The Durango, Colo., boating community was saddened when one of their own, Tony Miely, an ardent kayaker and manager of 4 Corners Riversports, was involved in an ATV accident on Sept. 18 and will likely lose his right hand as a result.
“Tony has been in Durango for about 10 years, and with 4Corners from the start,” says his employer and 4Corners owner Andy Corra. “He went from working primarily on the sales floor, to assistant manager, to manager and a partner in the business today. He’s also a fixture in the local paddling scene. When the river is up, he’s out every day playing in Corner Pocket and surfing Sawmill. If Vallecito is running – he is there, often doing multiple runs in a day and camping at the take-out.”
Tony worked for WaveSport in Steamboat Springs before moving to Durango, and has made kayaking his life.
“He’s always been a solid paddler, and his skills have only improved over the years,” says Corra. “This past season, he also pioneered the local SUP scene. As the river dropped, he’d make runs down the Animas Town section with many “clean” runs through Smelter. He even bagged a first descent on a SUP in the Rockwood Gorge this August. We expect back to form and paddling next season.”
Immediately after the accident, he was flown to Denver to try to save his hand and will likely be there for more than a week and undergoing hours of surgery.
“Whenever folks in the community were in any kind of trouble or needed help raising funds, Tony was always quick to throw 4Corners support behind them,” adds Corra. “A lot of people have already expressed a desire to pony-up for him now.”
Indeed, Tony’s wife, Tina, is working on creating a Benefit Fund account for Tony to help offset his medical expenses. “We’re creating a blog to keep all of Tony’s friends and family informed as to the progress of his surgeries,” she says.
Paddlers interested in helping can click here.