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Rosenwald, Md.
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Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 11/28/2012

Men tried to raft down river during Sandy to Wal-Mart

There are dumb ideas, and there are really dumb ideas.

As Superstorm Sandy hit our region last month, Marvin Lee Kingsbury and Charles Kent Bowers hatched a really dumb idea.

The really dumb idea was this: Let’s make whiskey sours, and let’s get a raft, and let’s float five miles down the Monocacy River — the raging Monocacy River — so we can go shopping at Wal-Mart.

I am not making this up. If you don’t believe I’m not making this up, check out the story in the Frederick News-Post, which recently obtained the sheriff’s office incident report and the video above.

The video is, of course, of their rescue. They never made it to Wal-Mart.

The paper talked to Sandy’s Lewis and Clark:

Bowers said they intended to drink the whiskey sours “like the victory cigar” when they reached their destination at Walmart. He said there were more turns and curves in the current than expected.
Additionally, Bowers said he had not changed his view about the trip and would do it again.
“Absolutely, better boat next time,” Bowers said.

Better boat because on their first shot they used a rubber raft “rigged with a piece of plywood in the bottom and swim noodles for stability,” according to the paper.

I can’t believe it didn’t work. At least they were smart enough to wear life jackets.

Kingsbury’s wife begged him not to go and refused to pick them up after their shopping, but a friend did agree to help them out.

The paper says:

When the friend who did agree to pick them up informed Kingsbury’s wife that they never arrived at the Walmart, she went to the river, found her husband’s coat floating and thought he was dead, the report states.
The lark in floodwaters could have cost them and their rescuers their lives, investigators said. Sheriff’s deputies, fire and rescue personnel and Maryland State Police troopers responded at about 2:15 p.m. to the Monocacy River where Kingsbury and Bowers were holding on to trees in the river near Devilbiss Bridge Road in Walkersville.
“(T)heir boat had capsized, and they were clinging to trees screaming for help,” the report stated.
Troopers and deputies in life vests came to the river with rescue ropes. Rain was falling, and the temperature was reported to be 35 degrees.

The men were eventually rescued, though not, according to the paper, charged with any crime. Neither expressed remorse, though there were hints of fear — but not from the water. The paper quotes the incident report saying: “(Kingsbury) advised that his wife would be furious with him.”

At the very least.

By  |  11:25 AM ET, 11/28/2012

 
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