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Old 09-07-2010   #1
smauk2's Avatar
Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Notoriously fatal river features

I have to give an informative speech and have decided to talk about deadly river features, their history, and proposals or actions taken to make the features more safe.

If anyone knows of any notoriously fatal features I would love to hear about it.
I know of Dimple Rock on the Lower Yough, and Frog Rock on the Ark. I also remember reading somewhere about a rapid that was blown up by some raft guide, but can't remember the name of it.

Please reference journals or articles that have some credibility. Also this is an INFORMATIVE speech so opinions are not needed, just facts.

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Old 09-07-2010   #2
Salida, Colorado, Colorado
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your thinking of quartzite rapid on the Salt River. I don't know about fatalities but it was an arduous portage around the rapid.

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Old 09-07-2010   #3
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BZN, Montana
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Dam's kill people and rivers.
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Old 09-07-2010   #4
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You're thinking of Quartzite on the Salt, but I wouldn't necessarily call it a fatal river feature. I was blown up more for convenience of not having to portage it.

As far as other fatal features most low head dams would fit into that category. For your informative speech is may be a better tactic to talk about what the feature is and use the particular rapids as examples. I wouldn't call Frog Rock a fatal feature, but a rapid that contains a sieve that is a fatal feature. For credibility browse through the AW accident data base and you will be able to find lots of stats.
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Old 09-07-2010   #5
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
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Thanks Nathan, and surprised I forgot about low head dams, those are nasty.
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Old 09-07-2010   #6
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I think the rapid that was blown up on the Salt River was blown because rafts had to portage it and they wanted to change that. The guy spent time in jail for that.

There is an "easy" rapid on the Delaware River that has claimed a ton of lives but that is because it is so close to the megalopolis and inexperienced people decide to buy a kmart raft or borrow a canoe and run it after a big rain. The AW site only references 3 deaths but when I was living in that area seems like there was a death every year. The Wing Dam and the rapid below it.

American Whitewater - NWRI - Delaware Lambertville Wing Dam
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Old 09-07-2010   #7
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Lakewood, Colorado
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What Glenn is trying to say is that dams, especially low head dams, are quite lethal and often times overlooked. A search on google will bring up enough data to build a decent presentation. This is a great video as an example of what not to do. It's old and has circulated this list many times:
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Old 09-07-2010   #8
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 121
Little Salmon river in Idaho has a nasty drop I have always called "the amphitheater hole." I don't know of any deaths or problems there, but, at high water, it sends a shiver to the core just to look at it. Although it is not man-made, it has all the same (deadly) features as a low head dam.
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Old 09-07-2010   #9
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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Could write a whole dialogue on low head dams. This particular one kills almost annually. This year we had our first kayak death(s). In the past it has generally been kids, tubers, canoeists, sevylor rafters, etc.
Jordan River deaths preventable, group says | Deseret News
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Old 09-07-2010   #10
carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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section IV of the Chattooga has had literally countless deaths after "deliverance" was released. I think the deadliest drop is woodall shoals class III. I read once that they lost count a long time ago of how many poeple got stuffed under the undercut in the center on that rapid.

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