Accident Database

Report ID# 114510

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • Inexperience

Accident Description

Date: Late August? 2020
Location: Deckers section of the South Platte River in Colorado ( Just above Willow Bend Picnic Area. Exact location:
Type: Entrapment in siphon
Victims: Two young girls, estimated 8 and 13 years old. On inner tubes, both wearing appropriate well fitting PFDs.
Report: While kayaking down with a large group, the first paddlers came across some tubers trying to access an obvious sieve between two large boulders. They were notified that there was a girl stuck in the sieve and they quickly offered to take over the rescue as they had appropriate PPE compared to the other tubers on scene. The group did an excellent job communicating the issue, stopping traffic, and getting safety set upstream and down.
A chain of 3 people were able to support each other to get the girl and her tube out of a space that turned out to siphon water underneath the two boulders. The rescuer then pulled out her tube and a second girl turned out to be stuck behind it with her head barely out of the water. The chain was re-established and they were able to support a rescuer who could reach in enough to grab the second girl. Behind her, her tube had been shoved deeper into the hole and was fortunately stopping some of the flow which made the rescue easier. To extract the tube, a rescuer attached a rope to their quick release belt and other team members were able to assist him exit the siphon after removing the tube that was blocking the flow.
The two girls seemed to be physically ok after a quick evaluation on the side of the river, so a raft was used to transport them back to the road on river right and their awaiting guardians. A Forest Service Ranger arrived shortly after and appeared to take a statement from the family but no statement was requested from any of the rescuers.

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