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Whitewater Fatalities Jan-June 2018

Posted by brentaustin 
Whitewater Fatalities Jan-June 2018
July 06, 2018 06:22AM
Just got this from Charlie Walbridge re: Accidents so far this year. Notable is the number of rec boats and inexperienced paddlers. Bad year for our community with some solid paddlers passing. Here is the list:

Please send any additions or corrections to ccwalbridge@cs.com

Date State Name Age Boat River/Section Class Cause
1 2018-06-24 OH Unidentified Man 22 Raft Licking 1. Newark to Rock Haven Park
I Flush Drowning,
One Boat Trip
2 2018-06-22 ID Travis Berquist 37 Raft Snake River Lower Salmon Falls Dam to Bliss Reservoir
N/A Flush Drowning,
One Boat Trip
3 2018-06-19 AK Unidentified Man 72 Raft American Creek N/A No PFD,
Solo Paddling
4 2018-06-18 IL Maci Chavez 5 Open Canoe Rock River N/A Dam Hydraulic,
One Boat Trip
5 2018-06-17 MT Unidentified Man Raft Rock Creek
(Lake Fork to Red Lodge
N/A Flush Drowning,
High Water
6 2018-06-15 NC Damien Jamal Mayes 25 Rental Open Canoe Yadkin River N/A No PFD,
One Boat Trip

8 2018-06-10 OH Benjamin Gipson 29 Rec Kayak Great Miami River I No PFD
9 2018-06-10 VA Gary Allen Price 61 Rec Kayak Shenandoah River I No PFD,
High Water
10 2018-06-09 ID David J. Glenn 53 Raft Middle Fork Salmon IV Flush Drowning
11 2018-06-09 AR Donald Wright 64 IK-1 Spring River Fulton County N/A Swim into Rock or Sieve, Head Injury
12 2018-06-08 MT David Hall 70 "boat" Clark Fork N/A Flush Drowning, One Boat Trip, high water
13 2018-06-04 MD 3 Unidentfied Men Other Potomac River
Little Falls N/A Flush Drowning,
High water
14 2018-06-04 CO Christian Sheetz 46 Rec Kayak Arkansas Granite to Numbers Launch
Cold Water
15 2018-06-03 CO Unidentified Man Raft - Comm Clear Creek Green Bay Rock to Rigor Mortis IV Flush drowning, Cold Water
16 2018-06-02 OR Grady and Cash Troyer 9 Raft Grande Ronde Troy (OR) to Snake River III NO PFD;
One Boat Trip
17 2018-06-02 GA Alvin Lino 46 Raft - Comm Chattahoochee River Columbus Whitewater Park IV Health Problem
18 2018-06-01 MI Robin Early 36 Rec Kayak Huron River
Near Huron Lake Dam N/A No PFD
19 2018-06-01 VA Edward Piccola 61 IK-1 South Fork Shenandoah, Bixler's Bridge to Bentonville I Flush Drowning,
High Water
20 2018-05-31 IA Alex Denclau 26 Rec Kayak Des Moines River N/A Dam Hydraulic,
Solo Paddling
21 2018-05-28 OR Sharlene Wright Raft Rogue River Gold Hill Boat Ramp to Grants Pass II Swim into Strainer
22 2018-05-27 MT Edward Conning 65 K-1 Rock Creek (Carbon County) Carbon County) (Lake Fork to Red Lodge
IV Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
23 2018-05-26 OR Unidentified Man 78 Raft John Day 3. Clarno to Cottonwood
III Heart Attack,
PFD Came Off
24 2018-05-25 NJ Unidentified Man 39 Open Canoe Delaware River I No PFD,
One Boat Trip
25 2018-05-21 MT Chad Newbreast 44 Smith River
Camp Baker to Eden Bridge
Cold Water
26 2018-05-15 NC Delmer Melvin "Dale" Garratt 56 K-1 French Broad
NC Route 251 to Route 1634 II+ Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve, Solo Paddling
27 2018-05-06 KY Anthony Brown 28 Rec Kayak Rolling Fork River I Dam Hydraulic,
28 2018-05-06 TN Anthony Cooper 31 Rec Kayak Elk River I No PFD,
High Water
29 2018-05-05 NC Matthew Ray 20 K-1 Green River Narrows V Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
30 2018-04-28 NC Burton Greer 34 K-1 Linville River Linville Falls to Lake James V Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
31 2018-04-25 NC Unidentified Man Rec Kayak South Fork of the Catawba River High Swim into Strainer,
Solo Paddling
32 2018-04-21 China 17 Unknown Paddlers Dragon Boat Taohua river N/A Dam Hydraulic,
Bad Equipment
33 2018-04-06 IN Keygan Matlock Rec Kayak Driftwood River I No PFD,
High Water
34 2018-04-05 NY Unidentified Man 37 K-1 Ellicott Creek Glen Falls - Williamsville
IV Impact/Trauma
35 2018-03-28 NZ Keith "Chief" Haare 62 Raft Comm Shotover River IV Health Problem
36 2018-03-03 NC Maria Noakes 50 K-1 Cheoah Santeetlah Dam to Calderwood Boat Launch
IV Unknown
37 2018-02-27 MI Devon Chrismas 24 IK Grand River NA Dam Hydraulic,
Solo Paddling
38 2018-02-27 IN Cory Wright 35 Rec Kayak Paw Paw River I High Water,
Swim into Strainer
39 2018-02-13 NY Unidentified Man Rec Kayak Wallkill River
Walden to Sturgeon Pool
II Flush Drowning,
High Water
40 2018-02-12 VA Christian Wood 17 K-1 James River
through Richmond
IV High Water,
Swim into Strainer
41 2018-02-10 WA Sam Grafton 25 K-1 Snoqualmie, N. Fork Spur
10 Bridge to 428th St. Bridge V Swim into Strainer
42 2018-01-29 BC CAN Unidentified Man 49 K-1 Capilano River III Pinned in Boat Against Strainer ,
43 2018-01-20 Ecuador Adam Vaughn 22 K-1 Abanico River V+ High Water,
Flush Drowning
44 2018-01-11 CA
Seth Smith 27 K-1 Kern River Mouth of Canyon to Rancheria Road IV Pinned in boat against rock or sieve

