Date
Victim
Victim Age
River
Section
Location
Gage
Water Level
Difficulty
Cause Code(s)
Injury Type(s)
Factors Code(s)
Experienced/Inexperienced
Private/Commercial
Boat Type
Group Info
Other Victim Names
Status

Accident Description


Ronald B. Sley, age 77, was paddling solo when he became caught in the backwash of a low head dam northwest of Damascus, VA on May 16th. Mr. Sley was a Class 3-5 paddler who had paddled all over the world. He often paddled solo and had run this section before. He was wearing a PFD and helmet and scouted the drop before running according to investigators. Water levels that day were low.
 
Witnesses called 911; Sley recirculated face down in the hydraulic for some time before floating free. Firefighters arrived; launched a raft; recovered his body. There might have been a heart attack or other health problem.