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Tragic Accident

I just got news that my dissertation adviser's 8-year-old son drowned on a rafting trip last weekend. The family was on vacation and went on an organized boat trip with something like 20 people. My adviser was in the boat with his son and it flipped over in the roaring rapids. Both were wearing life jackets and helmets. The boy was whisked away and they didn't find him for 1.5 hours.

I can't imagine the guilt and grief the family is going through. It makes me feel like throwing up. You think you're going to have fun, and take all precautions, and then this happens.

The funeral is today but I'm not going to go because it's upstate. I am planning on sending a card and contributing to a memorial fund they put together in his son's name.. but I don't know what to even say. It's so sad to lose a grandparent, but at least you can say "they had such a full life." When it's a child, it's incomprehensible.

Re: Tragic Accident

  • Was that in CO/UT?  I work for the NPS and there was a report on our internal website about an 8 yo boy who drowned in the Greene River while on a commercially guided rafting trip.  That's such a horrible story I really hope it didn't happen to 2 families!

    My thoughts are with your advisor and his family.
  • That's terrible. I feel bad for any parent that looses a chilid.
  • I'm so sorry to hear this Rachel. I really can't imagine that kind of loss, or how lost you feel trying to express your sympathy. Be sincere and don't try to think of the perfect words since there are none, and they will appreciate knowing you are there for them. They will be in my thoughts.
  • Oh, no, that is terrible. I can't even imagine. I am really sorry. Loosing a child must be the worst pain one can ever feel.

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  • Yes, it was that same story: they were on vacation in Utah and it was on the Greene river.

    It's just awful. I am going to let my adviser know that I'm here, and if he needs me to do anything on campus, I am happy to take care of it. It's also hard when it's a somewhat professional relationship like ours. All I can say is how sorry I am. I can't imagine how you can get through something like this.

  • That is such awful news, that poor family, I really don't know how people deal with it.
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  • That's such a horrible thing to have happened.  The family is in my thoughts and prayers.  Wow.
  • oh my goodness, that is really tragic.   i will keep them in my thoughts.   i think letting your adviser know that you are there for him and can help out with things on campus will mean a lot to him.
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  • Oh god, what awfully sad news. My heart goes out to your adviser and his family. I can't even imagine dealing with a loss like that, but being there for your adviser will probably mean a lot for him and his family.
  • Oh wow. :( I think offering your help is the best you can do, but like was said there really are no perfect words. :(
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