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  #11  
Old December 16th, 2009, 04:08 AM
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Twisted Twisted is offline
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Standing about 4 feet in front of him, trying not to bust my behind. The laughing came later, when I knew he wasn't really hurt. Hooter's you say?? I don't think we have one out here do we?
We have hooters but not the restaurant chain of the same name. Maybe we could convince the DQ girls to dress skimpier?
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  #12  
Old February 4th, 2010, 02:42 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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AKA...the pump pit...makes me think of a really scarey incident in my early years at the park. I worked alot of doubles at Rapids as a good friend of mine was foreman there (he was my trek leader at Philmont and we both received our Eagle's at the same time). We had to pull a boat back to external, not sure how they are doing it today, but back then it was a very risky task. It involved several people, at least 5 in addition to the dispatcher in the tower. One person had to ride the boat with a loop of rope around the center and had to 'catch the hook' with the rope as it exited the 'canyon' area. You had to have at least 3 strong people to pull the boat out of the current and towards the external resevoir once it was hooked. And the most hazardous job of all was the person that had to get into he water and and reach as far out as he could with the hook to snag the boat. We had done this many times before without incident, it was pretty routine, guess you could say we kinda got complacent and thought this 'catch' would be just like the rest of them. This 'catch' started out like all the rest, but as the rope went taught, the rope attached to the canyon wall snapped. Now it was not a matter of trying to pull the boat out of the current as it sat there hooked, but it was a matter of trying to keep it from floating towards the lift. Needless to say it was more than 3 guys could handle, unable to hang onto the rope without getting pulled off the resevoir wall and into the trough we had to let go of the rope. The phone by the external gate did not work (as usual) and we all watched helplessly as the boat and the employee in the water floated away towards the lift. Needless to say the employee in the water did not panic and I am certain that his actions truly saved his life. Being familiar with the drop off of the trough just prior to the lift and not wanting to risk getting crushed under a boat, he took a deep breath and dove down. Managing to avoid the lift and was sucked up against the 'people catcher' or grate that prevented anyone from accidently getting sucked into the pumps, from there he climbed up and out. I have seen rapids empty and have seen the impeller blades on the pumps, don't think anything or anyone would fare well after going through them!!
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  #13  
Old February 4th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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I only saw a boat removed once, and it was at night.. But from what I can recall from that night years ago, it entails a few employees in said boat pushing the boat around via PVC pipes against the bottom of the trough. But no one, absolutely no one, is allowed into the water with the pumps running anymore.

In fact, even if there's a guest in the water, you don't automatically e-stop anymore. You must make eye contact with that person first and if you don't, you still can't e-stop until ANY operator does.
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  #14  
Old February 4th, 2010, 04:49 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Interesting...

the times I did boat removal entailed stopping the pumps just before the boat passed the external reservoir inlet. The boat would float past, then the current reversal of the water flowing back into external would (ideally) suck the boat back into external where an employee with a rope would be waiting to throw it to those in the boat, who would tie it onto the center rail and drag it to where it belonged.

Usually it didn't work out that smoothly, but it was a lot easier once the water equalized to direct the boats where they belonged.
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  #15  
Old February 4th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
the times I did boat removal entailed stopping the pumps just before the boat passed the external reservoir inlet. The boat would float past, then the current reversal of the water flowing back into external would (ideally) suck the boat back into external where an employee with a rope would be waiting to throw it to those in the boat, who would tie it onto the center rail and drag it to where it belonged.
Oh yeah, I forgot that part. The employees rode the boat around and you had to time the e-stop perfectly. If I am remembering right about them pushing off the trough with pipes, it was in an effort to get it sucked back. I also vaguely remember that it didn't work when I watched it..
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  #16  
Old February 4th, 2010, 07:47 PM
JABBS JABBS is offline
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Every time I ever did it, we ended up in the internal reservoir. That whole process scared the crap out of me.
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  #17  
Old February 4th, 2010, 08:17 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista 96-02 View Post
I only saw a boat removed once, and it was at night.. But from what I can recall from that night years ago, it entails a few employees in said boat pushing the boat around via PVC pipes against the bottom of the trough. But no one, absolutely no one, is allowed into the water with the pumps running anymore.

