|Reach #:|| |
|Section:||Section 4 - Route 76 Bridge to Tugaloo Lake Boat Ramp|
|Location:||Jawbone Rapid - Allison's Rock|
|Accident Code(s):||Swim Into Undercut Trap|
|Number of Occupants:||0|
|Number in Group:||0|
|Number of Victims:||1|
|Other Victim Names:|
|Hazard Codes:||Blast rock, Low Head Dam, High Water, Hydraulic/Keeper Hole, Man-made Debris Strainer, Pin/Broach, Rocks that cause blunt trauma, Natural Strainer or Sieve, Water Temp, Waterfall|
Chattooga River victim suffered broken back
Posted July 19, 2012
Dorris died when the upper part of his back broke, preventing him from swimming to safety, according to Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis. He suffered a fracture or dislocation of the thoracic spinal column. That part of the back extends from the bottom of the neck to the lower back. In a media statement, Addis indicated Dorris received a blow to the face.
His manner of death is classified as accidental. Forensic pathologist Brett Woodward performed the autopsy at AnMed Health Medical Center.
Rescue workers pulled the 58-year-old man’s body from the river Thursday morning. It was lodged beneath a large rock. Dental records confirmed Dorris’ identity.
Dorris, who was from Nashville, Tenn., was riding in a raft with his wife, 18-year-old grandson, and five other passengers when the raft overturned and everyone fell out.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. His obituary in The Tennessean newspaper describes him as “an eternal optimist” who was an Eagle Scout, piloted planes and spent summers watching from a lifeguard’s stand. Dorris grew up in Florida and moved to Nashville in the 1970s. He was married to Mary Ann Dorris for 24 years and was a father to her two children. Mary Ann Dorris said meeting Dorris brought adventure to her life that did not exist before him. Besides his wife and children, Dorris’ parents, two sisters and four grandchildren survive him.
This is the third drowning at Allison's Rock!
1st was a rafting trip and the rocks namesake. She drowned on the right side
2nd was a private boater. High water, got worked in the hole that forms on the river left side of hydro and swam into the left side of the rock.
3rd washed into the right side.
By: WSPA Staff | News Channel 7
OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. --
The body of the rafter who was missing in an Oconee County river has been located.
Rescue and recovery crews were able to find the body of 58-year-old Michael Thomas Dorris of Nasheville with a pole mounted camera in the Chattooga River.
Authorities say his body was found Tuesday morning lodged against a rock below the water.
Dorris was on a commercial raft trip with Wildwater Ltd. in Long Creek Saturday when the raft he was in overturned at Jaw Bone rapid. Eight people went into the water. Dorris was seen wearing his life jacket and helmet floating down the river. Witnesses say he went under water above the Sockem Dog rapid.
The coroner tells 7 On Your Side family members say he never attempted to swim for the shore or towards the rope that was thrown at him for rescue.
Tuesday, a 24 person crew consisting of river guides and rescue technicians floated 90 minutes to the area where Dorris was last seen. There, they set up a system of ropes and used the underwater camera in the rapid and found his body.
Officials say the difficult task of recovering the body will take some time. It’s unsure how long at this point.
The recovery operation attempted Tuesday is the type that hasn't been done in almost two decades on the Chattooga River. Rescuers cannot reach the area by ground. They had to use rafts and kayaks to float their equipment in to the remote search area.
Oconee County Fire Chief Charlie King says, “They’re dealing with the dangers of the level (of the river) and certainly, with the weather we're having, the fluctuating river levels.”
The fast-rising rapids are likely what lead to the recovery operation in the first place.
Mary Ann Dorris spoke to us from Nashville Tuesday. She and her grandson were with her husband, Michael on a raft that capsized on the Chattooga Saturday. Michael died in the accident, and his body is wedged underneath a rock on the river.
Mary Ann Dorris says, “There were eight of us in the raft and why that raft flipped, I have no idea.” She goes on to say, “I heard them (the raft guides) hollering, 'Swim left. Swim left,' and That's when I saw Michael floating down the river head first. And first thing, that's the wrong way to go when you're floating down the river, and he just didn't respond.”
Before Tuesday, crews could not search or try to recover Michael's body. the rapids were just too dangerous.
Around mid-morning Tuesday, they found the body, using a camera mounted on a pole. But it's still too dangerous to send anyone underwater. Emergency officials tell us crews are using ropes and other equipment to try and pull the body out.
Mary Ann says, “That will answer a lot of questions, when we get the autopsy report.”
A similar incident in this same location occurred in April, 1995 when a 30-year-old Atlanta woman’s body was recovered after more than two weeks.
Wednesday recovery efforts continue with personnel from Oconee County Emergency Services, Rabun County Emergency Services, Habersham County Technical Rescue Team, Greenville County Emergency Response Team, SC Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SCHART), Anderson County Sheriff's Office, Pickens County Water Rescue Team, Wildwater Ltd., Southeastern Expeditions, Nantahala Outdoor Center and the U.S. Forest Service.
As of Saturday, there have been 38 deaths on the Chattooga River since 1970. The last reported river incident with death was in May of 2003.
This would the first commercial operated incident with a loss of life. The statement from the coroner says guides did everything within their power to rescue Michael Dorris. The other people on the boat were rescued and not injured.
Body of missing rafter recovered from Chattooga River
By The Associated Press
Chattooga River/file photo
WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) A body believed to be a Nashville, Tenn., man who fell from a raft in rapids in the Chattooga River has been recovered after spending nearly four days wedged against a rock under the water.
Chattooga River Recovery at Allison's Rock
|Report Status:||On Going|