thank you to all of you who joined in with more understanding than what I saw in some of the early posts
i wasn't offended by calling them kids--i have kids in their 20's too--i would still call them kids
on the other hand, each one of them chose to step on the boat and chose not to find a vest and either put it on or have it nearby--so I wouldn't put the blame on any one of them in particular; not the owners or operators or anyone else; they were adults in that respect; another 23-year old wouldn't have been able to make them wear a vest.
even so; this is so tragic that it can just stop me cold
those aren't just bad or even crazy-reckless things to do--just not taking the conservative safe route; it was calm weather and water; they all thought they could swim and were just staying in the river--no big open Bay water; there were vests on board--and all of their phones in a dry bag; guess they figured it the boat got into trouble some of them could swim alongside or they'd have plenty of time to get the vests;
then--it went over suddenly; i heard it was a retractable keel--unsteady--once it flipped, it was dark and they tried for a very long time to right it again but couldn't; it was cold and they knew they had to get to shore and couldn't afford to keep trying.
the operator moved from the rudder to the front of the boat to let the girls have privacy to use the bathroom; best guess is that someone pushed the rudder hard to the left or right and tipped the boat suddenly; a mistake; maybe hard to balance and grabbed it to gain her own balance--or maybe a wave jogged it to one side suddenly; not sure anyone will know for sure, but seems the most likely thing that happened.
5 reached shore after swimming for over 3 hours--that's a lot of will power and good determined kids. the others were in groups--and it's not hard to understand that means they had an intimate connection to their two good friends being overtaken by hypothermia and no way to help them.
those 2 boys were health conscious and nice--read their facebook pages; people of all ages praise them for just being NICE--nice to everyone--kids who loved nature, who took walks and hikes and tried to take full advantage of the beautiful outdoors---and in the end--those two--who had no body fat--who were so lean and fit---had zero protection from the cold. i'm thinking they were so fit they probably could have peeled off and made it to shore with the others. wonder why they were so far back---helping the others?
a long and traumatic night, full of big open black quiet water, unable to hear or see their other friends, no way to call for help; the last ones were in the water for almost six long long hours; think about that.
i feel so bad for all of them and I think we're worse off without them; sort of makes you wonder about all those out there who clearly DON'T care about taking care of themselves or anyone else--and how they manage to stay alive