Matt Parker

Inland paddling
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Jim Pullen
Posts: 2237
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:21 am
Location: Darlington
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Matt Parker

Post by Jim Pullen »

I hope Matt's Dad doesn't mind me linking to this, but it's been doing the rounds on facebook and is a very worthy cause:

http://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Baird-Parker

Swaledale Mountain Rescue took over once myself and John had been forced to stop our own endeavours and raise the alarm. They were the ones who eventually managed to free him.

As you are probably all aware these guys selflessly give up their own free time to help outdoor enthusiasts like all of us who may find ourselves in trouble.
Done any NE/NW rivers not on the site? PM me!

User avatar
Jim Pullen
Posts: 2237
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:21 am
Location: Darlington
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Matt Parker

Post by Jim Pullen »

So yesterday I did something I hope I never have to do again - gave evidence to a coroner about the death of a friend. Articles have begun to appear in the local press, the Yorkshire post probably gives a clearer summary of events than the Northern Echo. In summing up, the coroner thanked myself and John for our efforts, John's response summed up my feelings - "he would have done the same for us." I'm just sorry we were unable to do more.
Yorkshire Post
Northern Echo

A few small points that the articles miss/fail to highlight.

Myself and John only left for help once we believed there to be no hope - Matt had been submerged for 20-30mins and all our efforts to free him had failed. He went under at about 1215, the rescue crews eventually freed him at 245.

Matt was wearing a very tightly fitting Rand deck and even when the rescuers did free him, it was still attached. We could not get it off him whilst reaching into the freezing water, and even trying to cut it with a river knife failed.

Myself and John's attempts to free him took place on a small branch some 3 to 4m into the flow of the water - this made the rescue particularly awkward. I managed to attach a throwline to Matt, but was unable to secure it. Locating any of the grab handles on his boat proved futile.

Despite (rarely for Matt!) having thermals and a new dry suit on, he very quickly became hypothermic and had passed out several times before he eventually went under.

Is there any learning from this? I don't know. The ferry glide across to the bit were the tree was submerged was not difficult, and I have been on the river countless times where people (including myself) have got stuck in strainers and were easily freed.
Matt regularly paddled hard white water (I learnt yesterday he had run Aysgarth a few weeks before), but that day we were on a bit of grade 2/3 and got unlucky.

A tragic series of events and one I never wish to repeat.
Done any NE/NW rivers not on the site? PM me!

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