White Water Rafting at the Poconos 2009

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A moment during our 2009 White water rafting. Excerpts from three point of view.

Eang - Me,
May - Sister
Suky - cousin

Submitted: June 03, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 03, 2013




July 2009

White Water Rafting at the Poconos at Jim Thorpe Township.

A party of 9 with 4 on one raft, and 5 on another.

Raft One includes: Sam Eang, Jim Sock, Sokha Prak, and Nary Cheang

Raft Two includes: May Yann, Billy, B keo, Khoa, and Sokah #2.


Eang's Story (1)

"The last image I saw was a tree trunk coming at me...before I got clotheslined into the water."


A sudden rapid somehow picked up, and our raft found itself drifting to the bank of the river/stream. We were heading toward a tree! I was on the rear right side of the raft with Suky front right. My wife was on the left rear, with Jim Sock front left.We were padding away from the tree desperately. I jumped to the left side of the raft to help steer away from having our raft collides into the debris. We missed the bank, but started to drift parallel downstream.


The trees was leaning far into the stream, with its branches and trunks reaching toward us, blocking our vision. Heads were ducking, but still the branches scrape at us like long fingernails. Suddenly, a huge trunk appeared right before us. I saw Jim and Suky blocking against the trunk with their arms, pushing against the obstruction. I saw my wife using her paddle to block against the attack.


ANd then, there was me.


For a moment, I sat in awe at the design of the pocono breed. The tree branch was as thick as Hulk Hogan's arm. It had other tiny branches coming out of its base. My eyes fell upon a sharp, pointed branch right in front of me. For a split second, I could not think on my action.


The world slowed and the spectators (all other rafts) froze as all heads and eyes turned to OUR raft. Like a slow-mo scene in a movie...


*Excerpt from Billy- "Oh no he's not going to make it!" --[Shakes His Head ]


I laid back, thinking I'll duck from the oncoming tree branch. The sharp, pointed stump on Hulk Hogan's arm caught me on my lips, and somehow, LIFTED me up from my raft and dragged me over the end before slamming me right into the cold stream. The world unpaused with a loud SPLASH! 


And before I had hit the water, I heard the roar of other rafters crying in shock, or amusement. "OOOHHH!!"

SPLASH! I went into the water and quickly bopped back up due to my water vest. My hair was long then, and as I came up, it covered my whole face with stringy blackness! Trying to find my footing underneath the water, but the rocks there was slippery with ooziness. The water shoe I had rented, did me no good as I slipped trying to find an anchor, but oh the current was against me and second time, I slipped back down into the water; submerged!


Again, the other rafters roar with lesser shock, and more amusement! "Woooaahhhh!"


Finally, I came back up, quickly brushing the hair from my face and going with the current. I found my baring and shook the daze from my head. I heard the voices of my raft-mates crying, "Grab something! Grab the trees!"


I was unsure if they were calling to me, or telling themselves. But I found the raft a few feet away, this time by the banks. My mates were trying to slow the raft down from continuing downstream without their man. Instead of trying to trudged toward them, I let the current took me closer as I lay back and allow myself to float toward them.


I was enjoying myself, while my mates were straining to stop the raft from fleeing without me. Finally, I bumped right into the raft and hooked my arm over the rail. I felt many hands molesting me as they all try to pull me back up. Exhausted as I was, I finally got pulled into the raft. And I laid there for a few moment to catch my breath. Blood was on my lips from the tiny scratch of that "hook" that had almost decapitated me.


But I let out a laugh. While my mates asked me if I was alright, I replied, "The BEST SHIT THAT HAPPENED TO ME!"


 Excerpts taken from May's recollection

*Editor's Note: This is exactly how May wrote the story. All I did was minor editing, i.e. paragraph and sentence structures. I did NOT try to dramatize or spice up her notes.


About 30 min into the white water rafting, we're having loads of fun. This one raft next to us kept ambushing us with water. They had 3 ppl with huge buckets, and they were splashing at us. We were soaked. Thru out this whole fun time, we're laughing and playing and i guess it made us loosen our feet (as a seatbelt kind of mechanism, ur supposed to lodge ur feet under the raft thingie to make sure u won't fall off).


My raft includes billy and khoa in the front, B Keo right behind them, then me (May) and Sokha #2 (Billy's friend) in the back steering. We hit a small rock, i fell into the middle of the raft and splash!!  Bee fell into the water but she held on tight to the raft with her arm and her legs were wrapped around Billy's arm. My reflex made me grab her arm (but I couldn't do anything) while sokha#2 grabbed her shoulder and also, Khoa grabbed her waist. Billy trying not to fall off due to the weight of her legs. LOL we struggled to pull her back in.


