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2 drownings at Castlewood

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An unfortunate reminder of how dangerous the river can be. 

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/divers-find-two-bodies-after-meramec-river-drowning-deaths-of/article_ccf803a2-a6ef-592f-8314-6887bdc7fc52.html

This section is notorious for swallowing people. I've personally pulled out a gent in distress back in the 90's. 

 

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2 hours ago, moguy1973 said:

Sooner or later people will realize they shouldn't swim in the Meramec at Castlewood.  Seems someone drowns there every year....

What makes it so hazardous, in comparison to any where else on the river?

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2 hours ago, moguy1973 said:

Sooner or later people will realize they shouldn't swim in the Meramec at Castlewood.  Seems someone drowns there every year....

No doubt, last year or the year before I know two boys drowned there. Not like there isn't an abundance of signs giving warning. 

45 minutes ago, tjm said:

What makes it so hazardous, in comparison to any where else on the river?

Believe contours of the bottom and current combined with lack of experience or knowledge of how to deal with the current. Majority probably panic and run themselves out of oxygen. Even if you're a strong swimmer and someone well trained that doesn't mean you can combat the power of undertow.  

 

Unrelated to current, a friend and myself rescued a gent in the winter back in the 90's. Idiot thought the ice would hold when we already told him it was too thin. He fell through and couldn't get back up because the ice kept breaking off, luckily we found a downed tree so we stuck it out there for him to grab onto and pulled him out. He thought I was kidding when I told him he better strips his clothes off or freeze to death. Anyways, just another example of how this area attracts people who are inexperienced and do not understand the dangers. 

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Used to be drownings in the creeks here blamed on underwater springs shooting cold water on swimmers causing cramps. Not sure that's what happened but there were some cold streams under water where they happened. I guess  water falling off a ledge under water could create some suction/undertow.

My question was triggered by the rescuers entering the same water and not only avoiding being sucked under but also getting out the folks that were sucked under.  (that probably just postpones their death by idiocy til another day)

 

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3 hours ago, tjm said:

What makes it so hazardous, in comparison to any where else on the river?

The bottom isn't particularly rocky there, and it's more silty and muddy so it kind of sucks your foot down when you step in it.  Plus right there its really shallow and then it's not.  There's a pretty good ledge that goes from a couple of feet to around 10' that you can't see due to the water not being all that clear.  Take a step off that ledge and your feet sink into the mucky bottom and you can't get back up to the surface.  Add to the fact that most that drown there aren't that great of swimmers, as I suspect this girl and woman were and it's a recipe for a tragedy.

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Urban folks just can't swim. My kids swim like fish, learned as infants in our pool. Swim every day  they want too. Urban folks just can't swim. Took the boat up that way 2 weeks ago. Murky water and  some current. Did not want to swim there due to the murk, but lots of folks were. Came home and jumped in the pool.

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When I see the thousands of people floating down the meramac on the weekends, many of them intoxicated, it is a miracle that more don't drown. 

But Gavin is right. It doesn't make any difference how deep the water is - 10 foot or a million foot.  Either you're a good swimmer or you're not. If you're not, and you get out in the current, you're at risk.

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