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Family says rafting trip turned dangerous

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A family visiting Oklahoma says a trip to Riversport Adventures turned dangerous.

“We almost lost our lives. I could have lost my wife. I could have lost my child,” said James Wolfe.

Wolfe, his wife, Kimberly, and their 12-year-old son, Wesley, visited Riversport Adventures in late July and decided to go white water rafting. They say their first trip down the river went smoothly, but their second trip went south.

“The raft entirely capsized on top of us throwing my wife over me. I just said, ‘I gotta get this raft off me, I’ve gotta breathe,’” said Wolfe.

Wolfe says he was taught a maneuver to escape from the raft, but he says it wasn’t working. Finally, he used all of his strength to flip it over.

“I was gonna do anything I could to survive, and I knew my wife was under there as well,” he said.

Wolfe and his son made it back to dry land, but his wife was swept downstream with the rushing waters. She was eventually rescued, but she says she could barely breathe and had cuts and bruises.

“We were battered and bruised quite a bit,” said Wolfe.

Lucas Williams, Director of Operations at Riversport, says a raft flipping over or visitors falling into the water isn’t uncommon. He also says all visitors are required to sign liability waivers, but that safety is a priority.

“We do a lot of things to ensure safety and to let people know what they’re getting into. It’s very much the nature of rafting. Rafting is an outdoor adventurous experience,” said Williams.

Wolfe says it’s not what happened, but how it was handled. He says he went to management twice, but he felt brushed off.

“It was almost nonchalant, as if this is something that happens every day that they weren’t too concerned about,” said Wolfe.

Williams says that isn’t the case at Riversport at all.

“We really care about safety and the happiness. It’s not about pushing people through and getting the high numbers,” said Williams.

Riversport apologized to the family and offered a meeting to make the situation right.

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