Finally we hauled her in and we was cracking up really good. 5 min later, I hear the guys up front shout, "ROCKS!" What I saw was unavoidable. I knew we were gonna hit it. I braced myself cuz it was on my side. We hit it HARD and the next thing I knew, I saw a huge rock coming at my face full force! My left hand was already holding the rop on the side of the raft, and my right hand went up to block my face. All I felt was a rush of water!


I fell off and prob scraped my hand on the rock cuz I have a cut on it. My life vest prob bounced off of it too. I took my time coming back up the water cuz I didn't want to hit the rock on the way up. I hear screaming above me (Bee) as she grabbed my hand. I felt hands pulling me into the middle of the raft. Bee asking if I was ok, then I hear Khoa shouting, "Another ROCKS!"


I'm embracing myself to feel rocks under me since I'm laying flat in the middle of the raft. What a coinky dink, that's exactly when they took a pic of us. Me looking like I was crying (it was more like wailing. I don't wanna go overboard again!)

The pic shows Bee in the middle of the raft holding tight onto me and the guys bracing themselves for contact.


While I was falling into the water, Billy had a feeling I was gonna go down since the impact was on my side, he already threw his oar into the raft and right when I went down, he didn't want my head to hit the rocks, so his hand went out to catch my head, giving him a very bloody knuckles cuz it scraped against the rock. My HERO!!


But it was so much fun!! Especially when Eang fell off his raft LOL, we were a lil far but we saw every milisecond of it! Billy said, "Eang's was the funniest fall." Billy said mine was more scary cuz of the rocks. Bee's [fall] was funny with how she held on. Good times, good times.


Eang's Story - 2


During that time, I remembered May's raft was coming right behind us, and I saw Billy's eager face as he dropped his paddle and his hands reaching for his bucket. Next thing I know, my own crew was going on offense mode! They started Splashing water at each other. It was a back-and-forth battle, with me kinda being bombarded with both sides.


I remembered Suky thrashed water over his shoulder without looking because he was steering the front, and was facing there. Apparently, I was right behind him and his shot hit me square in the face. Friendly fire!


All that time while we were splashing water at each other, we all forgot about the rapids, and there was a huge one coming up with rocks and a deep drop. No one was paddling then, even Suky, until I hear Jim shouted, "ROCKS!"  My raft quickly dropped our ammo, and picked up our oar as we battled the rocks and the rapid.


We outmaneuvered that spot, and I felt the rocks smoothly go under us without no casuality to our raft. Unfortunately, when we were past that rock, I saw May's raft going INTO it with a huge SPLASH! and the Raft tipped forward. It was an explosion and I saw bodies flying EVERYWHERE!


I don't remember the outcome of it. Somebody fell over and they were behind since.


Suky's Story

*same disclaimer. Suky's Excerpt, with minor editing. Written by Sokha Prak


Three quarters on the rafting trip(we did a 12 mile stretch).


So the adventure was set. We went through some weak sauce rapids and some decent ones. We traveled through under a few bridges dodging the pillars. However, one bridge was a monster. An earlier bridge we saw a raft team hit dead on but it was purposely done for amusement. This bridge, however, was not lenient. We weren't far behind the front. May's team was ahead of us and we were in a pack of about 4 rafts; the rapids were weak sauce but still it moved the raft towards the left bank. Not far after was the bridge.


"row to the middle suckers we're gonna hit!!!!" I yelled.

However, no one seemed to be paying attention until it was almost too late.



There was a boat in front of us of 6 members. A fairly large scaled boat with kids and adults. The force of the crash was so heavy that a nuclear explosion would of said "god damnnnnnn."


As I watched, the suv sized raft crashed the wall and morphed into the size of a bike my eyes grew big. I knew our fate to crash into them was inevitable, yet, I yelled for us to row out of the way. However, only the front moved and our rear crashed head on.


The crash was tremendous. I rowed as I was flying off the seat and we did a hit and run luckily with no casualties on our boat but the shock was tremendous. As we paddled away just a tiny inch we heard another "thud." The boat behind us crashes into the first boat. Like a suction was created at that certain spot.  We paddled harder to get away as we drifted off we heard another "thud." We looked back to see another boat crashing into them and they were finally knocked out of the area drifting with the current.


Paniced cries were heard. "Are you ok?" I focused in. A girl was hanging in the side of the raft that was thrashed repeatedly against the stone wall. She was in a daze. Unable to answer back but just hanging on for her life.


I heard a cackling voice.


"Yo I think it was us that made her fall over!" D said at the same time laughing."Lets get out of here silently and blame it on billys crew since they Asian too!"


Without hesitation I nodded and we rowed quietly towards the front until we reached billys raft.



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