how we came to be saferrivers.org
I created this site to help saves lives. My son Sean Thayne died by drowning on May 29 2017 attempting to save a child and mother that he did not know. A few years before this occurred, Sean and I witnessed a person rushing by us in a nearby river that I think inspired him to act that day. We later learned on the news that the person died. I believe that influenced my son’s decision to jump into the raging water that fateful day. Sean couldn’t accept that outcome for the child and mother and so he jumped in.
Watching someone fighting to stay alive while being swept down a river with no means to help save them is like watching a car crash in very slow motion, unable to do anything to stop what is coming ahead. Not only was my family affected by Sean’s tragic loss, but the other men who jumped into the river to try to save the child and her mother, as well as those who witnessed the trauma will live with those painful memories.
I will not rest until the Provo River has ropes or other techniques to save a person that is already in the water. A simple rope or net dropped at any of the number of bridges could have saved them. I ran helplessly by, watching my son drown until I could not see him anymore. The minutes that followed were horrifying as my wife and family tried to seek help and get to him. His body was smashed and mangled for Three miles until he was finally pulled from the river. No parent should have to feel that horror.
SaferRivers.org has been created to raise awareness of the danger of fast moving water, facilitate physical changes to pathways in parks and high profile danger areas, help with the installation of signage warning signs, focus on rescue with the installation of rescue rope and life preservers so bystanders can safely become first responders, and to advise other drowning prevention organizations on white water rescue.