Ryan Daniel Snodgrass, a 28-year-old guide with Arkansas Valley Adventures rafting company, was charged with "obstructing government operations," said Clear Creek Sheriff Don Krueger.
"He was told not to go in the water, and he jumped in and swam over to the victim and jeopardized the rescue operation," said Krueger, noting that his office was deciding whether to file similar charges against another guide who was at the scene just downstream of Kermitts Roadhouse on U.S. 6.
Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said Snodgrass did the right thing by contacting the 13-year-old Texas girl immediately and not waiting for the county's search and rescue team to assemble ropes, rafts and rescuers. . . .
Snodgrass' raft flipped on the runoff-swelled Clear Creek around noon Thursday and the girl swam from the raft. Krueger said the girl was missing for 30 to 45 minutes while Snodgrass searched for her. He said she swam a half mile from the spot where the raft capsized.
Since it had been so long, Krueger said, it was no longer the rafting company's rescue.
"They should involve themselves up to a point. They lost contact. Whether they want to say they were trying to rescue their customer, when they had lost visual contact and had no idea where their customer has been for 30 to 45 minutes, then it becomes our issue."
The Sheriff may have thought that jumping in to rescue the girl was a bad idea, when all ends well in a matter of life and death, and no one had bad intentions, you let hindsight inform your earlier judgment rather than trying to puff up your authority.