1. Tigress
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    Tigress Member

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    Need help with a river ferry crash

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tigress, Mar 12, 2010.

    Background:

    I've got a big river raft (carrying 4 people with horses plus the crew) crossing a large river, using a guide rope because the river's running high in its banks due to spring runoff from the mountains.

    Scene:


    Question:

    Does anyone know what would realistically happen to the raft when it hits the rocks? And, would the people be safer jumping off the raft or tethering themselves to it, do ya think?

    I have *no* idea why I'm struggling so much with this but I just can't get a clear picture as to what happens next and would really appreciate some suggestions.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are a lot of variables here. How is the raft constructed, how old is it, how close is it to its maximum capacity? How fast is the river running, especially in the section where the rocks are near and above the surface? Are there places downstream where someon could get out of the water if they reached the edge (a steep bank or cliffs could prevent someone from escaping the water).

    A wide enough raft might be difficult to capsize, but depending on the construction type and the raft's condition, it could start breaking apart as it striked rocks near the surface, or even from too much flexing over the crests of the river flow. Certainly, if it strikes an upjutting rock, there is a good chance the horses will stumble and fall, possibly crushing people in the process, or becoming mortally injured on the rocks. This could happen even if the raft itself remains intact.

    Any man or horse that falls into the rushing water could be battered on the roicks and die either from drowning or from their injuries.

    On the other hand, if the river isn't too wild, the raft might be carried by the currents clear of the rocks, and men or horses that fall overboard might be able to swim to a calm area and escape in the shallows or on a shingle of beach.

    You have a very wide range of possibilities, but the horses will have the most difficulty keeping their footing.
     
  3. Tigress
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    Tigress Member

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    Thank you very much, Cogito! You've given me quite a bit of help. I think the craft is too big to capsize but I believe it capable of coming apart when it strikes the rocks.

    The end goal I was after was to have my two redshirts and possibly all of the horses injured or dead, but leaving my two MCs battered but alive. Your comment about the horses stumbling on impact can allow all of that to happen -- thanks again! :)
     

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