I'm plenty impressed.

I mean, this is how you do Leave no Trace right? Right? Guys... Guys, where are you going?
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2013

I guess 6,000 ft3/s is for the whole river. If the river is 100 ft across, and average of 15 ft deep, then every square foot has 4 cubic feet of water flowing past every second.

If the boat is 28 ft by 10 ft, then that's 1,120 cubic feet of water pressing on the boat every second, or 32,000 liters, or 32,000 kg, or about 70,000 lb.

To call this back of the envelope is an insult to envelopes. Anybody want to edumacate my ass about what the actual calculations would be?
posted by Renegade Duck at 7:48 AM on September 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is why we need giant robots.
posted by orme at 8:01 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is why we need giant robots.

You assume we need a reason. Somethings should exist for their own sake.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:50 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really wanted to like that, but truth be told, that was one annoying video. Glad they salvaged the boat though.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:23 AM on September 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Why didn't they just parbuckle it?
posted by resurrexit at 9:52 AM on September 23, 2013

Why didn't they just parbuckle it?

You just wanted to use that word in a sentence didn't you? Can't say as I blame you...
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:00 AM on September 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Youtube comment actually humane and on-point:

"I am a Dive Master and part of a recovery team. I have 2 comments: 1, Great Job with the recovery. Its amazing no one got hurt and no other vehicles (including the tow truck) were pulled down river and sunk. That is one strong current which REALLY complicates things. and 2; Why recover the boat? I know schooled, professional industrial divers who would not do this project for safety reasons. No competent local government would require a recovery if human safety was an issue. "
posted by etherist at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Current is a vector, not a volume. On the other hand, would you like to see a video of a boat sailing in 4 billion cubic kilometers of wind?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:34 AM on September 23, 2013

I have rowed and kayaked that section of river many times. The place that they sank the boat is literally at the end of the road. There are no roads for the next 80 miles upstream and no access for salvaging a boat. It is the edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

This is the Vinegar Creek boat ramp at the end of the road from Riggins, Idaho. It is a popular launch for jet boats serving the lodges upstream in the roadless area. They haul guest and supplies back and forth.

Just a few hundred yards upstream of the boat ramp is one of the biggest rapids on that section of the river, Chittam Rapid. It is a steep, narrow right hand turn with huge lateral waves coming off a cliff face on the left side of the turn. It drops about 20 or 25 feet.

What probably happened is that the jetboat launched from the boat ramp and headed upstream to climb Chittam Rapid and got into trouble. It swamped and came to rest a little ways below near the boat ramp. This was on a day in June that was the peak of the spring runoff when the gauge at Whitebird was 80,000 cfs. Probably not the best time to launch what is a pretty small jetboat.

The streamflows they were citing were not actually for the salvage location. They were for a gauge about 60 miles downstream near Whitebird, Idaho. The flows at this location are really about half that of the gauge. So maybe 3000 cfs. At the time of the sinking, the flow was probably 40,000 cfs, more than 10 times seen in the video.

They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and risk in this salvage operation by just waiting another month or so for the water to drop. The flow would have dropped to around half.
posted by JackFlash at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Why didn't they just parbuckle it?
posted by resurrexit

Here you go: it works if the boat is not submerged.
posted by 445supermag at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2013

I really wanted to like that, but truth be told, that was one annoying video. Glad they salvaged the boat though.

It's the music. I'd much rather listen to the guys in planning and in action than the classic rock soundtrack.
posted by zardoz at 8:41 PM on September 23, 2013

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