Accident Database

Report ID# 1060

  • Caught in a Natural Hydraulic
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water
  • Inadequate Equipment

Accident Description

Witness Narrative by Michael Franz Horner on 2006-05-08

As I approached the big hole and rock near Proctor Creek I noticed someone on shore frantically calling for a rope. I was rowing my cataraft along with two round boats and another cataraft for a full day starting in Index and ending at Big Eddy. I suspected that someone was being worked in the hole and so I pulled into the tight eddy behind a big rock just to the river left of the hole. I found the victim here holding onto the big rock and panicing for breath, still in his IK. I told him to grab my frame and hang on as I planned to row him to shore.

After my first strokes I realized what was wrong. His non-self-bailing craft was filled with water. There was somekind of skirt zipped up to his waist. I had great difficulty pulling him out of the eddy and told him to get out of his boat. He said he was stuck. I muscled him and his waterlogged IK out of the eddy to shore where EMS and rescue were preparing their own rescue. I then turned him over to their care. The fella had been washing around in this eddy for almost 1/2 hour before I got to him. His companions who were using Seyvlor River X kayaks had no rope or rescue skills and it is amazing that the fella was able to keep his craft from flipping over trapping him underwater. I suspect he could have flipped at any second making his rescue just about impossible to the Search and Rescue people who were preparing their rescue with riverboards.Snohmish County Search and Rescue

Shane Turnbull of Chinook Expeditions

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