Tele-Talk Responses: Should towns provide advisory systems noting water level, hazards and water temperature of the Saco River?

There were 20 responses to last week’s Tele-Talk question: “Should towns provide advisory systems noting water level, hazards and water temperature of the Saco River similar to avalanche warnings posted by the U.S. Forest Service?” Three responders said that introducing an advisory system would be the best route to take. However, the majority of responses, many on Facebook, were against any such system, for a number of reasons. One of these being that even if people are advised to stay out of the river, they will not listen.

Is this really a question? Come on. Avalanche warnings are one thing, but now we get a warning about not going into the river because the water is too high? This is more of Big Brother just sticking his nose where it shouldn’t be. There’s a thing that we should really remember that a lot of people don’t have; it’s called common sense and personal responsibility.

Hello, I do believe that the town should provide advisory systems on the Saco River, and that in recovery situations by our local police and the forestry service, (they) should also enlist the help of the River Runners from the Saco River Recreation Council, who are on the river for 50-70 miles every week in a canoe and can read the river far better than the people who are coming out to do the rescues, who have been on the river maybe half a dozen times in a year. That would certainly help, and I know that the people who have been involved for years at the recreational council would certainly help them. Thank you, my name is Rick.

No, we should not spend extra money on an advisory system for the Saco. If the idiots want to go out there when it’s high water, God help them. I have no sympathy for them.

Yes, I think it’s a great idea for the Saco River to have advisory systems and warnings in place. You can never tell how the river is going to be, especially after a rain, or what the temperature is in September. It possibly isn’t safe, and you really have no idea until it might be too late. So, I think it’s a great idea. If it saves any lives, it’s worth it.

Why the hell do we have to baby everybody? Look at the freaking water; if it looks dangerous, stay out. It is early June, and the water is cold. If they choose not to wear a life vest, tough. They know they are supposed to. They know better. You will never stop deaths with snow machining, four wheeling and boating when there are thousands doing the sport. When was the last time someone got killed that wasn’t on drugs, drunk or not going over the speed limit? Hardly ever. You always will have the ones who push the line on killing themselves. It is what it is. David John.

As is the case with any outdoor pursuit, it is the responsibility of the user to do the research, not whatever the applicable governing body is. As tragic as these accidents were, poor planning and bad decision making ultimately led to these mishaps. Ben Cargill.

Yes, I think there use to be, where you could check water flow and height and dangers, was it Andes Mountain Sports? I also think the liveries have a responsibility to decide not to rent boats on dangerous days or in dangerous conditions. And who has the authority to close the public launch sites in cases of extreme water danger? My experience on the Fryeburg end of the Saco is that there is little to no common sense with either the tourists nor the liveries. And our biggest watch force, Michelle Broyer, is gone. Who is filling her big boots? Kate Briand.

My sympathies to the family of the person that died. However, people should use common sense and be responsible. Every year I hear of someone somewhere that drowned and didn’t know how to swim! Do we have to warn people to stay out of water if they can’t swim? You can tell when the river is high and fast. Be responsible, stay out when too dangerous. Gail Holbrook.

Saco takes people every year, it’s sad, but it’s true. Making a system they won’t use isn’t going to help. I worked the river for three years; they don’t listen. Arawn Wolf Hewitt

I am curious how many “mishaps” there have been over the last decade or two? It seems to me that the river’s popularity as a tourist attraction has increased while common sense has decreased. What say you all? Last year, someone was lost on the Androscoggin around Errol after a rain storm. Maria Rea.

No. Humanity is so stupid. If you can’t determine how safe the water is by looking at it, you’re a massive moron. New Hampshire resident, Jillian Sanborn.

That water was horrible! Nobody should have been in it. If the water is muddy and yucky, stay out of it – pond, river, lake or ocean. Please don’t drink and think you are safe, too. Windy Harper.

People need to use common sense and take some responsibility for their own safety and not need warnings from government agencies to keep them safe. The river is dangerous. Ted Bishop.

You can’t fix stupid. Karen Fox Grey.

Stay off the river! Patricia Davis Cummings.

And stay out of it. Linda Reed-Jegreus.

(An advisory system) would not help. People ignore it. Carla Palmer.

No. Linda Hannon.

Now that we are a whiny, cry baby, petulant nation constantly griping that the world is against us, we must have advisory systems in place to protect us from ourselves and any other life event that may force us to utilize brain matter. Why would anyone practice caution on a strong running, spring river after heavy spring rains and snow melt? And would not the river temperature always be a balmy 72F? The next project will have to be clearance of all river hazards. How dare tree branches and other natural debris and detritus clog up our recreation waterways? How dare avalanches, floods, wildlife or anything else interfere and hinder us humans. We are self-entitled, privileged and petty bellicose children, and it’s high time nature and everything and everyone else catches on to this fact and gets with the program. Why isn’t the natural world paying attention to all the rules and regulations we set out for them to adhere to for our benefit? We are special and without fault, and will never accept truth or criticism. We will climb Everest and dive the deepest waters, and there had better not be any repercussions against us, or else. Oh, and let us not forget the grim reaper. He knows by now we are immortal, or didn’t he get the memo either?

Think things are bad on the Saco River? Then be sure to see the movie “Deliverance.” Did you know there is an average of one drowning per week in Lake Winnipesaukee between mid-June and Labor Day? This doesn’t have to happen. More than a few are alcohol-related. I’m an ex-lifeguard and scuba diver and strongly believe kiddies should be taught swimming from very early childhood. This is no joke. This is Dave in North Conway.