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Old 07-16-2011   #1
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 37
AW Whitewater Accident Summary Jan - July 15 2011

Below please find a table summarizing the fatal whitewater accidents reported to American Whitewater so far this year. The high water has taken a serious toll: 53 people in 47 incidents. The previous high number is 53 deaths for the entire year! The numbers by boat: Kayaks 12, Canoes 9, Inflatables 16 private and 7 commercial, 5 other. The kayak numbers are in line with previous years; about 50% of

Accident causes include 17 flush drownings, 16 PFDs not worn or fell off; 7 strainer pins, and 7 low head dams. 90% of accidents have some tie to high flows.

Geographical distribution of accidents: 27 West, 20 East and Midwest. Idaho leads the total by state with 5, Utah has seen 3, many other states are tied with 2.

There have been 5 serious back injuries from waterfall runs. It seems that almost everyone who dues this regularly will eventually be hurt.

My thanks to those who have sent in reports and leads. Please send any corrections or reports of other incidents to: ccwalbridge (at) cs.com

Whitewater Accidents Reported to American Whitewater Jan July, 2011

Date State Name Age Boat River Section/Location Class Cause

07-11 TN Dick Chijiok 34 Tube Little River The 'Y' I No PFD
07-09 PA Michael Smith 47 Canoe? Susquehanna R. ? Strainer
07-07 WY Jim Sawyer 77 Comm Raft Snake River Alpine Canyon IV Flush Drowning
07-05 MT Maccine Viola Smith 70 Raft Blackfoot River Scotty Brown Br. to Johnsrud Pk IV Flush Drowning
07-04 WA Lyvben Gankova 47 IK Cooper River Waterfall to Cle Elum River ? No PFD
07-03 WA Sharon Hughes 69 Comm Raft Wenatchee River Leavenworth to Monitor III Strainer
07-03 CO Kevin Bair 26 Kayak South Mineral Cr. Above S. Mineral CG V Entrapment
07-02 WY Unidentified Boy 4 Canoe Green River Green River Lakes to Tepee Creek ? Overloading, No PFD's, Alcohol
07-01 AL Daniel S. Smith 22 Kayak Cypress Creek Dam at Florence Pumping Station X Low Head Dam
06-30 UT Jaymond Brasher 47 Raft Colorado River Westwater Canyon, Skull Rapid IV PFD Came Off
06-29 ID Keegan Ginther 29 Raft Lochsa River Wild. Gateway Br. to Split Cr. Pack Bridge IV Flush Drowning
06-29 CA Tyler Minton, Lee Mattice 17, 43 Kayak Yuba River Englebright Dam to Parks Bar X Low Head Dam
06-29 ID Brad Davis 47 Raft Middle Fork Salmon River Boundary Creek to Cache Bar IV Flush Drowning
06-27 ID Stephen Forster 19 Kayak Payette, N. Fork Smiths Ferry to Banks V Flush Drowning
06-26 ID Cami Oburn 34 Raft Middle Fk Boise above confluence with Boise River III Strainer
06-25 CO John Novak 31 Kayak Eagle Riverbend bus stop to Edwards IV Flush Drowning
06-23 CO Frank Diskin 69 Comm Raft Cache La Poudre Mishiwaka IV Flush Drowning
06-19 TN Andrew Silvershein 16 Comm Raft Ocoee River Upper IV Foot Entrapment
30 06-17 CO Susan Pyeatt-Terpening 65 Raft Colorado River Near Radium III Flush-Drowning
06-16 MT Christopher Johnson 33 Comm Raft Yellowstone River Yankee Jim Canyon III Flush Drowning
06-15 PA Michael Romo 41 Kayak Susquehanna River Dock Street Dam, Harrisburg, PA X Low Head Dam
06-13 CA Quang Nguyen, Scott Neacato 25, 22 Raft Kern River Mouth of canyon to Lake Ming V Flush Drowning
06-09 AZ James J. Waring Jr 39 Raft Colorado River Grand Canyon; Hance Rapid IV Flush Drowning
06-08 CO Sue Ann Apolinar 38 Comm Raft Arkansas River Fisherman's Bridge to Stone Bridge III Strainer
06-08 MI Sean Arnett 28 Canoe Grand River ? Strainer
06-05 TN Jay McElroy 36 CommRaft Ocoee River Upper IV Health Problem
06-03 GA Anna VanHorn 9 Tube Chattahoochee Metro Hooch II No PFD
06-01 IN Unidentified Boy 1 Canoe Whitewater River Metamora, IN to Elizabethtown, OH I PFD Came Off
05-31 UT Shirley Palmer 73 IK Green River Ouray to Green River Town II Flush Drowning
05-31 UT Nathan Daniel Ellison 13 Air Matress Provo River Deer Creek Res. to Utah Lake I No PFD
05-28 ID Randy A. Eroen 35 CommRaft Lochsa River Wild. Gateway Br. to Split Ck Pack Bridge IV Flush Drowning
05-28 NY Angelo Zotto 71 RentedRaft Delaware Hancock to Port Jervis II No PFD
05-23 OR Robert Desmarais 65 CommRaft Owyhee Three Forks to Rome; Upset Rapid IV Caught in hole
05-21 MI John Przydatek, Doug Killingbeck 16,48 Canoe Huron River Near Milford, MI X Low Head Dam
05-21 PA Jason Whipkey 31 Kayak Youghiogheny 6. Lower II No PFD
05-16 MT Mary Patricia Plochowietz 68 Drift Boat Smith River Camp Baker to Eden Bridge Flush drowning
05-06 ND Cory Berger, James Hellman 23, 24 Canoe Apple Creek Apple Creek CC, Bismark, ND No PFD, Dam Intake, Hi Water
04-30 NY Ronald Roth 67 Canoe Black River ? No PFD
04-21 WV Donald Smith 45 Kayak N Fork Blackwater to Blackwater River V Strainer
04-19 IN David Pritchett 48 Kayak Big Walnut Creek Putnam County, NY ? Flooded River, Solo paddler
04-17 NY Nicholas Kozemko 24 Kayak Catharine Creek Near Veteran, NY X Low Head Dam
04-13 KY Tim Godfrey 29 Canoe Big South Fork Cumberland Station Camp to Blue Heron, KY III Flush Drowning
04-03 WV Paul Malone, Sam Acord, Dean Halsey 23, 49, ? John Boat New River Bluestone Dam to Sandstone II No PFD's
03-26 OR Warren Moran 59 Drift Boat McKenzie River McNutt Island ? Strainer
02-19 CA Matthew Miller & Gavin Powell, 16, 17 Raft Walnut Creek Near Concord, CA ? No PFD's
01-11 AZ Scott Foster 42 Kayak Colorado River Grand Canyon; Pres Harding Rapid III Flush Drowning
01-01 TN Porpon (Paul) Pichanusakorn 27 Kayak Tellico Creek Upper; Ledge above Baby Falls IV Caught in hole