In fact, even if there's a guest in the water, you don't automatically e-stop anymore. You must make eye contact with that person first and if you don't, you still can't e-stop until ANY operator does.
I got my permanent transfer to Rapids when we went back to weekend operations during the '84 season and was there for all of the '85 season and most of the '86 season. As odd as it may seem, the method that I described above was the standard procedure for pulling boats for the duration that I was there for. Not sure why they allowed us to do it that way as it was really risky and I found myself in the water many times holding the catch hook, but I don't think any members of the management team ever watched us actually pull a boat, if they ever did they might have made a decision right then and there not to do it that way anymore.

And we did normally pull them after closing but there were a few times that we did pull them before we opened and I can recall one time when we actually pulled one during operating hours. We stopped loading and were cycling all the boats through as empty's, and once it was pulled we resumed loading. We would have never done this during operating hours but it was a busy 2 sided day and the boat had issues that required it being pulled immediately. Cannot remember if it was Tom Vacanti or John Eilers that loved to putt around the external resevoir in the little flat bottom boat that we had a small engine mounted on. They changed the procedure as they wished as it gave them a good excuse to play with the motor boat, we would tie off any boats that were being pulled to the point. After the pumps were stopped they came in with the boat at tugged them back to external. And then of course there were characters like Claus Henning who often had swim parties off the point after park hours, and we would swim them back to external.

We did try to ride them back after we shut the pumps off....but 90% of the time they wound up in the internal resevoir which meant taking a swim anyway...and it was a pain to get them back out of internal until the trough was empty.

Last edited by pyrotechnic thunder; February 4th, 2010 at 08:24 PM.
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  #18  
Old February 4th, 2010, 11:23 PM
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Now a days the mechanics add and remove boats and they do it with the pumps off using a pole to push the boat either into or out of external. I told everybody how we used to do it but I don't think they believed me. No one is allowed into the water and you even have to wear a lifevest to unload a boat at internal or external.
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  #19  
Old February 5th, 2010, 08:14 AM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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Heh, I bet the mechanics are LUVING that.
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  #20  
Old February 5th, 2010, 01:05 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Originally Posted by Giant12 View Post
Now a days the mechanics add and remove boats and they do it with the pumps off using a pole to push the boat either into or out of external. I told everybody how we used to do it but I don't think they believed me. No one is allowed into the water and you even have to wear a lifevest to unload a boat at internal or external.
No one allowed in the water even with the pumps off?? Guess that means management would not look kindly upon the entire crew taking a leap off the point after work and taking a relaxing swim to cool off after working a hot summer day. I really cannot believe how many times we did that considering that most of the time the water was pretty nasty from all the algae that was growing in it. It was a real adventure working with Claus, I learned to expect the unexpected from him and be careful with what you suggest to him, as crazy as he was he would probably do it.

Wearing a lifevest to unload a boat??....I am assuming that would be with the pumps stopped....like after a power failure?? Guess not many people have the experience and skills that I do as far as swift/white water rescue. Have a hard time seeing a need for a lifevest in chest deep water with the pumps off, must be an insurance thing!!

I am sure someone out there is thinking that the person unloading the boat might not be a strong swimmer or not be able to swim at all?? Not that you would ever need to....but if you cannot swim....you don't need to be working at Rapid's!

And speaking of rescue....does the Arlington Fire Department still practice swift water rescues at Rapid's?? I can remember several times they were at the park doing this in the mid 80's....what about the kayaker's??....I remember they were there one day running a course....gates were suspended above the trough and they paddled their way all they way through!!

Last edited by pyrotechnic thunder; February 5th, 2010 at 01:16 PM.
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