Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Vermont's Den of Horror

South Burlington, VT

I usually write about how idyllic Vermont is.  For example, yesterday when Libby and I canoed down Otter Creek to Lake Champlain, and another of our favorite spots, Porter Bay.  Today I feel compelled to write about something very different.

Huntington Gorge is a place in Vermont only a few miles away from South Burlington.  We have not been there, but looking at the pictures, it appears to be beautiful.  Idyllic nature; beautiful, inviting and as good as it gets.  Yesterday, a woman drowned there.  She is the 26th person to drown there since the 1950s.  She was not swimming, she fell in.

Even worse than the death count, is the horrible nature of the deaths.  You see people get trapped underwater, held in by the pressure of the running water.  Often they are pinned in only 2 feet of clear water.  Loved ones and rescuers can look into their faces, and reach in to grasp their hand, yet are unable to pull them out.  In this week's case, it took 18 men and a cable from a heavy tow truck to recover the body.

Worst was a case a few years back when a VT state police rescue diver was himself trapped.  He was pinned under the water with his SCUBA gear.  The picture in the paper the next morning showed a close up of his face through the water and through the face plate of his mask.  He could not be rescued either.  Horrible horrible horrible.

"Why is this allowed to continue?", you ask.  Apparently it is on private property and the state is powerless.    There are numerous warning signs, but evidence suggests that the attractiveness proves irresistible.

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