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Old 07-16-2011   #2
Evergreen, Co.
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 153

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Old 07-16-2011   #3
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 37
Uh....you mentioned Idaho having the most at 5? Colorado has seen at least 5 and there are even 5 on your list unfortunately.
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Old 07-16-2011   #4
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 68
Condolences to all those families. Thanks for all your hard work over the years doing a necessary but difficult job.
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Old 07-16-2011   #5
Denver via GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 333
God Bless.
"I plan to leisurely advance through my existence" - Terry Fuhrman 1991
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Old 07-17-2011   #6
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 71
very sobering. In fact, Montana had two additional drownings that are not on the list: one on the Smith River and one on the Big Hole River. I think both occurred in May or early June.
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Old 07-18-2011   #7
xena13's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 244
Two fatalities from CO that are not on the list are Travis Fowler, 30 on the Ark at 3-Forks on 6/26 and William Keen, 50 on the Blue on 7/14.
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Old 07-18-2011   #8
Fallingup's Avatar
Summit County, and Idaho
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 261
With these two additions, I believe this puts Colorado at #1 for fatalities this year.
I am not suprised that everyones numbers are up with the record flows we are having. I am in awe about how many lives could have been saved if a PFD had been worn.
I am saddened at the 9 & 13 year old tubing and air mattress deaths with no pfd. Ignorance is bliss I guess. Probably could have been prevented.
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Old 07-18-2011   #9
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 71
speaking of PFD's not being worn - another drowning in Montana yesterday.
Rafter drowns in Flathead River while trying to retrieve oar
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Old 07-18-2011   #10
xiamen, California
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3
very sobering. In fact, Montana had two additional drownings that are not on the list: one on the Smith River and one on the Big Hole River. I think both occurred in May or early June.

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