Accident Database

Report ID# 1122

  • Caught in a Natural Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • Poor Group / Scene Management

Accident Description


            I would like to report an accident. Although no one was seriously hurt, the potential for injury was there. I was rafting the Sandy River in Oregon near Bob’s Hole. Kayakers usually peel out of the hole when a raft approaches, but on May 13, 1995, they did not.

            As I broached in the top wave, I saw that a collision was inevitable. To prevent injury to the kayaker, I pulled back on the oars. This stopped the raft dead in the hole. I barely touched the kayak, but flipped as a result. The six to eight kayakers in the eddy cheered, celebrating the flipping of the raft by their comrade. Although I was clearly alone, no kayaker offered any assistance. Just downstream, my cataraft washed up on some rocks; my passenger got swept underneath the boat and nearly drowned.

            I think the actions of the kayakers were despicable. They caused the accident, cheered the flip, and ignored us when we needed help.  

SOURCE: Dennis W. Schultz, e-mail to AWA Home Page  

EDITOR’S NOTE: While there are undoubtedly two sides to every issues, this sanitized version of Mr. Schultz’s e-mail clearly shows a clear lack of respect by kayakers for the rafter. This may reflect a different attitude toward the urgency of a flip on the part of each group, and it is not clear whether the raft could have avoided this popular play hole.  

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!