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Accident Database: Accident #10

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Date: 2017-02-12
Victim: Scott James "Scotty" Jarrell
Victim Age: 43
River: Umpqua, North
Reach #:
Section: 1.5) above Deadline Falls to Idlelyd Park
Location: Bogus Creek to Susan Creek
Water Level: Flood
River Difficulty: IV
Accident Cause: Impact/Trauma
Cause Code(s):
Injury Type(s):
Factors Code(s):
Age: 43
Experienced/Inexperienced: Extensive Experience
Private/Commercial: Private
Boat Type: Inflatable Kayak
Group Info:
Other Victim Names:
Detailed Description:

Drowning on the North Umpqua River

A man drowned in the North Umpqua River Sunday afternoon 2/12/17 after his raft overturned, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. According to police, two adult males were floating the North Umpqua River when their raft overturned in the water. One of the rafters, later identified as Paul Eckel, 43, of Roseburg, was able to swim back toward the raft, but the second rafter could not.The river then swept the two men into another set of rapids (Island Rapid class 4) , which again overturned the raft. Eckel was again able to return to the raft, but was unable to locate the second rafter in the water.
A passing motorist witnessed the incident and called 911 at approximately 2:43 p.m., while following the rafters in his vehicle, according to police. The caller reported to police that the rafters were in the water and in distress near milepost 32 on Highway 138, Idleyld Park. The motorist was able to follow Eckel and assist him in locating the second rafter.Eckel was eventually able to retrieve his partner and paddle to the riverbank where people attempted to revive him until first responders arrived.
We all know Paul has a passion for river running and used appropriate life jackets and wet suits, so let’s turn this tragedy into a positive teaching experience.
High water can dramatically change rivers, and requires that we redouble our emphasis on safety:
4. http://nwwhitewaterrafting.org/pdf/High-Water-Safety-Guidelines.pdf
From Ron Hilbert

Subject: Fwd: Fatality Umpaqua

He was  in a 9'6" Saturn; they were R2ing.
He was doing the North Umpqua Segment 4"Bogus Creek to Susan Creek" section.
Class II-III at normal flows

Length: 7 River Miles Float Time: 3-4 Hours
Avoid Floating 6 pm to 10 am, July 1 - October 31

This area offers multiple recreation opportunities from great whitewater adventures to steelhead and trout fly-fishing, hiking in old-growth forests and waterfall viewing. In this segment boaters will experience four Class III rapids and five Class II+ rapids. The river takes on a "pool-drop" nature as the rapids are separated by long stretches of flat water. The Class III rapids are very challenging at all flows and include a portage at Bathtub rapid at lower flows (below 1000 CFS). Rafters should scout carefully. At high flows in the spring, the rapids feature huge waves and holes that can flip a raft. The launch site is across the highway from Bogus Creek Campground, and the take-out is just down-river from the Susan Creek Day-use Area.
I know that he did it on February 4 @ 5,000 cfs so he was familiar with the run and had done it numerous times at different levels.  I do believe this probably was the highest he had ever done it.
Rafter from Central Point drowns on North Umpqua River
Monday, February 13th 2017
KPIC Roseburg Oregon
IDLEYLD PARK, Ore. - A whitewater rafter thrown overboard in the rapids of the North Umpqua River died Sunday afternoon, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. The sheriff's office identified the deceased as 38-year-old Scott James Jarrell of Central Point.
Jarrell and his partner - Paul Eckel, 43, of Roseburg - were both equipped with helmets, life jackets and other safety equipment, the sheriff's office said. A passing motorist saw the two were in trouble and called 911.
The sheriff's marine patrol and emergency medical personnel responded to the area at 2:43 p.m. The sheriff's office said two men were floating the river when their raft overturned. Eckel managed to climb back into the raft before the boat entered another set of rapids. Jarell could not. The raft again overturned, throwing Eckel back in the water. He managed to again climb back aboard the raft.
Eckel located Jarrell and brought him to shore. "Lifesaving efforts were initiated until EMS arrived and took over," the sheriff's office said. Those efforts to revive Jarrell were unsuccessful, the sheriff's office said. The sheriff described Jarrell's death as a drowning.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the United States Forest Service, Glide Fire Department, Bay Cities Ambulance and Douglas County Fire District #2.

Facebook post
We lost a good friend on Sunday.  Scott Jarrell drowned on the North Umpqua rafting with his friend Paul Eckel during a 6,000 cfs flow through a 22 mile run capsizing in Bath Tub through Island Rapids.  Paul was able to get back to the raft but had difficulty in the high flow and a second flip to catch up to Scott.  Our thoughts go out to Paul C. Eckel and to Scott's family--Gwen & Jim Jarrell of Ashland, Oregon and Scott's daughter Jocelyn Maerz.  Jocelyn and her fiance are expecting a new baby in coming months.  They are setting up a fund and a special account to help her bring the new baby into the world and to help with memorial expenses.  We will have more news about this and Scottie's memorial service date in the next few days.  Scott Jarrell was one of the most loyal and hardest working people I've ever met and I miss him dearly.
From Joe Hatcher

UPDATE: Man who drowned in North Umpqua was experienced rafter, oar maker

Central Point oar maker who was an experienced rafter died and a Roseburg man survived Sunday when they were tossed from their raft while paddling a section of the North Umpqua River during high flows.

Scott James "Scotty" Jarrell, 38, and Paul Eckel of Roseburg were running through Bathtub Rapids during flows of about 6,000 cubic feet per second when both men were thrown from the 9 1/2-foot raft, authorities said.
Eckel was able to get back in the raft, but Jarrell, whom friends described as a strong rafter and swimmer, was unable to get out of the water, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
Eckel again was tossed from the raft as the pair floated through another rapid called Island Creek, where Eckel lost sight of Jarrell, deputies said.
Witnesses watching from nearby Highway 138 telephoned authorities and helped Eckel find Jarrell, whom he pulled onto the shoreline and began lifesaving efforts, deputies said. Emergency crews took over when they arrived, but Jarrell was declared dead at the scene, deputies said. Both men were wearing helmets and life jackets, sheriff's Sgt. Brad O'Dell said.
Jarrell was an oar maker at Gold Hill-based Sawyer Paddles and Oars, where he worked since 2005, Sawyers President Pete Newport said. "He was one of the most focused super-stars on our team," Newport said. "He was a pretty amazing guy."
Jarrell had been whitewater rafting about five years and had competed in the past two King of the Rogue races along the Rogue River near Gold Hill, Newport said.


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