As anglers, we spend a lot of time on rivers, be it wading or in a watercraft. And the more we engage in these activities, the more confident we become that we know what we’re doing. And it’s that kind of confidence that sometimes gets people killed.
A few years ago, PBS station WFYI in Indianapolis premiered a revealing documentary about the dangers of “low-head” dams on rivers. I say eye-opening, but what I really mean is sobering. Low-slope dams seem pretty benign, and maybe, like me, you’ve walked over them or waded right under dozens of times. But I will never do it again after seeing it Over, Under, Gone: The killer in our rivers.
The documentary begins with the story of Sean Hiebel, a 24-year-old veteran kayaker who was killed trying to kayak across Hosey Dam on the Maumee River. He was drawn into the hydraulic action of the water flowing over the dam and never resurfaced. It turns out that the list of tragic deaths caused by dams of this type is long.
I think that Over, Under, Gone: The killer in our rivers Viewing should be a must for anyone who spends any time on rivers and I intend to show my children as many of the victims are under the age of eighteen. Here’s the full movie: