Accident Database

Report ID# 1041

  • Other
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water
  • Inexperience
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description


DATE:  July 22, 1990  James and Lynne Sherman and their four year old son, David were fortunate to walk away unharmed when a raft they were riding in tipped over in the west branch of the DuPage River which was swollen by the day's record rainfall. The Naperville Fire Department effected a rescue that was witnessed by about 200 people at the Riverwalk.  

The Shermans, who said they are experienced rafters, put their raft in water where Jefferson Avenue meets the river. Sherman said they were trying to get around a tree, but the river's current carried them into it. The raft capsized and they decided to swim to an island about 20 feet downstream.  The couple held David, who was wearing a life jacket, between them as they made their way to the island where they were rescued.  

Source:  The Naperville Sun Newspaper  

ANALYSIS: Inexperience and poor judgement can lead to embarrassing and costly rescues. The adults were not wearing life vests and there was no backup boat, so the group was unable to help itself. This situation which could have had grave consequences in less populated areas! (CW)



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