RRFW Riverwire Dory Swamped At Havasu - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-15-2007   #1
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 928
RRFW Riverwire Dory Swamped At Havasu

RRFW Riverwire Dory Swamped At Havasu
September 15, 2007

A non-commercial river trip swamped an aluminum dory in the rocks just below the mouth of Havasu Canyon on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park on September 1, 2007.

The group of river runners with two dories, three rafts and a kayaker had spent part of the day at Havasu Canyon. As the group left Havasu, the dory was the last boat in the group to exit the mouth of Havasu.

The boat, with three people on board, became pinned sideways in the jumble of large rocks just below the mouth of Havasu Canyon.

While there is a clear channel on the right side of the Colorado River at Havasu Canyon, the actual mouth of Havasu Canyon, a popular attraction site for river runners, is on river left.

Rescue efforts were undertaken to free the pinned boat, including using a tarp to block water from pouring over the upstream side of the boat and into the cockpit. This allowed the boat to be bailed out, but attempts to move the boat were unsuccessful.

A larger tarp was used to shield the boat, but in the process of changing tarps, the boat once more filled with water and had to be bailed out again. Six motorized tour boats assisted in the rescue, one of which attempted to tow the craft off the rocks. This effort also failed to budge the boat.

The rescue effort lasted for over three hours. As evening approached, the boaters were forced to offload all the cargo and abandon the boat. One passenger was towed to shore by the trips kayaker. Most of the river gear in the boat was retrieved, including the oars.

River trips passing the mouth of Havasu Canyon over the next few days said the boat was not visible when they were there. It is surmised that the water level rose the night of September 1, and the dory was flushed off the rocks and into deeper water.

River runners are advised to not take the pull-out at Havasu lightly. While there is a small rocky left slot for rubber rafts, dories must exit the mouth of Havasu well up in the eddy, and maintain a good ferry angle, rowing upstream across the river to avoid floating downstream into these rocks.

It is suggested that river runners leaving Havasu should wait in the calm waters just below Havasu Rapid to be sure all members of their party have safely exited the mouth of Havasu Creek before continuing downstream.
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Old 09-17-2007   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 505
Cod Bucket goes down...

Hi Tom,
You forgot to metion who was rowing that Dory when it hit the rocks!
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Old 09-17-2007   #3
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 928
Hi MK, you got that right! The TL and some of the other trip participants reviewed the wire before we ran it. Just trying to stick to the facts boaters could learn from. Yours, Tom

Originally Posted by mkashzg View Post
Hi Tom,
You forgot to metion who was rowing that Dory when it hit the rocks!
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