Kayak 22 (11 Rec Kayak), 3 canoe (1 rental), 12 Raft (3 commercial), 2IK-1, 1 Drift Boat, 2 "other"
10 No PFDs; 9 Flush drowning (Many combining solo paddling and/or high water) 6 Strainers, 5 Sieves; 4 Dam Hydraulic; 10 high water; 9 solo or 1 boat trips

Although the paddling community has been rocked by the deaths of several well-known paddlers, most fatalities thus far have been the result of inexperience combined with widespread high water. A long, wet spring has kept rivers high throughout the East and Midwest.There were 40 recreational whitewater deaths in the U.S. so far this year. Of these, 22 were kayaking deaths, and half (11) involved "recreational" boats not designed for whitewater. These boats have become extremely cheap and widely available, and it was inevitable that some would find trouble in moving water. There were 3 canoe and 12 rafting deaths, including 4 among professional outfitters and liveries. The top cause (10) was no PFD's; there were 9 flush drownings, 6 involving downed trees, 5 rock pins or sieves, and 4 caused by dam hydraulics. High water was a factor in 10 fatalities; 9 occured on solo or one boat trips.

Please share with anyone you think might be interested. Charlie Duffy's has prepared useful graphs of this material which are attached.

Best wishes,

Charlie Walbridge
Re: Whitewater Fatalities Jan-June 2018
July 10, 2018 08:29PM
Wow, thanks for posting that Brent. I'm overwhelmed by the size of the list and the commonality of so many of the determining factors. Paddling without a helmet, paddling without a PDF, rec boats on high water creeks. It's amazing and heartbreaking at the same time.

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