Accident Database

Report ID# 1123

  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description


            At about 12 PM on September 16, 1995, a pin occurred at Canyon Doors Rapid on the Lower Gauley River in southern West Virginia .  There was a strainer lodged on the right side of the rapid, and a kayaker hit bow-first and flipped. His boat went under the strainer and got stuck, holding him underwater.  

The pinned kayaker tried to exit but could not, either because of a small cockpit or the water pressure on his back. A friend who was leading him downriver exited his boat, climbed on the strainer, and pulled his head above water. Another boater arrived and attempted to free the kayak, but was unsuccessful. At this point the rescuer could hold the victim’s head above water no longer and had to let go. The victim was pinned underwater for twenty to thirty seconds before his buddy managed to kick the boat under the strainer. Once it floated free, the victim wet exited. He was quite shaken but suffered no injuries. 

SOURCE: Kevin Aylor posting to  

EDITOR’S NOTE: It was fortunate that the friend who was leading the first timer was vigilant and responsible!  

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