Accident Database

Report ID# 1127

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • Near Drowning
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

On March 30, 1996, David Jakalyn, a member of the Bluegrass Whitewater Association of Lexington, saw a tandem canoe launch, then capsize in an eddy just below a dam on Elkhorn Creek. The paddlers and their boat were pulled into the hydraulic and recirculated. Jakalyn waded chest-deep into the eddy, getting as close as he dared to the hydraulic, and rescued one of the two boaters with a throw rope. His partner, Cameron Ditty, waded into the icy water, grabbed hold of the canoe, and pulled it to shore. The second paddler had a death grip on the canoe, and she would not let go even after being rescued. The pair was taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released.

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