Mili Note: It’s not about rescuing the girl, according to the Sheriff. It’s about who gets the credit for rescuing the girl.
Ryan Daniel Snodgrass, a 28-year-old guide with Arkansas Valley Adventures rafting company, was charged with “obstructing government operations,” said Clear Creek Sheriff Don Krueger.
“He was told not to go in the water, and he jumped in and swam over to the victim and jeopardized the rescue operation,” said Krueger, noting that his office was deciding whether to file similar charges against another guide who was at the scene just downstream of Kermitts Roadhouse on U.S. 6.
Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said Snodgrass did the right thing by contacting the 13-year-old Texas girl immediately and not waiting for the county’s search and rescue team to assemble ropes, rafts and rescuers.
“When you have someone in sight who has taken a long swim, you need to make contact immediately,” said Bradford, a 15-year rafting guide and ski patroller from Summit County. “This is just silly. Ryan Snodgrass acted entirely appropriately. These guys came to the scene late and there was a rescue in progress. They came in and took over an existing rescue. To leave a patient on the side of a river while you get your gear out of the car and set up a rescue system you read about in a book is simply not good policy.”
Snodgrass’ raft flipped on the runoff-swelled Clear Creek around noon Thursday and the girl swam from the raft. Krueger said the girl was missing for 30 to 45 minutes while Snodgrass searched for her. He said she swam a half mile from the spot where the raft capsized.
Since it had been so long, Krueger said, it was no longer the rafting company’s rescue.