Accident Database

Report ID# 1089

  • Impact/Trauma
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

The Flume is a five- to six-foot sloping drop (depending on where it’s run) into a big V-shaped wave that has the potential to roll boaters. In fact almost half the boaters who try this drop roll. The drop should be run about twenty feet from the right shore, down a fairly smooth surge into the V of the wave at the bottom. Going to the right of the surge drops you into a nasty hole and going to the left places you in a sharp V-shaped ledge. The drop is normally run from an eddy on river right immediately above the ledge. The drop changes with water level, and I hear it has been run up to seven feet on the Bulls Bridge gauge.

The first incident involved an individual who paddled right up to the lip of the drop and then simply flipped over and ran it upside down. Unfortunately the water level was approximately 1.0, about as low as the rapid can be run. The paddler did have the presence of mind to tuck as firmly as possible, which probably saved him from serious permanent injury. I was watching this from below and saw what I thought was the kayak taking a tremendous jolt. A short time later we learned the “jolt” was the kayaker’s head hitting rocks! After rescuing boater and equipment a “slight dent” was observed in the individual’s helmet. This dent was the size of my fist and at least 1.5 inches deep. Fortunately no permanent damage resulted form this close encounter.

In the second incident, which occurred at the same level, a kayaker attempted and failed to make the eddy on river right immediately above the drop. He rolled to his left, but had the presence of mind (or desperate survival instinct) to brace on that side. He did slowly roll under and bruise his shoulder, but no serious injury resulted. The individual took out at this point and has not returned to Bulls Bridge .

SOURCE: Ted Grrom in Crosscurrents

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